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Join the chat at Magical Authentication for Rails 3 and 4. Supports ActiveRecord, DataMapper, Mongoid and MongoMapper.

Inspired by restful_authentication, Authlogic and Devise. Crypto code taken almost unchanged from Authlogic. OAuth code inspired by OmniAuth and Ryan Bates's railscasts about it.

What's happening now? We are working on 1.0 version, which will include some API-breaking changes. It should be released about April 2015. Until then we'll continue releasing 0.9.x version with bug fixes.

Rails 4 status: Sorcery 0.9.0 is fully tested and ready for Rails 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2. Mongoid status: Version 0.9.0 works with Mongoid 4.


Sorcery is a stripped-down, bare-bones authentication library, with which you can write your own authentication flow. It was built with a few goals in mind:

  • Less is more - less than 20 public methods to remember for the entire feature-set make the lib easy to 'get'.
  • No built-in or generated code - use the library's methods inside your own MVC structures, and don't fight to fix someone else's.
  • Magic yes, Voodoo no - the lib should be easy to hack for most developers.
  • Configuration over Confusion - Centralized (1 file), Simple & short configuration as possible, not drowning in syntactic sugar.
  • Keep MVC cleanly separated - DB is for models, sessions are for controllers. Models stay unaware of sessions.

Hopefully, I've achieved this. If not, let me know.

Documentation | Railscast | Simple tutorial | Example Rails 4 app

Check out the tutorials in the Wiki for more!

API Summary

Below is a summary of the library methods. Most method names are self explaining and the rest are commented:


 # this is a before filter
(email, password, remember_me = false)
(user)# login without credentials
logged_in?      # available to view
current_user    # available to view
redirect_back_or_to # used when a user tries to access a page while logged out, is asked to login, and we want to return him back to the page he originally wanted.
@user.external? # external users, such as facebook/twitter etc.
@user.active_for_authentication? # add this method to define behaviour that will prevent selected users from signing in
@user.valid_password?('secret') # compares 'secret' with the actual @user's password, returns true if they match

http basic auth

 # this is a before filter


(provider) # sends the user to an external service (twitter etc.) to authenticate.
(provider) # tries to login from the external provider's callback.
create_from(provider) # create the user in the local app db.

remember me

(user, should_remember=false)  # login without credentials, optional remember_me
force_forget_me!    # completely forgets all sessions by clearing the token, even if remember_me_token_persist_globally is true

reset password

@user.generate_reset_password_token! # if you want to send the email by youself
@user.deliver_reset_password_instructions! # generates the token and sends the email

user activation


Please see the tutorials in the github wiki for detailed usage information.


If using bundler, first add 'sorcery' to your Gemfile:

gem "sorcery"

And run

bundle install

Otherwise simply

gem install sorcery

Rails configuration

rails generate sorcery:install

This will generate the core migration file, the initializer file and the 'User' model class.

rails generate sorcery:install remember_me reset_password

This will generate the migrations files for remember_me and reset_password submodules and will create the initializer file (and add submodules to it), and create the 'User' model class.

rails generate sorcery:install --model Person

This will generate the core migration file, the initializer and change the model class (in the initializer and migration files) to the class 'Person' (and its pluralized version, 'people')

rails generate sorcery:install http_basic_auth external remember_me --only-submodules

This will generate only the migration files for the specified submodules and will add them to the initializer file.

Inside the initializer, the comments will tell you what each setting does.

DelayedJob Integration

By default emails are sent synchronously. You can send them asynchronously by using the delayed_job gem.

After implementing the delayed_job into your project add the code below at the end of the config/initializers/sorcery.rb file. After that all emails will be sent asynchronously.

module Sorcery
  module Model
    module InstanceMethods
      def generic_send_email(method, mailer)
        config = sorcery_config
        mail = config.send(mailer).delay.send(config.send(method), self)

Sidekiq and Resque integrations are coming soon.

Single Table Inheritance (STI) Support

STI is supported via the user.subclasses_inherit_config setting in config/initializers/sorcery.rb.

Full Features List by module

Core (see lib/sorcery/model.rb and lib/sorcery/controller.rb):

  • login/logout, optional return user to requested url on login, configurable redirect for non-logged-in users.
  • password encryption, algorithms: bcrypt(default), md5, sha1, sha256, sha512, aes256, custom(yours!), none. Configurable stretches and salt.
  • configurable attribute names for username, password and email.
  • allow multiple fields to serve as username.

User Activation (see lib/sorcery/model/submodules/user_activation.rb):

  • User activation by email with optional success email.
  • configurable attribute names.
  • configurable mailer, method name, and attribute name.
  • configurable temporary token expiration.
  • Optionally prevent non-active users to login.

