Quick start


Installing Flask-Multipass is very easy. Using pip:

$ pip install Flask-Multipass


To start with Multipass, create your Flask application, load your preferred configuration file (more on configuration further in this guide) and create the Multipass object by passing it the application. Multipass is also using Flask’s session object so make sure you have your secret key set on the Flask app.

from flask import Flask
from flask_multipass import Multipass

app = Flask(__name__)
app.secret_key = 'my super secret key'
multipass = Multipass(app)

If you happen to have more than one application (or you’re using an application factory) you can also use init_app :

apps = Flask('app1'), Flask('app2')
multipass = Multipass()
for app in apps:


The following configuration values exist for Flask-Multipass:

MULTIPASS_AUTH_PROVIDERS Dictionary of authentication providers
MULTIPASS_IDENTITY_PROVIDERS Dictionary of identification providers
MULTIPASS_PROVIDER_MAP Mapping of authentication providers to identification providers
MULTIPASS_IDENTITY_INFO_KEYS Keys used for identification
MULTIPASS_LOGIN_SELECTOR_TEMPLATE Template with selection of login providers
MULTIPASS_LOGIN_FORM_TEMPLATE Template with login form
MULTIPASS_LOGIN_ENDPOINT Endpoint linking to login page
MULTIPASS_SUCCESS_ENDPOINT Endpoint linking to default page after successful login
MULTIPASS_FAILURE_MESSAGE Message to show after unsuccessful login
MULTIPASS_FAILURE_CATEGORY Category of message when flashing after unsuccessful login
MULTIPASS_ALL_MATCHING_IDENTITIES If true, all matching identities are passed after successful authentication
MULTIPASS_REQUIRE_IDENTITY If true, IdentityRetrievalFailed is raised when no matching identities are found, otherwise empty list is passed

A configuration example can be found here: Configuration example


Providers are objects that take care of the authentication of users (AuthProvider) or assigning identity information like name, email, address etc. to users (IdentityProvider).

These providers objects can be either local (implemented by you) or external - from a website allowing use of their authentication on custom applications e.g. GitHub, Facebook etc. Most of the times you will want to use an existing external provider, however this guide also shows how to easily implement your own local providers.

You can of course use both local and external providers in the same application with Multipass.

External providers


Using external providers with Multipass is very easy. First, you need to specify some configuration details for each external provider in the Multipass configuration.

In the following example we use GitHub as external provider. By specifying 'type': 'authlib' we link it to AuthlibAuthProvider and AuthlibIdentityProvider classes. Another type you can use for external provider is 'type': 'shibboleth' for ShibbolethAuthProvider and ShibbolethIdentityProvider.

Although using one of the two providers is probably the most common case, you can also write your own class for any desired external provider. You can check out the base classes for Authentication Providers and Identity Providers to get an idea how to implement your own class.

Here is a code example from our configuration file example.cfg that we load before initializing Multipass:

    'github': {
        'type': 'authlib',
        'title': 'GitHub',
        'authlib_args': {
            'client_id': '',  # put your client id here
            'client_secret': '',  # put your client secret here
            'client_kwargs': {'scope': 'user:email'},
            'authorize_url': 'https://github.com/login/oauth/authorize',
            'access_token_url': 'https://github.com/login/oauth/access_token',
            'userinfo_endpoint': 'https://api.github.com/user',

    'github': {
        'type': 'authlib',
        'identifier_field': 'id',
        'mapping': {
            'user_name': 'login',
            'affiliation': 'company'

An important thing to notice here is that we are assigning the 'identifier_field' to the name of the field containing unique user identifier of the external provider. In this GitHub example it’s 'id'. This 'identifier_field' is used to connect the identity to the user, so make sure you assign it to the right unique field.

The next thing to notice is the mapping of fields from our application to those of the provider. In this example we map 'user_name' that we use in our application to the 'login' field used in GitHub.

Also make sure to connect the authentication provider to the identity provider in the provider mapping.

