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Rails authentication & authorization with email & password.

We have clearance, Clarence.

Clearance was extracted out of Hoptoad.



Clearance is a Rails engine for Rails 3. It is currently tested against Rails 3.0.9 and Rails 3.1.0.rc4.

Include the gem in your Gemfile:

gem "clearance"

Make sure the development database exists, then run the generator:

rails generate clearance:install


  • inserts Clearance::User into your User model
  • inserts Clearance::Authentication into your ApplicationController
  • creates a migration that either creates a users table or adds only missing columns

Follow the instructions that are output from the generator.

Use the 0.8.x series of Clearance if you have a Rails 2 app.


If you want to authorize users for a controller action, use the authorize method in a before_filter.

class WidgetsController < ApplicationController
  before_filter :authorize

  def index
    @widgets = Widget.all

If you want to reference the current user in a controller, view, or helper, use the current_user method.

def index


If you ever need to change the logic in any of the four provided controllers, subclass the Clearance controller. You don't need to do this by default.

class SessionsController < Clearance::SessionsController
  def new
    # my special new action

  def url_after_create

and add your route in config/routes.rb:

resource :session, :controller => 'sessions'

See config/routes.rb for all the routes Clearance provides.

Actions that redirect (create, update, and destroy) in Clearance controllers can be overridden by re-defining url_after_(action) methods as seen above.

Clearance is an engine, so it provides views for you. If you want to customize those views, there is a handy shortcut to copy the views into your app:

rails generate clearance:views

Optional Cucumber features

As your app evolves, you want to know that authentication still works. If you use Cucumber, run the Clearance features generator:

rails generate clearance:features

Edit your Gemfile to include:

gem 'factory_girl_rails'

Edit config/enviroments/test.rb to include the following:

config.action_mailer.default_url_options = { :host => 'localhost:3000' }

Then run your tests!


Optional test matchers

Clearance comes with test matchers that are compatible with RSpec and Test::Unit.

To use them, require the test matchers. For example, in spec/support/clearance.rb:

require 'clearance/shoulda_matchers'


Clearance is intended to be small, simple, well-tested, and easy to extend. Check out some of the ways people have extended Clearance:



Clearance is maintained and funded by thoughtbot, inc

Thank you to all the contributors!

The names and logos for thoughtbot are trademarks of thoughtbot, inc.


Clearance is Copyright © 2009-2011 thoughtbot. It is free software, and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the LICENSE file.

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