# Authentication Since v2.5.0

# Introduction

Goyave provides a convenient and expandable way of handling authentication in your application. Authentication can be enabled when registering your routes:

import "github.com/System-Glitch/goyave/v3/auth"


authenticator := auth.Middleware(&model.User{}, &auth.BasicAuthenticator{})

Authentication is handled by a simple middleware calling an Authenticator. This middleware also needs a model, which will be used to fetch user information on a successful login.

# auth.Middleware

Middleware create a new authenticator middleware to authenticate the given model using the given authenticator.

Parameters Return
model interface{} goyave.Middleware
authenticator Authenticator


authenticator := auth.Middleware(&model.User{}, &auth.BasicAuthenticator{})

# Authenticators

This section will go into more details about Authenticators and explain the built-in ones. You will also learn how to implement an authenticator yourself.

Authenticator is a functional interface with a single method accepting a request and a model pointer as parameters.

Authenticate(request *goyave.Request, user interface{}) error

The goal of this function is to check user credentials, most of the time from the request's headers. If they are correct and the user can be authenticated, the user parameter is updated with the user's information. User information is most of the time fetched from the database.

On the other hand, if the user cannot be authenticated, the Authenticate method must return an error containing a localized message. For example, the error could be that the token lifetime is expired, thus "Your authentication token is expired." will be returned.

Authenticators use their model's struct fields tags to know which field to use for username and password. To make your model compatible with authentication, you must add the auth:"username" and auth:"password" tags:

type User struct {
	Email    string `gorm:"type:char(100);unique_index" auth:"username"`
	Name     string `gorm:"type:char(100)"`
	Password string `gorm:"type:char(60)" auth:"password"`


  • The username should be unique.
  • Passwords should be hashed before being stored in the database.

Built-in Goyave Authenticators use bcrypt (opens new window) to check if a password matches the user request.

When a user is successfully authenticated on a protected route, its information is available in the controller handler, through the request User field.

func Hello(response *goyave.Response, request *goyave.Request) {
	user := request.User.(*model.User)
	response.String(http.StatusOK, "Hello " + user.Name)


Remember that Goyave is primarily focused on APIs. It doesn't use session nor cookies in its core features, making requests stateless.

If you want to implement cookie or session-based authentication, be sure to protect your application from CSRF attacks (opens new window).

# Basic Auth

Basic authentication (opens new window) is an authentication method using the Authorization header and a simple username and password combination with the following format: username:password, encoded in base64. There are two built-in Authenticators for Basic auth.

# Database provider

This Authenticator fetches the user information from the database, using the field tags explained earlier.

To apply this protection to your routes, add the following middleware:

authenticator := auth.Middleware(&model.User{}, &auth.BasicAuthenticator{})

You can then try requesting a protected route:

$ curl -u username:password http://localhost:8080/hello
Hello Jérémy

# Config provider

This Authenticator fetches the user information from the config. This method is good for quick proof-of-concepts, as it requires minimum setup, but shouldn't be used in real-world applications.

  • The auth.basic.username config entry defines the username that must be matched.
  • The auth.basic.password config entry defines the password that must be matched.

To apply this protection to your routes, start by adding the following content to your configuration:

  "auth": {
    "basic": {
      "username": "admin",
      "password": "admin"

Then, add the following middleware:


The model used for this Authenticator is auth.BasicUser:

type BasicUser struct {
	Name string

You can then try requesting a protected route:

$ curl -u username:password http://localhost:8080/hello

# auth.ConfigBasicAuth

Create a new authenticator middleware for config-based Basic authentication. On auth success, the request user is set to a auth.BasicUser. The user is authenticated if the auth.basic.username and auth.basic.password config entries match the request's Authorization header.

Parameters Return

# JSON Web Token (JWT)

JWT, or JSON Web Token (opens new window), is an open standard of authentication that defines a compact and self-contained way for securely transmitting information between parties as a JSON object. This information can be verified and trusted because it is digitally signed. JWTs can be signed using a secret (with the HMAC algorithm) or a public/private key pair using RSA or ECDSA. Goyave uses HMAC-SHA256 in its implementation.

JTW Authentication comes with two configuration entries:

  • auth.jwt.expiry: the number of seconds a token is valid for. Defaults to 300 (5 minutes).
  • auth.jwt.secret: the secret used for the HMAC signature. This entry doesn't have a default value, you need to define it yourself. Use a key that is at least 256 bits long.

