OAuth authentication

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OAuth defines a mechanism for authentication using external providers like Google or Facebook safely. You can read more about OAuth. Ktor has a feature to work with OAuth 1a and 2.0

A simplified OAuth 2.0 workflow:

  • The client is redirected to an authorize URL for the specified provider (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Github…). specifying the clientId and a valid redirection URL.
  • Once the login is correct, the provider generates an auth token using a clientSecret associated with that clientId.
  • Then the client is redirected to a valid, previously agreed upon, application URL with an auth token that is signed with the clientSecret.
  • Ktor’s OAuth feature verifies the token and generates a Principal OAuthAccessTokenResponse.
  • With the auth token, you can request, for example, the user’s email or id depending on the provider.


@Location("/login/{type?}") class login(val type: String = "")

val loginProviders = listOf(
            name = "github",
            authorizeUrl = "https://github.com/login/oauth/authorize",
            accessTokenUrl = "https://github.com/login/oauth/access_token",
            clientId = "***",
            clientSecret = "***"
).associateBy {it.name}

install(Authentication) {
    oauth("gitHubOAuth") {
        client = HttpClient(Apache)
        providerLookup = { loginProviders[application.locations.resolve<login>(login::class, this).type] }
        urlProvider = { url(login(it.name)) }

routing {
    authenticate("gitHubOAuth") {
        location<login>() {
            param("error") {
                handle {
            handle {
                val principal = call.authentication.principal<OAuthAccessTokenResponse>()
                if (principal != null) {
                } else {

Depending on the OAuth version, you will get a different Principal

sealed class OAuthAccessTokenResponse : Principal {
    data class OAuth1a(
        val token: String, val tokenSecret: String,
        val extraParameters: Parameters = Parameters.Empty
    ) : OAuthAccessTokenResponse()

    data class OAuth2(
        val accessToken: String, val tokenType: String,
        val expiresIn: Long, val refreshToken: String?,
        val extraParameters: Parameters = Parameters.Empty
    ) : OAuthAccessTokenResponse()

Guide, example and testing