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Generic user registration for the Pyramid web framework

Project description

pluserable provides generic user registration for the Pyramid web framework, if your web app uses SQLAlchemy.

It is a pluggable web application that provides user registration, login, logout and change password functionality. pluserable follows a policy of minimal interference, so your app can mostly keep its existing models.

pluserable is highly configurable, you can make it do what you want. Features (all of them optional) include:

  • User sign up (registration).

  • Email address confirmation step (user activation).

  • Log in and log out.

  • Forgot password (sends an email with a new activation).

  • Reset password.

  • Brute force prevention by storing in a redis server the IP address of any user who fails authentication. Then the user must wait before trying to authenticate again, and the time doubles with each attempt.

  • You can replace forms, templates, views, models, UI strings and email message content.

It is gradually being refactored to support other web frameworks, too.

The documentation is at

Minimal integration

  • Create a virtualenv and activate it. Install pyramid and create your Pyramid project.

  • Ensure you have some SQLAlchemy declarative initialization. This is usually created by the Pyramid scaffold.

  • Edit your to add “pluserable” to the dependencies in the install_requires list.

  • Run python develop on your project to install all dependencies into your virtualenv.

  • Create models inheriting from pluserable’s abstract models. Find an example in the file pluserable/tests/

  • In your Pyramid configuration file, create a section called “kerno utilities” like this:

    [kerno utilities]
        # Let pluserable know which model classes to use:
        activation class =
        group class =
        user class =
        # Give pluserable a SQLAlchemy session factory:
        session factory =
  • Above you are also pointing to a session factory. Just write a function that returns a SQLAlchemy session instance, ready for use. Alternatively, it can be a scoped session.

  • Also add to your Pyramid configuration file a “pluserable” section like this:

        # Whether to log a user in directly after registration. Default: false.
        # autologin = false
        # Email domains we do not accept for registration. One per line.
        email_domains_blacklist =
        # Prevents brute force. Default: empty string, meaning feature disabled.
        # Syntax: redis://username:password@localhost:6379/0
        # redis_url =
        # Number of seconds a user must wait before trying login again.
        # Default value: 15, doubled on each attempt. Depends on a redis_url.
        # seconds_after_login_fail =
        # Route or URL after a user confirms their email. Default: "index"
        # activate_redirect = index
        # Route or URL after a user fills the forgot password form. Default: "index"
        # forgot_password_redirect = index
        # Route or URL after a user logs in. Default: "index"
        # login_redirect = index
        # Route or URL after a user logs out. Default: "index"
        # logout_redirect = index
        # Route or URL after a user signs up for an account. Default: "index"
        # register_redirect = index
        # Route or URL after a user resets their password. Default: "index"
        # reset_password_redirect = index
        # Whether to enable retail rendering of deform forms. Default: false.
        # deform_retail = false
  • pluserable includes a (very standard and vanilla) SecurityPolicy. If you wish to use it, do:

  • You may write a function that returns a configuration for Pyramid routes and views (which is something you probably want to manipulate in code because it won’t change between dev, staging and production environments), and then inform pluserable about it like this:

    registry.settings["pluserable_configurator"] = "my.package:some_function"
  • Your pluserable_configurator function would look more or less like this:

    from pluserable.settings import get_default_pluserable_settings
    def my_pluserable(config):
        """This function is called by pluserable during app startup."""
        adict = get_default_pluserable_settings()
        # Manipulate adict to customize pluserable for your application, then
        return adict
  • Include pluserable into your Pyramid application, just after Pyramid’s Configurator is instantiated:

    from kerno.start import Eko
    def includeme(config):
        """Stuff called during Pyramid initialization."""
        eko = Eko.from_ini("server.ini")

This does almost nothing: it only makes a new config method available. You have to use it next:

config.setup_pluserable(  # Directive that starts pluserable up
    global_settings["__file__"],  # Path to your INI configuration file

The above causes pluserable to read your INI file – especially the [Kerno utilities] and [pluserable] sections.

The backend for database access is in a separate class, this way you can substitute the implementation. This is called the “repository” pattern. One of the main benefits is, it makes writing tests much easier. It is recommended that you use the repository pattern in your app, too. The pluserable repository. is instantiated once per request. The instance is available in the request.repo variable.

  • If you haven’t done so yet, configure an HTTP session factory according to the Sessions chapter of the Pyramid documentation.

  • Create your database and tables. Maybe even an initial user.

  • Be sure to pass an authentication_policy argument in the config = Configurator(...) call. Refer to Pyramid docs for details.

  • By now the login form should appear at /login, but /register shouldn’t.

  • Include the package pyramid_mailer for the validation e-mail and “forgot password” e-mail:

  • The /register form should appear, though ugly. Now you have a choice regarding user activation by email:

    • You may just disable user activation by setting, in your .ini file:

          # (other settings, then...)
          require_activation = false
    • Otherwise, configure pyramid_mailer according to its documentation and test the registration page.

  • If you are using pyramid_tm or the ZopeTransactionManager, your minimal integration is done. (The pages are ugly, but working. Keep reading…)

Need to session.commit()?

pluserable does not require pyramid_tm or the ZopeTransactionManager with your session but if you do not use them you do have to take one extra step. We don’t commit transactions for you because that just wouldn’t be nice!

