Sign inDemoInstall


Package Overview
File Explorer

Advanced tools

Install Socket

Detect and block malicious and high-risk dependencies



Version published




Build Status

SuperLogin is a full-featured NodeJS/Express user authentication solution for APIs and Single Page Apps (SPA) using CouchDB or Cloudant.

User authentication is often the hardest part of building any web app, especially if you want to integrate multiple providers. Now all the tough work has been done for you so you can relax and create with less boilerplate!

(Live Demo)

For issues and feature requests visit the issue tracker.



  • Ideal authentication and security solution for modern APIs and Single Page Apps
  • Supports local login with username and password using best security practices
  • Sends system emails for account confirmation, password reset, or anything else you want to configure
  • Add any Passport OAuth2 strategy with literally just a couple lines of code
  • Facebook, WindowsLive, Google, Github, and LinkedIn integration fully tested
  • Link multiple authentication strategies to the same account for user convenience
  • 100% cookie free, which means that CSRF attacks are impossible against your app
  • Fast and massively scalable with a Redis session store
  • Provides seamless token access to both your CouchDB server (or Cloudant) and your private API
  • Manages permissions on an unlimited number of private or shared user databases and seeds them with the correct design documents

Client Tools and Demo

  • NG-SuperLogin Helps you easily integrate a SuperLogin backend into your single page AngularJS applications.

  • SuperLogin Demo A full-stack demo of how to integrate SuperLogin and Express with AngularJS and CouchDB.

  • SuperLogin-client Helps you easily integrate a SuperLogin backend into your Javascript applications.

How It Works

Simply authenticate yourself with SuperLogin using any supported strategy and you will be issued a temporary access token and password. Then include the access token and password in an Authorization Bearer header on every request to access protected endpoints. The same credentials will authenticate you on any CouchDB or Cloudant database you have been authorized to use.

Session storage is handled by Redis for production environments, but SuperLogin includes a memory adapter for testing purposes. When you logout or the token expires, your session is invalidated and those credentials are also removed from any database you had access to.

Quick Start

Here's a simple minimalist configuration that will get you up and running right away:


npm install superlogin


var express = require('express');
var http = require('http');
var bodyParser = require('body-parser');
var logger = require('morgan');
var SuperLogin = require('superlogin');

var app = express();
app.set('port', process.env.PORT || 3000);
app.use(bodyParser.urlencoded({ extended: false }));

var config = {
  dbServer: {
    protocol: 'http://',
    host: 'localhost:5984',
    user: '',
    password: '',
    userDB: 'sl-users',
    couchAuthDB: '_users'
  mailer: {
    fromEmail: '',
    options: {
      service: 'Gmail',
        auth: {
          user: '',
          pass: 'userpass'
  userDBs: {
    defaultDBs: {
      private: ['supertest']

// Initialize SuperLogin
var superlogin = new SuperLogin(config);

// Mount SuperLogin's routes to our app
app.use('/auth', superlogin.router);


Now get a request tool like Postman and let's create our first user.

  "name": "Joe Smith",
  "username": "joesmith",
  "email": "",
  "password": "bigsecret",
  "confirmPassword": "bigsecret"

POST the form to http://localhost:3000/auth/register (using x-www-form-urlencoded) and you should get the response {"success": "User created."}.

Now to login, simply post your username and password to http://localhost:3000/auth/login. You should get a response similar to this:

  "issued": 1440232999594,
  "expires": 1440319399594,
  "provider": "local",
  "ip": "",
  "token": "aViSVnaDRFKFfdepdXtiEg",
  "password": "p7l9VCNbTbOVeuvEBhYW_A",
  "user_id": "joesmith",
  "roles": [
  "userDBs": {
      "supertest": "http://aViSVnaDRFKFfdepdXtiEg:p7l9VCNbTbOVeuvEBhYW_A@localhost:5984/supertest$joesmith"

You have now been issued an access token. Let's use it to access a protected endpoint. Make a request to http://localhost:3000/auth/session and you'll see it was unauthorized. Now add a header to your request: "Authorization": "Bearer {token}:{password}" and you should see information about your session. That was easy!

