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IndieAuth

5 Avg. Rating
500 Installs
Tested with WordPress 5.8.1

by IndieWebCamp WordPress Outreach Club.

IndieAuth is a way to allow users to use their own domain to sign into other websites and services.

The plugin turns WordPress into an IndieAuth endpoint. This can be used to act as an authentication mechanism for WordPress and its REST API, as well as an identity mechanism for other sites. It uses the URL from the profile page to identify the blog user or your author url. We recommend your site be served over https to use this.

You can also install this plugin to enable web sign-in for your site using your domain.

  1. Upload the indieauth directory to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress
  3. That’s it

What is IndieAuth?

IndieAuth is a way for doing Web sign-in, where you use your own homepage or author post URL( usually /author/authorname ) to sign in to other places. It is built on top of OAuth 2.0, which is used by many websites.

Why IndieAuth?

IndieAuth is an extension to OAuth. If you are a developer, you have probably used OAuth to get access to APIs. As a user, if you have given an application access to your account on a service, you probably used OAuth. One advantage of IndieAuth is how easily it allows everyone’s website to be their own OAuth Server without needing applications to register with each site.

How is IndieAuth different from OAuth?

IndieAuth was built on top of OAuth 2.0 and differs in that users and clients are represented by URLs. Clients can verify the identity of a user and obtain an OAuth 2.0 Bearer token that can be used to access user resources.

You can read the specification for implementation details.

How is Web Sign In different from OpenID?

The goals of OpenID and Web Sign In are similar. Both encourage you to sign in to a website using your own domain name. However, OpenID has failed to gain wide adoption. Web sign-in prompts a user to enter a URL to sign on. Upon submission, it tries to discover the URL’s authorization endpoint, and authenticate to that. If none is found, it falls back on other options.

This plugin only supports searching an external site for an authorization endpoint, allowing you to log into one site with the credentials of another site. This functionality may be split off in future into its own plugin.

What is IndieAuth.com?

Indieauth.com is the reference implementation of the IndieAuth Protocol. If you activate this plugin you do not need to use this site. IndieAuth.com uses rel-me links on your website to determine your identity for authentication, but this is not required to use this plugin which uses your WordPress login to verify your identity.

How does the application know my name and avatar?

As of version 3.2, the endpoints return the display name, avatar, and URL from your user profile.

Does this require each user to have their own unique domain name?

No. When you provide the URL of the WordPress site and authenticate to WordPress, it will return the URL of your author profile as your unique URL. Only one user may use the URL of the site itself.
This setting is set in the plugin settings page, or if there is only a single user, it will default to them.

How do I authenticate myself to an Indieauth server?

That, as mentioned, depends on the server. By default, the built-in IndieAuth server uses the WordPress login.

By adding Indieauth support, you can log into sites simply by providing your URL.

How secure is this?

We recommend your site uses HTTPS to ensure your credentials are not sent in cleartext. As of Version 3.3, this plugin supports Proof Key for Code Exchange(PKCE), if the client supports it.

What is a token endpoint?

Once you have proven your identity, the token endpoint issues a token, which applications can use to authenticate as you to your site. The plugin supports you using an external token endpoint if you want, but by having it built into your WordPress site, it is under your control.

You can manage and revoke tokens under User->Manage Tokens if you are using the local configuration only. You will only see tokens for the currently logged in user.

How do I incorporate this into my plugin?

The WordPress function, get_current_user_id works to retrieve the current user ID if logged in via IndieAuth. The plugin offers the following functions to assist you in using IndieAuth for your service. We suggest you check on activation for the IndieAuth plugin by asking if ( class_exists( 'IndieAuth_Plugin') )

  • indieauth_get_scopes() – Retrieves an array of scopes for the auth request.
  • indieauth_check_scope( $scope ) – Checks if the provided scope is in the current available scopes
  • indieauth_get_response() – Returns the entire IndieAuth token response
  • indieauth_get_client_id() – Returns the client ID
  • indieauth_get_me() – Return the me property for the current session.
  • new IndieAuth_Client_Discovery( $client_id ) – Class that allows you to discover information about a client
    • $client->get_name() – Once the class is instantiated, retrieve the name
    • $client->get_icon() – Once the class is instantiated, retrieve an icon

If any of these return null, the value was not set, and IndieAuth is not being used. Scopes and user permissions are not enforced by the IndieAuth plugin and must be enforced by whatever is using them. The plugin does contain a list of permission descriptions to display when authorizing, but this is solely to aid the user in understanding what the scope is for.

The scope description can be customized with the filter indieauth_scope_description( $description, $scope )

What if I just want to use the REST API without OAuth exchange?

The plugin allows you to generate a token under User->Manage Tokens with access. You can provide this to an application manually.

