Quick Start

Install the plugin with composer from your CakePHP Project’s ROOT directory (where the composer.json file is located)

php composer.phar require cakephp/authentication

Load the plugin by adding the following statement in your project’s src/Application.php:

public function bootstrap()

Prior to 3.6.0:



Add the authentication to the middleware. See the CakePHP documentation on how to use middleware if you don’t know what it is or how to work with it.

Example of configuring the authentication middleware using authentication application hook:

use Authentication\AuthenticationService;
use Authentication\AuthenticationServiceProviderInterface;
use Authentication\Middleware\AuthenticationMiddleware;
use Psr\Http\Message\ResponseInterface;
use Psr\Http\Message\ServerRequestInterface;

class Application extends BaseApplication implements AuthenticationServiceProviderInterface

     * Returns a service provider instance.
     * @param \Psr\Http\Message\ServerRequestInterface $request Request
     * @param \Psr\Http\Message\ResponseInterface $response Response
     * @return \Authentication\AuthenticationServiceInterface
    public function getAuthenticationService(ServerRequestInterface $request, ResponseInterface $response)
        $service = new AuthenticationService();

        $fields = [
            'username' => 'email',
            'password' => 'password'

        // Load identifiers
        $service->loadIdentifier('Authentication.Password', compact('fields'));

        // Load the authenticators, you want session first
        $service->loadAuthenticator('Authentication.Form', [
            'fields' => $fields,
            'loginUrl' => '/users/login'

        return $service;

    public function middleware($middlewareQueue)
        // Various other middlewares for error handling, routing etc. added here.

        // Add the authentication middleware
        $authentication = new AuthenticationMiddleware($this);

        // Add the middleware to the middleware queue

        return $middlewareQueue;

If one of the configured authenticators was able to validate the credentials, the middleware will add the authentication service to the request object as an attribute. If you’re not yet familiar with request attributes check the PSR7 documentation.

Using Stateless Authenticators with other Authenticators

When using HttpBasic or HttpDigest with other authenticators, you should remember that these authenticators will halt the request when authentication credentials are missing or invalid. This is necessary as these authenticators must send specific challenge headers in the response. If you want to combine HttpBasic or HttpDigest with other authenticators, you may want to configure these authenticators as the last authenticators:

use Authentication\AuthenticationService;

// Instantiate the service
$service = new AuthenticationService();

// Load identifiers
$service->loadIdentifier('Authentication.Password', [
    'fields' => [
        'username' => 'email',
        'password' => 'password'

// Load the authenticators leaving Basic as the last one.

Authentication Component

You can use the AuthenticationComponent to access the result of authentication, get user identity and logout user. Load the component in your AppController::initialize() like any other component:

$this->loadComponent('Authentication.Authentication', [
    'logoutRedirect' => '/users/login'  // Default is false

Once loaded, the AuthenticationComponent will require that all actions have an authenticated user present, but perform no other access control checks. You can disable this check for specific actions using allowUnauthenticated():

// In your controller's beforeFilter method.

Accessing the user / identity data

You can get the authenticated identity data using the authentication component:

$user = $this->Authentication->getIdentity();

You can also get the identity directly from the request instance:

$user = $request->getAttribute('identity');

Checking the login status

You can check if the authentication process was successful by accessing the result object:

// Using Authentication component
$result = $this->Authentication->getResult();

// Using request object
$result = $request->getAttribute('authentication')->getResult();

if ($result->isValid()) {
    $user = $request->getAttribute('identity');
} else {

The result sets objects status returned from getStatus() will match one of these these constants in the Result object:

  • ResultInterface::SUCCESS, when successful.
  • ResultInterface::FAILURE_IDENTITY_NOT_FOUND, when identity could not be found.
  • ResultInterface::FAILURE_CREDENTIALS_INVALID, when credentials are invalid.
  • ResultInterface::FAILURE_CREDENTIALS_MISSING, when credentials are missing in the request.
  • ResultInterface::FAILURE_OTHER, on any other kind of failure.

The error array returned by getErrors() contains additional information coming from the specific system against which the authentication attempt was made. For example LDAP or OAuth would put errors specific to their implementation in here for easier logging and debugging the cause. But most of the included authenticators don’t put anything in here.

Clearing the identity / logging the user out

To log an identity out just do:


If you have set the loginRedirect config, Authentication::logout() will return that value else will return false. It won’t perform any actual redirection in either case.

Alternatively, instead of the component you can also use the request instance to log out:

$return = $request->getAttribute('authentication')->clearIdentity($request, $response);

The debug will show you an array like this:

    'response' => object(Cake\Http\Response) { ... },
    'request' => object(Cake\Http\ServerRequest) { ... }


This will return an array containing the request and response objects. Since both are immutable you’ll get new objects back. Depending on your context you’re working in you’ll have to use these instances from now on if you want to continue to work with the modified response and request objects.