If your user document contains a field called profile, this will automatically be included with the session information.

You can also use the same token and password combination to access your personal database. But as soon as you log out your session that access will be revoked.

Note: Session tokens for your API will be unusable as soon as they expire. However, there is no mechanism to automatically revoke expired credentials with CouchDB. Whenever a user logs in, logs out, or refreshes the session, SuperLogin will automatically clean up any expired credentials for that user. For additional security, periodically run superlogin.removeExpiredKeys() either with setInterval or a cron job. This will deauthorize every single expired credential that exists in the system.

Securing Your Routes

Securing your routes is very simple:

app.get('/admin', superlogin.requireAuth, superlogin.requireRole('admin'),
  function(req, res) {
    res.send('Welcome Admin');

Note that you must use requireAuth prior to checking any roles or an error will be thrown.


Middleware that authenticates a user with a token and password in the request header. ("Authorization": "Bearer {token}:{password}")


Middleware that makes sure the authenticated user possesses the specified role (string).


Middleware that makes sure the user possesses at least one of the specified possibleRoles (array).


Middleware that makes sure the user possesses ALL of the specified requiredRoles (array).

Database Security

If you are using Cloudant, then your databases are secure by default and all you have to do is ensure the correct permissions are specified under userDBs.model in your config.

If, however, you are using regular CouchDB, then Admin Party is default and all your databases are readable and writable by the public until you implement the correct security measures. It is your responsibility to study up on best security practices and apply them. To block anonymous reads across all databases you can set require_valid_user to true under [couch_httpd_auth] in your CouchDB config.

SuperLogin also allows you to specify default _security roles for members and admins in the userDBs section of your config file. See config.example.js for details.

CouchDB Document Update Validation

CouchDB can save your API a lot of traffic by handling both reads and writes. CouchDB provides the validate_doc_update function to approve or disapprove what gets written. However, since your CouchDB users are temporary random API keys, you have no idea which user is requesting to write. SuperLogin has inserted the original user_id into userCtx.roles[0], prefixed by user: (e.g. user:superman).

If you are using Cloudant authentication, the prefixed user_id is inserted as the first item on the permissions array, which will also appear inside roles in your userCtx object. You will also find all the roles from your user doc here.

If you wish to give a user special Cloudant permissions other than the ones specified in your config, you can edit the user doc from the sl-users database and under personalDBs add an array called permissions under the corresponding DB for that user.

Adding Providers

You can add support for any Passport OAuth2 strategy to SuperLogin with just a few lines of code. (OAuth1 strategies generally require a cookie-based session to work, so are not currently supported by SuperLogin which is sessionless.)


The first step is to add credentials to your config file. You can skip the callback URL as it will be generated automatically. Here is how to add support for Dropbox:

providers: {
  dropbox: {
    // Credentials here will be passed in on the call to passport.use
    credentials: {
      consumerKey: DROPBOX_APP_KEY,
      consumerSecret: DROPBOX_APP_SECRET
    options: {
      // Options here will be passed in on the call to passport.authenticate

SuperLogin supports two types of workflows for OAuth2 providers: popup window and client access token.

Popup Window Workflow for web browsers (desktop and mobile)

Your client must create a popup window and point it to /{provider}, where the user will be directed to authenticate with that provider. After authentication succeeds or fails, it will call a Javascript callback on the parent window called superlogin.oauthSession.

After completing the configuration step above, all you have to do is register your new provider with SuperLogin. Simply follow this pattern:

var DropboxStrategy = require('passport-dropbox-oauth2').Strategy;
superlogin.registerOAuth2('dropbox', DroboxStrategy);

Now, assuming your credentials are valid, you should be able to authenticate with Dropbox by opening a popup window to /dropbox. See below in the Routes documentation for more detail.

