Micronaut Basic Auth

Learn how to secure a Micronaut application using 'Basic' HTTP Authentication Scheme.

Authors: Sergio del Amo

Micronaut Version: 3.2.7

1. Getting Started

In this guide, we will create a Micronaut application written in Java and secure it with HTTP Basic Auth.

RFC7617 defines the "Basic" Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) authentication scheme, which transmits credentials as user-id/password pairs, encoded using Base64.

2. What you will need

To complete this guide, you will need the following:

  • Some time on your hands

  • A decent text editor or IDE

  • JDK 1.8 or greater installed with JAVA_HOME configured appropriately

3. Solution

We recommend that you follow the instructions in the next sections and create the application step by step. However, you can go right to the completed example.

4. Writing the Application

Create an application using the Micronaut Command Line Interface or with Micronaut Launch.

mn create-app --features=security,reactor,graalvm example.micronaut.micronautguide --build=maven --lang=java
If you don’t specify the --build argument, Gradle is used as the build tool.
If you don’t specify the --lang argument, Java is used as the language.

If you use Micronaut Launch, select "Micronaut Application" as application type and add the security, reactor, and graalvm features.

The previous command creates a Micronaut application with the default package example.micronaut in a directory named micronautguide.

If you have an existing Micronaut application and want to add the functionality described here, you can view the dependency and configuration changes from the specified features and apply those changes to your application.

4.1. Enable annotation Processing

If you use Java or Kotlin and IntelliJ IDEA, make sure to enable annotation processing.

annotationprocessorsintellij

4.2. Authentication Provider

To keep this guide simple, create a naive AuthenticationProvider to simulate user’s authentication.

src/main/java/example/micronaut/AuthenticationProviderUserPassword.java
package example.micronaut;

import io.micronaut.core.annotation.Nullable;
import io.micronaut.http.HttpRequest;
import io.micronaut.security.authentication.AuthenticationProvider;
import io.micronaut.security.authentication.AuthenticationRequest;
import io.micronaut.security.authentication.AuthenticationResponse;
import jakarta.inject.Singleton;
import org.reactivestreams.Publisher;
import reactor.core.publisher.Flux;
import reactor.core.publisher.FluxSink;

@Singleton (1)
public class AuthenticationProviderUserPassword implements AuthenticationProvider  { (2)

    @Override
    public Publisher<AuthenticationResponse> authenticate(@Nullable HttpRequest<?> httpRequest,
                                                          AuthenticationRequest<?, ?> authenticationRequest) {
        return Flux.create(emitter -> {
            if ( authenticationRequest.getIdentity().equals("sherlock") &&
                    authenticationRequest.getSecret().equals("password") ) {
                emitter.next(AuthenticationResponse.success((String) authenticationRequest.getIdentity()));
                emitter.complete();
            } else {
                emitter.error(AuthenticationResponse.exception());
            }
        }, FluxSink.OverflowStrategy.ERROR);
    }
}
1 Use jakarta.inject.Singleton to designate a class as a singleton.
2 A Micronaut Authentication Provider implements the interface io.micronaut.security.authentication.AuthenticationProvider

4.3. Controllers

Create HomeController which resolves the base URL /:

src/main/java/example/micronaut/HomeController.java
package example.micronaut;

import io.micronaut.http.MediaType;
import io.micronaut.http.annotation.Controller;
import io.micronaut.http.annotation.Get;
import io.micronaut.http.annotation.Produces;
import io.micronaut.security.annotation.Secured;
import io.micronaut.security.rules.SecurityRule;

import java.security.Principal;

@Secured(SecurityRule.IS_AUTHENTICATED) (1)
@Controller  (2)
public class HomeController {

    @Produces(MediaType.TEXT_PLAIN)
    @Get  (3)
    String index(Principal principal) {  (4)
        return principal.getName();
    }
}
1 Annotate with io.micronaut.security.Secured to configure secured access. The isAuthenticated() expression will allow access only to authenticated users.
2 Annotate with io.micronaut.http.annotation.Controller to designate the class as a Micronaut controller.
3 You can specify the HTTP verb that a controller action responds to. To respond to a GET request, use the io.micronaut.http.annotation.Get annotation.
4 If a user is authenticated, the Micronaut framework will bind the user object to an argument of type java.security.Principal (if present).

