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Open Source (Go) implementation of "Zanzibar: Google's Consistent, Global Authorization System". Ships gRPC, REST APIs, newSQL, and an easy and granular permission language. Supports ACL, RBAC, and other access models.



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Ory Keto - Open Source & Cloud Native Access Control Server

CI Tasks for Ory keto Coverage Status Go Report Card PkgGoDev

Ory Keto is the first and most popular open source implementation of "Zanzibar: Google's Consistent, Global Authorization System"!

Get Started

You can use Docker to run Ory Keto locally or use the Ory CLI to try out Ory Keto:

# This example works best in Bash
bash <(curl -b . ory
sudo mv ./ory /usr/local/bin/

# Or with Homebrew installed
brew install ory/tap/cli

create a new project (you may also use Docker)

ory create project --name "Ory Keto Example"
export project_id="{set to the id from output}"

and follow the quick & easy steps below.

Create a namespace with the Ory Permission Language

# Write a simple configuration with one namespace
echo "class Document implements Namespace {}" > config.ts

# Apply that configuration
ory patch opl --project $project_id -f file://./config.ts

# Create a relationship that grants tom access to a document
echo "Document:secret#read@tom" \
  | ory parse relation-tuples --project=$project_id --format=json - \
  | ory create relation-tuples --project=$project_id -

# List all relationships
ory list relation-tuples --project=$project_id
# Output:
#   Document	secret	read		tom
#   IS LAST PAGE	true

Now, check out your project on the Ory Network or continue with a more in-depth guide.

Ory Keto on the Ory Network

The Ory Network is the fastest, most secure and worry-free way to use Ory's Services. Ory Permissions is powered by the Ory Keto open source permission server, and it's fully API-compatible.

The Ory Network provides the infrastructure for modern end-to-end security:

  • Identity & credential management scaling to billions of users and devices
  • Registration, Login and Account management flows for passkey, biometric, social, SSO and multi-factor authentication
  • Pre-built login, registration and account management pages and components
  • OAuth2 and OpenID provider for single sign on, API access and machine-to-machine authorization
  • Low-latency permission checks based on Google's Zanzibar model and with built-in support for the Ory Permission Language

It's fully managed, highly available, developer & compliance-friendly!

  • GDPR-friendly secure storage with data locality
  • Cloud-native APIs, compatible with Ory's Open Source servers
  • Comprehensive admin tools with the web-based Ory Console and the Ory Command Line Interface (CLI)
  • Extensive documentation, straightforward examples and easy-to-follow guides
  • Fair, usage-based pricing

Sign up for a free developer account today!

Ory Network Hybrid Support Plan

Ory offers a support plan for Ory Network Hybrid, including Ory on private cloud deployments. If you have a self-hosted solution and would like help, consider a support plan! The team at Ory has years of experience in cloud computing. Ory's offering is the only official program for qualified support from the maintainers. For more information see the website or book a meeting!

Ory Permissions, Keto and the Google's Zanzibar model

Determining whether online users are authorized to access digital objects is central to preserving privacy. This paper presents the design, implementation, and deployment of Zanzibar, a global system for storing and evaluating access control lists. Zanzibar provides a uniform data model and configuration language for expressing a wide range of access control policies from hundreds of client services at Google, including Calendar, Cloud, Drive, Maps, Photos, and YouTube. Its authorization decisions respect causal ordering of user actions and thus provide external consistency amid changes to access control lists and object contents. Zanzibar scales to trillions of access control lists and millions of authorization requests per second to support services used by billions of people. It has maintained 95th-percentile latency of less than 10 milliseconds and availability of greater than 99.999% over 3 years of production use.


If you need to know if a user (or robot, car, service) is allowed to do something - Ory Permissions and Ory Keto are the right fit for you.

Currently, Ory Permissions [on the Ory Network] and the open-source Ory Keto permission server implement the API contracts for managing and checking relations ("permissions") with HTTP and gRPC APIs, as well as global rules defined through the Ory Permission Language ("userset rewrites"). Future versions will include features such as Zookies, reverse permission lookups, and more.

Who's Using It?

The Ory community stands on the shoulders of individuals, companies, and maintainers. The Ory team thanks everyone involved - from submitting bug reports and feature requests, to contributing patches and documentation. The Ory community counts more than 33.000 members and is growing rapidly. The Ory stack protects API requests every month with over 400.000+ active service nodes. None of this would have been possible without each and everyone of you!

The following list represents companies that have accompanied us along the way and that have made outstanding contributions to our ecosystem. If you think that your company deserves a spot here, reach out to now!

