AbstractAuthenticationMiddleware#

Litestar exports AbstractAuthenticationMiddleware, which is an Abstract Base Class (ABC) that implements the MiddlewareProtocol. To add authentication to your app using this class as a basis, subclass it and implement the abstract method authenticate_request:

from litestar.middleware import (
    AbstractAuthenticationMiddleware,
    AuthenticationResult,
)
from litestar.connection import ASGIConnection


class MyAuthenticationMiddleware(AbstractAuthenticationMiddleware):
    async def authenticate_request(
        self, connection: ASGIConnection
    ) -> AuthenticationResult:
        # do something here.
        ...

As you can see, authenticate_request is an async function that receives a connection instance and is supposed to return an AuthenticationResult instance, which is a pydantic model that has two attributes:

  1. user: a non-optional value representing a user. It’s typed as Any so it receives any value, including None.

  2. auth: an optional value representing the authentication scheme. Defaults to None.

These values are then set as part of the “scope” dictionary, and they are made available as Request.user and Request.auth respectively, for HTTP route handlers, and WebSocket.user and WebSocket.auth for websocket route handlers.

Example: Implementing a JWTAuthenticationMiddleware#

Since the above is quite hard to grasp in the abstract, lets see an example.

We start off by creating a user model. It can be implemented using pydantic, and ODM, ORM, etc. For the sake of the example here lets say it’s a pydantic model:

my_app/db/models.py#
import uuid

from sqlalchemy import Column
from sqlalchemy.dialects.postgresql import UUID
from sqlalchemy.orm import declarative_base

Base = declarative_base()


class User(Base):
    id: uuid.UUID | None = Column(
        UUID(as_uuid=True), default=uuid.uuid4, primary_key=True
    )
    # ... other fields follow, but we only require id for this example

We will also need some utility methods to encode and decode tokens. To this end we will use the python-jose library. We will also create a pydantic model representing a JWT Token:

my_app/security/jwt.py#
from datetime import datetime, timedelta
from uuid import UUID

from jose import JWTError, jwt
from pydantic import BaseModel, UUID4
from litestar.exceptions import NotAuthorizedException

from app.config import settings

DEFAULT_TIME_DELTA = timedelta(days=1)
ALGORITHM = "HS256"


class Token(BaseModel):
    exp: datetime
    iat: datetime
    sub: UUID4


def decode_jwt_token(encoded_token: str) -> Token:
    """
    Helper function that decodes a jwt token and returns the value stored under the ``sub`` key

    If the token is invalid or expired (i.e. the value stored under the exp key is in the past) an exception is raised
    """
    try:
        payload = jwt.decode(
            token=encoded_token, key=settings.JWT_SECRET, algorithms=[ALGORITHM]
        )
        return Token(**payload)
    except JWTError as e:
        raise NotAuthorizedException("Invalid token") from e


def encode_jwt_token(user_id: UUID, expiration: timedelta = DEFAULT_TIME_DELTA) -> str:
    """Helper function that encodes a JWT token with expiration and a given user_id"""
    token = Token(
        exp=datetime.now() + expiration,
        iat=datetime.now(),
        sub=user_id,
    )
    return jwt.encode(token.dict(), settings.JWT_SECRET, algorithm=ALGORITHM)

We can now create our authentication middleware:

my_app/security/authentication_middleware.py#
from typing import cast, TYPE_CHECKING

from sqlalchemy import select
from sqlalchemy.ext.asyncio import AsyncSession
from litestar.middleware import (
    AbstractAuthenticationMiddleware,
    AuthenticationResult,
)
from litestar.exceptions import NotAuthorizedException
from litestar.connection import ASGIConnection

from app.db.models import User
from app.security.jwt import decode_jwt_token

if TYPE_CHECKING:
    from sqlalchemy.ext.asyncio import AsyncEngine

API_KEY_HEADER = "X-API-KEY"


class JWTAuthenticationMiddleware(AbstractAuthenticationMiddleware):
    async def authenticate_request(
        self, connection: ASGIConnection
    ) -> AuthenticationResult:
        """
        Given a request, parse the request api key stored in the header and retrieve the user correlating to the token from the DB
        """

