DevAuth 0.1

Authentication for developer access to applications

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MIT/X Consortium License 
Ian Bicking
ROOT \ Internet \ HTTP (WWW)
Many debugging tools provide through-the-web functionality that is private, important to secure, and orthogonal to any other authentication on the system. DevAuth is a tool that provides a single way to restrict access to these tools.

DevAuth is only an authentication system, it does not itself provide any tools.  It is *only* intended for developers, and is not an authentication system that is usable in general-purpose applications.

This is written for 'the developer_auth spec.


There are two means of authentication that DevAuth uses: username/password authentication, and IP-based restrictions.  Ideally
you would use both of these for higher security.  It may also be reasonable to use an IP restriction of for local development.

Username/password authentication can be done with a function that checks the username and password (like "valid_login =
password_checker(username, password)"), or with an Apache htpasswd-style file.

IP based authentication uses "deny" and "allow". If you give IP addresses that are denied, these are entirely rejected; if you give IP addresses that are allowed, then only requests from these IP addresses are allowed.  "deny" takes precedence over "allow".  These can be lists of IP addresses (with commas), 'IP masks '_ (like "") or ranges like "192.168.13" (meaning 192.168.{1-3}.*).

Any change in the developer's IP address will require re-login. Logins may expire (if so configured) and require re-login.


The basic usage of DevAuth is like::

  from devauth import DevAuth

  app = ... instantiate main app ...
  wrapped_app = DevAuth(app, ...configuration...)

The configuration is keyword arguments:

    The allowed IP addresses.  This can be a string or a list of
    strings.  See 'Authentication'_ for the allowed formats.  This
    defaults to """", i.e., only local access is allowed.
    None means allow any IP address.  Note both
    "environ['REMOTE_ADDR']" and "environ['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR']"
    are checked, and both must pass.

    Similar to "allow", except any requests from IP addresses
    matching these IP addresses will not be allowed to login.

    This is a filename, the location of a password file as generated
    by 'htpasswd
    '_.  You
    can create this file like::

        $ htpasswd -s devauth.htpasswd username
        New password:
        Re-type new password:
        Adding password for user username

    You must use the argument "-c" to first create the file (without
    it an entry will be appended).  "-s" hashes your password with
    SHA; any hash supported by htpasswd will work, but SHA is better
    than the default.

    This is a function to check the username and password.  A very
    simple implementation might be::

        def password_checker(username, password):
            return username == 'admin' and password='topsecret'

"secret_file", "secret":
    DevAuth uses a server-side secret to sign the login cookies.  You
    can keep this secret in a file or provide it directly.  If you
    give it a filename and the file doesn't exist, a file will be
    created with a randomly generated secret (it is advantageous to
    keep it in a file because it will persist over restarts, so
    developers won't have to re-login).

    The default is to keep the secret in "$TMP/devauth.txt", where
    "$TMP" is replaced with the appropriate system temporary

    A 'logging '_ logger
    instance, or the name of a logger.  If not given a logger is
    created with the name "DevAuth".  This logs logins, failed
    logins, problems with signed keys, etc.

    The number of minutes the login is valid for (None means no
    expiration).  This is counted from the time of login, so even if
    you maintain activity the login will still expire.

    This is the URL where the login will take place, it defaults to
    "/.devauth".  Then the login is at "/.devauth/login" and the
    logout is at "/.devauth/logout".  Only these two URLs are
    intercepted, so you can still have things at other URLs like
    "/.devauth/logs" (if you do this, you'll probably replace
    "/.devauth" with something specific to your application).

Paste Deploy Configuration:

You can use this with 'Paste Deploy configuration '_ (as used in Pylons and Repoze).  It looks something like::

  use = egg:DevAuth
  allow =

  # Toby's computer:
  # (I hate him so much!)
  deny =
  # File created with htpasswd:
  password_file = %(here)s/developers.htpasswd
  # Login expires after 1 hour:
  # So Toby can't hijack my session by using my computer.
  # (I hate him so much!)
  expiration = 60
  # You'll login in at /.devauth/login (the default):
  login_mountpoint = /.devauth

  blah blah blah

  pipeline = devauth myapp

For Tool Developers:

If you want to check if a developer is logged in, look for "environ['x-wsgiorg.developer_user']".  This key will have the username as a value.  If the page is for developers only, then return "403 Forbidden".

Last updated on July 14th, 2009


#developer access #application authentication #restrict access #developer #access #authentication #library

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