All you have to do is subscribe to the extension events and commit the session yourself. This also gives you the chance to do some extra processing:

from import (
    EventRegistration, EventActivation, EventLogin,
    EventPasswordReset, EventProfileUpdated,

def handle_event(event):
    request = event.request
    session = request.registry.getUtility(IDBSession)
    session.commit(), EventRegistration), EventActivation), EventLogin), EventPasswordReset), EventProfileUpdated)

The kerno variable comes from your initialization of the kerno library, which is useful to define the domain model of your application. (The kerno variable represents a global object for the domain model – it does not know anything about the web framework.) At runtime pluserable finds the kerno instance at request.kerno. In the future pluserable will support web frameworks other than Pyramid.

Whether or not to have a “username” field

It is important that you analyze the characteristics of your web application and decide whether you need a username field for users to log in with. pluserable provides 2 modes of operation:

1) email + username

The user chooses a username when registering and later she can log in by providing either the username or the email address. Therefore, usernames may NOT contain the @ character.

This mode is the default. It is expressed by the Pyramid configuration setting pluserable.handle = username.

2) email only

There is no username field and users only provide their email address. You enable this mode by:

  • Making your User model subclass NoUsernameMixin instead of UsernameMixin;

  • Adding this configuration setting: pluserable.handle = email, which will make pluserable default to schemas that contain email fields instead of username fields.

This choice should be made at the beginning of a project. If later you change it and want to keep your data you must deal with the existing (or missing) “username” column yourself.

Changing the forms

If you would like to modify any of the forms, you just need to register the new deform class to be used.

The interfaces you have available to override from pluserable.interfaces are:

  • IPluserableLoginForm

  • IPluserableRegisterForm

  • IPluserableForgotPasswordForm

  • IPluserableResetPasswordForm

  • IPluserableProfileForm

This is how you would do it (MyForm being a custom deform Form class):

config.registry.registerUtility(MyForm, IPluserableLoginForm)

Changing the templates

If you would like to substitute the templates you can use pyramid’s override_asset:


The templates you have available to override are:

  • login.mako

  • register.mako

  • forgot_password.mako

  • reset_password.mako

  • profile.mako

If you would like to override the templates with Jinja2, or any other templating language, just override the view configuration:

config.add_view("pluserable.views.AuthController", attr="login",
    route_name="login", renderer="yourapp:templates/login.jinja2")
    attr="forgot_password", route_name="forgot_password",
    attr="reset_password", route_name="reset_password",
config.add_view("pluserable.views.RegisterController", attr="register",
    route_name="register", renderer="yourapp:templates/register.jinja2")
config.add_view("pluserable.views.ProfileController", attr="profile",
    route_name="profile", renderer="yourapp:templates/profile.jinja2")

Changing UI strings

Take a look at this class. This is where we store all the UI strings in pluserable. If you’d like to change one or two messages, simply create a subclass and configure it:

[kerno utilities]
    # (...bla bla bla...)

    # Determining the UI strings is as easy as pointing to a class:
    string class = pluserable.strings:UIStringsBase

Here is an example implementation of a strings class:

class AuthStrings(UIStringsBase):
    """Our alterations to the pluserable UI text."""

    login_done = None   # Do not flash a message after the user logs in
    logout_done = None  # Do not flash a message after the user logs out

Changing the email messages

pluserable includes functions that send very simple, plain text only, email messages using pyramid_mailer. Messages are sent synchronously.

You can replace those with your own functions in order to send emails asynchronously (e. g. using celery), or to determine the content of the email messages. Plug your function in through kerno utilities – for example in configuration:

[kerno utilities]
pluserable.send_activation_email = myapp.actions:send_activation_email
pluserable.send_reset_password_email = myapp.actions:send_reset_password_email

…or imperatively in startup code:


Brute force prevention

Brute force prevention is enabled by configuring redis_url as mentioned above. This will store in a redis server the IP address of any user who fails authentication. Then the user must wait before trying to authenticate again, and the time doubles with each attempt.

If you wish to tweak the behavior of brute force prevention, or use a different storage, you can create a subclass, and then configure it as a kerno utility:

[kerno utilities]
    # Below is the default class, but you can change it to your own.
    brute force class = pluserable.no_bruteforce:BruteForceAidRedis

Changing the primary key column name

If you wish to override the primary key attribute name, you can do so by creating a new mixin class:

class NullPkMixin(Base):
    abstract = True
    _idAttribute = "pk"

    def pk(self):

    def id(self):
        return None

class User(NullPkMixin, UserMixin):

pluserable development


If you would like to help make any changes to pluserable, you can run its unit tests with py.test:


To check test coverage:

py.test --cov-report term-missing --cov pluserable

The tests can also be run in parallel:

py.test -n4

We are going to use this build server:!/nandoflorestan/pluserable

Origin of the project

pluserable started as a fork of horus by John Anderson:

horus is no longer maintained since 2015. pluserable is maintained and sees 1 or 2 releases per year.

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