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Microsoft Azure Identity Library for Python

Project description

Azure Identity client library for Python

The Azure Identity library provides a set of credential classes for use with Azure SDK clients which support Azure Active Directory (AAD) token authentication.

Source code | Package (PyPI) | API reference documentation | Azure Active Directory documentation

Getting started

Install the package

Install Azure Identity with pip:

pip install azure-identity


Authenticating during local development

When debugging and executing code locally it is typical for developers to use their own accounts for authenticating calls to Azure services. The Azure Identity library supports authenticating through developer tools to simplify local development.

Authenticating via Visual Studio Code

DefaultAzureCredential and VisualStudioCodeCredential can authenticate as the user signed in to Visual Studio Code's Azure Account extension. After installing the extension, sign in to Azure in Visual Studio Code by pressing F1 to open the command palette and running the Azure: Sign In command.

Visual Studio Code Account Sign In

Authenticating via the Azure CLI

DefaultAzureCredential and AzureCliCredential can authenticate as the user signed in to the Azure CLI. To sign in to the Azure CLI, run az login. On a system with a default web browser, the Azure CLI will launch the browser to authenticate a user.

Azure CLI Account Sign In

When no default browser is available, az login will use the device code authentication flow. This can also be selected manually by running az login --use-device-code.

Azure CLI Account Device Code Sign In

Key concepts


A credential is a class which contains or can obtain the data needed for a service client to authenticate requests. Service clients across the Azure SDK accept a credential instance when they are constructed, and use that credential to authenticate requests.

The Azure Identity library focuses on OAuth authentication with Azure Active Directory (AAD). It offers a variety of credential classes capable of acquiring an AAD access token. See Credential Classes below for a list of this library's credential classes.


DefaultAzureCredential is appropriate for most applications which will run in the Azure Cloud because it combines common production credentials with development credentials. DefaultAzureCredential attempts to authenticate via the following mechanisms in this order, stopping when one succeeds:

DefaultAzureCredential authentication flow

  • Environment - DefaultAzureCredential will read account information specified via environment variables and use it to authenticate.
  • Managed Identity - if the application is deployed to an Azure host with Managed Identity enabled, DefaultAzureCredential will authenticate with it.
  • Visual Studio Code - if a user has signed in to the Visual Studio Code Azure Account extension, DefaultAzureCredential will authenticate as that user.
  • Azure CLI - If a user has signed in via the Azure CLI az login command, DefaultAzureCredential will authenticate as that user.
  • Interactive - If enabled, DefaultAzureCredential will interactively authenticate a user via the current system's default browser.


The following examples are provided below:

Authenticating with DefaultAzureCredential

This example demonstrates authenticating the BlobServiceClient from the azure-storage-blob library using DefaultAzureCredential.

from azure.identity import DefaultAzureCredential
from import BlobServiceClient

default_credential = DefaultAzureCredential()

client = BlobServiceClient(account_url, credential=default_credential)

Enabling interactive authentication with DefaultAzureCredential

Interactive authentication is disabled in the DefaultAzureCredential by default and can be enabled with a keyword argument:


When enabled, DefaultAzureCredential falls back to interactively authenticating via the system's default web browser when no other credential is available.

Defining a custom authentication flow with ChainedTokenCredential

DefaultAzureCredential is generally the quickest way to get started developing applications for Azure. For more advanced scenarios, ChainedTokenCredential links multiple credential instances to be tried sequentially when authenticating. It will try each chained credential in turn until one provides a token or fails to authenticate due to an error.

The following example demonstrates creating a credential which will attempt to authenticate using managed identity, and fall back to authenticating via the Azure CLI when a managed identity is unavailable. This example uses the EventHubClient from the azure-eventhub client library.

from azure.eventhub import EventHubClient
from azure.identity import AzureCliCredential, ChainedTokenCredential, ManagedIdentityCredential

managed_identity = ManagedIdentityCredential()
azure_cli = AzureCliCredential()
credential_chain = ChainedTokenCredential(managed_identity, azure_cli)

client = EventHubClient(host, event_hub_path, credential_chain)

Async credentials

This library includes an async API supported on Python 3.5+. To use the async credentials in azure.identity.aio, you must first install an async transport, such as aiohttp. See azure-core documentation for more information.

