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JSON Web Tokens with Devise & Warden Discussion

General • Asked by Chris Oliver

Love this series. I've implemented this devise/warden strategy in my own project. One correction: Because the `before_action` in the ApiController is changed from `:authenticate_token!` to `:authenticate_user!`, the `skip_before_action` in the AuthenticationController must also change to `authenticate_user!`, otherwise devise will reply with "You must sign in or sign up before continuing."

Keep the great material coming, Chris.

One more thought: As you pointed out, many websites will want to accept both JWT requests and non-JWT requests via the same API. By adding `skip_before_action :verify_authenticity_token` without disabling non-JWT requests, don't we open a hole to CSRF attack from non-JWT requests?

Here's a possible solution; would love to have your thoughts.

In the API controller:

skip_before_action :verify_authenticity_token, if: :json_web_token_present?

def json_web_token_present?

In the User model:

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
attr_accessor :has_json_web_token

In the strategy:

def authenticate!
user = User.find(payload["sub"])
user.has_json_web_token = true
success! user

Yeah that's correct, if you're doing both you'll want to make sure any forms submitted verify authenticity token and the JWT token is the only one that should skip that. 👍

Just thought I'd share these two blog posts I found pretty useful when I looked for more detail on web tokens vs. cookies:


You can create an episode with the same typology using a project of this type:

rails new weather --api

thank you



I have a token problem if I use the 'jwt', '~> 2.0' gem of Invalid auth token when inserting a record.

Chris could you help me with this?

Thank you


for authentication_controller, skip_before_action :authenticate_token! should be changed to skip_before_action :authenticate_user! because ApiController has changed.

This is something small, but I wanted to just verify that i have the right idea.
Correct me if i am wrong, but since you added the "authenticate_user!" before action back to your ApiController, and since your AuthenticationController inherits from your ApiController, doesn't that mean that in order to use the AuthenticationController the user will already have to be logged in?
This is not the desired behavior, right?
Inside your AuthenticationController, I would imagine that you would either need to skip the "authenticate_user!"  before action OR change it so it inherits from ApplicationController and not ApiController, so no user authentication is required.
Or am i missing anything here?

I keep running into this error:

2.5.1 :004 > JsonWebToken.encode({sub: 1})
Traceback (most recent call last):
 2: from (irb):4
 1: from app/models/json_web_token.rb:4:in `encode'
TypeError (no implicit conversion of nil into String)

Any ideas on how I can debug this?

I'm struggling to figure out where to put sign_in(user, store: false) to prevent the rails server from setting the cookies. It says to put it where we "log in the user" but to my understanding, that was handled by the success! method.

Could someone please provide a little more direction on how to prevent that cookie from being set?

On a similar note, is there a way to not make it update the current_sign_in_at, last_sign_in_at and sign_in_count values?

Thanks! :)

If I remember right, you call sign_in instead of success!.

Thanks for the quick response! That's what I thought initally as well, but I'm getting an undefined method error for sign_in. I tried including the Devise::Controllers::SignInOut module, which is where this method is held, but then I get a warden error.

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