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Mike Walker edited this page Mar 16, 2020 · 22 revisions

Sessions in Ring work a little differently than you might expect, because Ring attempts to be functional when possible.

Session data is passed via the request map on the :session key. The following example prints out the current username from the session.

(use 'ring.middleware.session

(defn handler [{session :session}]
  (response (str "Hello " (:username session))))

(def app
  (wrap-session handler))

To change the session data, you can add a :session key to the response that contains the updated session data. The next example counts the number of times the current session has accessed the page.

(defn handler [{session :session}]
  (let [count   (:count session 0)
        session (assoc session :count (inc count))]
    (-> (response (str "You accessed this page " count " times."))
        (assoc :session session))))

To delete the session entirely, set the :session key on the response to nil:

(defn handler [request]
  (-> (response "Session deleted.")
      (assoc :session nil)))

If you simply want to recreate the session, due to a privilege escalation for example, add the :recreate key to the session metadata. This will cause the session identifier that is sent to the browser to change.

(defn handler [request]
  (-> (response "Session identifier recreated")
      (assoc :session (vary-meta (:session request) assoc :recreate true))))

Often you'll want to control how long the session cookie exists on the user's browser. You can alter the session cookie's attributes using the :cookie-attrs option:

(def app
  (wrap-session handler {:cookie-attrs {:max-age 3600}}))

In this case, the cookie's maximum lifespan is set to 3600 seconds, or 1 hour.

You can also use this to ensure that session cookies for sites secured with HTTPS are not leaked through HTTP:

(def app
  (wrap-session handler {:cookie-attrs {:secure true}}))

Session Stores

Session data is saved in session stores. There are two stores included in Ring:

  • ring.middleware.session.memory/memory-store - stores sessions in memory
  • ring.middleware.session.cookie/cookie-store - stores sessions encrypted in a cookie

By default, Ring stores session data in memory, but this can be overridden with the :store option:

(use 'ring.middleware.session.cookie)

(def app
  (wrap-session handler {:store (cookie-store {:key "a 16-byte secret"})})

You can write your own session store by implementing the protocol:

(use '

(deftype CustomStore []
  (read-session [_ key]
    (read-data key))
  (write-session [_ key data]
    (let [key (or key (generate-new-random-key))]
      (save-data key data)
  (delete-session [_ key]
    (delete-data key)

Note that when writing the session, the key will be nil if this is a new session. The session store should expect this, and generate a new random key. It is very important that this key cannot be guessed, otherwise malicious users could access other people's session data.

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