4.4. WWW-Authenticate

Replace the default Exception Handler for AuthorizationExceptionHandler, the exception raised when a request is not authorized.

src/main/java/example/micronaut/DefaultAuthorizationExceptionHandlerReplacement.java
package example.micronaut;

import io.micronaut.context.annotation.Replaces;
import io.micronaut.http.HttpRequest;
import io.micronaut.http.HttpResponse;
import io.micronaut.http.MutableHttpResponse;
import io.micronaut.security.authentication.AuthorizationException;
import io.micronaut.security.authentication.DefaultAuthorizationExceptionHandler;
import jakarta.inject.Singleton;

import static io.micronaut.http.HttpHeaders.WWW_AUTHENTICATE;
import static io.micronaut.http.HttpStatus.FORBIDDEN;
import static io.micronaut.http.HttpStatus.UNAUTHORIZED;

@Singleton (1)
@Replaces(DefaultAuthorizationExceptionHandler.class) (2)
public class DefaultAuthorizationExceptionHandlerReplacement extends DefaultAuthorizationExceptionHandler {

    @Override
    protected MutableHttpResponse<?> httpResponseWithStatus(HttpRequest request,
                                                            AuthorizationException e) {
        if (e.isForbidden()) {
            return HttpResponse.status(FORBIDDEN);
        }
        return HttpResponse.status(UNAUTHORIZED)
                .header(WWW_AUTHENTICATE, "Basic realm=\"Micronaut Guide\"");
    }
}

The previous code adds the WWW-Authenticate header to indicate the authentication scheme.

1 Use jakarta.inject.Singleton to designate a class as a singleton.
2 Specify that DefaultAuthorizationExceptionHandlerReplacement replaces the bean DefaultAuthorizationExceptionHandler

4.5. Tests

Create a test to verify the user authentication flow via Basic Auth.

src/test/java/example/micronaut/BasicAuthTest.java
package example.micronaut;

import io.micronaut.http.HttpRequest;
import io.micronaut.http.HttpResponse;
import io.micronaut.http.client.HttpClient;
import io.micronaut.http.client.annotation.Client;
import io.micronaut.http.client.exceptions.HttpClientResponseException;
import io.micronaut.test.extensions.junit5.annotation.MicronautTest;
import jakarta.inject.Inject;
import org.junit.jupiter.api.Test;
import org.junit.jupiter.api.function.Executable;

import static io.micronaut.http.HttpStatus.OK;
import static io.micronaut.http.HttpStatus.UNAUTHORIZED;
import static io.micronaut.http.MediaType.TEXT_PLAIN;
import static org.junit.jupiter.api.Assertions.assertEquals;
import static org.junit.jupiter.api.Assertions.assertThrows;
import static org.junit.jupiter.api.Assertions.assertTrue;

@MicronautTest (1)
public class BasicAuthTest {

    @Inject
    @Client("/")
    HttpClient client; (2)

    @Test
    void verifyHttpBasicAuthWorks() {
        //when: 'Accessing a secured URL without authenticating'
        Executable e = () -> client.toBlocking().exchange(HttpRequest.GET("/").accept(TEXT_PLAIN)); (3)

        // then: 'returns unauthorized'
        HttpClientResponseException thrown = assertThrows(HttpClientResponseException.class, e); (4)
        assertEquals(UNAUTHORIZED, thrown.getStatus());

        assertTrue(thrown.getResponse().getHeaders().contains("WWW-Authenticate"));
        assertEquals("Basic realm=\"Micronaut Guide\"", thrown.getResponse().getHeaders().get("WWW-Authenticate"));

        //when: 'A secured URL is accessed with Basic Auth'
        HttpResponse<String> rsp = client.toBlocking().exchange(HttpRequest.GET("/")
                        .accept(TEXT_PLAIN)
                        .basicAuth("sherlock", "password"), (5)
                String.class); (6)
        //then: 'the endpoint can be accessed'
        assertEquals(OK, rsp.getStatus());
        assertEquals("sherlock", rsp.getBody().get()); (7)
    }
}
1 Annotate the class with @MicronautTest so the Micronaut framework will initialize the application context and the embedded server. More info.
2 Inject the HttpClient bean and point it to the embedded server.
3 Creating HTTP Requests is easy thanks to the Micronaut framework fluid API.
4 If you attempt to access a secured endpoint without authentication, 401 is returned
5 By using basicAuth method, you populate the Authorization header with user-id:password pairs, encoded using Base64.
6 The Micronaut HttpClient simplifies parsing the HTTP response payload to Java objects. In this example, we parse the response to String.
7 Use .body() to retrieve the parsed payload.

