OmniAuth: Overview

Ronny Worm edited this page Aug 24, 2016 · 166 revisions
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Since version 1.2, Devise supports integration with OmniAuth. This wiki page will cover the basics to have this integration working using an OAuth provider as example.

Since version 1.5, Devise supports OmniAuth 1.0 forward which will be the version covered by this tutorial.

Before you start

Remember that config.omniauth adds omniauth provider middleware to your application. This means you should not add this provider middleware again in config/initializers/omniauth.rb as they'll clash with each other and result in always-failing authentication.

Facebook example

The first step then is to add an OmniAuth gem to your application. This can be done in our Gemfile:

gem 'omniauth-facebook'

Here we'll use Facebook as an example, but you are free to use whatever and as many OmniAuth gems as you'd like. Generally, the gem name is "omniauth-provider" where provider can be "facebook" or "twitter", for example. For a full list of these providers, please check OmniAuth's list of strategies.

Next up, you should add the columns "provider" (string) and "uid" (string) to your User model.

rails g migration AddOmniauthToUsers provider:string uid:string
rake db:migrate

Next, you need to declare the provider in your config/initializers/devise.rb:

config.omniauth :facebook, "APP_ID", "APP_SECRET"

Note: v2.0.1 has an issue with callback url error. You need to add a callback url on config.

config.omniauth :facebook, "APP_ID", "APP_SECRET",
                callback_url: "CALLBACK_URL"

and replace APP_ID and APP_SECRET with your app id and secret. CALLBACK_URL should be something like

To alter the permissions or scopes requested, check the omniauth-facebook gem's README.

After configuring your strategy, you need to make your model (e.g. app/models/user.rb) omniauthable:

devise :omniauthable, :omniauth_providers => [:facebook]

Note: If you're running a rails server, you'll need to restart it to recognize the change in the Devise initializer or adding :omniauthable to your User model will create an error.

Currently, Devise only allows one model to be omniauthable. If you want to use OmniAuth with multiple models, check out OmniAuth with multiple models.

After making a model named User omniauthable and if devise_for :users was already added to your config/routes.rb, Devise will create the following url methods:

  • user_omniauth_authorize_path(provider)
  • user_omniauth_callback_path(provider)

Note that devise does not create *_url methods. While you will never use the callback helper above directly, you only need to add the first one to your layouts in order to provide facebook authentication:

<%= link_to "Sign in with Facebook", user_facebook_omniauth_authorize_path %>

Note: The symbol passed to the user_omniauth_authorize_path method matches the symbol of the provider passed to Devise's config block. Please check that omniauth-* gem's README to know which symbol you should pass.

By clicking on the above link, the user will be redirected to Facebook. (If this link doesn't exist, try restarting the server.) After inserting their credentials, they will be redirected back to your application's callback method. To implement a callback, the first step is to go back to our config/routes.rb file and tell Devise in which controller we will implement Omniauth callbacks:

devise_for :users, :controllers => { :omniauth_callbacks => "users/omniauth_callbacks" }

Now we just add the file app/controllers/users/omniauth_callbacks_controller.rb:

class Users::OmniauthCallbacksController < Devise::OmniauthCallbacksController

The callback should be implemented as an action with the same name as the provider. Here is an example action for our facebook provider that we could add to our controller:

class Users::OmniauthCallbacksController < Devise::OmniauthCallbacksController
  def facebook
    # You need to implement the method below in your model (e.g. app/models/user.rb)
    @user = User.from_omniauth(request.env["omniauth.auth"])

    if @user.persisted?
      sign_in_and_redirect @user, :event => :authentication #this will throw if @user is not activated
      set_flash_message(:notice, :success, :kind => "Facebook") if is_navigational_format?
      session["devise.facebook_data"] = request.env["omniauth.auth"]
      redirect_to new_user_registration_url

  def failure
    redirect_to root_path

This action has a few aspects worth describing:

  1. All information retrieved from Facebook by OmniAuth is available as a hash at request.env["omniauth.auth"]. Check the OmniAuth docs and each omniauth-facebook gem's README to know which information is being returned.

  2. When a valid user is found, they can be signed in with one of two Devise methods: sign_in or sign_in_and_redirect. Passing :event => :authentication is optional. You should only do so if you wish to use Warden callbacks.

  3. A flash message can also be set using one of Devise's default messages, but that is up to you.

  4. In case the user is not persisted, we store the OmniAuth data in the session. Notice we store this data using "devise." as key namespace. This is useful because Devise removes all the data starting with "devise." from the session whenever a user signs in, so we get automatic session clean up. At the end, we redirect the user back to our registration form.