    'github': 'github'

In this example we only have one provider but if you have more than one provider you need to pass a template file to MULTIPASS_LOGIN_SELECTOR_TEMPLATE. In this template users should choose which provider they want to log in with.


This configuration option can be added to the configuration file you use to initialize your Flask application. (as shown in Initialization). However, you can configure Multipass also directly through application object. For example:

app.config['MULTIPASS_LOGIN_SELECTOR_TEMPLATE'] =  'login_selector.html'

External provider login

The easiest way to handle the login operation is to specify the login URLs you’re using in the app’s configuration. For example:

MULTIPASS_LOGIN_URLS = {'/my_login/', '/my_login/<provider>'}

(By default, values '/login/' and '/login/<provider>' are set for MULTIPASS_LOGIN_URLS so if those suit your application there’s no need to change them.)

Multipass then binds the process_login method to these URLs upon initialization of Multipass.

However, if you wish to execute some additional code before, make MULTIPASS_LOGIN_URLS empty, handle the login request yourself and then call process_login on your Multipass object:

@app.route('/my_login/', methods=('GET', 'POST'))
@app.route('/my_login/<provider>', methods=('GET', 'POST'))
def login(provider=None):
    # Your additional code
    return multipass.process_login(provider)

When calling process_login with the provider name as an argument the initiate_external_login on the provider gets called and redirects user to the provider’s site to perform login. (In case of local provider _login_form gets called, see: Local provider login.) If provider is not specified the process_login redirects to a login selection template specified in configuration as MULTIPASS_LOGIN_SELECTOR_TEMPLATE.

Identity handler

After a successful authentication response is received from initiate_external_login, the handle_auth_success method gets called.

handle_auth_success then collects the identities linked to the user and stores the name of the provider that was used to login as '_multipass_login_provider' in session. It will be used when logging out.

Then, the method registered via the '@multipass.identity_handler' decorator is called with one, or a list of IdentityInfo objects as an argument. (Depending on whether MULTIPASS_ALL_MATCHING_IDENTITIES is set in the configuration).

Here is an example of a possible identity_handler method:

def identity_handler(identity_info):
    identity = Identity.query.filter_by(provider=identity_info.provider.name,
    if not identity:
        user = User.query.filter_by(email=identity_info.data['email']).first()
    if not user:
        data = identity_info.data
        user = User(id=data['id'], user_name=data['user_name'], email=data['email'], affiliation=data['affiliation'])
        identity = Identity(provider=identity_info.provider.name, identifier=identity_info.identifier)
        user = identity.user
        session['user_id'] = user.id

First, we search through the table of identities for a matching IdentityInfo.identifier (passed as an argument). If a matching identity is not found, we check if there is already such a user in the database, we create a new user if needed and assign a new identity to that user object. Then, we save the user object (new or matched) in the Flask session.

If multipass.identity_handler decorated method doesn’t return anything, handle_auth_success returns redirect_success which redirects to URL stored in session as '_multipass_next_url'.

External provider logout

multipass.logout should be called by your application upon logout request, passing it the url to redirect to after logout and optionally a flag to clear the session.

def logout():
    return multipass.logout(url_for('index'), clear_session=True)

The logout method then calls process_logout on provider which name was stored in session as '_multipass_login_provider' upon login.

In the process_logout method the provider can implement some provider-specific actions such as sending a logout notification to the provider or redirecting to a SSO logout page. The return_url from argument can be passed further if the external provider allows to specify the URL to redirect to after logging out.

Notice that in our example we are using AuthlibAuthProvider which has no process_logout method implemented. Therefore we are passing 'true' for clear_session to remove 'user_id' that we saved in session earlier and log out the user in this way.

