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JSON Web Token based authentication for Django REST framework

Project description

Build Status PyPI version


This package provides JSON Web Token Authentication support for Django REST framework.

If you want to read more about JWT, here’s a great blog post by the guys at Auth0 that talks about Cookie vs Token based authentication.


Install using pip

$ pip install djangorestframework-jwt


In your, add JSONWebTokenAuthentication to Django REST framework’s DEFAULT_AUTHENTICATION_CLASSES.


In your add the following URL route to enable obtaining a token via a POST included the user’s username and password.

urlpatterns = patterns(
    # ...

    url(r'^api-token-auth/', 'rest_framework_jwt.views.obtain_jwt_token'),

You can easily test if the endpoint is working by doing the following in your terminal, if you had a user created with the username admin and password abc123.

$ curl -X POST -d "username=admin&password=abc123" http://localhost:8000/api-token-auth/

Alternatively, you can use all the content types supported by the Django REST framework to obtain the auth token. For example:

$ curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{"username":"admin","password":"abc123"}' http://localhost:8000/api-token-auth/

Now in order to access protected api urls you must include the Authorization: JWT <your_token> header.

$ curl -H "Authorization: JWT <your_token>" http://localhost:8000/protected-url/

Additional Settings

There are some additional settings that you can override similar to how you’d do it with Django REST framework itself. Here are all the available defaults.




    'JWT_SECRET_KEY': settings.SECRET_KEY,
    'JWT_ALGORITHM': 'HS256',
    'JWT_VERIFY': True,
    'JWT_LEEWAY': 0,
    'JWT_EXPIRATION_DELTA': datetime.timedelta(seconds=300)

This packages uses the JSON Web Token Python implementation, PyJWT and allows to modify some of it’s available options.


This is the secret key used to encrypt the JWT. Make sure this is safe and not shared or public.

Default is your project’s settings.SECRET_KEY.


Possible values:

  • HS256 - HMAC using SHA-256 hash algorithm (default)

  • HS384 - HMAC using SHA-384 hash algorithm

  • HS512 - HMAC using SHA-512 hash algorithm

  • RS256 - RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5 signature algorithm using SHA-256 hash algorithm

  • RS384 - RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5 signature algorithm using SHA-384 hash algorithm

  • RS512 - RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5 signature algorithm using SHA-512 hash algorithm

Note: > For the RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5 algorithms, the “secret” argument in jwt.encode is supposed to be a private RSA key as > imported with Crypto.PublicKey.RSA.importKey. Likewise, the “secret” argument in jwt.decode is supposed to be the > public RSA key imported with the same method.

Default is "HS256".


If the secret is wrong, it will raise a jwt.DecodeError telling you as such. You can still get at the payload by setting the JWT_VERIFY to False.

Default is True.


You can turn off expiration time verification with by setting JWT_VERIFY_EXPIRATION to False.

Default is True.


This allows you to validate an expiration time which is in the past but no very far. For example, if you have a JWT payload with an expiration time set to 30 seconds after creation but you know that sometimes you will process it after 30 seconds, you can set a leeway of 10 seconds in order to have some margin.

Default is 0 seconds.


This is an instance of Python’s datetime.timedelta. This will be added to datetime.utcnow() to set the expiration time.

Default is datetime.timedelta(seconds=300)(5 minutes).

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