After the controller is defined, we need to implement the from_omniauth method in our model (e.g. app/models/user.rb):

def self.from_omniauth(auth)
  where(provider: auth.provider, uid: auth.uid).first_or_create do |user| =
    user.password = Devise.friendly_token[0,20] =   # assuming the user model has a name
    user.image = # assuming the user model has an image

This method tries to find an existing user by the provider and uid fields. If no user is found, a new one is created with a random password and some extra information. Note that the first_or_create method automatically sets the provider and uid fields when creating a new user. The first_or_create! method operates similarly, except that it will raise an Exception if the user record fails validation.

Notice that Devise's RegistrationsController by default calls "User.new_with_session" before building a resource. This means that, if we need to copy data from session whenever a user is initialized before sign up, we just need to implement new_with_session in our model. Here is an example that copies the facebook email if available:

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  def self.new_with_session(params, session)
    super.tap do |user|
      if data = session["devise.facebook_data"] && session["devise.facebook_data"]["extra"]["raw_info"] = data["email"] if

Finally, if you want to allow your users to cancel sign up with Facebook, you can redirect them to "cancel_user_registration_path". This will remove all session data starting with "devise." and the new_with_session hook above will no longer be called.

Logout links


devise_scope :user do
  delete 'sign_out', :to => 'devise/sessions#destroy', :as => :destroy_user_session

And that is all you need! After you get your integration working, it's time to write some integration tests:

Using OmniAuth without other authentications

If you are using ONLY omniauth authentication, you need to define a route named new_user_session (if not defined, root will be used). Below is an example of such routes (you don't need to include it if you are also using database or other authentication with omniauth):

devise_for :users, :controllers => { :omniauth_callbacks => "users/omniauth_callbacks" }

devise_scope :user do
  get 'sign_in', :to => 'devise/sessions#new', :as => :new_user_session
  get 'sign_out', :to => 'devise/sessions#destroy', :as => :destroy_user_session

In the example above, the sessions controller doesn't need to do anything special. For example, showing a link to the provider authentication will suffice.

Note: If your Devise configuration specifies sign_out_via = :delete, you may need to adjust your sign_out route to match an incoming DELETE request instead.

Also, if you are not using :database_authenticatable you have to define the helper method new_session_path(scope) so it can correctly redirect in case of failure:

class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base
# ...
  def new_session_path(scope)


User didn't allow email permissions

In the new Facebook login dialog the user can decline to provide email address. Devise usually requires email to register. a quick and dirty solution to this problem is to re-request the email if it wasn't found:

class Users::OmniauthCallbacksController < Devise::OmniauthCallbacksController
  def facebook
    if request.env["omniauth.auth"]
      redirect_to "/users/auth/facebook?auth_type=rerequest&scope=email"

Facebook returning nulled email

Since July 8th 2015 Facebook changed to api v2.4, you need to add extra info_fields to get email field.

config.omniauth :facebook, "APP_ID", "APP_SECRET", scope: 'email', info_fields: 'email,name'

found solution from here by @techmonster


If you run into an OpenSSL error like this:

OpenSSL::SSL::SSLError (SSL_connect returned=1 errno=0 state=SSLv3 read server certificate B: certificate verify failed):

Then you need to explicitly tell OmniAuth where to locate your CA certificate file. Either use the certified gem or this method: (depending on the OS you are running on):

config.omniauth :facebook, "APP_ID", "APP_SECRET",
  :client_options => {:ssl => {:ca_path => '/etc/ssl/certs'}}

On Heroku, the CA file is located at /usr/lib/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt

On Engine Yard Cloud servers, the CA file is located at /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt.

These certificates can be set using the :ca_file key:

config.omniauth :facebook, "APP_ID", "APP_SECRET",
  :client_options => {:ssl => {:ca_file => '/usr/lib/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt'}}

If you are using a strategy that uses the OAuth gem eg omniauth-oauth then specify the certificate file this way:

config.omniauth :facebook, "APP_ID", "APP_SECRET",
  :client_options => {:ca_file => '/usr/lib/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt'}

On OS/X, for development only, it may be easiest just to disable certificate verification because the certificates are stored in the keychain, not the file system:

require "omniauth-facebook"
config.omniauth :facebook, "APP_ID", "APP_SECRET", :client_options => { :ssl => { :verify => !Rails.env.development? } }

A deeper discussion of this error can be found here:

Cannot load strategy class

If for some reason Devise cannot load your strategy class, you can set it explicitly with the :strategy_class option:

config.omniauth :facebook, "APP_ID", "APP_SECRET", :strategy_class => OmniAuth::Strategies::Facebook