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Django Warrant


pip install django-warrant

Django Auth Backend

Using the CognitoBackend

  1. In your Django project settings file, add the dotted path of CognitoBackend to your list of AUTHENTICATION_BACKENDS. Keep in mind that Django will attempt to authenticate a user using each backend listed, in the order listed until successful.

  2. Set COGNITO_USER_POOL_ID and COGNITO_APP_ID in your settings file as well. Your User Pool ID can be found in the Pool Details tab in the AWS console. Your App ID is found in the Apps tab, listed as "App client id".

  3. Set COGNITO_ATTR_MAPPING in your settings file to a dictionary mapping a Cognito attribute name to a Django User attribute name. If your Cognito User Pool has any custom attributes, it is automatically prefixed with custom:. Therefore, you will want to add a mapping to your mapping dictionary as such {'custom:custom_attr': 'custom_attr'}. Defaults to:

        'email': 'email',
        'given_name': 'first_name',
        'family_name': 'last_name',
  4. Optional - Set COGNITO_CREATE_UNKNOWN_USERS to True or False, depending on if you wish local Django users to be created upon successful login. If set to False, only existing local Django users are updated. Defaults to True.

  5. Optional - Set AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY to the AWS access keys you would like to use. Defaults to None, which will use the default credentials in your ~/.aws/credentials file.

CognitoBackend Behavior

Since the username of a Cognito User can never change, this is used by the backend to match a Cognito User with a local Django User.

If a Django user is not found, one is created using the attributes fetched from Cognito. If an existing Django user is found, their attributes are updated.

If the boto3 client comes back with either a NotAuthorizedException or UserNotFoundException, then None is returned instead of a User. Otherwise, the exception is raised.

Upon successful login, the three identity tokens returned from Cognito (ID token, Refresh token, Access token) are stored in the user's request session. In Django >= 1.11, this is done directly in the backend class. Otherwise, this is done via the user_logged_in signal.

Check the cdu directory for an example app with a login and user details page.

Customizing CognitoBackend Behavior

Setting the Django setting COGNITO_CREATE_UNKNOWN_USERS to False prevents the backend from creating a new local Django user and only updates existing users.

If you create your own backend class that inhereits from CognitoBackend, you may want to also create your own custom user_logged_in so that it checks for the name of your custom class.

API Gateway Integration

API Key Middleware

The APIKeyMiddleware checks for a HTTP_AUTHORIZATION_ID header in the request and attaches it to the request object as api_key.


Django package that uses AWS Cognito and Warrant to create a Django backend and common views.




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