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Login as any user with a master password. Add master password support to your custom authentication backend.

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This app provides a mixin class that adds fallback master password authentication to an existing backend, and a ready to use subclass of Django’s ModelBackend with master password authentication.

This could be dangerous and is generally not recommended for production, but is super handy for development and staging environments.

In a pinch it can also be used temporarily (with a strong password) to troubleshoot end-user issues in production environments, without having to reset their password.


Install with pip:

$ pip install django-master-password


AUTHENTICATION_BACKEND += ('master_password.auth.ModelBackend', )

If you want to use the optional make_password management command, update the INSTALLED_APPS setting as well:

INSTALLED_APPS += ('master_password', )


The MasterPasswordMixin.authenticate() method will first try to authenticate with its superclass, and then it will fallback to master password authentication.

The default implementation authenticates against the MASTER_PASSWORDS setting, which should be a dictionary with clear text or hashed passwords as keys, and callback functions (or None) as values.

A callback function must take a user object as its only argument, and should return True if the user is allowed to authenticate with that password.

For example, you might have one master password that cannot be used for staff or superuser accounts, and another that can be used for any account:

    'user123': lambda u: not u.is_staff and not u.is_superuser,
    'superuser123': None,

The use of clear text master passwords is intended as a convenience during development. When DEBUG=False, you must use a strong hashed password with at least 50 characters, 1 digit, 1 uppercase letter, 1 lowercase letter, and 1 non-alphanumeric character:

    'euTmHbJ9sdHirlsM2MvUjHQPDJ6CZdu02gYrxY3aAbI=': None,

This is a failsafe against accidentally enabling an unsafe master password for production and staging environments.

You can generate a hashed password in Python:

>>> from django.contrib.auth.models import make_password
>>> print make_password('password123')

Or use the make_password management command:

(venv)$ ./ make_password
Hashed password: pbkdf2_sha256$20000$kGdCcfmJtsUY$euTmHbJ9sdHirlsM2MvUjHQPDJ6CZdu02gYrxY3aAbI=


If you are already using a custom auth backend, use the mixin class to add master password authentication to it. You will need to define a get_user_object(**kwargs) method, which should be the same as the authenticate() method on the superclass but without any password validation.

You can also override the get_master_passwords() method if you want to get master passwords from another source than the MASTER_PASSWORDS setting.

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