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The Firefox Accounts authentication server.
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Firefox Accounts Server

Build Status

This project implements the core server-side API for Firefox Accounts. It provides account, device and encryption-key management for the Mozilla Cloud Services ecosystem.


Detailed design document

Detailed API spec

Guidelines for Contributing


  • node 0.10.x or higher
  • npm


You'll need node 0.10.x or higher and npm to run the server. On some systems running the server as root will cause working directory permissions issues with node. It is recommended that you create a seperate, standard user to ensure a clean and more secure installation.

Clone the git repository and install dependencies:

git clone git://
cd fxa-auth-server
npm install

To start the server in dev memory store mode (ie. NODE_ENV=dev), run:

npm start

This runs a script scripts/ as defined in package.json. This will start up 4 services, three of which listen on the following ports (by default):

  • bin/key_server.js on port 9000
  • test/mail_helper.js on port 9001
  • ./node_modules/fxa-customs-server/bin/customs_server.js on port 7000
  • bin/notifier.js (no port)

When you Ctrl-c your server, all 4 processes will be stopped.

To start the server in dev MySQL store mode (ie. NODE_ENV=dev), run:

npm run start-mysql


Run tests with:

npm test
  • Note: stop the auth-server before running tests. Otherwise, they will fail with obscure errors.

Reference Client

Dev Deployment

There is a development server running the moz-svc-dev AWS environment, at the following address:

It is managed using awsbox. You can force-push a particular version of the code by doing:

$> git remote add api-dev-lcip-org
$> git push api-dev-lcip-org HEAD:master

The dev deployment is configured to send emails via Amazon SES. If you need to re-create, or want to stand up a similar server, you will need to:

  1. Obtain the SES SMTP credentials; ping @rfk or @zaach for details.
  2. Deploy the new machine using awsbox.
  3. Configure postfix to use the SES credentials:
    1. Edit /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd to insert the SES credentials.
    2. Run /usr/sbin/postmap /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd to compile them.
    3. Edit /etc/postfix/ to change 'relayhost' to the SES SMTP host (typically "").
    4. Run service postfix restart to restart postfix.

There is also a "bleeding edge" development server that is configured to auto-update itself from the latest github master. It may be useful for testing out new protocol changes, but should be considered unstable for general development use:


Configuration of this project is managed by convict, using the schema in config/index.js.

Default values from this schema can be overridden in two ways:

  1. By setting individual environment variables, as indicated by the env property for each item in the schema.

    For example:

    export CONTENT_SERVER_URL=""
  2. By specifying the path to a conforming JSON file, or a comma-separated list of paths, using the CONFIG_FILES environment variable. Files specified in this way are loaded when the server starts. If the server fails to start, it usually indicates that one of these JSON files does not conform to the schema; check the error message for more information.

    For example:

    export CONFIG_FILES="~/fxa-content-server.json,~/fxa-db.json"


Firefox Accounts authorization is a complicated flow. You can get verbose logging by adjusting the log level in the config.json on your deployed instance. Add a stanza like:

"log": {
  "level": "trace"

Valid level values (from least to most verbose logging) include: "fatal", "error", "warn", "info", "trace", "debug".

Database integration

This server depends on a database server from the fxa-auth-db-mysql repo. When running the tests, it uses a memory-store that mocks behaviour of the production MySQL server.

Using with FxOS

By default, FxOS uses the production Firefox Accounts server ( If you want to use a different account server on a device, you need to update a preference value identity.fxaccounts.auth.uri.

user_pref("identity.fxaccounts.auth.uri", "");
  • ./ push prefs.js


MPL 2.0

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