Async credentials should be closed when they're no longer needed. Each async credential is an async context manager and defines an async close method. For example:

from azure.identity.aio import DefaultAzureCredential

# call close when the credential is no longer needed
credential = DefaultAzureCredential()
await credential.close()

# alternatively, use the credential as an async context manager
credential = DefaultAzureCredential()
async with credential:

This example demonstrates authenticating the asynchronous SecretClient from azure-keyvault-secrets with an asynchronous credential.

from azure.identity.aio import DefaultAzureCredential
from azure.keyvault.secrets.aio import SecretClient

default_credential = DefaultAzureCredential()
client = SecretClient("", default_credential)

Credential Classes

Authenticating Azure Hosted Applications

credential usage
DefaultAzureCredential simplified authentication to get started developing applications for the Azure cloud
ChainedTokenCredential define custom authentication flows composing multiple credentials
EnvironmentCredential authenticate a service principal or user configured by environment variables
ManagedIdentityCredential authenticate the managed identity of an Azure resource

Authenticating Service Principals

credential usage
ClientSecretCredential authenticate a service principal using a secret
CertificateCredential authenticate a service principal using a certificate

Authenticating Users

credential usage
InteractiveBrowserCredential interactively authenticate a user with the default web browser
DeviceCodeCredential interactively authenticate a user on a device with limited UI
UsernamePasswordCredential authenticate a user with a username and password

Authenticating via Development Tools

credential usage
AzureCliCredential authenticate as the user signed in to the Azure CLI
VisualStudioCodeCredential authenticate as the user signed in to the Visual Studio Code Azure Account extension

Environment Variables

DefaultAzureCredential and EnvironmentCredential can be configured with environment variables. Each type of authentication requires values for specific variables:

Service principal with secret

variable name value
AZURE_CLIENT_ID id of an Azure Active Directory application
AZURE_TENANT_ID id of the application's Azure Active Directory tenant
AZURE_CLIENT_SECRET one of the application's client secrets

Service principal with certificate

variable name value
AZURE_CLIENT_ID id of an Azure Active Directory application
AZURE_TENANT_ID id of the application's Azure Active Directory tenant
AZURE_CLIENT_CERTIFICATE_PATH path to a PEM-encoded certificate file including private key (without password protection)

Username and password

variable name value
AZURE_CLIENT_ID id of an Azure Active Directory application
AZURE_USERNAME a username (usually an email address)
AZURE_PASSWORD that user's password

Configuration is attempted in the above order. For example, if values for a client secret and certificate are both present, the client secret will be used.


Error Handling

Credentials raise CredentialUnavailableError when they're unable to attempt authentication because they lack required data or state. For example, EnvironmentCredential will raise this exception when its configuration is incomplete.

Credentials raise azure.core.exceptions.ClientAuthenticationError when they fail to authenticate. ClientAuthenticationError has a message attribute which describes why authentication failed. When raised by DefaultAzureCredential or ChainedTokenCredential, the message collects error messages from each credential in the chain.

For more details on handling specific Azure Active Directory errors please refer to the Azure Active Directory error code documentation.


This library uses the standard logging library for logging. Credentials log basic information, including HTTP sessions (URLs, headers, etc.) at INFO level. These log entries do not contain authentication secrets.

Detailed DEBUG level logging, including request/response bodies and header values, is not enabled by default. It can be enabled with the logging_enable argument, for example:

credential = DefaultAzureCredential(logging_enable=True)

CAUTION: DEBUG level logs from credentials contain sensitive information. These logs must be protected to avoid compromising account security.

Next steps

Client library support

This is an incomplete list of client libraries accepting Azure Identity credentials. You can learn more about these libraries, and find additional documentation of them, at the links below.

Provide Feedback

If you encounter bugs or have suggestions, please open an issue.


This project welcomes contributions and suggestions. Most contributions require you to agree to a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) declaring that you have the right to, and actually do, grant us the rights to use your contribution. For details, visit

When you submit a pull request, a CLA-bot will automatically determine whether you need to provide a CLA and decorate the PR appropriately (e.g., label, comment). Simply follow the instructions provided by the bot. You will only need to do this once across all repos using our CLA.