If there is no provider specified in '_multipass_login_provider' the logout method redirects straight to the return_url

Local providers


This section shows an example of a configuration for an application using a local provider. If you wish to use both external and local providers, don’t hesitate to specify both local and external providers in the same configuration and just follow our guide also on External providers

In this example 'test_auth_provider' is a dummy local authentication provider, it’s linked to the 'test_identity_provider' as specified in MULTIPASS_PROVIDER_MAP. Specifying 'type' as 'static' links those providers to our StaticAuthProvider and StaticIdentityProvider example classes (More on those classes later).

In the identities setting of 'test_auth_provider' we specify key-value pairs of username (Pig) and password (pig123), those are used for authentication by Multipass. In this example, the usernames are used as unique identifier for users. In identities settings of 'test_identity_provider' we assign info keys dictionary to usernames. We also need to specify these keys in MULTIPASS_IDENTITY_INFO_KEYS.

    'test_auth_provider': {
        'type': 'static',
        'title': 'Insecure dummy auth',
        'identities': {
            'Pig': 'pig123',
            'Bunny': 'bunny123'

    'test_identity_provider': {
        'type': 'static',
        'identities': {
            'Pig': {'email': 'guinea.pig@example.com', 'name': 'Guinea Pig', 'affiliation': 'Pig University'},
            'Bunny': {'email': 'bugs.bunny@example.com', 'name': 'Bugs Bunny', 'affiliation': 'Bunny Inc.'}
        'groups': {
            'Admins': ['Pig'],
            'Everybody': ['Pig', 'Bunny'],

    'test_auth_provider': 'test_identity_provider'

MULTIPASS_IDENTITY_INFO_KEYS = ['email', 'name', 'affiliation']

We also need to specify the template with a login form for our provider:


Implementing providers

Let’s create our authentication provider class, which should inherit from AuthProvider. We should also specify the login form class (which inherits from FlaskForm) which we use for the login operation of this provider.

class StaticLoginForm(FlaskForm):
    username = StringField('Username', [DataRequired()])
    password = PasswordField('Password', [DataRequired()])

class StaticAuthProvider(AuthProvider):
    login_form = StaticLoginForm

Local provider login

The process of handling URLs for login is the same as with external providers, therefore please check the External provider login part of this guide.

The only difference is that multipass.process_login calls the method _login_form which renders a template specified in MULTIPASS_LOGIN_FORM_TEMPLATE with the login_form specified in the authentication provider class.

Once the form is submitted, the method process_local_login of the authentication provider class is called. In this method you have to implement your authentication logic.

You should raise MultipassException in case of failed validation. If the validation was successful, the AuthInfo object should be created and passed to multipass.handle_auth_success. Below is the process_local_login method from our example provider StaticAuthProvider:

def process_local_login(self, data):
    username = data['username']
    password = self.settings['identities'].get(username)
    if password is None:
    raise AuthenticationFailed('No such user')
    if password != data['password']:
        raise AuthenticationFailed('Invalid password.')
    auth_info = AuthInfo(self, username=data['username'])
    return self.multipass.handle_auth_success(auth_info)


The next step after successful authentication is assigning an identity to the user. That’s a job for an identity provider so let’s have a look how to implement one.

Your identity provider should inherit from the IdentityProvider base class. The most important method it has to implement is get_identity_from_auth, which accepts AuthInfo object as an argument and returns the corresponding identity (object of IdentityInfo) based on an identifier.

In our example we search the 'identities' dictionary that we specified in configuration and look for the identity with a matching identifier ('username' in our case).

class StaticIdentityProvider(IdentityProvider):

    def get_identity_from_auth(self, auth_info):
    identifier = auth_info.data['username']
    user = self.settings['identities'].get(identifier)
    if user is None:
        return None
    return IdentityInfo(self, identifier, **user)

Other methods that should be implemented to ensure the full Multipass functionality can be found further in this guide. See Identities and Groups

Now let’s get back to the identification process. Once handle_auth_success is called, it collects the identities linked to the user using the get_identity_from_auth method we just mentioned. Once identities are successfully collected, the method registered via the '@multipass.identity_handler' decorator is called. A method with this decorator must be implemented in your application. Check the Identity handler part of this documentation for more info.

