RESTful Authentication Pattern for the Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP)

Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (httpauth WG)
Author Nicolás Williams 
Last updated 2014-02-15 (latest revision 2013-08-14)
Replaces draft-httpauth-rest-auth
Stream Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
Expired & archived
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Stream WG state WG Document
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IESG IESG state Expired
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This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


This document proposes a "RESTful" pattern of authentication for HTTP/1.0, 1.1, and 2.0. The goal is to make it easy to add authentication mechanisms to HTTP applications and to make it easy to implement them even without much help from the HTTP stack (though it is best to integrate authentication into the stack, of course). Another goal is to make it easy to reuse existing authentication mechanisms by allowing the user (that is, the server's operators) to choose what concrete authentication mechanism(s) to use. Among other benefits of RESTauth: it is orthogonal to "HTTP routers" and proxies, it results in session Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) that can be DELETEd to logout, naturally supports multi-legged authentication schemes, naturally supports clustering, and can be universally implemented on the server side with such server<->application interfaces as the Common Gateway Interface (CGI) and FastCGI, among others.


Nicolás Williams (

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