To apply JWT protection to your routes, start by adding the following content to your configuration:

  "auth": {
    "jwt": {
      "expiry": 300,
      "secret": "jwt-secret"

Then, add the following middleware:

authenticator := auth.Middleware(&model.User{}, &auth.JWTAuthenticator{})

To request a protected route, you will need to add the following header:

Authorization: Bearer <YOUR_TOKEN>

This Authenticator comes with a built-in login controller for password grant, using the field tags explained earlier. You can register the /auth/login route using the helper function auth.JTWRoutes(router).

# auth.JWTRoutes

Create a /auth route group and registers the POST /auth/login validated route. Returns the new route group.

Validation rules are as follows:

  • username: required string
  • password: required string

The given model is used for username and password retrieval and for instantiating an authenticated request's user.

Ensure that the given router is not protected by JWT authentication, otherwise your users wouldn't be able to log in.

Parameters Return
router *goyave.Router *goyave.Router
model interface{}


func Register(router *goyave.Router) {
	auth.JWTRoutes(router, &model.User{})

# auth.NewJWTController

If you want or need ot register the routes yourself, you can instantiate a new JWTController using auth.NewJWTController().

This function creates a new JWTController that will be using the given model for login and token generation.

A JWTController contains one handler called Login.

Parameters Return
model interface{} *auth.JWTController


jwtRouter := router.Subrouter("/auth")
jwtRouter.Route("POST", "/login", auth.NewJWTController(&model.User{}).Login).Validate(validation.RuleSet{
	"username": {"required", "string"},
	"password": {"required", "string"},


By default, the controller will use the "username" and "password" fields from incoming requests for the authentication process. This can be changed by modifying the controller's UsernameField and PasswordField structure fields:

jwtController := auth.NewJWTController(&model.User{})
jwtController.UsernameField = "email"

# auth.GenerateToken

You may need to generate a token yourself outside of the login route. This function generates a new JWT.

The token is created using the HMAC SHA256 method and signed using the auth.jwt.secret config entry.
The token is set to expire in the amount of seconds defined by the auth.jwt.expiry config entry.

The generated token will contain the following claims:

  • userid: has the value of the id parameter
  • nbf: "Not before", the current timestamp is used
  • exp: "Expriy", the current timestamp plus the auth.jwt.expiry config entry.
Parameters Return
id interface{} string


token, err := auth.GenerateToken(user.ID)
if err != nil {

# Writing custom Authenticator

The Goyave authentication system is expandable, meaning that you can implement more authentication methods by creating a new Authenticator.

The typical Authenticator is an empty struct implementing the Authenticator interface:

type MyAuthenticator struct{}

// Ensure you're correctly implementing Authenticator.
var _ auth.Authenticator = (*MyAuthenticator)(nil) // implements Authenticator

The next step is to implement the Authenticate method. Its purpose is explained at the start of this guide.

In this example, we are going to authenticate the user using a simple token stored in the database.

func (a *MyAuthenticator) Authenticate(request *goyave.Request, user interface{}) error {
	token, ok := request.BearerToken()

	if !ok {
		return fmt.Errorf(lang.Get(request.Lang, "auth.no-credentials-provided"))

	// Find the struct field tagged with `auth:"token"`
	columns := auth.FindColumns(user, "token")

	// Find the user in the database using its token
	result := database.Conn().Where(columns[0].Name+" = ?", token).First(user)

	if result.Error != nil {
		if errors.Is(result.Error, gorm.ErrRecordNotFound) {
			// User not found, return "These credentials don't match our records."
			return fmt.Errorf(lang.Get(request.Lang, "auth.invalid-credentials"))
		// Database error

	// Authentication successful
	return nil

# auth.FindColumns

Find columns in the given struct. A field matches if it has a "auth" tag with the given value. Returns a slice of found fields, ordered as the input fields slice.

Promoted fields are matched as well.

If the nth field is not found, the nth value of the returned slice will be nil.

Parameters Return
strct interface{} []*auth.Column
fields ...string


Given the following struct and username, notatag, password:

type TestUser struct {
	Name     string `gorm:"type:varchar(100)"`
	Password string `gorm:"type:varchar(100)" auth:"password"`
	Email    string `gorm:"type:varchar(100);unique_index" auth:"username"`
fields := auth.FindColumns(user, "username", "notatag", "password")

The result will be the Email field, nil and the Password field.


The Column struct is defined as follows:

type Column struct {
	Name  string
	Field *reflect.StructField

# Permissions

In progress


This feature is not implemented yet and is coming in a future release.

Watch (opens new window) the github repository to stay updated.