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Dev phase auth for Rails.

What it is

  • A simple authentication gem for the development (pre-production) phase
  • Familiar rails conventions: #current_user, #signed_in?
  • A minimalistic signin page with a list of all available users (just click on a user and you will be logged in under the user)
  • An opportunity to replace it with one of the mature solution (assuming Devise)

What it is not

  • An authentication solution for the production phase of the application lifecycle
  • An authorization gem (although in the future it might get some authorization features to mimic Devise)

How it looks like

[Screenshot of the sign in page]

Getting started

CurrentUser works with Rails 3.2 and 4.0 using Ruby 1.9.3 or Ruby 2.0.

Add to your Gemfile:

gem "current_user"

Install it using bundler:

bundle install

Note: CurrentUser assumes your application already has a few users. So if the assumption is false, create User active record class AND/OR add several users to the database. It also assumes User has "email" attribute/method. If it is not the case, add "email" or change configuration in config/initializers/current_user.rb.

Run the generator:

rails generate current_user:install

The generator:

  • creates a file with a unique authentication key for your application
  • creates an initializer
  • inject routing to your application
  • show README

Specify root in config/routes.rb:

root :to => 'dashboards#show'

Add before filter to app/controllers/application_controller.rb:

before_filter :authenticate_user!

Try to visit one of protected pages of your application (for example root). You will see "Unauthorized" error page.

Run a rake task what shows a path to your sign in page:

rake current_user:sign_in_path

Visit your sign in page. You will see a list of users of your application. Click on a user and the link will take you to the root page of the application.

Congratulations. Your application has a simple authentication solution. Send a link to the sign in page to your customer and she/he will love to test your app manually :)


CurrentUser creates some helpers to use inside your controllers and views.

To verify if a user is signed in, use the following helper:


For the current signed-in user, this helper is available:



CurrentUser on RubyGems


It uses MIT license. See MIT-LICENSE file in the root directory.