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information, see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact with any additional questions or comments.


Release History

1.4.0 (2020-08-10)


  • DefaultAzureCredential uses the value of environment variable AZURE_CLIENT_ID to configure a user-assigned managed identity. (#10931)

Breaking Changes

  • Renamed VSCodeCredential to VisualStudioCodeCredential
  • Removed application authentication APIs added in 1.4.0 beta versions. These will be reintroduced in 1.5.0b1. Passing the keyword arguments below generally won't cause a runtime error, but the arguments have no effect.
    • Removed authenticate method from DeviceCodeCredential, InteractiveBrowserCredential, and UsernamePasswordCredential
    • Removed allow_unencrypted_cache and enable_persistent_cache keyword arguments from CertificateCredential, ClientSecretCredential, DeviceCodeCredential, InteractiveBrowserCredential, and UsernamePasswordCredential
    • Removed disable_automatic_authentication keyword argument from DeviceCodeCredential and InteractiveBrowserCredential
    • Removed allow_unencrypted_cache keyword argument from SharedTokenCacheCredential
    • Removed classes AuthenticationRecord and AuthenticationRequiredError
    • Removed identity_config keyword argument from ManagedIdentityCredential

1.4.0b7 (2020-07-22)

  • DefaultAzureCredential has a new optional keyword argument, visual_studio_code_tenant_id, which sets the tenant the credential should authenticate in when authenticating as the Azure user signed in to Visual Studio Code.
  • Renamed AuthenticationRecord.deserialize positional parameter json_string to data.

1.4.0b6 (2020-07-07)

  • AzureCliCredential no longer raises an exception due to unexpected output from the CLI when run by PyCharm (thanks @NVolcz) (#11362)
  • Upgraded minimum msal version to 1.3.0
  • The async AzureCliCredential correctly invokes /bin/sh (#12048)

1.4.0b5 (2020-06-12)

  • Prevent an error on importing AzureCliCredential on Windows caused by a bug in old versions of Python 3.6 (this bug was fixed in Python 3.6.5). (#12014)
  • SharedTokenCacheCredential.get_token raises ValueError instead of ClientAuthenticationError when called with no scopes. (#11553)

1.4.0b4 (2020-06-09)

  • ManagedIdentityCredential can configure a user-assigned identity using any identifier supported by the current hosting environment. To specify an identity by its client ID, continue using the client_id argument. To specify an identity by any other ID, use the identity_config argument, for example: ManagedIdentityCredential(identity_config={"object_id": ".."}) (#10989)
  • CertificateCredential and ClientSecretCredential can optionally store access tokens they acquire in a persistent cache. To enable this, construct the credential with enable_persistent_cache=True. On Linux, the persistent cache requires libsecret and pygobject. If these are unavailable or unusable (e.g. in an SSH session), loading the persistent cache will raise an error. You may optionally configure the credential to fall back to an unencrypted cache by constructing it with keyword argument allow_unencrypted_cache=True. (#11347)
  • AzureCliCredential raises CredentialUnavailableError when no user is logged in to the Azure CLI. (#11819)
  • AzureCliCredential and VSCodeCredential, which enable authenticating as the identity signed in to the Azure CLI and Visual Studio Code, respectively, can be imported from azure.identity and azure.identity.aio.
  • azure.identity.aio.AuthorizationCodeCredential.get_token() no longer accepts optional keyword arguments executor or loop. Prior versions of the method didn't use these correctly, provoking exceptions, and internal changes in this version have made them obsolete.
  • InteractiveBrowserCredential raises CredentialUnavailableError when it can't start an HTTP server on localhost. (#11665)
  • When constructing DefaultAzureCredential, you can now configure a tenant ID for InteractiveBrowserCredential. When none is specified, the credential authenticates users in their home tenants. To specify a different tenant, use the keyword argument interactive_browser_tenant_id, or set the environment variable AZURE_TENANT_ID. (#11548)
  • SharedTokenCacheCredential can be initialized with an AuthenticationRecord provided by a user credential. (#11448)
  • The user authentication API added to DeviceCodeCredential and InteractiveBrowserCredential in 1.4.0b3 is available on UsernamePasswordCredential as well. (#11449)
  • The optional persistent cache for DeviceCodeCredential and InteractiveBrowserCredential added in 1.4.0b3 is now available on Linux and macOS as well as Windows. (#11134)
    • On Linux, the persistent cache requires libsecret and pygobject. If these are unavailable, or libsecret is unusable (e.g. in an SSH session), loading the persistent cache will raise an error. You may optionally configure the credential to fall back to an unencrypted cache by constructing it with keyword argument allow_unencrypted_cache=True.

