Published on

Add a Authentication Header to your Python Flask App


We will write a simple Python Flask application that requires authentication in order to respond with a 200 HTTP Status code.

Python Flask Application:

Our Python Flask application will require the Header x-api-key dhuejso2dj3d0 in the HTTP Request, to give us a 200 HTTP Status code, if not, we will respond with a 401 Unauthorized Response:

from flask import Flask, request, jsonify

app = Flask(__name__)

def index():
    headers = request.headers
    auth = headers.get("X-Api-Key")
    if auth == 'asoidewfoef':
        return jsonify({"message": "OK: Authorized"}), 200
        return jsonify({"message": "ERROR: Unauthorized"}), 401

if __name__ == '__main__':

To get the headers, you can use headers.get("X-Api-Key") or headers["X-Api-Key"]

Create a virtual environment, install flask and run the app:

virtualenv .venv
source .venv/bin/activate

 * Serving Flask app "app" (lazy loading)
 * Environment: production
   WARNING: Do not use the development server in a production environment.
   Use a production WSGI server instead.
 * Debug mode: off
 * Running on (Press CTRL+C to quit)

Requests to our App:

Let's first make a request with no headers, which should then give us a 401 Unautorhized response:

curl -i http://localhost:5000

Content-Type: application/json
Content-Length: 33
Server: Werkzeug/0.14.1 Python/3.6.5
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2018 07:26:25 GMT

{"message":"ERROR: Unauthorized"}

Now let's include the authentication token in our headers. If the string is the same as the one in the code, we should see a 200 HTTP Response:

curl -i -H 'x-api-key: asoidewfoef' http://localhost:5000

HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Content-Type: application/json
Content-Length: 29
Server: Werkzeug/0.14.1 Python/3.6.5
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2018 07:27:03 GMT

{"message":"OK: Authorized"}


From a best practice, its not a good decision to hard code sensitive details in your code, but rather read that from an encrypted database and store that in your applications environment variables, and let your application read from the environment variables, something like that :D