Client Access Token for Cordova / Phonegap and Native Apps

Cordova and most native app frameworks (including iOS and Android) have plugins which authenticate a user with a provider and provide an access_token to the client app. All you have to do is post a request to /{provider}/token and include your access_token in the request body. SuperLogin will respond with a new session or an error message.

You must use Passport strategies that accept access_token posted in the body of the request, such as passport-facebook-token, passport-google-token, etc.

Here is how to setup the Client Access Token strategy:

var FacebookTokenStrategy = require('passport-facebook-token');
superlogin.registerTokenProvider('facebook', FacebookTokenStrategy);

Note that this uses the exact settings in your config as the popup window workflow.

Adding additional fields

It's easy to add custom fields to user documents. When added to a profile field it will automatically be included with the session information (in a profile object).

  1. First whitelist the fields in the config, for example:

    userModel: {
       whitelist: ['profile.fullname']
  2. Include the fields with registrations.

  3. To also fill in custom fields after social authentications use the superlogin.onCreate handler. Example:

    superlogin.onCreate(function(userDoc, provider) {
      if(userDoc.profile === undefined) {
        userDoc.profile = {};
      if(provider !== 'local') {
        const displayName = userDoc[provider].profile.displayName;
        if (displayName) {
          userDoc.profile.fullname = displayName;
      return Promise.resolve(userDoc);

Advanced Configuration

Take a look at config.example.js for a complete tour of all available configuration options. You'll find a lot of cool hidden features there that aren't documented here.

/config/default.config.js contains a list of default settings that will be assumed if you don't specify anything.


POST /register

Creates a new account with a username and password. Required fields are: username, email, password and confirmPassword. name is optional. Any additional fields you want to include need to be white listed under userModel in your config. See config.example.js for details.

If local.sendConfirmEmail is true, a confirmation email will be sent with a verify link. If local.requireEmailConfirm is true, the user will not be able to login until the confirmation is complete. If security.loginOnRegistration is true a session will be automatically created and sent as the response.

POST /login

Include username and password fields to authenticate and initiate a session. The field names can be customized in your config under local.usernameField and local.passwordField.

GET /confirm-email/{token}

This link is included in the confirmation email, and will mark the user as confirmed. If local.confirmEmailRedirectURL is specified in your config, it will redirect to that location with ?success=true if successful or error={error}&message={msg} if it failed. Otherwise it will generate a standard JSON response.

POST /refresh

Authentication token required. Extends the life of your current token and returns updated token information. The only field that will change is expires. Token life is configurable under security.sessionLife and is measured in seconds.

POST /logout

Authentication required. Logs out the current session and deauthorizes the token on all user databases.

POST /logout-others

Authentication required. Logs out and deauthorizes all user sessions except the current one.

POST /logout-all

Authentication required. Logs out every session the user has open and deauthorizes the user completely on all databases.

POST /forgot-password

Include email field to send the forgot password email containing a password reset token. The life of the token can be set under security.tokenLife (in seconds).

Have the email template redirect back to you're app where you're app presents U.I. to gather a new password and then POST to /password-reset with the forgot-password token and new password

POST /password-reset

Resets the password. Required fields: token, password, and confirmPassword.

POST /password-change

Authentication required. Changes the user's password or creates one if it doesn't exist. Required fields: newPassword, and confirmPassword. If the user already has a password set then currentPassword is required.

GET /validate-username/{username}

Checks a username to make sure it is correctly formed and not already in use. Responds with status 200 if successful, or status 409 if unsuccessful.

GET /validate-email/{email}

Checks an email to make sure it is valid and not already in use. Responds with status 200 if successful, or status 409 if unsuccessful.

POST /change-email

Authentication required. Changes the user's email. Required field: newEmail.

GET /session

Returns information on the current session if it is valid. Otherwise you will get a 401 unauthorized response.