1.4.0b3 (2020-05-04)

  • EnvironmentCredential correctly initializes UsernamePasswordCredential with the value of AZURE_TENANT_ID (#11127)
  • Values for the constructor keyword argument authority and AZURE_AUTHORITY_HOST may optionally specify an "https" scheme. For example, "" and "" are both valid. (#10819)
  • First preview of new API for authenticating users with DeviceCodeCredential and InteractiveBrowserCredential (#10612)
    • new method authenticate interactively authenticates a user, returns a serializable AuthenticationRecord
    • new constructor keyword arguments
      • authentication_record enables initializing a credential with an AuthenticationRecord from a prior authentication
      • disable_automatic_authentication=True configures the credential to raise AuthenticationRequiredError when interactive authentication is necessary to acquire a token rather than immediately begin that authentication
      • enable_persistent_cache=True configures these credentials to use a persistent cache on supported platforms (in this release, Windows only). By default they cache in memory only.
  • Now DefaultAzureCredential can authenticate with the identity signed in to Visual Studio Code's Azure extension. (#10472)

1.4.0b2 (2020-04-06)

  • After an instance of DefaultAzureCredential successfully authenticates, it uses the same authentication method for every subsequent token request. This makes subsequent requests more efficient, and prevents unexpected changes of authentication method. (#10349)
  • All get_token methods consistently require at least one scope argument, raising an error when none is passed. Although get_token() may sometimes have succeeded in prior versions, it couldn't do so consistently because its behavior was undefined, and dependened on the credential's type and internal state. (#10243)
  • SharedTokenCacheCredential raises CredentialUnavailableError when the cache is available but contains ambiguous or insufficient information. This causes ChainedTokenCredential to correctly try the next credential in the chain. (#10631)
  • The host of the Active Directory endpoint credentials should use can be set in the environment variable AZURE_AUTHORITY_HOST. See azure.identity.KnownAuthorities for a list of common values. (#8094)

1.3.1 (2020-03-30)

  • ManagedIdentityCredential raises CredentialUnavailableError when no identity is configured for an IMDS endpoint. This causes ChainedTokenCredential to correctly try the next credential in the chain. (#10488)

1.4.0b1 (2020-03-10)

  • DefaultAzureCredential can now authenticate using the identity logged in to the Azure CLI, unless explicitly disabled with a keyword argument: DefaultAzureCredential(exclude_cli_credential=True) (#10092)

1.3.0 (2020-02-11)

  • Correctly parse token expiration time on Windows App Service (#9393)
  • Credentials raise CredentialUnavailableError when they can't attempt to authenticate due to missing data or state (#9372)
  • CertificateCredential supports password-protected private keys (#9434)

1.2.0 (2020-01-14)

  • All credential pipelines include ProxyPolicy (#8945)
  • Async credentials are async context managers and have an async close method (#9090)

1.1.0 (2019-11-27)

  • Constructing DefaultAzureCredential no longer raises ImportError on Python 3.8 on Windows (8294)
  • InteractiveBrowserCredential raises when unable to open a web browser (8465)
  • InteractiveBrowserCredential prompts for account selection (8470)
  • The credentials composing DefaultAzureCredential are configurable by keyword arguments (8514)
  • SharedTokenCacheCredential accepts an optional tenant_id keyword argument (8689)

1.0.1 (2019-11-05)

