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Enhances Rails with multi-account, form-based, database-less, application-wide authentication.
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Provides simple, form-based authentication for apps that need security but don't want to deal with the clunky UI of HTTP Basic Authentication or something as heavyweight as Devise. It doesn't require a database and is compatible with password managers like 1Password making for a pleasent user experience.

Table of Contents


  • Supports form-based authentication compatible with password managers like 1Password.

Screenshot - Large Valid Screenshot - Large Invalid

  • Supports mobile layouts and small screens:

Screenshot - Mobile Valid Screenshot - Mobile Invalid

  • Uses Bourbon, Neat, and Bitters for lightweight styling.
  • Uses encrypted account credentials to keep sensitive information secure.
  • Supports multiple accounts with account specific blacklists.
  • Supports customizable routes, models, presenters, views, controllers, and loggers.
  • Provides a generator for easy install and setup within an existing project.
  • Provides auto-redirection to requested path for verified credentials.


  1. MRI 2.x.x.
  2. Ruby on Rails 4.2.x.


For a secure install, type the following from the command line (recommended):

gem cert --add <(curl -Ls
gem install auther --trust-policy MediumSecurity

NOTE: A HighSecurity trust policy would be best but MediumSecurity enables signed gem verification while allowing the installation of unsigned dependencies since they are beyond the scope of this gem.

For an insecure install, type the following (not recommended):

gem install auther

Add the following to your Gemfile:

gem "auther"

Run the generator to configure and initialize your application:

rails generate auther:install


Assuming you are using the dotenv gem, add the following to your .env settings:


Launch your Rails application and visit the following:


Use these credentials to login:


The initializer (installed during setup) can be found here:


The initializer comes installed with the following settings:

Rails.application.config.auther_settings = {
  secret: ENV["AUTHER_SECRET"],
  accounts: [
    name: "admin",
    encrypted_login: ENV["AUTHER_ADMIN_LOGIN"],
    encrypted_password: ENV["AUTHER_ADMIN_PASSWORD"],
    paths: ["/admin"]

IMPORTANT: The encrypted secret, login, and password credentials used in the .env setup above must be re-encrypted before deploying to production! To encrypt/decrypt account credentials, launch a rails console and run the following:

# Best if more than 150 characters and gibberish to read. Must be equal to what is defined in the `auther_settings`.
cipher = "vuKrwD9XWoYuv@s99?tR(9VqryiL,KV{W7wFnejUa4QcVBP+D{2rD4JfuD(mXgA=$tNK4Pfn#NeGs3o3TZ3CqNc^Qb"

# Do this to encrypt an unecrypted value.
cipher.encrypt ""

# Do this to decrypt an encrypted value.
cipher.decrypt "N3JzR213WlBISDZsMjJQNkRXbEVmYVczbVdnMHRYVHRud29lOWRCekp6ST0tLWpFMkROekUvWDBkOHZ4ZngxZHV6clE9PQ==--cd863c39991fa4bb9a35de918aa16da54514e331"

The initializer can be customized as follows:

  • title - Optional. The HTML page title (as rendered within a browser tab). Default: "Authorization".
  • label - Optional. The page label (what would appear above the form). Default: "Authorization".
  • secret - Required. The secret passphrase used to encrypt/decrypt account credentials.
  • accounts - Required. The array of accounts with different or similar access to the application.
    • name - Required. The account name that uniquely identifies the account.
    • encrypted_login - Required. The encrypted account login.
    • encrypted_password - Required. The encrypted account password.
    • paths - Required. The array of blacklisted paths for which only this account has access to.
    • authorized_url - Optional. The URL to redirect to upon successful authorization. Authorized redirection works in the order defined:
      1. The blacklisted path (if requested prior to authorization but now authorized).
      2. The authorized URL (if defined and the blacklisted path wasn't requested).
      3. The root path (if none of the above).
    • deauthorized_url - Optional. The URL to redirect to upon successful deauthorization (i.e. logout). Deauthorized redirections works as follows (in the order defined):
      1. The deauthorized URL (if defined).
      2. The auth URL.
  • auth_url - Optional. The URL to redirect to when enforcing authentication. Default: “/login”.
  • logger - Optional. The logger used to log path/account authorization messages. Default: Auther::NullLogger.


The routes can be customized as follows (installed, by default, via the install generator):

Rails.application.routes.draw do
  mount Auther::Engine => "/auther"
  get "/login", to: "auther/session#new", as: "login"
  delete "/logout", to: "auther/session#destroy", as: "logout"


The Auther::Account is a plain old Ruby object that uses ActiveModel validations to aid in attribute validation. This model could potentially be replaced with a database-backed object (would require controller customization)...but you should question if you have outgrown the use of this gem and need a different solution altogether if it comes to that.


The Auther::Presenter::Account is a plain old Ruby object that uses ActiveModel validations to aid in form validation. This presenter makes it easy to construct form data for input and validation.


The view can be customized by creating the following file within your Rails application (assumes that the default Auther::SessionController implementation is sufficient):


The form uses @account instance variable which is an instance of the Auther::Presenter::Account presenter (as mentioned above). The form can be stylized by attaching new styles to the .authorization class (see auther.scss for details).


The Auther::SessionController inherits from the Auther::BaseController. To customize, it is recommended that you add a controller to your app that inherits from the Auther::BaseController. Example:

# Example Path:  app/controllers/session_controller.rb
class SessionController < Auther::BaseController
  layout "example"

This allows customization of session controller behavior to serve any special business needs. See the Auther::BaseController for additional details or the Auther::SessionController for default implementation.


As mentioned in the setup above, the logger can be customized as follows: # This is the default logger (which is no logging at all)."log/#{Rails.env}.log") # Can be used to log to the environment log. # Can be used to log to standard output.

When logging is enabled, you'll be able to see the following information in the server logs to help debug custom Auther settings:

  • Requested path and blacklist path detection.
  • Finding (or not finding) of account.
  • Account authentication pass/fail.
  • Account and path authorization pass/fail.


  • If upgrading Rails, changing the cookie/session settings, generating a new secret base key, etc. this might cause Auther authentication to fail. Make sure to clear your browser cookies in this situation or use Google Chrome (incognito mode) to verify.
  • If the authentication view/form looks broken (stylewise) this could be due to custom ActionView::Base.field_error_proc settings defined by your app (usually via an initializer). Auther uses this configuration ActionView::Base.field_error_proc = proc { |html_tag, _| html_tag.html_safe } so that no additional markup is added to the DOM when errors are raised. If you have customized this to something else, you might want to read the usage documentation (mentioned above) to rebuild the authentication view/form for your specific business needs.


To test, run:

bundle exec rake

Code of Conduct

Please note that this project is released with a CODE OF CONDUCT. By participating in this project you agree to abide by its terms.


Read CONTRIBUTING for details.


Copyright (c) 2014 Alchemists. Read the LICENSE for details.


Read the CHANGELOG for details. Built with Gemsmith.


Developed by Brooke Kuhlmann at Alchemists.

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