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Programming language: Elixir
License: MIT License
Latest version: v0.0.4

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Used to add hot code reloading to a project, preventing the need to stop, recompile, and start your application to see your changes.


defmodule MyRouter do
  use Plug.Router

  plug Sugar.Plugs.HotCodeReload

  plug :match
  plug :dispatch

  # Rest of router definition


Used to ensure that a user is currently logged on before proceeding through a Plug pipeline. This is designed first and foremost for Sugar, but it can hypothetically work with any plug-based app (emphasis on "hypothetically").


In your router.ex:

defmodule MyApp.Router do
  use Sugar.Router

  plug :put_secret_key_base
  plug Plug.Session,
    store: :cookie,
    key: "_my_app_session",
    encryption_salt: "encryption salt",
    signing_salt: "signing salt",
    key_length: 64

  def put_secret_key_base(conn, _) do
    base = "some 64 character random string"
    put_in conn.secret_key_base, base

  # ...


You'll also want a controller to present a login page and authenticate a user (and possibly act on conn.params["return_to"]; see below).


Add this to a controller you want authentication on:

defmodule MyApp.Controllers.Foo do
  use Sugar.Controller

  plug Sugar.Plugs.EnsureAuthenticated

  # ...


If your controller has some actions that don't need authentication, then you can use plug Sugar.Plugs.EnsureAuthenticated, except: [:foo, :bar]. Likewise, if your controller's actions mostly don't require authentication, you can use plug Sugar.Plugs.EnsureAuthenticated, only: [:baz, :bat]. Only specify one or the other (:only should take precedence in the event that both are used).


Sugar.Plugs.EnsureAuthenticated defaults to expect the following:

  • You have an Ecto repo at MyApp.Repos.Main
  • You have a User model at MyApp.Models.User
  • Users should be directed to your app's /login route if they're not currently logged in

The first two can be overridden by calling the plug as plug Sugar.Plugs.EnsureAuthenticated, repo: My.Custom.Repo, model: My.Custom.Model (should be self-explanatory). The third can't be changed quite yet (TODO: add that configuration option), at least not without implementing a custom handler (see below).

:return_to (:origin or an explicit URL)

One can provide a :return_to option, which adds a query parameter (named return_to by default) to signal to a login page where the user should be redirected to after logging in. The most automatic approach would be to set this to :origin, like so:

plug Sugar.Plugs.EnsureAuthenticated, return_to: :origin

The above reads the connection's original path and sets conn.params["return_to"] automatically.

Custom Handler

By default, Sugar.Plugs.EnsureAuthenticated uses a built-in handler to check for authentication. This handler is pretty minimal in terms of what it does:

  • Checks to see if the controller action being run actually requires authentication (by checking conn.private.action for an action name); if not, then continues without doing anything else.
  • Checks to see if there's a "user_id" session key (if not, then redirects to "/login")
  • Fetches a %MyApp.Models.User{} (or the struct for whatever model you've configured) from MyApp.Repos.Main (or whatever repo you've configured); if it can't find a user, then redirects to "/login"
  • Assigns the found user to the connection's :current_user (for use by other plugs, namely Canary), then continues on the pipeline

If you need to implement custom functionality (for example, if you're not using Sugar-compatible controllers, or if you're not using Ecto models), you can call plug Sugar.Plugs.EnsureAuthenticated, handler: {MyApp.Auth.Handler, :verify} (where MyApp.Auth.Handler is a module and :verify is the name of a function in that module; you could also do handler: MyApp.Auth.Handler, in which case the :verify function will be called).

In order to work, the handler must accept both a %Plug.Conn{} (i.e. a conn variable, like in a typical plug) and a Map containing the options passed to EnsureAuthenticated. From here, you can implement whatever checks you need to perform.

To Do

  • Allow more things to be customized without having to implement a custom handler
  • Move default values from hard-coded to config.exs-based configuration