I keep getting the response that my request is Unauthorized

Many server configurations will not pass bearer tokens. The plugin attempts to work with this as best possible, but there may be cases we have not encountered. The first step is to try running the diagnostic script linked to in the settings page. It will tell you whether tokens can be passed.

Temporarily enable WP_DEBUG which will surface some errors in your logs.

If you feel comfortable with command line entries, you can request a token under Users->Manage Tokens and use curl or similar to test logins. Replace example.com with your site and TOKEN with your bearer token.

curl -i -H 'Authorization: Bearer TOKEN' 'https://example.com/wp-json/indieauth/1.0/test
curl -i -H 'Authorization: Bearer test' 'https://tiny.n9n.us/wp-json/indieauth/1.0/test?access_token=TOKEN'

This will quickly test your ability to authenticate to the server. Additional diagnostic tools may be available in future.

If this does not work, you can add define( 'INDIEAUTH_TOKEN_ERROR', true ); to your wp-config.php file. The INDIEAUTH_TOKEN_ERROR flag will return an error if there is not a token passed allowing you to troubleshoot this issue, however it will require authentication for all REST API functions even those that do not require them, therefore this is off by default.

If your Micropub client includes an Authorization HTTP request header but you still get an HTTP 401 response with body missing access token, your server may be stripping the Authorization header. If you’re on Apache, try adding this line to your .htaccess file:

SetEnvIf Authorization "(.*)" HTTP_AUTHORIZATION=$1

If you are not running the latest version of WordPress, try this line. It is added automatically as of 5.6:

RewriteRule .* - [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization}]

You can also try:

CGIPassAuth On

If that doesn’t work either, you may need to ask your hosting provider to whitelist the Authorization header for your account. If they refuse, you can pass it through Apache with an alternate name. The plugin searches for the header in REDIRECT_HTTP_AUTHORIZATION, as some FastCGI implementations store the header in this location.

I get an error that parameter redirect_uri is missing but I see it in the URL

Some hosting providers filter this out using mod_security. For one user, they needed Rule 340162 whitelisted as it detects the use of a URL as an argument.

What is Ticket Auth and how do I enable it?

Ticket Auth is a developing extension to OAuth2/IndieAuth. It creates a ticket endpoint on your site where other sites can send you a ticket, which can be redeemed
for a token to access private resources on that other site. You can enable the experimental endpoint functionality by adding the below to your wp-config.php. If this becomes more established, it will be added
in the settings page.

define( ‘INDIEAUTH_TICKET_ENDPOINT’, true );

At this time, the functionality is limited to the receiving of tickets, not the sending of same. It enables a new tab under the User called Manage External Tokens, which allows you to see which external tokens
are stored. Tokens are stored per user.

Since the extension is developing, there is currently not a specified way to transfer this token to a client to be used.

Project and support maintained on github at indieweb/wordpress-indieauth.

4.1.1

  • Fix issue where class from ticket auth was being called even though ticket auth was not enabled.

4.1.0

  • Add experimental ticket auth endpoint
  • Bug fix on endpoint discovery discovered during ticket auth development
  • Introduce Token Introspection Endpoint as per proposal to integrate RFC7662. For now, will exist concurrently with the older token verification response until it is deprecated.
  • Ensure profile responses are returned when appropriate.
  • Misc Bug Fixes discovered in unit testing
  • Updating of settings configuration
  • Improved default for user who gets to identify as root of site.
  • Introduce Refresh Token Functionality
  • Create was not pre-checked in new selections when offered as an option.

4.0.0

  • Add default expiry time.
  • Ensure tokens expire at their proper time.
  • Cleanup related to expiry

3.6.2

  • Fix missing argument, props @chee
  • Fix issue with new sanitization, props @akirk
  • Fix issue with improperly encoded HTML in JSON
  • Switch test token to mirror length of real token to properly test servers who may use mod_security.

3.6.1

  • Clean up template pages in order to remove HTML from i18n strings.

3.6.0

  • Adopt changes to the living spec as of the November 26, 2020 version.
  • Drop explicit support for response_type=id. Endpoint will convert to type code for backcompat until further notice.
  • Change experimental profile return behavior to match newly documented behavior in spec.
  • Support profile and email scopes, to be handled within this plugin.
  • Add additional code comments
  • Remove unique URL code as looking for user URLs is no longer supported
  • Add UUID to tokens as used in the WP5.6 Application Password feature.
  • Add Last IP Accessed to storage as used in the WP5.6 Application Password feature.

3.5.1

  • Make Site Health More Explicit
  • Update scope descriptions
  • Adjust scope capabilities to be more consistent

3.5.0

  • Restore ability to use a remote endpoint but keep this feature hidden for now.
  • Add load function and config setting in order to load the files appropriate for your configuration
  • Create Authorization plugin base class that can be used to create different IndieAuth configurations
  • Add Site Health Check for SSL and Unique Users
  • Create local and remote classes that can be instantiated depending on configuration

3.4.2

  • Repair issue with other flow caused by function name issue

3.4.1

  • Add setting to set the user who will be using the site URL as their URL as opposed to their author URL which removes dependency on Indieweb plugin for this.