4.6. Use the Micronaut HTTP Client and Basic Auth

If you want to access a secured endpoint, you can also use a Micronaut HTTP Client and supply the Basic Auth as the Authorization header value.

First create a @Client with a method home which accepts an Authorization HTTP Header.

src/test/java/example/micronaut/AppClient.java
package example.micronaut;

import io.micronaut.http.annotation.Consumes;
import io.micronaut.http.annotation.Get;
import io.micronaut.http.annotation.Header;
import io.micronaut.http.client.annotation.Client;

import static io.micronaut.http.MediaType.TEXT_PLAIN;

@Client("/")
public interface AppClient {

    @Consumes(TEXT_PLAIN) (1)
    @Get
    String home(@Header String authorization); (2)
}
1 The method consumes plain text, so the Micronaut framework includes the HTTP Header Accept: text/plain.
2 The first character of the parameter name is capitalized and that value (Authorization) is used as the HTTP Header name. To change the parameter name, specify the @Header annotation value.

Create a test which uses the previous @Client

src/test/java/example/micronaut/BasicAuthClientTest.java
package example.micronaut;

import io.micronaut.test.extensions.junit5.annotation.MicronautTest;
import jakarta.inject.Inject;
import org.junit.jupiter.api.Test;

import java.util.Base64;

import static org.junit.jupiter.api.Assertions.assertEquals;

@MicronautTest (1)
public class BasicAuthClientTest {

    @Inject
    AppClient appClient; (2)

    @Test
    void verifyBasicAuthWorks() {
        String credsEncoded = Base64.getEncoder().encodeToString("sherlock:password".getBytes());
        String rsp = appClient.home("Basic " + credsEncoded); (3)
        assertEquals("sherlock", rsp);
    }
}
1 Annotate the class with @MicronautTest so the Micronaut framework will initialize the application context and the embedded server. More info.
2 Inject the AppClient bean.
3 Generate Basic Auth header value and pass it as the parameter value.

5. Testing the Application

To run the tests:

./mvnw test

6. Running the Application

To run the application, use the ./mvnw mn:run command which starts the application on port 8080.

To test the running application, issue a GET request to localhost:8080 with a Basic Authentication header. One way to do this is with curl:

curl -v -u sherlock:password localhost:8080

If you open http://localhost:8080 in a browser, a login dialog pops up due to the WWW-Authenticate header.

7. Generate a Micronaut Application Native Image with GraalVM

We will use GraalVM, the polyglot embeddable virtual machine, to generate a native image of our Micronaut application.

Compiling native images ahead of time with GraalVM improves startup time and reduces the memory footprint of JVM-based applications.

Only Java and Kotlin projects support using GraalVM’s native-image tool. Groovy relies heavily on reflection, which is only partially supported by GraalVM.

7.1. Native image generation

The easiest way to install GraalVM on Linux or Mac is to use SDKMan.io.

Java 11
$ sdk install java 21.3.0.r11-grl
If you still use Java 8, use the JDK11 version of GraalVM.
Java 17
$ sdk install java 21.3.0.r17-grl

For installation on Windows, or for manual installation on Linux or Mac, see the GraalVM Getting Started documentation.

After installing GraalVM, install the native-image component, which is not installed by default:

gu install native-image

To generate a native image using Maven, run:

./mvnw package -Dpackaging=native-image

The native image is created in the target directory and can be run with target/application.

You can invoke the controller exposed by the native image:

curl "http://localhost:8080" -u 'sherlock:password'

8. Next steps

See the Micronaut security documentation to learn more.

9. Help with the Micronaut Framework

Object Computing, Inc. (OCI) sponsored the creation of this Guide. A variety of consulting and support services are available.