Type Name Logo Website
Adopter * Raspberry PI Foundation Raspberry PI Foundation
Adopter * Kyma Project Kyma Project
Adopter * Tulip Tulip Retail
Adopter * Cashdeck / All My Funds All My Funds
Adopter * Hootsuite Hootsuite
Adopter * Segment Segment
Adopter * Arduino Arduino
Adopter * DataDetect Datadetect
Adopter * Sainsbury's Sainsbury's
Adopter * Contraste Contraste
Adopter * Reyah Reyah
Adopter * Zero Project Zero by Commit
Adopter * Padis Padis
Adopter * Cloudbear Cloudbear
Adopter * Security Onion Solutions Security Onion Solutions
Adopter * Factly Factly
Adopter * Nortal Nortal
Adopter * OrderMyGear OrderMyGear
Adopter *
Adopter * Strivacity
Adopter * Hanko Hanko
Adopter * Rabbit Rabbit
Adopter * inMusic InMusic
Adopter * Buhta Buhta
Adopter * Connctd Connctd
Adopter * Paralus Paralus
Adopter * R2Devops R2Devops
Adopter * LunaSec LunaSec
Adopter * Serlo Serlo
Adopter *
Adopter * Stackspin
Adopter * Amplitude
Adopter * Pinniped
Adopter * Pvotal

Many thanks to all individual contributors

* Uses one of Ory's major projects in production.


Head over to the documentation to learn about ways of installing Ory Keto.


We build Ory on several guiding principles when it comes to our architecture design:

  • Minimal dependencies
  • Runs everywhere
  • Scales without effort
  • Minimize room for human and network errors

Ory's architecture is designed to run best on a Container Orchestration system such as Kubernetes, CloudFoundry, OpenShift, and similar projects. Binaries are small (5-15MB) and available for all popular processor types (ARM, AMD64, i386) and operating systems (FreeBSD, Linux, macOS, Windows) without system dependencies (Java, Node, Ruby, libxml, ...).

Ory Kratos: Identity and User Infrastructure and Management

Ory Kratos is an API-first Identity and User Management system that is built according to cloud architecture best practices. It implements core use cases that almost every software application needs to deal with: Self-service Login and Registration, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA/2FA), Account Recovery and Verification, Profile, and Account Management.

Ory Hydra: OAuth2 & OpenID Connect Server

Ory Hydra is an OpenID Certified™ OAuth2 and OpenID Connect Provider which easily connects to any existing identity system by writing a tiny "bridge" application. It gives absolute control over the user interface and user experience flows.

Ory Oathkeeper: Identity & Access Proxy

Ory Oathkeeper is a BeyondCorp/Zero Trust Identity & Access Proxy (IAP) with configurable authentication, authorization, and request mutation rules for your web services: Authenticate JWT, Access Tokens, API Keys, mTLS; Check if the contained subject is allowed to perform the request; Encode resulting content into custom headers (X-User-ID), JSON Web Tokens and more!

Ory Keto: Access Control Policies as a Server

Ory Keto is a policy decision point. It uses a set of access control policies, similar to AWS IAM Policies, in order to determine whether a subject (user, application, service, car, ...) is authorized to perform a certain action on a resource.


Disclosing Vulnerabilities

If you think you found a security vulnerability, please refrain from posting it publicly on the forums, the chat, or GitHub. You can find all info for responsible disclosure in our security.txt.


Our services collect summarized, anonymized data which can optionally be turned off. Click here to learn more.


The Guide is available here.

HTTP API Documentation

The HTTP API is documented here.

Upgrading and Changelog

New releases might introduce breaking changes. To help you identify and incorporate those changes, we document these changes in and

Command Line Documentation

Run keto -h or keto help.


We encourage all contributions and recommend you read our contribution guidelines.


You need Go 1.19+ and (for the test suites):

  • Docker and Docker Compose
  • GNU Make 4.3
  • NodeJS / npm >= v7

It is possible to develop Ory Keto on Windows, but please be aware that all guides assume a Unix shell like bash or zsh.

Install From Source

make install

Formatting Code

You can format all code using make format. Our CI checks if your code is properly formatted.

Running Tests

There are two types of tests you can run:

  • Short tests (do not require a SQL database like PostgreSQL)
  • Regular tests (do require PostgreSQL, MySQL, CockroachDB)
Short Tests

Short tests run fairly quickly. You can either test all of the code at once:

go test -short -tags sqlite ./...

or test just a specific module:

go test -tags sqlite -short ./internal/check/...
Regular Tests

Regular tests require a database set up. Our test suite is able to work with docker directly (using ory/dockertest) but we encourage to use the script instead. Using dockertest can bloat the number of Docker Images on your system and starting them on each run is quite slow. Instead we recommend doing:

source ./scripts/
go test -tags sqlite ./...
End-to-End Tests

The e2e tests are part of the normal go test. To only run the e2e test, use:

source ./scripts/
go test -tags sqlite ./internal/e2e/...

or add the -short tag to only test against sqlite in-memory.

Build Docker

You can build a development Docker Image using:

make docker


Open Source (Go) implementation of "Zanzibar: Google's Consistent, Global Authorization System". Ships gRPC, REST APIs, newSQL, and an easy and granular permission language. Supports ACL, RBAC, and other access models.




Code of conduct

Security policy





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