GET /{provider}

Open this in a popup window to initiate authentication with Facebook, Google, etc. After authentication, the callback will call a javascript function on the parent window called superlogin.oauthSession which takes 3 arguments: error, session, and link. error explains anything that went wrong. session includes the same session object that is generated by /login. link simply contains the name of the provider that was successfully linked.

GET /link/{provider}?bearer_token={token:password}

This popup window is opened by a user that is already authenticated in order to link additional providers to the account.

There is a security concern here that the session token is exposed as a query parameter in the URL. While this is secure from interception under HTTPS, it can be stored in the user's browser history and your server logs. If you are concerned about this you can either force your user to log out the session after linking an account, or disable link functionality completely by setting security.disableLinkAccounts to true.

POST /unlink/{provider}

Authentication required. Removes the specified provider from the user's account. Local cannot be removed. If there is only one provider left it will fail.

POST /{provider}/token

This will invoke the client access_token strategy for the specified provider if you have registered it. You should include the access_token for the provider in the body of your request.

POST /link/{provider}/token

This will link additional providers to an already authenticated user using the client access_token strategy.

Event Emitter

SuperLogin also acts as an event emitter, which allows you to receive notifications when important things happen.


superlogin.on('login', function(userDoc, provider){
  console.log('User: ' + userDoc._id + ' logged in with ' + provider);

Here is a full list of the events that SuperLogin emits, and parameters provided:

  • signup: (userDoc, provider)
  • login: (newSession, provider)
  • refresh: (newSession)
  • signup: (userDoc, provider)
  • password-reset: (userDoc)
  • password-change: (userDoc)
  • forgot-password: (userDoc)
  • email-verified: (userDoc)
  • email-changed: (userDoc)
  • user-db-added: (dbName)
  • user-db-removed: (dbName)
  • logout: (user_id)
  • logout-all: (user_id)

Main API

new SuperLogin(config, passport, userDB, couchAuthDB)

Constructs a new instance of SuperLogin. All arguments are optional. If you don't supply any config object, default settings will be used for a local CouchDB instance in admin party mode. Emails will be logged to the console but not sent.

  • config: Your full configuration object.
  • passport: You can pass in your own instance of Passport or SuperLogin will generate one if you do not.
  • userDB: This is the database that SuperLogin uses to keep track of users, distinct from CouchDB's _users database. You can pass in a PouchDB instance here or otherwise specify your database name in the config under dbServer.userDB.
  • couchAuthDB: This should point to your CouchDB _users database or something else if you just want to test. Specify in config or pass in a PouchDB object here.

Returns: the complete SuperLogin API.


A reference to the configuration object. Use this to lookup and change configuration settings at runtime. key is a dot path string to the item you want to look up. For example 'emails.confirmEmail.subject'

  • superlogin.config.getItem(key)
  • superlogin.config.setItem(key, value)
  • superlogin.config.removeItem(key)

A reference to the Express Router that contains all of SuperLogin's routes.


A reference to Passport


A PouchDB instance that gives direct access to the SuperLogin users database


A PouchDB instance that gives direct access to the CouchDB authentication (_users) database. (Not used with Cloudant.)

superlogin.registerProvider(provider, configFunction)

Adds support for additional Passport strategies. See below under Adding Providers for more information.


Checks that a username is valid and not in use. Resolves with nothing if successful. Resolves with an error object in failed.


Checks that an email is valid and not in use. Resolves with nothing if successful. Resolves with an error object in failed.


The same as above, but for use when you are using email as the username. (local.emailUsername set to true.)


Fetches a user document by either username or email.

superlogin.createUser(form, req)

Creates a new local user with a username and password.

form requires the following: username, email, password, and confirmPassword. name is optional. Any additional fields must be whitelisted in your config under userModel or they will be removed.

req should contain protocol and to properly generate the confirmation email link. ip will be logged if given.


Use this to add as many functions as you want to transform the new user document before it is saved. Your function should accept two arguments (userDoc, provider) and return a Promise that resolves to the modified user document. onCreate functions will be chained in the order they were added.


