Documentation in progress Edit me on GitHub

Adding Authorization

Pyramid provides facilities for authentication and authorization. We'll make use of both features to provide security to our application. Our application currently allows anyone with access to the server to view, edit, and add pages to our wiki. We'll change that to allow only people who are members of a group named group:editors to add and edit wiki pages but we'll continue allowing anyone with access to the server to view pages.

We will also add a login page and a logout link on all the pages. The login page will be shown when a user is denied access to any of the views that require a permission, instead of a default "403 Forbidden" page.

We will implement the access control with the following steps:

Then we will add the login and logout feature:

  • Add login and logout views (views.py).
  • Add a login template (login.pt).
  • Make the existing views return a logged_in flag to the renderer (views.py).
  • Add a "Logout" link to be shown when logged in and viewing or editing a page (view.pt, edit.pt).

Access Control

Add users and groups

Create a new tutorial/tutorial/security.py module with the following content:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
USERS = {'editor':'editor',
          'viewer':'viewer'}
GROUPS = {'editor':['group:editors']}

def groupfinder(userid, request):
    if userid in USERS:
        return GROUPS.get(userid, [])

The groupfinder function accepts a userid and a request and returns one of these values:

  • If the userid exists in the system, it will return a sequence of group identifiers (or an empty sequence if the user isn't a member of any groups).
  • If the userid does not exist in the system, it will return None.

For example, groupfinder('editor', request ) returns ['group:editor'], groupfinder('viewer', request) returns [], and groupfinder('admin', request) returns None. We will use groupfinder() as an authentication policy "callback" that will provide the principal or principals for a user.

In a production system, user and group data will most often come from a database, but here we use "dummy" data to represent user and groups sources.

Add an ACL

Open tutorial/tutorial/models.py and add the following import statement at the head:

1
2
3
4
from pyramid.security import (
    Allow,
    Everyone,
    )

Add the following lines to the Wiki class:

1
2
3
4
5
class Wiki(PersistentMapping):
    __name__ = None
    __parent__ = None
    __acl__ = [ (Allow, Everyone, 'view'),
                (Allow, 'group:editors', 'edit') ]

We import Allow, an action that means that permission is allowed, and Everyone, a special principal that is associated to all requests. Both are used in the ACE entries that make up the ACL.

The ACL is a list that needs to be named __acl__ and be an attribute of a class. We define an ACL with two ACE entries: the first entry allows any user the view permission, and the second entry allows the group:editors principal the edit permission.

The Wiki class that contains the ACL is the resource constructor for the root resource, which is a Wiki instance. The ACL is provided to each view in the context of the request, as the context attribute.

It's only happenstance that we're assigning this ACL at class scope. An ACL can be attached to an object instance too; this is how "row level security" can be achieved in Pyramid applications. We actually need only one ACL for the entire system, however, because our security requirements are simple, so this feature is not demonstrated. See Assigning ACLs to your Resource Objects for more information about what an ACL represents.

Add Authentication and Authorization Policies

Open tutorial/__init__.py and add these import statements:

1
2
3
from pyramid.authentication import AuthTktAuthenticationPolicy
from pyramid.authorization import ACLAuthorizationPolicy
from .security import groupfinder

Now add those policies to the configuration:

1
2
3
4
5
6
    authn_policy = AuthTktAuthenticationPolicy(
        'sosecret', callback=groupfinder, hashalg='sha512')
    authz_policy = ACLAuthorizationPolicy()
    config = Configurator(root_factory=root_factory, settings=settings)
    config.set_authentication_policy(authn_policy)
    config.set_authorization_policy(authz_policy)

(Only the highlighted lines need to be added.)

We are enabling an AuthTktAuthenticationPolicy, it is based in an auth ticket that may be included in the request, and an ACLAuthorizationPolicy that uses an ACL to determine the allow or deny outcome for a view.

Note that the pyramid.authentication.AuthTktAuthenticationPolicy constructor accepts two arguments: secret and callback. secret is a string representing an encryption key used by the "authentication ticket" machinery represented by this policy: it is required. The callback is the groupfinder() function that we created before.

