Skip to main content

A Django app for for generating secure scoped access tokens.

Project description

django-access-tokens is a Django app for generating secure scoped access tokens.


  • Generate secure access tokens that grant permissions at the level of model instances, models, apps, or globally.

  • Expire access tokens after a given age.

  • Generate more compact access tokens by including 'django.contrib.auth' and 'django.contrib.contenttypes' in your project.


  1. Checkout the latest django-access-tokens release and copy or symlink the access_tokens directory into your PYTHONPATH. If using pip, run pip install django-access-tokens.

  2. Add 'access_tokens' to your INSTALLED_APPS setting.

  3. Optionally, ad 'django.contrib.auth' and 'django.contrib.contenttypes' for more compact access tokens.

Generating tokens

Tokens can be generated as follows:

tokens.generate(scope=(), key=None, salt=None)

Some examples of token generation:

from access_tokens import scope, tokens

# Generate an access token granting change permission on a given model instance.
change_instance_token = tokens.generate(
    scope.access_obj(your_instance, "your_app.change_your_model"),

# Generate an access token granting add permission on a given model.
change_model_token = tokens.generate(
    scope.access_model(YourModel, "your_app.add_your_model"),

# Generate an access token for a custom 'publish' permission on a given app.
publish_app_token = tokens.generate(
    scope.access_app("your_app", "publish"),

# Generate an access token for a custom 'moderate' permission globally.
publish_app_token = tokens.generate(

# Generate a complex token that grants a number of permissions.
kitchen_sink_token = tokens.generate(
    scope.access_obj(your_instance, "read", "write") +
    scope.access_all("publish", "moderate")

Some things to bear in mind when generating tokens:

  • You can combine multiple scope.access_* invocations using the addition + operator.

  • Permissions are specified as strings, and you can name as many permissions as you want in a given scope.access_* invocation.

  • Permission names don’t have to match permissions defined by 'django.contrib.auth'. If they do match, then the generated access token will be smaller.

  • If you don’t name any permissions in a scope.access_* call, then the returned scope is effectively worthless, as it grants no permissions.

Validating tokens

Tokens can be validated as follows:

tokens.validate(token, scope=(), key=None, salt=None, max_age=None)

Some examples of token validation:

from access_tokens import scope, tokens

# See if the given token grants 'publish' permission on the given app.
    scope.access_app("your_app", "publish"),

# Test the above token again, but only allow tokens generated in the last five minutes.
    scope.access_app("your_app", "publish"),
    max_age = 60 * 5,

Some things to bear in mind when validating tokens:

  • A token is considered valid if it grants a superset of the permissions specified in the comparison scope.

  • Tokens, by default, never expire, but you can force an expiry by passing a max_age argument to tokens.validate.

  • Token validation should only raise an exception if the code used to generate it was faulty. A bad signature on an access token, or an expired max_age, will not raise an exception, but will instead simply fail validation and return False.


django-access-tokens generates access tokens by serializing a representation of the granted permissions and then signing it using django.core.signing. As such, it uses the latest cryptographic techniques developed by the core Django team, and will stay up-to-date as you upgrade Django.

In order for django-access-tokens to work, it is important that you keep the secret key used to generate the tokens a secret. By default, tokens are generated using settings.SECRET_KEY. If you ever believe that your secret key has been compromised, change it immediately. Changing your secret key will also immediately invalidate all access tokens generated from it.

More information

The django-access-tokens project was developed at Mohawk, and is released as Open Source under the MIT license.

You can get the code from the django-access-tokens project site.


The following people were involved in the development of this project.

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

django-access-tokens-0.9.2.tar.gz (7.8 kB view hashes)

Uploaded source

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page