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Authentication solution for Express

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Lockit is an authentication solution for Express. Check out the demo.

It consists of multiple single purpose modules:

Table of contents


  1. Create new Express app.

  1. Install Lockit and sessions via npm.

npm install && npm install lockit cookie-session --save
  1. Use
    in your Express
  var cookieSession = require('cookie-session');
  var Lockit = require('lockit');
  var lockit = new Lockit();

... app.use(cookieSession({ secret: 'my super secret String' })); app.use(lockit.router);

  1. Go to localhost:3000/signup

By default Lockit uses an in-memory SQLite database. So you don't have to set up any db. Lockit will just work. Check out the default example.

For production use a persistent data store!

Full installation

  1. Install and require

npm install lockit --save
  var config = require('./config.js');
  var Lockit = require('lockit');

var app = express();

// express middleware // ... // sessions are required app.use(cookieParser()); app.use(cookieSession({ secret: 'your secret here' }));

var lockit = new Lockit(config);


// you now have all the routes like /login, /signup, etc. // and you can listen on events. For example 'signup' lockit.on('signup', function(user, res) { console.log('a new user signed up'); res.send('Welcome!'); // set signup.handleResponse to 'false' for this to work });

  1. Add styles

Views are built with bootstrap. You can use your own ones though! Use Bootstrap CDN and add the following line to your

  link(rel='stylesheet', href='//')
  1. Install database adapter

npm install lockit-[DB]-adapter
can be

| Database | Command | | --- | --- | | CouchDB |

npm install lockit-couchdb-adapter
| | MongoDB |
npm install lockit-mongodb-adapter
| | SQL (PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB or SQLite) |
npm install lockit-sql-adapter

If you use a SQL database you also have to install the connector.

  npm install pg       # for postgres
  npm install mysql    # for mysql
  npm install sqlite3  # for sqlite
  npm install mariasql # for mariasql


You need a

somewhere in your app.

Database connection

Add the database connection string to your

// database settings for CouchDB
exports.db = '';        // connection string for database

// or if you want to use MongoDB // exports.db = { // url: 'mongodb://', // name: 'test', // collection: 'users' // collection name for MongoDB // };

// PostgreSQL // exports.db = { // url: 'postgres://', // name: 'users', // collection: 'my_user_table' // table name for SQL databases // };

// MySQL // exports.db = { // url: 'mysql://', // name: 'users', // collection: 'my_user_table' // };

// SQLite // exports.db = { // url: 'sqlite://', // name: ':memory:', // collection: 'my_user_table' // };

Sending emails

By default the email service is stubbed and no emails are sent. That means that you won't receive any signup and password reset tokens. You have to look them up in your database and call the routes manually (e.g.

). To send emails you need an email server and you have to change the settings in your
  • emailType
    - usually
  • emailSettings
    - see nodemailer for more information

With mailgun you can send up to 10,000 emails per month for free.

exports.emailType = 'nodemailer-smtp-transport';
exports.emailSettings = {
  service: 'Mailgun',
  auth: {
    user: '[email protected]',
    pass: 'secret-password'

Custom views

Lockit comes with built-in views which are based on Bootstrap. If you want to use your own custom views you can. It is dead simple.

Put them into your

folder, for example
. Then edit your
and set the path to your custom view.
exports.login = {
  route: '/login',
  logoutRoute: '/logout',
  views: {
    login: 'lockit/myLogin.jade',
    loggedOut: 'lockit/myLogoutSuccess.jade'

The only thing you have to keep in mind is the structure. The

view, for example, needs a form element with two input fields. The
has to be
should point to your
. The input fields have to have the names
. If something went wrong during the login process you'll get an
variable that you can use in your template.

Here is a minimalistic example for an alternative

extend /layout

block content h1 Login form(action="/login", method="POST") div label(for="login") Email or Username input(type="text", id="login", name="login", placeholder="Your email or username") div label(for="password") Password input(type="password", id="password", name="password", placeholder="Your password") if error p #{error} input(type="submit", value="Login")

For more information about each view see the

folder inside the different repositories. Make sure your view extends
which is different to your normal views. They extend
without the slash. This is required to find the view.


Lockit emits the most important events for user authentication. Those are

  • signup
  • login
  • logout
  • delete

You can use these events to intercept requests and implement some custom logic, like getting the gravatar before sending a response to the client.


A new user signed up. The callback function has two arguments.

  • user
    is an object and contains information about the new user, like
  • res
    is the standard Express.js
    object with methods like
    . If you've set
    Lockit will not handle the response for you. You therefore have to send the response back to the client manually or otherwise it will wait forever.
lockit.on('signup', function(user, res) {
  // ...

A user logged in. Callback function this time has three arguments.

  • user
    is again the JSON object containing info about that particular user.
  • res
    is the normal Express.js response object with all properties and methods.
  • target
    is the redirect target route after a successful login, i.e.
lockit.on('login', function(user, res, target) {
  // ...

A user forgot the password and an email has been sent. Callback function has two arguments.

  • user
    is again the JSON object containing info about that particular user.
  • res
    is the normal Express.js response object with all properties and methods.
lockit.on('forgot::sent', function(user, res) {
  // ...

User has created a new password. Callback function has two arguments.

  • user
    is again the JSON object containing info about that particular user.
  • res
    is the normal Express.js response object with all properties and methods.
lockit.on('forgot::success', function(user, res) {
  // ...

A user logged out. Same as above without the

lockit.on('logout', function(user, res) {
  // ...

