3.6. Authentication and Authorization

3.6.1. Server Administrators

[admins]

Changed in version 3.0.0: CouchDB requires an admin account to start. If an admin account has not been created, CouchDB will print an error message and terminate.

CouchDB server administrators and passwords are not stored in the _users database, but in the last [admins] section that CouchDB finds when loading its ini files. See :config:intro for details on config file order and behaviour. This file (which could be something like etc/local.ini or etc/local.d/10-admins.ini on a Debian/Ubuntu system installed from packages) should be appropriately secured and readable only by system administrators:

[admins]
;admin = mysecretpassword
admin = -hashed-6d3c30241ba0aaa4e16c6ea99224f915687ed8cd,7f4a3e05e0cbc6f48a0035e3508eef90
architect = -pbkdf2-43ecbd256a70a3a2f7de40d2374b6c3002918834,921a12f74df0c1052b3e562a23cd227f,10000

Administrators can be added directly to the [admins] section, and when CouchDB is restarted, the passwords will be salted and encrypted. You may also use the HTTP interface to create administrator accounts; this way, you don’t need to restart CouchDB, and there’s no need to temporarily store or transmit passwords in plaintext. The HTTP /_node/{node-name}/_config/admins endpoint supports querying, deleting or creating new admin accounts:

GET /_node/nonode@nohost/_config/admins HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/json
Host: localhost:5984
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Cache-Control: must-revalidate
Content-Length: 196
Content-Type: application/json
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 11:37:18 GMT
Server: CouchDB (Erlang/OTP)
{
    "admin": "-hashed-6d3c30241ba0aaa4e16c6ea99224f915687ed8cd,7f4a3e05e0cbc6f48a0035e3508eef90",
    "architect": "-pbkdf2-43ecbd256a70a3a2f7de40d2374b6c3002918834,921a12f74df0c1052b3e562a23cd227f,10000"
}

If you already have a salted, encrypted password string (for example, from an old ini file, or from a different CouchDB server), then you can store the “raw” encrypted string, without having CouchDB doubly encrypt it.

PUT /_node/nonode@nohost/_config/admins/architect?raw=true HTTP/1.1
Accept: application/json
Content-Type: application/json
Content-Length: 89
Host: localhost:5984

"-pbkdf2-43ecbd256a70a3a2f7de40d2374b6c3002918834,921a12f74df0c1052b3e562a23cd227f,10000"
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Cache-Control: must-revalidate
Content-Length: 89
Content-Type: application/json
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 11:39:18 GMT
Server: CouchDB (Erlang/OTP)

"-pbkdf2-43ecbd256a70a3a2f7de40d2374b6c3002918834,921a12f74df0c1052b3e562a23cd227f,10000"

Further details are available in security, including configuring the work factor for PBKDF2, and the algorithm itself at PBKDF2 (RFC-2898).

Changed in version 1.4: PBKDF2 server-side hashed salted password support added, now as a synchronous call for the _config/admins API.

3.6.2. Authentication Configuration

[chttpd]
require_valid_user

When this option is set to true, no requests are allowed from anonymous users. Everyone must be authenticated.

[chttpd]
require_valid_user = false
require_valid_user_except_for_up

When this option is set to true, no requests are allowed from anonymous users, except for the /_up endpoint. Everyone else must be authenticated.

[chttpd]
require_valid_user_except_for_up = false
[couch_httpd_auth]
allow_persistent_cookies

When set to true, CouchDB will set the Max-Age and Expires attributes on the cookie, which causes user agents (like browsers) to preserve the cookie over restarts.

[couch_httpd_auth]
allow_persistent_cookies = true
cookie_domain

New in version 2.1.1.

Configures the domain attribute of the AuthSession cookie. By default the domain attribute is empty, resulting in the cookie being set on CouchDB’s domain.

[couch_httpd_auth]
cookie_domain = example.com
same_site

New in version 3.0.0.

When this option is set to a non-empty value, a SameSite attribute is added to the AuthSession cookie. Valid values are none, lax or strict.:

[couch_httpd_auth]
same_site = strict
auth_cache_size

Number of User Context Object to cache in memory, to reduce disk lookups.

[couch_httpd_auth]
auth_cache_size = 50
authentication_redirect

Specifies the location for redirection on successful authentication if a text/html response is accepted by the client (via an Accept header).

[couch_httpd_auth]
authentication_redirect = /_utils/session.html
iterations

New in version 1.3.

The number of iterations for password hashing by the PBKDF2 algorithm. A higher number provides better hash durability, but comes at a cost in performance for each request that requires authentication.

[couch_httpd_auth]
iterations = 10000
min_iterations

New in version 1.6.

The minimum number of iterations allowed for passwords hashed by the PBKDF2 algorithm. Any user with fewer iterations is forbidden.

[couch_httpd_auth]
min_iterations = 100
max_iterations

New in version 1.6.

The maximum number of iterations allowed for passwords hashed by the PBKDF2 algorithm. Any user with greater iterations is forbidden.

[couch_httpd_auth]
max_iterations = 100000
proxy_use_secret

When this option is set to true, the couch_httpd_auth/secret option is required for Proxy Authentication.

[couch_httpd_auth]
proxy_use_secret = false
public_fields

New in version 1.4.

A comma-separated list of field names in user documents (in couchdb/users_db_suffix) that can be read by any user. If unset or not specified, authenticated users can only retrieve their own document.

[couch_httpd_auth]
public_fields = first_name, last_name, contacts, url

Note

Using the public_fields whitelist for user document properties requires setting the couch_httpd_auth/users_db_public option to true (the latter option has no other purpose):

[couch_httpd_auth]
users_db_public = true
require_valid_user

When this option is set to true, no requests are allowed from anonymous users. Everyone must be authenticated.

[couch_httpd_auth]
require_valid_user = false
secret

The secret token is used for Proxy Authentication and for Cookie Authentication.

[couch_httpd_auth]
secret = 92de07df7e7a3fe14808cef90a7cc0d91
timeout

Number of seconds since the last request before sessions will be expired.

[couch_httpd_auth]
timeout = 600
users_db_public

New in version 1.4.

Allow all users to view user documents. By default, only admins may browse all users documents, while users may browse only their own document.

[couch_httpd_auth]
users_db_public = false
x_auth_roles

The HTTP header name (X-Auth-CouchDB-Roles by default) that contains the list of a user’s roles, separated by a comma. Used for Proxy Authentication.

[couch_httpd_auth]
x_auth_roles = X-Auth-CouchDB-Roles
x_auth_token

The HTTP header name (X-Auth-CouchDB-Token by default) containing the token used to authenticate the authorization. This token is an HMAC-SHA1 created from the couch_httpd_auth/secret and couch_httpd_auth/x_auth_username. The secret key should be the same on the client and the CouchDB node. This token is optional if the value of the couch_httpd_auth/proxy_use_secret option is not true. Used for Proxy Authentication.

[couch_httpd_auth]
x_auth_token = X-Auth-CouchDB-Token
x_auth_username

The HTTP header name (X-Auth-CouchDB-UserName by default) containing the username. Used for Proxy Authentication.

[couch_httpd_auth]
x_auth_username = X-Auth-CouchDB-UserName
[jwt_auth]
required_claims

This parameter is a comma-separated list of additional mandatory JWT claims that must be present in any presented JWT token. A :code 400:Bad Request is sent if any are missing.

[jwt_auth]
    required_claims = exp,iat