        # retrieve the auth header

    auth_header = connection.headers.get(API_KEY_HEADER)
    if not auth_header:
        raise NotAuthorizedException()

    # decode the token, the result is a ``Token`` model instance
    token = decode_jwt_token(encoded_token=auth_header)

    engine = cast("AsyncEngine", connection.app.state.postgres_connection)
    async with AsyncSession(engine) as async_session:
        async with async_session.begin():
            user = await async_session.execute(select(User).where(User.id == token.sub))
    if not user:
        raise NotAuthorizedException()
    return AuthenticationResult(user=user, auth=token)

Finally, we need to pass our middleware to the Litestar constructor:

my_app/main.py#
from litestar import Litestar
from litestar.middleware.base import DefineMiddleware

from my_app.security.authentication_middleware import JWTAuthenticationMiddleware

# you can optionally exclude certain paths from authentication.
# the following excludes all routes mounted at or under `/schema*`
auth_mw = DefineMiddleware(JWTAuthenticationMiddleware, exclude="schema")

app = Litestar(route_handlers=[...], middleware=[auth_mw])

That’s it. The JWTAuthenticationMiddleware will now run for every request, and we would be able to access these in a http route handler in the following way:

from litestar import Request, get
from litestar.datastructures import State

from my_app.db.models import User
from my_app.security.jwt import Token


@get("/")
def my_route_handler(request: Request[User, Token, State]) -> None:
    user = request.user  # correctly typed as User
    auth = request.auth  # correctly typed as Token
    assert isinstance(user, User)
    assert isinstance(auth, Token)

Or for a websocket route:

from litestar import WebSocket, websocket
from litestar.datastructures import State

from my_app.db.models import User
from my_app.security.jwt import Token


@websocket("/")
async def my_route_handler(socket: WebSocket[User, Token, State]) -> None:
    user = socket.user  # correctly typed as User
    auth = socket.auth  # correctly typed as Token
    assert isinstance(user, User)
    assert isinstance(auth, Token)

And if you’d like to exclude individual routes outside those configured:

import anyio
from litestar import Litestar, MediaType, Response, get
from litestar.exceptions import NotFoundException
from litestar.middleware.base import DefineMiddleware

from my_app.security.authentication_middleware import JWTAuthenticationMiddleware

# you can optionally exclude certain paths from authentication.
# the following excludes all routes mounted at or under `/schema*`
# additionally,
# you can modify the default exclude key of "exclude_from_auth", by overriding the `exclude_from_auth_key` parameter on the Authentication Middleware
auth_mw = DefineMiddleware(JWTAuthenticationMiddleware, exclude="schema")


@get(path="/", exclude_from_auth=True)
async def site_index() -> Response:
    """Site index"""
    exists = await anyio.Path("index.html").exists()
    if exists:
        async with await anyio.open_file(anyio.Path("index.html")) as file:
            content = await file.read()
            return Response(content=content, status_code=200, media_type=MediaType.HTML)
    raise NotFoundException("Site index was not found")


app = Litestar(route_handlers=[site_index], middleware=[auth_mw])

And of course use the same kind of mechanism for dependencies:

from typing import Any

from litestar import Request, Provide, Router
from litestar.datastructures import State

from my_app.db.models import User
from my_app.security.jwt import Token


async def my_dependency(request: Request[User, Token, State]) -> Any:
    user = request.user  # correctly typed as User
    auth = request.auth  # correctly typed as Token
    assert isinstance(user, User)
    assert isinstance(auth, Token)


my_router = Router(
    path="sub-path/", dependencies={"some_dependency": Provide(my_dependency)}
)