A user deleted an account. Same callback as above.

lockit.on('delete', function(user, res) {
  // ...


In a single page application (SPA) all routing and template rendering is done on the client. Before version 0.5.0 Lockit caught relevant routes, like

, and did the entire rendering on the server.

Starting with version 0.5.0 you're able to use Lockit as a REST API and communicate via JSON. All you have to do is set
in your
. = {
  // set starting page for single page app
  index: 'public/index.html',

// use view engine (render()) or send static file (sendfile()) useViewEngine: false }

With REST enabled all default routes get a

prefix so you can catch
on the client. To allow for true page refreshes (i.e. user is at
and refreshes the page) all routes on the server, like
, send the
view to the client. From there your SPA has to take over.

Here is a short example how the process works.

  1. User sends GET request for
  2. Server has a route handler for this request and sends
  3. Client router takes over and renders
  4. User enters credentials and submits the form
  5. Client controller catches submit and sends POST via AJAX request to
  6. Server handles POST request and validates user credentials
  7. Server sends status code
    or some JSON with error message
  8. Client reacts to JSON from server and redirects on success or shows error

I've built a simple example using AngularJS on the client side.

Sample config

If you want to go crazy and customize all the things you can:

// name for subject and email content
exports.appname = 'lockit - Test App';

// url for proper link generation exports.url = 'http://localhost:3000';

// email settings (same as nodemailer) exports.emailType = 'nodemailer-stub-transport'; exports.emailSettings = { service: 'none', auth: { user: 'none', pass: 'none' } };

// whenever a library uses request under the hood (like nano in lockit-couchdb-adapter) // the following values will be used exports.request_defaults = { // proxy: 'http://someproxy' };

// email template from npm exports.emailTemplate = 'lockit-template-blank';

// render views or json for single page apps = false;

// or if you want to use rest // = { // // // set starting page for single page app // index: 'public/index.html', // // // use view engine (render()) or send static file (sendfile()) // useViewEngine: false // // }

// signup settings exports.signup = { route: '/signup', tokenExpiration: '1 day', views: { signup: '', // input fields 'name', 'email' and 'password' | local variable 'error' | POST /'signup.route' linkExpired: '', // message link has expired | input field 'email' | POST /'signup.route'/resend-verification verified: '', // message email is now verified and maybe link to /'login.route' signedUp: '', // message email has been sent => check your inbox resend: '' // input field 'email' | local variable 'error' | POST /'signup.route'/resend-verification }, handleResponse: true // let lockit handle the response after signup success };

// login settings exports.login = { route: '/login', logoutRoute: '/logout', views: { login: '', // input fields 'login' and 'password' | POST /'login.route' | local variable 'error' loggedOut: '' // message that user logged out }, handleResponse: true // let lockit handle the response after login/logout success };

// forgot password settings exports.forgotPassword = { route: '/forgot-password', tokenExpiration: '1 day', views: { forgotPassword: '', // input field 'email' | POST /'forgotPassword.route' | local variable 'error' newPassword: '', // input field 'password' | POST /'forgotPassword.route'/#{token} | local variable 'error' changedPassword: '',// message that password has been changed successfully linkExpired: '', // message that link has expired and maybe link to /'forgotPassword.route' sentEmail: '' // message that email with token has been sent } };

// delete account settings exports.deleteAccount = { route: '/delete-account', views: { remove: '', // input fields 'name', 'phrase', 'password' | POST /'deleteAccount.route' | local variable 'error' removed: '' // message that account has been deleted }, handleResponse: true // let lockit handle the response after delete account success };

// lock account // show warning after three failed login attempts exports.failedLoginsWarning = 3; // lock account after five failed login attempts exports.failedLoginAttempts = 5; // lock account for 20 minutes exports.accountLockedTime = '20 minutes';

// public email address of your app exports.emailFrom = '[email protected]';

// email signup template exports.emailSignup = { subject: 'Welcome to ', text: [ '


', 'Welcome to .', '

to complete your registration.

' ].join(''), linkText: 'Click here' };

// email already taken template exports.emailSignupTaken = { subject: 'Email already registered', text: [ '


', 'you or someone else tried to sign up for .', '

Your email is already registered and you cannot sign up twice.', ' If you haven't tried to sign up, you can safely ignore this email. Everything is fine!

', '

The Team

' ].join('') };

// resend signup template exports.emailResendVerification = { subject: 'Complete your registration', text: [ '


', 'here is the link again. to complete your registration.', '

The Team

' ].join(''), linkText: 'Click here' };

// forgot password template exports.emailForgotPassword = { subject: 'Reset your password', text: [ '


', ' to reset your password.', '

The Team

' ].join(''), linkText: 'Click here' };


  • responsive html email template: lockit-template-blank
  • support for wide range of databases out of the box
  • email address verification
  • account locking after too many failed login attempts
  • verification link expiration
  • failed login tracking
  • /login redirection when user is unauthorized
  • password hash generation with bcrypt
  • unit tests for all modules
  • serves proper HTML views or only JSON
  • events for most important happenings
  • implementation of lots of best pratices

Routes included

From lockit-signup

  • GET /signup
  • POST /signup
  • GET /signup/:token
  • GET /signup/resend-verification
  • POST /signup/resend-verification

From lockit-login

  • GET /login
  • POST /login
  • POST /login/two-factor
  • GET /logout

From lockit-forgot-password

  • GET /forgot-password
  • POST /forgot-password
  • GET /forgot-password/:token
  • POST /forgot-password/:token

From lockit-delete-account

  • GET /delete-account
  • POST /delete-account





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