Reset Password (see lib/sorcery/model/submodules/reset_password.rb):

  • Reset password with email verification.
  • configurable mailer, method name, and attribute name.
  • configurable temporary token expiration.
  • configurable time between emails (hammering protection).

Remember Me (see lib/sorcery/model/submodules/remember_me.rb):

  • Remember me with configurable expiration.
  • configurable attribute names.
  • configurable to persist globally (supporting multiple browsers at the same time), or starting anew after each login

Session Timeout (see lib/sorcery/controller/submodules/session_timeout.rb):

  • Configurable session timeout.
  • Optionally session timeout will be calculated from last user action.

Brute Force Protection (see lib/sorcery/model/submodules/brute_force_protection.rb):

  • Brute force login hammering protection.
  • configurable logins before lock and lock duration.

Basic HTTP Authentication (see lib/sorcery/controller/submodules/http_basic_auth.rb):

  • A before filter for requesting authentication with HTTP Basic.
  • automatic login from HTTP Basic.
  • automatic login is disabled if session key changed.

Activity Logging (see lib/sorcery/model/submodules/activity_logging.rb):

  • automatic logging of last login, last logout, last activity time and IP address for last login.
  • configurable timeout by which to decide whether to include a user in the list of logged in users.

External (see lib/sorcery/controller/submodules/external.rb):

  • OAuth1 and OAuth2 support (currently: Twitter, Facebook, Github, Google, Heroku, LinkedIn, VK, LiveID, Xing, and Salesforce)
  • configurable db field names and authentications table.

Next Planned Features

I've got some thoughts which include (unordered):

  • Passing a block to encrypt, allowing the developer to define his own mix of salting and encrypting
  • Forgot username, maybe as part of the reset_password module
  • Scoping logins (to a subdomain or another arbitrary field)
  • Allowing storing the salt and crypted password in the same DB field for extra security
  • Other reset password strategies (security questions?)
  • Other brute force protection strategies (captcha)

Have an idea? Let me know, and it might get into the gem!

Backward compatibility

While the lib is young and evolving fast I'm breaking backward compatibility quite often. I'm constantly finding better ways to do things and throwing away old ways. To let you know when things are changing in a non-compatible way, I'm bumping the minor version of the gem. The patch version changes are backward compatible.

In short, an app that works with x.3.1 should be able to upgrade to x.3.2 with no code changes. The same cannot be said about upgrading to x.4.0 and above, however.

DataMapper Support

Important notes:


Important notes while upgrading:

  • If you are upgrading from <= 1.0.0

    • before_logout does not take arguments anymore (current_user still returns user at this point)
    • after_logout takes one argument (user) as current_user returns nil then
  • If you are upgrading from <= 0.8.6 and you use Sorcery model methods in your app, you might need to change them from user.method to user.sorcery_adapter.method and from User.method to User.sorcery_adapter_method

  • If you are upgrading from <= 0.8.5 and you're using Sorcery test helpers, you need to change the way you include them to following code:

    RSpec.configure do |config|
      config.include Sorcery::TestHelpers::Rails::Controller, type: :controller
      config.include Sorcery::TestHelpers::Rails::Integration, type: :feature
  • If are upgrading to 0.8.2 and use activity_logging feature with ActiveRecord, you will have to add a new column last_login_from_ip_address #465

  • Sinatra support existed until v0.7.0 (including), but was dropped later due to being a maintenance nightmare.

  • If upgrading from <= 0.6.1 to >= **0.7.0 you need to change 'username _attribute_name' to 'username_attribute_names' in initializer.

  • If upgrading from <= v0.5.1 to >= v0.5.2 you need to explicitly set your user_class model in the initializer file.

    # This line must come after the 'user config' block.
    config.user_class = User

Contributing to sorcery

Your feedback is very welcome and will make this gem much much better for you, me and everyone else. Besides feedback on code, features, suggestions and bug reports, you may want to actually make an impact on the code. For this:

  • Fork it.
  • Fix it.
  • Test it.
  • Commit it.
  • Send me a pull request so I'll... Pull it.

If you feel sorcery has made your life easier, and you would like to express your thanks via a donation, my paypal email is in the contact details.


Feel free to ask questions using these contact details:

Noam Ben-Ari

email: [email protected] ( also for paypal )

twitter: @nbenari

Kir Shatrov

email: [email protected]

twitter: @Kiiiir

Grzegorz Witek

email: [email protected]

twitter: @arnvald

Copyright (c) 2010-2014 Noam Ben Ari ([email protected]). See LICENSE.txt for further details.