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A utility for finding login links, forms and autologging into websites with a set of valid credentials.

Project description

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Autologin is a library that makes it easier for web spiders to crawl websites that require login. Provide it with credentials and a URL or the html source of a page (normally the homepage), and it will attempt to login for you. Cookies are returned to be used by your spider.

The goal of Autologin is to make it easier for web spiders to crawl websites that require authentication without having to re-write login code for each website.

Autologin can be used as a library, on the command line, or as a service. You can make use of Autologin without generating http requests, so you can drop it right into your spider without worrying about impacting rate limits.

If you are using Scrapy for crawling, check out autologin-middleware, which is a scrapy middleware that uses autologin http-api to maintain a logged-in state for a scrapy spider.

Autologin works on Python 2.7 and 3.3+.


The library is in the alpha stage. API can still change, especially around the keychain UI.


  • Automatically find login forms and fields
  • Obtain authenticated cookies
  • Obtain form requests to submit from your own spider
  • Extract links to login pages
  • Use as a library with or without making http requests
  • Command line client
  • Web service
  • UI for managing login credentials
  • Captcha support


Don’t like reading documentation?

from autologin import AutoLogin

url = ''
username = 'foo'
password = 'bar'
al = AutoLogin()
cookies = al.auth_cookies_from_url(url, username, password)

You now have a cookiejar that you can use in your spider. Don’t want a cookiejar?


You now have a dictionary.


Install the latest release from PyPI:

$ pip install -U autologin

or the version with the latest changes from Github:

$ pip install git+

Autologin depends on Formasaurus for field and form classification, which has quite a lot of dependencies. These packages may require extra steps to install, so the command above may fail. In this case install dependencies manually, one by one (follow their install instructions).

A recent pip is recommended (update it with pip install pip -U). On Ubuntu, the following packages are required:

$ apt-get install build-essential libssl-dev libffi-dev \
                  libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev \
                  python-dev  # or python3-dev for python 3

Auth cookies from URL

This method makes an http request to the URL, extracts the login form (if there is one), fills the fields and submits the form. It then return any cookies it has picked up:

cookies = al.auth_cookies_from_url(url, username, password)

Note that it returns all cookies, they may be session cookies rather than authenticated cookies.

This call is blocking, and uses Crochet to run the Twisted reactor and a Scrapy spider in a separate thread. If you have a Scrapy spider (or use Twisted in some other way), use the HTTP API, or the non-blocking API (it’s not documented, see http_api.AutologinAPI._login).

There are also optional arguments for AutoLogin.auth_cookies_from_url:

  • settings is a dictionary with Scrapy settings to override. Useful settings to pass include:

    • HTTP_PROXY, HTTPS_PROXY set proxies to use for all requests.
    • SPLASH_URL if set, Splash will be used to make all requests. Use it if your crawler also uses splash and the session is tied to IP and User-Agent, or for Tor sites.
    • USER_AGENT overrides default User-Agent.
  • extra_js (experimental) is a string with an extra JS script that should be executed on the login page before making a POST request. For example, it can be used to accept cookie use. It is supported only when SPLASH_URL is also given in settings.

An example of using this options:

cookies = al.auth_cookies_from_url(
    url, username, password,
        'SPLASH_URL': '',
        'USER_AGENT': 'Mozilla/2.02 [fr] (WinNT; I)',

Login request

This method extracts the login form (if there is one), fills the fields and returns a dictionary with the form url and args for your spider to submit. No http requests are made:

>>> al.login_request(html_source, username, password, base_url=None)
{'body': 'login=admin&password=secret',
 'headers': {b'Content-Type': b'application/x-www-form-urlencoded'},
 'method': 'POST',
 'url': '/login'}

Relative form action will be resolved against the base_url.

Command Line

$ autologin
usage: autologin [-h] [--splash-url SPLASH_URL] [--http-proxy HTTP_PROXY]
                 [--https-proxy HTTPS_PROXY] [--extra-js EXTRA_JS]
                 username password url


You can start the autologin HTTP API with:

$ autologin-http-api

and use /login-cookies endpoint. Make a POST request with JSON body. The following arguments are supported:

  • url (required): url of the site where we would like to login
  • username (optional): if not provided, it will be fetched from the login keychain
  • password (optional): if not provided, it will be fetched from the login keychain
  • extra_js (optional, experimental) is a string with an extra JS script that should be executed on the login page before making a POST request. For example, it can be used to accept cookie use. It is supported only when SPLASH_URL is also given in settings.
  • settings (optional) - a dictionary with Scrapy settings to override, useful values are described above.

If username and password are not provided, autologin tries to find them in the login keychain. If no matching credentials are found (they are matched by domain, not by precise url), then human is expected to eventually provide them in the keychain UI, or mark domain as “skipped”.

Response is JSON with the following fields:

  • status, which can take the following values:

    • error status means an error occurred, error field has more info
    • skipped means that domain is marked as “skipped” in keychain UI
    • pending means there is an item in keychain UI (or it was just created), and no credentials have been entered yet
    • solved means that login was successful and cookies were obtained
  • error - human-readable explanation of the error.

  • response - last response received by autologin (can be None in some cases). This is a dict with cookies, headers, and either a text or body_b64 fields (depending on response content type).

  • cookies - a list of dictionaries in Cookie.__dict__ format. Present only if status is solved.

  • start_url - a url that was reached after successful login.

Proxy support

Proxies can be specified via HTTP_PROXY and HTTPS_PROOXY keys in settings argument. Username and password can be specified as part of the proxy url (the format is protocol://username:password@url).

If you are using proxy with Splash, it is assumed that you want to have Splash make requests via given proxy, and not make a request to Splash via proxy. HTTP_PROXY is always used for Splash.

Captcha support

There is experimental captcha support: if the login form contains a captcha, we will try to solve it using an external service (DeathByCaptcha), and will submit it as part of login request. This does not affect API in any way, you only have to provide environment variables with your DeathByCaptcha account details: DEATHBYCAPTCHA_USERNAME and DEATHBYCAPTCHA_PASSWORD. This applies to all APIs: autologin-http-api, autologin, and the Python API.

You also need to install the decaptcha library:

pip install git+

Support is still experimental, new Google ReCaptcha/NoCaptcha are not supported. Also, it currently works only with splash (when SPLASH_URL is passed in settings).

Keychain UI

Start keychain UI with:

$ autologin-server

Note that both autologin-server and autologin-http-api are not protected by any authentication.

Keychain UI stores credentials in an sqlite database. It is located near the library itself by default, which is not always good, especially if you want to persist the data between updates or do not have write permissions for that folder. You can configure database location and secret_key used by the flask app by creating an /etc/autologin.cfg or ~/.autologin.cfg file (should be the same user under which autologin services are running). Here is an example config that changes default secret_key and specifies a different database path (both items are optional):

secret_key = 8a0b923820dcc509a6f75849b
db = /var/autologin/db.sqlite


Source code and bug tracker are on github:

Run tests with tox:

$ tox

Splash support is not tested directly here, but there are indirect tests for it in the autologin-middleware test suite.


License is MIT.

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