Dropwizard bundle managing authentication through JWT cookies
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.


Build Status Maven Central Coverage Status Javadoc Mentioned in Awesome Dropwizard


Statelessness is not only an architectural constaint of RESTful applications, it also comes with a lot of advantages regarding scalability and memory usage.

A common pattern is to provide the client with a signed JWT containing all necessary authorization and/or session state information. This JWT must then be passed along subsequent requests, usually in bearer Authorization HTTP headers.

However, in the particular case where clients of the RESTful application are web applications, it is much more interesting to use cookies. The browser will automatically read, store, send and expire the tokens, saving front-end developers the hassle of doing it themselves.

This dropwizard bundle makes things simple for back-end developpers too. It automatically serializes/deserializes session information into/from JWT cookies.

Enabling the bundle

Add the dropwizard-jwt-cookie-authentication dependency

Add the dropwizard-jwt-cookie-authentication library as a dependency to your pom.xml file:


Edit you app's Dropwizard YAML config file

The default values are shown below. If they suit you, this step is optional.

  secretSeed: null
  secure: false
  httpOnly: true
  sessionExpiryVolatile: PT30m
  sessionExpiryPersistent: P7d

Add the 'JwtCookieAuthConfiguration' to your application configuration class:

This step is also optional if you skipped the previous one.

private JwtCookieAuthConfiguration jwtCookieAuth = new JwtCookieAuthConfiguration();

public JwtCookieAuthConfiguration getJwtCookieAuth() {
  return jwtCookieAuth;

Add the bundle to the dropwizard application

public void initialize(Bootstrap<MyApplicationConfiguration> bootstrap) {

If you have a custom configuration fot the bundle, specify it like so:


Using the bundle

By default, the JWT cookie is serialized from / deserialized in an instance of DefaultJwtCookiePrincipal.

When the user authenticate, you must put an instance of DefaultJwtCookiePrincipal in the security context (which you can inject in your resources using the @Context annotation) using JwtCookiePrincipal.addInContext

JwtCookiePrincipal principal = new DefaultJwtCookiePrincipal(name);

Once a principal has been set, it can be retrieved using the @Auth annotation in method signatures. You can also use CurrentPrincipal.get() within the request thread.

Each time an API endpoint is called, a fresh cookie JWT is issued to reset the session TTL. You can use the @DontRefreshSession on methods where this behavior is unwanted.

To specify a max age in the cookie (aka "remember me"), use DefaultJwtCookiePrincipal.setPersistent(true).

It is a stateless auhtentication method, so there is no real way to invalidate a session other than waiting for the JWT to expire. However calling JwtCookiePrincipal.removeFromContext(context) will make browsers discard the cookie by setting the cookie expiration to a past date.

Principal roles can be specified via the DefaultJwtCookiePrincipal.setRoles(...) method. You can then define fine grained access control using annotations such as @RolesAllowed or @PermitAll.

Additional custom data can be stored in the Principal using DefaultJwtCookiePrincipal.getClaims().put(key, value).

Sample application resource

public DefaultJwtCookiePrincipal login(@Context ContainerRequestContext requestContext, String name){
    DefaultJwtCookiePrincipal principal = new DefaultJwtCookiePrincipal(name);
    return principal;

public void logout(@Context ContainerRequestContext requestContext){

public DefaultJwtCookiePrincipal getPrincipal(@Auth DefaultJwtCookiePrincipal principal){
    return principal;

public DefaultJwtCookiePrincipal getSubjectWithoutRefreshingSession(@Auth DefaultJwtCookiePrincipal principal){
    return principal;

public String getRestrisctedResource(){
    return "SuperSecretStuff";

Custom principal implementation

If you want to use your own Principal class instead of the DefaultJwtCookiePrincipal, simply implement the interface JwtCookiePrincipal and pass it to the bundle constructor along with functions to serialize it into / deserialize it from JWT claims.


bootstrap.addBundle(new JwtCookieAuthBundle<>(MyCustomPrincipal.class, MyCustomPrincipal::toClaims, MyCustomPrincipal::new));

JWT Signing Key

By default, the signing key is randomly generated on application startup. It means that users will have to re-authenticate after each server reboot.

To avoid this, you can specify a secretSeed in the configuration. This seed will be used to generate the signing key, which will therefore be the same at each application startup.

Alternatively you can specify your own key factory:

bootstrap.addBundle(JwtCookieAuthBundle.getDefault().withKeyProvider((configuration, environment) -> {/*return your own key*/}));

Manual Setup

If you need Chained Factories or Multiple Principals and Authenticators, don't register directly the bundle. Use instead its getAuthRequestFilter and getAuthResponseFilter methods to manually setup authentication.

You will also be responsible for generating the signing key and registering RolesAllowedDynamicFeature or DontRefreshSessionFilter if they are needed.


JwtCookieAuthBundle jwtCookieAuthBundle = new JwtCookieAuthBundle<>(

Key key = JwtCookieAuthBundle.generateKey(configuration.getJwtCookieAuth().getSecretSeed());

        new PolymorphicAuthDynamicFeature<>(
                        MyJwtCookiePrincipal.class, jwtCookieAuthBundle.getAuthRequestFilter(key),
                        MyBasicPrincipal.class, new BasicCredentialAuthFilter.Builder<MyBasicPrincipal>()
                            .setAuthenticator(new MyBasicAuthenticator())
                            .setRealm("SUPER SECRET STUFF")
environment.jersey().register(new PolymorphicAuthValueFactoryProvider.Binder<>(ImmutableSet.of(MyJwtCookiePrincipal.class, MyBasicPrincipal.class)));
environment.jersey().register(jwtCookieAuthBundle.getAuthResponseFilter(key, configuration.getJwtCookieAuth()));


It's here.