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Authentication can either be sessionless (requiring validation on every request), or session-persistent (only requiring validation once, and then checks against a session signed-cookie/header).


To use session-persistent authentication you will also need to use Session Middleware.

To setup and use authentication in Pode you need to use the New-PodeAuthScheme and Add-PodeAuth functions.



The New-PodeAuthScheme function allows you to create and configure authentication schemes, or you can create your own Custom authentication schemes. These schemes can then be piped into Add-PodeAuth. The role of a scheme is to parse the request for any user credentials, or other information, that is required for a user to be authenticated.

The following schemes are supported:

Or you can define a custom scheme:


The Add-PodeAuth function allows you to add authentication validators to your server. You can have many methods configured, defining which one to validate against using the -Authentication parameter on Routes. Their job is to validate the information parsed from the supplied scheme to ensure a user is valid.

An example of using Add-PodeAuth for Basic sessionless authentication is as follows:

Start-PodeServer {
    New-PodeAuthScheme -Basic | Add-PodeAuth -Name 'Login' -Sessionless -ScriptBlock {
        param($username, $pass)
        # logic to check user
        return @{ 'user' = $user }

The -Name of the authentication method must be unique. The -Scheme comes from the object returned via the New-PodeAuthScheme function, and can also be piped in.

The -ScriptBlock is used to validate a user, checking if they exist and the password is correct (or checking if they exist in some data store). If the ScriptBlock succeeds, then a User object needs to be returned from the script as @{ User = $user }. If $null, or a null user, is returned then the script is assumed to have failed - meaning the user will have failed authentication, and a 401 response is returned.

Custom Status and Headers

When authenticating a user in Pode, any failures will return a 401 response with a generic message. You can inform Pode to return a custom message/status from Add-PodeAuth by returning the relevant hashtable values.

You can return a custom status code as follows:

New-PodeAuthScheme -Basic | Add-PodeAuth -Name 'Login' -Sessionless -ScriptBlock {
    return @{ Code = 403 }

or a custom message (the status description) as follows, which can be used with a custom status code or on its own:

New-PodeAuthScheme -Basic | Add-PodeAuth -Name 'Login' -Sessionless -ScriptBlock {
    return @{ Message = 'Custom authentication failed message' }

You can also set custom headers on the response; these will be set regardless if authentication fails or succeeds:

New-PodeAuthScheme -Basic | Add-PodeAuth -Name 'Login' -Sessionless -ScriptBlock {
    return @{
        Headers = @{
            HeaderName = 'HeaderValue'

If you're defining an authenticator that needs to send back a Challenge, then you can also do this by setting the response Code property to 401, and/or by also supplying a Challenge property. This Challenge property is a string, and will be automatically appended onto the WWW-Authenticate Header. It does not need to include the Authentication Type or Realm (these will be added for you).

For example, in Digest you could return:

return @{
    Code = 401
    Challenge = 'qop="auth", nonce="<some-random-guid>"'

Authenticate Type/Realm

When authentication fails, and a 401 response is returned, then Pode will also attempt to Response back to the client with a WWW-Authenticate header (if you've manually set this header using the custom headers from above, then the custom header will be used instead). For the inbuilt types, such as Basic, this Header will always be returned on a 401 response.

You can set the -Name and -Realm of the header using the New-PodeAuthScheme function. If no Name is supplied, then the header will not be returned - also if there is no Realm, then this will not be added onto the header.

For example, if you setup Basic authenticate with a custom Realm as follows:

New-PodeAuthScheme -Basic -Realm 'Enter creds to access site'

Then on a 401 response the WWW-Authenticate header will look as follows:

WWW-Authenticate: Basic realm="Enter creds to access site"


If no Realm was set then it would just look as follows: WWW-Authenticate: Basic


To use an authentication on a specific route, you can use the -Authentication parameter on the Add-PodeRoute function; this takes the Name supplied to the -Name parameter on Add-PodeAuth. This will set the authentication up to run before other route middleware.

An example of using some Basic authentication on a REST API route is as follows:

Start-PodeServer {
    Add-PodeRoute -Method Get -Path '/api/users' -Authentication 'BasicAuth' -ScriptBlock {
        # route logic

The Add-PodeAuthMiddleware function lets you setup authentication as global middleware - so it will run against all routes.

An example of using some Basic authentication on all REST API routes is as follows:

Start-PodeServer {
    Add-PodeAuthMiddleware -Name 'GlobalAuth' -Authentication 'BasicAuth' -Route '/api/*'

If any of the authentication middleware fails, then a 401 response is returned for the route. On success, it will allow the Route logic to be invoked. If Session Middleware has been configured then an authenticated session is also created for future requests, using a signed session cookie/header.

When the user makes another call using the same authenticated session and that cookie/header is present, then the authentication middleware will detect the already authenticated session and skip validation. If you're using sessions and you don't want to check the session, or store the user against a session, then use the -Sessionless switch on Add-PodeAuth.


After successful validation, an Auth object will be created for use against the current web event. This Auth object will be accessible via the argument supplied to Routes and Middleware.

The Auth object will also contain:

Name Description
User Details about the authenticated user
IsAuthenticated States if the request is for an authenticated user, can be $true, $false or $null
Store States whether the authentication is for a session, and will be stored as a cookie

The following example get the user's name from the Auth object:

Add-PodeRoute -Method Get -Path '/' -Authentication 'Login' -Login -ScriptBlock {
    Write-PodeViewResponse -Path 'index' -Data @{
        'Username' = $WebEvent.Auth.User.Name

Inbuilt Authenticators

Overtime Pode will start to support inbuilt authentication methods - such as Windows Active Directory. More information can be found in the Inbuilt section.

For example, the below would use the inbuilt Windows AD authentication method:

Start-PodeServer {
    New-PodeAuthScheme -Basic | Add-PodeAuthWindowsAd -Name 'Login'