Add permission declarations

Open tutorial/tutorial/views.py. Add a permission='edit' parameter to the @view_config decorator for add_page() and edit_page(), for example:

1
2
3
@view_config(name='add_page', context='.models.Wiki',
             renderer='templates/edit.pt',
             permission='edit')

(Only the highlighted line, along with its preceding comma, needs to be added.)

The result is that only users who possess the edit permission at the time of the request may invoke those two views.

Add a permission='view' parameter to the @view_config decorator for view_wiki() and view_page(), like this:

1
2
@view_config(context='.models.Page', renderer='templates/view.pt',
             permission='view')

(Only the highlighted line, along with its preceding comma, needs to be added.)

This allows anyone to invoke these two views.

We are done with the changes needed to control access. The changes that follow will add the login and logout feature.

Login, Logout

Add Login and Logout Views

We'll add a login view which renders a login form and processes the post from the login form, checking credentials.

We'll also add a logout view callable to our application and provide a link to it. This view will clear the credentials of the logged in user and redirect back to the front page.

Add the following import statements to the head of tutorial/tutorial/views.py:

 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
11
from pyramid.view import (
    view_config,
    forbidden_view_config,
    )

from pyramid.security import (
    remember,
    forget,


from .security import USERS

(Only the highlighted lines, with other necessary modifications, need to be added.)

forbidden_view_config() will be used to customize the default 403 Forbidden page. remember() and forget() help to create and expire an auth ticket cookie.

Now add the login and logout views:

 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
@view_config(context='.models.Wiki', name='login',
             renderer='templates/login.pt')
@forbidden_view_config(renderer='templates/login.pt')
def login(request):
    login_url = request.resource_url(request.context, 'login')
    referrer = request.url
    if referrer == login_url:
        referrer = '/' # never use the login form itself as came_from
    came_from = request.params.get('came_from', referrer)
    message = ''
    login = ''
    password = ''
    if 'form.submitted' in request.params:
        login = request.params['login']
        password = request.params['password']
        if USERS.get(login) == password:
            headers = remember(request, login)
            return HTTPFound(location = came_from,
                             headers = headers)
        message = 'Failed login'

    return dict(
        message = message,
        url = request.application_url + '/login',
        came_from = came_from,
        login = login,
        password = password,
        )

@view_config(context='.models.Wiki', name='logout')
def logout(request):
    headers = forget(request)
    return HTTPFound(location = request.resource_url(request.context),
                     headers = headers)

login() has two decorators:

  • a @view_config decorator which associates it with the login route and makes it visible when we visit /login,
  • a @forbidden_view_config decorator which turns it into a forbidden view. login() will be invoked when a user tries to execute a view callable for which they lack authorization. For example, if a user has not logged in and tries to add or edit a Wiki page, they will be shown the login form before being allowed to continue.

The order of these two view configuration decorators is unimportant.

logout() is decorated with a @view_config decorator which associates it with the logout route. It will be invoked when we visit /logout.

Add the login.pt Template

Create tutorial/tutorial/templates/login.pt with the following content:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
  "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en"
      xmlns:tal="http://xml.zope.org/namespaces/tal">
<head>
  <title>Login - Pyramid tutorial wiki (based on TurboGears
    20-Minute Wiki)</title>
  <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8"/>
  <meta name="keywords" content="python web application" />
  <meta name="description" content="pyramid web application" />
  <link rel="shortcut icon"
        href="/static/favicon.ico" />
  <link rel="stylesheet"
        href="/static/pylons.css"
        type="text/css" media="screen" charset="utf-8" />
  <!--[if lte IE 6]>
  <link rel="stylesheet"
        href="/static/ie6.css"
        type="text/css" media="screen" charset="utf-8" />
  <![endif]-->
</head>
<body>
  <div id="wrap">
    <div id="top-small">
      <div class="top-small align-center">
        <div>
          <img width="220" height="50" alt="pyramid"
        src="/static/pyramid-small.png" />
        </div>
      </div>
    </div>
    <div id="middle">
      <div class="middle align-right">
        <div id="left" class="app-welcome align-left">
          <b>Login</b><br/>
          <span tal:replace="message"/>
        </div>
        <div id="right" class="app-welcome align-right"></div>
      </div>
    </div>
    <div id="bottom">
      <div class="bottom">
        <form action="${url}" method="post">
          <input type="hidden" name="came_from" value="${came_from}"/>
          <input type="text" name="login" value="${login}"/><br/>
          <input type="password" name="password"
                 value="${password}"/><br/>
          <input type="submit" name="form.submitted" value="Log In"/>
        </form>
      </div>
    </div>
  </div>
</body>
</html>

