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Authentication solution for Express


Build Status NPM version

Lockit is an authentication solution for Express.

It consists of multiple single purpose modules:

Table of contents


  1. Create new Express app (sessions are required).

    express -s

  2. Install Lockit via npm.

    npm install lockit --save

  3. Use lockit in your Express app.js.

    var lockit = require('lockit');
    app.use(app.router);  // default express.js router
  4. Go to localhost:3000/signup

By default Lockit uses an in-memory SQLite database. So you don't have to set up any db. Lockit will just work. Check out the default example.

For production use a persistent data store!

Full installation

  1. Install and require

    npm install lockit --save

    var config = require('./config.js');
    var Lockit = require('lockit');
    var app = express();
    // express middleware
    // ...
    // sessions are required
    app.use(express.cookieParser('your secret here'));
    // use middleware before router so your own routes have access to
    // and
    var lockit = new Lockit(app, config);
    // you now have all the routes like /login, /signup, etc.
    // and you can listen on events. For example 'signup'
    lockit.on('signup', function(user, res) {
      console.log('a new user signed up');
      res.send('Welcome!');   // set signup.handleResponse to 'false' for this to work
    // continue with express middleware
    // ...
  2. Add styles

    Views are built with bootstrap. You can use your own ones though! Use Bootstrap CDN and add the following line to your layout.jade

    link(rel='stylesheet', href='//')
  3. Install database adapter

    npm install lockit-[DB]-adapter where [DB] can be

    Database Command
    CouchDB npm install lockit-couchdb-adapter
    MongoDB npm install lockit-mongodb-adapter
    SQL (PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB or SQLite) npm install lockit-sql-adapter

    If you use a SQL database you also have to install the connector.

    npm install pg       # for postgres
    npm install mysql    # for mysql
    npm install sqlite3  # for sqlite
    npm install mariasql # for mariasql


You need a config.js somewhere in your app.

Database connection

Add the database connection string to your config.js.

// database settings for CouchDB
exports.db = '';        // connection string for database

// or if you want to use MongoDB
// exports.db = 'mongodb://';
// exports.dbCollection = 'users';                // collection name for MongoDB

// PostgreSQL
// exports.db = 'postgres://';
// exports.dbCollection = 'users';                // table name for SQL databases

// MySQL
// exports.db = 'mysql://';
// exports.dbCollection = 'users';

// SQLite
// exports.db = 'sqlite://:memory:';
// exports.dbCollection = 'users';

Sending emails

By default the email service is stubbed and no emails are sent. That means that you won't receive any signup and password reset tokens. You have to look them up in your database and call the routes manually (e.g. /signup/:token). To send emails you need an email server and you have to change the settings in your config.js:

  • emailType - usually SMTP
  • emailSettings - see nodemailer for more information

With mailgun you can send up to 10,000 emails per month for free.

exports.emailType = 'SMTP';
exports.emailSettings = {
  service: 'Mailgun',
  auth: {
    user: '',
    pass: 'secret-password'

Custom views

Lockit comes with built-in views which are based on Bootstrap. If you want to use your own custom views you can. It is dead simple.

Put them into your views folder, for example views/lockit/myLogin.jade. Then edit your config.js and set the path to your custom view.

exports.login = {
  route: '/login',
  logoutRoute: '/logout',
  views: {
    login: 'lockit/myLogin.jade',
    loggedOut: 'lockit/myLogoutSuccess.jade'

The only thing you have to keep in mind is the structure. The login.views.login view, for example, needs a form element with two input fields. The method has to be POST and action should point to your login.route. The input fields have to have the names login and password. If something went wrong during the login process you'll get an error variable that you can use in your template.

Here is a minimalistic example for an alternative myLogin.jade.

extend /layout

block content
  h1 Login
  form(action="/login", method="POST")
      label(for="login") Email or Username
      input(type="text", id="login", name="login", placeholder="Your email or username")
      label(for="password") Password
      input(type="password", id="password", name="password", placeholder="Your password")
    if error
      p #{error}
    input(type="submit", value="Login")

For more information about each view see the views folder inside the different repositories. Make sure your view extends /layout which is different to your normal views. They extend layout without the slash. This is required to find the view.


Lockit emits the most important events for user authentication. Those are

  • signup
  • login
  • logout
  • delete

You can use these events to intercept requests and implement some custom logic, like getting the gravatar before sending a response to the client.


A new user signed up. The callback function has two arguments.

  • user is an object and contains information about the new user, like or
  • res is the standard Express.js res object with methods like res.render and res.send. If you've set signup.handleResponse to false Lockit will not handle the response for you. You therefore have to send the response back to the client manually or otherwise it will wait forever.
lockit.on('signup', function(user, res) {
  // ...

A user logged in. Callback function this time has three arguments.

  • user is again the JSON object containing info about that particular user.
  • res is the normal Express.js response object with all properties and methods.
  • target is the redirect target route after a successful login, i.e. /settings
lockit.on('login', function(user, res, target) {
  // ...

A user logged out. Same as above without the target string.

lockit.on('logout', function(user, res) {
  // ...

A user deleted an account. Same callback as above.

lockit.on('delete', function(user, res) {
  // ...


In a single page application (SPA) all the routing and template rendering is done on the client. Before version 0.5.0 Lockit caught relevant routes, like /login or /signup, and did the entire rendering on the server.

Starting with version 0.5.0 you're able to use Lockit as a REST API and communicate via JSON. All you have to do is set = true in your config.js.

With REST enabled all default routes get a /rest prefix so you can catch /login on the client. To allow for true page refreshes (i.e. user is at /login and refreshes the page) all routes on the server, like /login and /signup, send the index.html from the public/ folder. From there your SPA has to take over.