Failed authentication

In case the authentication was unsuccessful, and MultipassException was raised, handle_auth_error flashes the MULTIPASS_FAILURE_MESSAGE and if the redirect_to_login argument is set, it redirects to MULTIPASS_LOGIN_ENDPOINT

Local provider logout

The process of logging out local providers is the same as with external providers. Please check the External provider logout part of this guide.


To retrieve an IdentityInfo object, your IdentityProvider must implement the get_identity method. Example from StaticIdentityProvider:

def get_identity(self, identifier):
    user = self.settings['identities'].get(identifier)
    if user is None:
        return None
    return IdentityInfo(self, identifier, **user)

The same applies for searching identities. There you accept a criteria dictionary as a filter for your search. Example from StaticIdentityProvider:

def search_identities(self, criteria, exact=False):
    for identifier, user in self.settings['identities'].items():
        for key, values in criteria.items():
            user_value = user.get(key)
            user_values = set(user_value) if isinstance(user_value, (tuple, list)) else {user_value}
            if not any(user_values):
            elif exact and not user_values & set(values):
            elif not exact and not any(sv in uv for sv, uv in itertools.product(values, user_values)):
            yield IdentityInfo(self, identifier, **user)

Once implemented on your IdentityProvider, you can also use method search_identities on a Multipass object which will search among all the providers and yield all the identity_info matching the criteria specified in the argument.

criteria['name'] = 'Guinea Pig'
criteria['email'] = 'guinea.pig@example.com'
results = list(multipass.search_identities(exact=False, **criteria))


Providers can divide users into groups. This is usually based on the access rights and competences of users, for example: whether they are admins, content managers, regular users, etc. These groups should be specified in the configuration settings of the identity provider. Example from our 'test_identity_provider':

    'test_identity_provider': {
    'type': 'static',
    'identities': {
        'Pig': {'email': 'guinea.pig@example.com', 'name': 'Guinea Pig'},
        'Bunny': {'email': 'bugs.bunny@example.com', 'name': 'Bugs Bunny'}
    'groups': {
        'Admins': ['Pig'],
        'Everybody': ['Pig', 'Bunny'],

The provider’s group class must inherit from the base class Group. If the group should support members, methods get_members (returning iterable of IdentityInfo of the group members) and has_member must be implemented. Example from our StaticGroup:

class StaticGroup(Group):
    """A group from the static identity provider"""

    supports_member_list = True

    def get_members(self):
    members = self.provider.settings['groups'][self.name]
    for username in members:
            yield self.provider._get_identity(username)

    def has_member(self, identifier):
    return identifier in self.provider.settings['groups'][self.name]

In your IdentityProvider class you must specify the group class as group_class and the flag supports_groups must be set.

class StaticIdentityProvider(IdentityProvider):
    supports_groups = True
    group_class = StaticGroup

Group objects can be accessed through get_group method which has to be implemented in your IdentityProvider. Example from StaticIdentityProvider:

def get_group(self, name):
    if name not in self.settings['groups']:
        return None
    return self.group_class(self, name)

However, you can also instantiate the Group object by passing it the IdentityProvider and specifying the name

provider = StaticIdentityProvider(multipass, 'test', settings)
group = StaticGroup(provider, 'Admins')

To search groups you can use search_groups of Multipass object by passing the name of the group. But you still need to implement your own search_groups method in IdentityProvider

groups = list(multipass.search_groups('Admins'))

Example of search_groups in our StaticIdentityProvider:

def search_groups(self, name, exact=False):
    compare = operator.eq if exact else operator.contains
    for group_name in self.settings['groups']:
        if compare(group_name, name):
            yield self.group_class(self, group_name)

Another useful method is is_identity_in_group which allows you to check whether the user belongs to a certain group.

if multipass.is_identity_in_group('test_identity_provider', 'Pig', 'Admins'):