  • ClientCertificateCredential uses application and tenant IDs correctly (8315)
  • InteractiveBrowserCredential properly caches tokens (8352)
  • Adopted msal 1.0.0 and msal-extensions 0.1.3 (8359)

1.0.0 (2019-10-29)

Breaking changes:

  • Async credentials now default to aiohttp for transport but the library does not require it as a dependency because the async API is optional. To use async credentials, please install aiohttp or see azure-core documentation for information about customizing the transport.
  • Renamed ClientSecretCredential parameter "secret" to "client_secret"
  • All credentials with tenant_id and client_id positional parameters now accept them in that order
  • Changes to InteractiveBrowserCredential parameters
    • positional parameter client_id is now an optional keyword argument. If no value is provided, the Azure CLI's client ID will be used.
    • Optional keyword argument tenant renamed tenant_id
  • Changes to DeviceCodeCredential
    • optional positional parameter prompt_callback is now a keyword argument
    • prompt_callback's third argument is now a datetime representing the expiration time of the device code
    • optional keyword argument tenant renamed tenant_id
  • Changes to ManagedIdentityCredential
    • now accepts no positional arguments, and only one keyword argument: client_id
    • transport configuration is now done through keyword arguments as described in azure-core documentation

Fixes and improvements:

  • Authenticating with a single sign-on shared with other Microsoft applications only requires a username when multiple users have signed in (#8095)
  • DefaultAzureCredential accepts an authority keyword argument, enabling its use in national clouds (#8154)

Dependency changes

1.0.0b4 (2019-10-07)

New features:

  • AuthorizationCodeCredential authenticates with a previously obtained authorization code. See Azure Active Directory's authorization code documentation for more information about this authentication flow.
  • Multi-cloud support: client credentials accept the authority of an Azure Active Directory authentication endpoint as an authority keyword argument. Known authorities are defined in azure.identity.KnownAuthorities. The default authority is for Azure Public Cloud, (KnownAuthorities.AZURE_PUBLIC_CLOUD). An application running in Azure Government would use KnownAuthorities.AZURE_GOVERNMENT instead:
from azure.identity import DefaultAzureCredential, KnownAuthorities
credential = DefaultAzureCredential(authority=KnownAuthorities.AZURE_GOVERNMENT)

Breaking changes:

  • Removed client_secret parameter from InteractiveBrowserCredential

Fixes and improvements:

  • UsernamePasswordCredential correctly handles environment configuration with no tenant information (#7260)
  • user realm discovery requests are sent through credential pipelines (#7260)

1.0.0b3 (2019-09-10)

New features:

  • SharedTokenCacheCredential authenticates with tokens stored in a local cache shared by Microsoft applications. This enables Azure SDK clients to authenticate silently after you've signed in to Visual Studio 2019, for example. DefaultAzureCredential includes SharedTokenCacheCredential when the shared cache is available, and environment variable AZURE_USERNAME is set. See the README for more information.

Dependency changes:

1.0.0b2 (2019-08-05)

Breaking changes:

  • Removed azure.core.Configuration from the public API in preparation for a revamped configuration API. Static create_config methods have been renamed _create_config, and will be removed in a future release.

Dependency changes:

  • Adopted azure-core 1.0.0b2
    • If you later want to revert to a version requiring azure-core 1.0.0b1, of this or another Azure SDK library, you must explicitly install azure-core 1.0.0b1 as well. For example: pip install azure-core==1.0.0b1 azure-identity==1.0.0b1
  • Adopted MSAL 0.4.1
  • New dependency for Python 2.7: mock

New features:

  • Added credentials for authenticating users:
  • DeviceCodeCredential
  • InteractiveBrowserCredential
  • UsernamePasswordCredential
  • async versions of these credentials will be added in a future release

1.0.0b1 (2019-06-28)

Version 1.0.0b1 is the first preview of our efforts to create a user-friendly and Pythonic authentication API for Azure SDK client libraries. For more information about preview releases of other Azure SDK libraries, please visit

This release supports service principal and managed identity authentication. See the documentation for more details. User authentication will be added in an upcoming preview release.

This release supports only global Azure Active Directory tenants, i.e. those using the authentication endpoint.

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