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Authentication Client

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npm install feathers-authentication-client --save

Note: This is only compatibile with feathers-authentication@1.x and above.

The feathers-authentication-client module allows you to easily authenticate against a Feathers server. It is not required. It simply makes it easier to implement authentication in your client by automatically storing and sending the JWT access token and handling re-authenticating when a websocket disconnects.


This module contains:



Setup is done the same as all Feathers plugins, using the configure method:

import auth from 'feathers-authentication-client';

// Available options are listed in the "Default Options" section

The transports plugins must have been initialized previously to the authentication plugin on the client side

Default options

The following default options will be mixed in with the settings you pass in when configuring authentication. It will set the mixed options back to to the app so that they are available at any time by app.get('auth'). They can all be overridden.

  header: 'Authorization', // the default authorization header for REST
  path: '/authentication', // the server-side authentication service path
  jwtStrategy: 'jwt', // the name of the JWT authentication strategy 
  entity: 'user', // the entity you are authenticating (ie. a users)
  service: 'users', // the service to look up the entity
  cookie: 'feathers-jwt', // the name of the cookie to parse the JWT from when cookies are enabled server side
  storageKey: 'feathers-jwt', // the key to store the accessToken in localstorage or AsyncStorage on React Native
  storage: undefined // Passing a WebStorage-compatible object to enable automatic storage on the client.

To enable localStorage on the client, be sure to set storage: window.localStorage in the client options. You can also provide other WebStorage-compatible objects. Here are a couple of useful storage packages:

  • localForage helps deal with older browsers and browsers in Incognito / Private Browsing mode.
  • cookie-storage uses cookies. It can be useful devices that don't support localStorage.

Additional feathersClient methods

After configuring this plugin, the Feathers client will have a few additional methods:

feathersClient.authenticate(options) source

Authenticate with a Feathers server by passing a strategy and other properties as credentials. It will use whichever transport has been setup on the client (feathers-rest, feathers-socketio, or feathers-primus). Returns a Promise.

  strategy: 'jwt', 
  accessToken: '<the.jwt.token.string>'
  • data {Object} - of the format {strategy [, ...otherProps]}
    • strategy {String} - the name of the strategy to be used to authenticate. Required.
    • ...otherProps {Properties} vary depending on the chosen strategy. Above is an example of using the jwt strategy. Below is one for the local strategy.
  strategy: 'local',
  email: '',
  password: 'my-password'

When using feathers-socketio or feathers-primus, the WebSocket connection has to be authenticated by calling app.authenticate() in order to make requests using a stored accessToken.

app.authenticate().then(response => {
  /* make authenticated requests here */
  return response

feathersClient.logout() source

Removes the JWT accessToken from storage on the client. It also calls the remove method of the /authentication service on the Feathers server.

feathersClient.passport.getJWT() source

Pull the JWT from localstorage or the cookie. Returns a Promise.

feathersClient.passport.verifyJWT(token) source

Verify that a JWT is not expired and decode it to get the payload. Returns a Promise.

feathersClient.passport.payloadIsValid(token) source

Synchronously verify that a token has not expired. Returns a Boolean.


There are 3 hooks. They are really meant for internal use and you shouldn't need to worry about them very often.

  • populateAccessToken - Takes the token and puts in on hooks.params.accessToken in case you need it in one of your client side services or hooks
  • populateHeader - Add the accessToken to the authorization header
  • populateEntity - Experimental. Populate an entity based on the JWT payload.

Complete Example

Here's an example of a Feathers server that uses feathers-authentication-client.

const feathers = require('feathers/client');
const rest = require('feathers-rest/client');
const superagent = require('superagent');
const hooks = require('feathers-hooks');
const localStorage = require('localstorage-memory');
const auth = require('feathers-authentication-client');

const feathersClient = feathers();

  .configure(auth({ storage: localStorage }));

  strategy: 'local',
  email: '',
  password: 'admin'
.then(response => {
  console.log('Authenticated!', response);
  return feathersClient.passport.verifyJWT(response.accessToken);
.then(payload => {
  console.log('JWT Payload', payload);
  return feathersClient.service('users').get(payload.userId);
.then(user => {
  feathersClient.set('user', user);
  console.log('User', feathersClient.get('user'));
  console.error('Error authenticating!', error);

Handling the special re-authentication errors

In the event that your server goes down or the client loses connectivity, it will automatically handle attempting to re-authenticate the socket when the client regains connectivity with the server. In order to handle an authentication failure during automatic re-authentication you need to implement the following event listener:

const errorHandler = error => {
    strategy: 'local',
    email: '',
    password: 'admin'
  }).then(response => {
    // You are now authenticated again

// Handle when auth fails during a reconnect or a transport upgrade
app.on('reauthentication-error', errorHandler)

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