The above template is referred in the login view that we just added in views.py.

Return a logged_in flag to the renderer

Add a logged_in parameter to the return value of view_page(), edit_page() and add_page(), like this:

1
2
3
4
return dict(page = page,
            content = content,
            edit_url = edit_url,
            logged_in = request.authenticated_userid)

(Only the highlighted line and a trailing comma on the preceding line need to be added.)

The pyramid.request.Request.authenticated_userid() will be None if the user is not authenticated, or a user id if the user is authenticated.

Seeing Our Changes

Our tutorial/tutorial/__init__.py will look something like this when we're done:

 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
from pyramid.config import Configurator
from pyramid_zodbconn import get_connection

from pyramid.authentication import AuthTktAuthenticationPolicy
from pyramid.authorization import ACLAuthorizationPolicy

from .models import appmaker
from .security import groupfinder

def root_factory(request):
    conn = get_connection(request)
    return appmaker(conn.root())


def main(global_config, **settings):
    """ This function returns a Pyramid WSGI application.
    """
    authn_policy = AuthTktAuthenticationPolicy(
        'sosecret', callback=groupfinder, hashalg='sha512')
    authz_policy = ACLAuthorizationPolicy()
    config = Configurator(root_factory=root_factory, settings=settings)
    config.set_authentication_policy(authn_policy)
    config.set_authorization_policy(authz_policy)
    config.include('pyramid_chameleon')
    config.add_static_view('static', 'static', cache_max_age=3600)
    config.scan()
    return config.make_wsgi_app()

(Only the highlighted lines need to be added.)

Our tutorial/tutorial/models.py will look something like this when we're done:

 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
from persistent import Persistent
from persistent.mapping import PersistentMapping

from pyramid.security import (
    Allow,
    Everyone,
    )

class Wiki(PersistentMapping):
    __name__ = None
    __parent__ = None
    __acl__ = [ (Allow, Everyone, 'view'),
                (Allow, 'group:editors', 'edit') ]

class Page(Persistent):
    def __init__(self, data):
        self.data = data

def appmaker(zodb_root):
    if not 'app_root' in zodb_root:
        app_root = Wiki()
        frontpage = Page('This is the front page')
        app_root['FrontPage'] = frontpage
        frontpage.__name__ = 'FrontPage'
        frontpage.__parent__ = app_root
        zodb_root['app_root'] = app_root
        import transaction
        transaction.commit()
    return zodb_root['app_root']

(Only the highlighted lines need to be added.)

Our tutorial/tutorial/views.py will look something like this when we're done:

  1
  2
  3
  4
  5
  6
  7
  8
  9
 10
 11
 12
 13
 14
 15
 16
 17
 18
 19
 20
 21
 22
 23
 24
 25
 26
 27
 28
 29
 30
 31
 32
 33
 34
 35
 36
 37
 38
 39
 40
 41
 42
 43
 44
 45
 46
 47
 48
 49
 50
 51
 52
 53
 54
 55
 56
 57
 58
 59
 60
 61
 62
 63
 64
 65
 66
 67
 68
 69
 70
 71
 72
 73
 74
 75
 76
 77
 78
 79
 80
 81
 82
 83
 84
 85
 86
 87
 88
 89
 90
 91
 92
 93
 94
 95
 96
 97
 98
 99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
from docutils.core import publish_parts
import re

from pyramid.httpexceptions import HTTPFound

from pyramid.view import (
    view_config,
    forbidden_view_config,
    )

from pyramid.security import (
    remember,
    forget,
    )


from .security import USERS
from .models import Page

# regular expression used to find WikiWords
wikiwords = re.compile(r"\b([A-Z]\w+[A-Z]+\w+)")

@view_config(context='.models.Wiki',
             permission='view')
def view_wiki(context, request):
    return HTTPFound(location=request.resource_url(context, 'FrontPage'))