3.4.0

  • Enforce unique URLs for user accounts
  • Add user url to user table
  • Redo association for URL to user account. At this time, only the root path and the author archive URLs are allowed as a return. Hoping to add more options in future
  • Add Site Health Check
  • Improve text and links for authorization failure

3.3.2

  • Add new diagnostic script that will nag you until you run it at least once
  • Add cache control headers on return from endpoint
  • Verifying the token at the token endpoint did not use REDIRECT_HTTP_AUTHORIZATION now added
  • Add header check to settings page
  • Add option to generate tokens on the backend with any scope
  • Add option to bulk expire tokens
  • Add cleanup option

3.3.1

  • Add definition of profile scope
  • Improve documentation in README

3.3

  • Switch to SHA256 hashing from built in salted hash used by WordPress passwords
  • Add PKCE Support

3.2

  • Only add headers to front page and author archive pages
  • Return basic profile data in returns so the client can display the name and avatar of the user

3.1.11

  • Fix issue with silent conversion when not array
  • Add client name and icon automatically on setting token

3.1.10

  • Fixed PHP notice with icon determination
  • Silently convert requests for the post scope to the create update scope
  • Update tagline

3.1.9

  • Fixed PHP warnings

3.1.8

  • When local verification is performed the code was not updating the profile URL and passing through the URL from the original request. This code was in the remote verification portion of the token endpoint and is now mirrored in the verify local code.

3.1.7

  • Add authdiag.php script written by @Zegnat

3.1.6

  • Add ability to generate a token on the backend
  • Added a test endpoint that tests whether the authentication provider for the REST API is working and tries to return useful errors

3.1.5

  • Add Client Information Discovery to search for names and icon for clients
  • Add icon and client name to Manage Token page
  • Add action to refresh icon and other information in the Manage Token interface

3.1.4

  • Rearrange token logic so that if a token is provided the system will fail if it is invalid
  • Add last accessed field to token and add that to token management table

3.1.3

  • Allow selection of scopes and add stock descriptions
  • Update Manage Token Page to use WP_List_Table

3.1.2

  • Fix issue with scope encoding
  • Fix issue where function returned differently than parent function

3.1.1

  • Fixed PHP error with version < PHP 5.4

3.1.0

  • Fixed state param handling

3.0.4

  • Fixed admin settings

3.0.3

  • Verify user ID directly from the token endpoint rather than mapping URL.
  • Display $me parameter instead of user_url on authenticate screen
  • Remove deprecated functions and parameters

3.0.2

  • Automatically rewrite local URLs to https if the local site is site to SSL

3.0.1

  • In previous version fixed issue where error message was not returned if there was a missing bearer token. This was needed due fact that some servers filter tokens. However, this meant that it would do this for all API requests, even ones not requiring authentication such as webmentions. Reverted change with flag
  • Added constant INDIEAUTH_TOKEN_ERROR which if set to true will return an error if it cannot find a token.

3.0.0

  • Major refactor to abstract out and improve token generation code
  • Set one cookie with the state instead of multiple cookies.
  • Store other parameters as a transient
  • Remove extra settings

2.1.1

  • Bug Fix

2.1.0

  • Refactor to change load order
  • Textual fix
  • Add defaults when core functions not yet enabled
  • Rework of the admin-interface

2.0.3

  • Add improved getallheaders polyfill
  • Check for missing cookie
  • Check for alternate authorization location

2.0.2

  • If using local endpoint verify token locally without making remote call
  • Add filters for scope and response so they can be accessed elsewhere
  • urlencode state as some encode information into state that was being lost
  • Switch from failure to warning message for different domains for redirect
  • Hide token endpoint management page if local endpoint not enabled

2.0.1

  • Improve error handling if null endpoint sent through
  • Adjust cookie to GMT
  • Add whitepace to form

2.0.0

  • Support author profiles in addition to user URLs
  • Change token verification method to match current Indieauth specification
  • Add support for token verification to act as a WordPress authentication mechanism.
  • Add ability to set any token or authorization endpoint
  • Add authorization and token endpoint headers to the site
  • Discover and use authorization endpoint for provided URL when logging in
  • Allow login using URL
  • Add built-in token endpoint ( props to @aaronpk for support on this )
  • Add built-in authorization endpoint ( props to @aaronpk for support on this )
  • Hide option to login with your domain by default
  • Option to sign into your domain is now a separate form
  • Automatically add trailing slash to user_url

1.1.3

  • update README

1.1.2

  • fixed redirect URL

1.1.1

  • WordPress coding style

1.1.0

  • fixed critical bug

1.0.0

  • initial