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A Minimal Token-Based Auth for Django

Project description

Simple Token-based authentication.


A lot of people talk about having Token Auth for their REST APIs… but what does it actually mean? And what benefit is it?

The token is cryptographically signed chunk of data. In this case it contains the user ID, backend, and a timestamp of when it was issued.

This lets you generate and issue tokens to phone apps, services, etc, and not have to deal with logins, passwords, CSRF, etc.


Add to settings.MIDDLEWARE, after the default authentication middleware:



When you want to log in a user, call nap_token.get_auth_token(user), passing a User instance returned from django.contrib.auth.authenticate.

It will return a signed, timestamped token. The client need only pass this in a Authorization header, formatted as ‘Bearer {token}’, for the request to act as that user. If the token is absent, expired, or invalid, requset.user will fall back to the normal Session Based Auth.

Issuing Tokens

As a quick and dirty example of how to issue tokens, here’s an approach that will issue a token for a user who can log in:

from django.http import HttpResponse
from django.contrib.auth.views import LoginView

from nap_token import get_auth_token

class TokenView(LoginView):

    def form_valid(self, form):
        user = form.get_user()
        return HttpResponse(get_auth_token(user))

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