Does the same thing as onCreate, but is called every time a user links a new provider, or their profile information is refreshed. This allows you to process profile information and, for example, create a master profile. If an object called profile exists inside the user doc it will be passed to the client along with session information at each login.

superlogin.socialAuth(provider, auth, profile, req)

Creates a new user following authentication from an OAuth provider. If the user already exists it will update the profile.

  • provider: the name of the provider in lowercase, (e.g. 'facebook')
  • auth: credentials supplied by the provider
  • profile: the profile supplied by the provider
  • req: used just to log the user's ip if supplied

Hashes a password using PBKDF2 and returns an object containing salt and derived_key.

superlogin.verifyPassword(hashObj, password)

Verifies a password using a hash object. If you have a user doc, pass in local as the hash object.

superlogin.createSession(user_id, provider, req)

Creates a new session for a user. provider is the name of the provider. (eg. 'local', 'facebook', twitter.) req is used to log the IP if provided.

superlogin.changePassword(user_id, password)

Changes the user's password.

superlogin.forgotPassword(email, req)

Sends out the forgot password email and issues a reset token.

superlogin.resetPassword(form, req)

Resets the user's password. Required fields are token (from the forgot password email), password, and confirmPassword.

superlogin.changeEmail(user_id, newEmail)

Changes the user's email. If email verification is enabled (local.sendConfirmEmail) then a new confirmation email will be sent out.

superlogin.verifyEmail(token, req)

Marks the user's email as verified. token comes from the confirmation email.

superlogin.addUserDB(user_id, dbName, type, designDoc, permissions)

Associates a new database with the user's account. Will also authenticate all existing sessions with the new database.

  • dbName: the name of the database. For a shared db, this is the actual path. For a private db userDBs.privatePrefix will be prepended, and ${user_id} appended. (required)
  • type: 'private' (default) or 'shared' (optional)
  • designDoc: the name of the designDoc (if any) that will be seeded. (optional)
  • permissions: an array of permissions for use with Cloudant. (optional)

If the optional fields are not specified they will be taken from userDBs.model.{dbName} or userDBs.model._default in your config.

superlogin.removeUserDB(user_id, dbName, deletePrivate, deleteShared)

Deauthorizes the specified database from the user's account, and optionally destroys it.

  • dbName: the full path for a shared db, or the base name for a private db
  • deletePrivate: when true, will destroy a db if it is marked as private
  • deleteShared: when true, will destroy a db if it is marked as shared. Caution: may destroy other users' data!
superlogin.logoutUser(user_id, session_id)

Logs out all of a user's sessions at once. If user_id is not specified SuperLogin will look it up from the session_id.


Logs out the specified session.


Logs out all of a user's sessions, except for the one specified.

superlogin.removeUser(user_id, destroyDBs)

Deletes a user, deauthorizes all the sessions, and optionally destroys all private databases if destroyDBs is true.

superlogin.confirmSession(token, password)

Logs out all of a user's sessions, except for the one specified.


Deauthorizes every single expired session found in the user database.

superlogin.sendEmail(templateName, email, locals)

Renders an email and sends it out. Server settings are specified under mailer in your config.

  • templateName: the name of a template object specified under emails in your config. See config.example.js for details.
  • email: the email address that the email
  • locals: local variables that will be passed into the ejs template to be rendered

Quits Redis if that is the session adapter you are using. This is useful for cleanup when your server shuts down.


Moved to



Last updated on 15 Jul 2017

Did you know?


Socket for GitHub automatically highlights issues in each pull request and monitors the health of all your open source dependencies. Discover the contents of your packages and block harmful activity before you install or update your dependencies.


Related posts

SocketSocket SOC 2 Logo


  • Package Alerts
  • Integrations
  • Docs
  • Pricing
  • FAQ
  • Roadmap


Stay in touch

Get open source security insights delivered straight into your inbox.

  • Terms
  • Privacy
  • Security

Made with ⚡️ by Socket Inc