Here is a short example how the process works.

  1. User sends GET request for /login
  2. Server has a route handler for this request and sends index.html back
  3. Client router takes over and renders /login page
  4. User enters credentials and submits the form
  5. Client controller catches submit and sends POST via AJAX request to /rest/login
  6. Server handles POST request and validates user credentials
  7. Server sends status code 200 or some JSON with error message
  8. Client reacts to JSON from server and redirects on success or shows error

I've built a simple example using AngularJS on the client side.

Sample config

If you want to go crazy and customize all the things you can:

// name for subject and email content
exports.appname = 'lockit - Test App';

// url for proper link generation
exports.url = 'http://localhost:3000';

// email settings (same as nodemailer)
exports.emailType = 'Stub';
exports.emailSettings = {
  service: 'none',
  auth: {
    user: 'none',
    pass: 'none'

// whenever a library uses request under the hood (like nano in lockit-couchdb-adapter)
// the following values will be used
exports.request_defaults = {
  // proxy: 'http://someproxy'

// email template from npm
exports.emailTemplate = 'lockit-template-blank';

// render views or json for single page apps = false;

// or if you want to use rest
// = {
//   // set starting page for single page app
//   index: 'public/index.html',
//   // use view engine (render()) or send static file (sendfile())
//   useViewEngine: false
// }

// signup settings
exports.signup = {
  route: '/signup',
  tokenExpiration: '1 day',
  views: {
    signup: '',         // input fields 'name', 'email' and 'password' | local variable 'error' | POST /'signup.route'
    linkExpired: '',    // message link has expired | input field 'email' | POST /'signup.route'/resend-verification
    verified: '',       // message email is now verified and maybe link to /'login.route'
    signedUp: '',       // message email has been sent => check your inbox
    resend: ''          // input field 'email' | local variable 'error' | POST /'signup.route'/resend-verification
  handleResponse: true  // let lockit handle the response after signup success

// login settings
exports.login = {
  route: '/login',
  logoutRoute: '/logout',
  views: {
    login: '',          // input fields 'login' and 'password' | POST /'login.route' | local variable 'error'
    loggedOut: ''       // message that user logged out
  handleResponse: true  // let lockit handle the response after login/logout success

// forgot password settings
exports.forgotPassword = {
  route: '/forgot-password',
  tokenExpiration: '1 day',
  views: {
    forgotPassword: '', // input field 'email' | POST /'forgotPassword.route' | local variable 'error'
    newPassword: '',    // input field 'password' | POST /'forgotPassword.route'/#{token} | local variable 'error'
    changedPassword: '',// message that password has been changed successfully
    linkExpired: '',    // message that link has expired and maybe link to /'forgotPassword.route'
    sentEmail: ''       // message that email with token has been sent

// delete account settings
exports.deleteAccount = {
  route: '/delete-account',
  views: {
    remove: '',         // input fields 'name', 'phrase', 'password' | POST /'deleteAccount.route' | local variable 'error'
    removed: ''         // message that account has been deleted
  handleResponse: true  // let lockit handle the response after delete account success

// lock account
// show warning after three failed login attempts
exports.failedLoginsWarning = 3;
// lock account after five failed login attempts
exports.failedLoginAttempts = 5;
// lock account for 20 minutes
exports.accountLockedTime = '20 minutes';

// public email address of your app
exports.emailFrom = '';

// email signup template
exports.emailSignup = {
  subject: 'Welcome to <%- appname %>',
  text: [
    '<h2>Hello <%- username %></h2>',
    'Welcome to <%- appname %>.',
    '<p><%- link %> to complete your registration.</p>'
  linkText: 'Click here'

// email already taken template
exports.emailSignupTaken = {
  subject: 'Email already registered',
  text: [
    '<h2>Hello <%- username %></h2>',
    'you or someone else tried to sign up for <%- appname %>.',
    '<p>Your email is already registered and you cannot sign up twice.',
    ' If you haven\'t tried to sign up, you can safely ignore this email. Everything is fine!</p>',
    '<p>The <%- appname %> Team</p>'

// resend signup template
exports.emailResendVerification = {
  subject: 'Complete your registration',
  text: [
    '<h2>Hello <%- username %></h2>',
    'here is the link again. <%- link %> to complete your registration.',
    '<p>The <%- appname %> Team</p>'
  linkText: 'Click here'

// forgot password template
exports.emailForgotPassword = {
  subject: 'Reset your password',
  text: [
    '<h2>Hey <%- username %></h2>',
    '<%- link %> to reset your password.',
    '<p>The <%- appname %> Team</p>'
  linkText: 'Click here'


  • responsive html email template: lockit-template-blank
  • support for wide range of databases out of the box
  • email address verification
  • account locking after too many failed login attempts
  • verification link expiration
  • failed login tracking
  • /login redirection when user is unauthorized
  • password hash generation with bcrypt
  • unit tests for all modules
  • serves proper HTML views or only JSON
  • events for most important happenings login, logout, signup and delete
  • implementation of lots of best pratices

Routes included

From lockit-signup

  • GET /signup
  • POST /signup
  • GET /signup/:token
  • GET /signup/resend-verification
  • POST /signup/resend-verification

From lockit-login

  • GET /login
  • POST /login
  • GET /logout

From lockit-forgot-password

  • GET /forgot-password
  • POST /forgot-password
  • GET /forgot-password/:token
  • POST /forgot-password/:token

From lockit-delete-account

  • GET /delete-account
  • POST /delete-account





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