@view_config(context='.models.Page', renderer='templates/view.pt',
             permission='view')
def view_page(context, request):
    wiki = context.__parent__

    def check(match):
        word = match.group(1)
        if word in wiki:
            page = wiki[word]
            view_url = request.resource_url(page)
            return '<a href="%s">%s</a>' % (view_url, word)
        else:
            add_url = request.application_url + '/add_page/' + word 
            return '<a href="%s">%s</a>' % (add_url, word)

    content = publish_parts(context.data, writer_name='html')['html_body']
    content = wikiwords.sub(check, content)
    edit_url = request.resource_url(context, 'edit_page')

    return dict(page = context, content = content, edit_url = edit_url,
                logged_in = request.authenticated_userid)

@view_config(name='add_page', context='.models.Wiki',
             renderer='templates/edit.pt',
             permission='edit')
def add_page(context, request):
    pagename = request.subpath[0]
    if 'form.submitted' in request.params:
        body = request.params['body']
        page = Page(body)
        page.__name__ = pagename
        page.__parent__ = context
        context[pagename] = page
        return HTTPFound(location = request.resource_url(page))
    save_url = request.resource_url(context, 'add_page', pagename)
    page = Page('')
    page.__name__ = pagename
    page.__parent__ = context

    return dict(page=page, save_url=save_url,
                logged_in=request.authenticated_userid)

@view_config(name='edit_page', context='.models.Page',
             renderer='templates/edit.pt',
             permission='edit')
def edit_page(context, request):
    if 'form.submitted' in request.params:
        context.data = request.params['body']
        return HTTPFound(location = request.resource_url(context))

    return dict(page=context,
                save_url=request.resource_url(context, 'edit_page'),
                logged_in=request.authenticated_userid)

@view_config(context='.models.Wiki', name='login',
             renderer='templates/login.pt')
@forbidden_view_config(renderer='templates/login.pt')
def login(request):
    login_url = request.resource_url(request.context, 'login')
    referrer = request.url
    if referrer == login_url:
        referrer = '/' # never use the login form itself as came_from
    came_from = request.params.get('came_from', referrer)
    message = ''
    login = ''
    password = ''
    if 'form.submitted' in request.params:
        login = request.params['login']
        password = request.params['password']
        if USERS.get(login) == password:
            headers = remember(request, login)
            return HTTPFound(location = came_from,
                             headers = headers)
        message = 'Failed login'

    return dict(
        message = message,
        url = request.application_url + '/login',
        came_from = came_from,
        login = login,
        password = password,
        )

@view_config(context='.models.Wiki', name='logout')
def logout(request):
    headers = forget(request)
    return HTTPFound(location = request.resource_url(request.context),
                     headers = headers)

(Only the highlighted lines need to be added.)

Our tutorial/tutorial/templates/edit.pt template will look something like this when we're done:

 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
  "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en"
      xmlns:tal="http://xml.zope.org/namespaces/tal">
<head>
  <title>${page.__name__} - Pyramid tutorial wiki (based on
      TurboGears 20-Minute Wiki)</title>
  <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8"/>
  <meta name="keywords" content="python web application" />
  <meta name="description" content="pyramid web application" />
  <link rel="shortcut icon"
        href="/static/favicon.ico" />
  <link rel="stylesheet"
        href="/static/pylons.css"
        type="text/css" media="screen" charset="utf-8" />
  <!--[if lte IE 6]>
  <link rel="stylesheet"
        href="/static/ie6.css"
        type="text/css" media="screen" charset="utf-8" />
  <![endif]-->
</head>
<body>
  <div id="wrap">
    <div id="top-small">
      <div class="top-small align-center">
        <div>
          <img width="220" height="50" alt="pyramid"
        src="/static/pyramid-small.png" />
        </div>
      </div>
    </div>
    <div id="middle">
      <div class="middle align-right">
        <div id="left" class="app-welcome align-left">
          Editing <b><span tal:replace="page.__name__">Page Name
            Goes Here</span></b><br/>
          You can return to the
          <a href="${request.application_url}">FrontPage</a>.<br/>
        </div>
        <div id="right" class="app-welcome align-right">
          <span tal:condition="logged_in">
              <a href="${request.application_url}/logout">Logout</a>
          </span>
        </div>
      </div>
    </div>
    <div id="bottom">
      <div class="bottom">
        <form action="${save_url}" method="post">
          <textarea name="body" tal:content="page.data" rows="10"
                    cols="60"/><br/>
          <input type="submit" name="form.submitted" value="Save"/>
        </form>
      </div>
    </div>
  </div>
</body>
</html>

(Only the highlighted lines need to be added.)

Our tutorial/tutorial/templates/view.pt template will look something like this when we're done:

 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
  "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en"
      xmlns:tal="http://xml.zope.org/namespaces/tal">
<head>
  <title>${page.__name__} - Pyramid tutorial wiki (based on
    TurboGears 20-Minute Wiki)</title>
  <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8"/>
  <meta name="keywords" content="python web application" />
  <meta name="description" content="pyramid web application" />
  <link rel="shortcut icon"
        href="/static/favicon.ico" />
  <link rel="stylesheet"
        href="/static/pylons.css"
        type="text/css" media="screen" charset="utf-8" />
  <!--[if lte IE 6]>
  <link rel="stylesheet"
        href="/static/ie6.css"
        type="text/css" media="screen" charset="utf-8" />
  <![endif]-->
</head>
<body>
  <div id="wrap">
    <div id="top-small">
      <div class="top-small align-center">
        <div>
          <img width="220" height="50" alt="pyramid"
        src="/static/pyramid-small.png" />
        </div>
      </div>
    </div>
    <div id="middle">
      <div class="middle align-right">
        <div id="left" class="app-welcome align-left">
          Viewing <b><span tal:replace="page.__name__">Page Name
            Goes Here</span></b><br/>
          You can return to the
          <a href="${request.application_url}">FrontPage</a>.<br/>
        </div>
        <div id="right" class="app-welcome align-right">
          <span tal:condition="logged_in">
            <a href="${request.application_url}/logout">Logout</a>
          </span>
        </div>
      </div>
    </div>
    <div id="bottom">
      <div class="bottom">
        <div tal:replace="structure content">
          Page text goes here.
        </div>
        <p>
          <a tal:attributes="href edit_url" href="">
            Edit this page
          </a>
        </p>
      </div>
    </div>
  </div>
</body>
</html>

(Only the highlighted lines need to be added.)

Viewing the Application in a Browser

We can finally examine our application in a browser (See Start the Application). Launch a browser and visit each of the following URLs, check that the result is as expected:

  • http://localhost:6543/ invokes the view_wiki view. This always redirects to the view_page view of the FrontPage Page resource. It is executable by any user.
  • http://localhost:6543/FrontPage invokes the view_page view of the FrontPage Page resource. This is because it's the default view (a view without a name) for Page resources. It is executable by any user.
  • http://localhost:6543/FrontPage/edit_page invokes the edit view for the FrontPage object. It is executable by only the editor user. If a different user (or the anonymous user) invokes it, a login form will be displayed. Supplying the credentials with the username editor, password editor will display the edit page form.
  • http://localhost:6543/add_page/SomePageName invokes the add view for a page. It is executable by only the editor user. If a different user (or the anonymous user) invokes it, a login form will be displayed. Supplying the credentials with the username editor, password editor will display the edit page form.
  • After logging in (as a result of hitting an edit or add page and submitting the login form with the editor credentials), we'll see a Logout link in the upper right hand corner. When we click it, we're logged out, and redirected back to the front page.