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Rails authentication with email & password.

We have clearance, Clarence.


Bugs, Patches

Fork away and create a Github Issue.


Clearance is a Rails engine. The latest stable version (0.8.8) works with versions of Rails 2.x.

Install it as a gem however you like to install gems. Also, uninstall old versions:

sudo gem uninstall thoughtbot-clearance
sudo gem uninstall clearance
sudo gem install clearance

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

script/rails generate clearance


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

There is a release candidate which features Rails 3 support. To install this version:

gem install clearance --prerelease


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

class WidgetsController < ApplicationController
  before_filter :authenticate
  def index
    @widgets = Widget.all


To change any of provided actions, subclass a Clearance controller...

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 overriden by re-defining url_after_(action) methods as seen above.

Optional Cucumber features

As your app evolves, you want to know that authentication still works. Our opinion is that you should test its integration with your app using Cucumber.

Run the Cucumber generator and Clearance feature generator:

script/rails generate cucumber
script/rails generate clearance_features

Edit your Gemfile to include:

gem 'factory_girl'

Edit your config/enviroments/cucumber.rb to include the following:

ActionMailer::Base.default_url_options = { :host => 'localhost:3000' }

Then run rake!

Optional Formtastic views

We use & recommend Formtastic.

Clearance has another generator to generate Formastic views:

script/rails generate clearance_views

Its implementation is designed so other view styles (Haml?) can be generated.


Clearance was extracted out of Hoptoad. We merged the authentication code from two of thoughtbot client Rails apps and have since used it each time we need authentication.

The following people have improved the library. Thank you!

Dan Croak, Mike Burns, Jason Morrison, Joe Ferris, Eugene Bolshakov, Nick Quaranto, Josh Nichols, Mike Breen, Marcel Görner, Bence Nagy, Ben Mabey, Eloy Duran, Tim Pope, Mihai Anca, Mark Cornick, Shay Arnett, Joshua Clayton, Mustafa Ekim, Jon Yurek, Anuj Dutta, Chad Pytel, Ben Orenstein, Bobby Wilson, Matthew Ford, Ryan McGeary, Claudio Poli, Joseph Holsten, Peter Haza, Ron Newman, and Rich Thornett.

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