# Quickstart

Flask-Auth is easy to use and saves you all the tedious work of rolling your own authentication system. It's pretty much plug-and-play in most cases, so you can be up and running in minutes.

## Initializing the extension

You initialize the extension like so:

app = Flask(__name__)
auth = Auth(app)


Et voila, you're ready to go! The Auth object you just created allows you to customize a number of settings (such as default callback when logging in is required and the user session timeout), but the default settings should be fine for most cases.

## Static users

What you need to do now is think about where your users will be defined and/or stored. In this quickstart, we'll walk through the use case of having a static user that is defined in the code. This can be easily adapted to read users from a file (such as /etc/passwd).

So, with the auth app initialized as above, we'll write a function that initializes the users, decorated with the before_request decorator from Flask to make sure the users are always initialized. Note that for illustration purposes, the password is set here in plain text; what you would usually do in this use case is precompute the hash of the password and assign this directly to the password attribute of the user.

@app.before_request
def init_users():


Now we can write a view that allows the user to log in.

def index():
if request.method == 'POST':
return 'Failure :('
return '''
<form method="POST">
</form>
'''


The most important part of the above code is the authenticate() call on the user. This method gets as argument the password of the user and, if this is correct, will log the user in. The login() function used in this method can also be called directly to log a user in if you want to do authentication in another way.

All that's left now is to create a view that is only accessible for logged in users.

@login_required()


To wrap things up:

app.add_url_rule('/', 'index', index, methods=['GET', 'POST'])
app.secret_key = 'N4BUdSXUzHxNoO8g'

if __name__ == '__main__':
app.run(debug=True)


And you're done! This example is fully worked out (including a couple extra bells and whistles) in examples/no_persistence.py.

## User persistence

The most common option however for managing users is to persist them to a database, in which case you will most probably use an ORM. The AuthUser base class provides a couple of convenience functions so it is recommended to use this as a base class or mixin. If you're using Google App Engine, a plug-and-play model is defined in flaskext.auth.gae.User, which can of course be extended. If you use SQLAlchemy, you can follow the implementation in examples/sqlalchemy_model.py.

## Roles and permissions

If you want to differentiate between users and do specific permission checking on views, a permission model based on roles can be defined. It works very straightforward: A user has a role (like "admin") and a role has a set of permissions, with a permission being an action that is applied on a resource. Examples of resources are "newsitem", "user", "ticket", "product", but also "newsitem.comment", "user.role", etc. Examples of actions are "create", "read", "list", "download", etc.

To get the above working, you first have to define your roles and the permissions they have in some way. Personally I am of the opinion that you shouldn't store roles and the permissions they have in a database, as it is part of the configuration of your application and as such should be stored in a versioned repository. In this extension, you can do this by defining instances of the Role and Permission objects in your settings file. The only thing that really has to be stored is the role of a user, which can be done by simply storing the name of the role with the user. There are however of course valid use cases in which you would want to store it in the database anyway, which is fairly simple to do by using the Role and Permission classes as mixins for your ORM models.

In both of the above cases, you can tie everything together by providing a callback to load a role and attach this to the load_role attribute of the auth object we created when initializing the extension. This callback is called with as argument the name of a role and is supposed to return a Role object (containing the role name and a list of permissions). In code, the above could result in something like this:

from flaskext.auth.permissions import Permission, Role

user_create = Permission('user', 'create')
user_view = Permission('user', 'view')

roles = {
'userview': Role('userview', [user_view]),
}

return roles.get(role_name)