ORY Hydra is a hardened, OpenID Certified OAuth 2.0 Server and OpenID Connect Provider optimized for low-latency, high throughput, and low resource consumption. ORY Hydra is not an identity provider (user sign up, user login, password reset flow), but connects to your existing identity provider through a login and consent app. Implementing the login and consent app in a different language is easy, and exemplary consent apps (Go, Node) and SDKs are provided.
If you’re looking to jump straight into it, go ahead:
- Run your own OAuth 2.0 Server – step by step guide: A in-depth look at setting up ORY Hydra and performing a variety of OAuth 2.0 Flows.
- ORY Hydra 5 Minute Tutorial: Set up and use ORY Hydra using Docker Compose in under 5 Minutes. Good for quickly hacking a Proof of Concept.
- Install and Set Up ORY Hydra: An advanced look at installation options and interaction with ORY Hydra.
- Integrating your Login and Consent UI with ORY Hydra: The go-to place if you wish to adopt ORY Hydra in your new or existing stack.
Besides mitigating various attack vectors, such as database compromisation and OAuth 2.0 weaknesses, ORY Hydra is also able to securely manage JSON Web Keys. Click here to read more about security.
What is ORY Hydra?
ORY Hydra is a server implementation of the OAuth 2.0 authorization framework and the OpenID Connect Core 1.0. Existing OAuth2 implementations usually ship as libraries or SDKs such as node-oauth2-server or fosite, or as fully featured identity solutions with user management and user interfaces, such as Keycloak.
Implementing and using OAuth2 without understanding the whole specification is challenging and prone to errors, even when SDKs are being used. The primary goal of ORY Hydra is to make OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect 1.0 better accessible.
ORY Hydra implements the flows described in OAuth2 and OpenID Connect 1.0 without forcing you to use a “Hydra User Management” or some template engine or a predefined front-end. Instead it relies on HTTP redirection and cryptographic methods to verify user consent allowing you to use ORY Hydra with any authentication endpoint, be it authboss, User Frosting or your proprietary Java authentication.
Who’s using it?
The ORY community stands on the shoulders of individuals, companies, and maintainers. We thank everyone involved – from submitting bug reports and feature requests, to contributing patches, to sponsoring our work. Our community is 1000+ strong and growing rapidly. The ORY stack protects 1.200.000.000+ API requests every month with over 15.000+ active service nodes. We would have never been able to achieve this without each and everyone of you!
The following list represents companies that have accompanied us along the way and that have made outstanding contributions to our ecosystem. If you think that your company deserves a spot here, reach out to email@example.com now!
OAuth2 and OpenID Connect: Open Standards!
ORY Hydra implements Open Standards set by the IETF:
- The OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework
- OAuth 2.0 Threat Model and Security Considerations
- OAuth 2.0 Token Revocation
- OAuth 2.0 Token Introspection
- OAuth 2.0 for Native Apps
- Proof Key for Code Exchange by OAuth Public Clients
and the OpenID Foundation:
- OpenID Connect Core 1.0
- OpenID Connect Discovery 1.0
- OpenID Connect Dynamic Client Registration 1.0
- OpenID Connect Front-Channel Logout 1.0
- OpenID Connect Back-Channel Logout 1.0
OpenID Connect Certified
ORY Hydra is an OpenID Foundation certified OpenID Provider (OP).
The following OpenID profiles are certified:
- Basic OpenID Provider (response types
- Implicit OpenID Provider (response types
- Hybrid OpenID Provider (response types
- OpenID Provider Publishing Configuration Information
- Dynamic OpenID Provider
To obtain certification, we deployed the reference user login and consent app (unmodified) and ORY Hydra v1.0.0.
This section is a quickstart guide to working with ORY Hydra. In-depth docs are available as well:
5 minutes tutorial: Run your very own OAuth2 environment
Head over to the ORY Developer Documentation to learn how to install ORY Hydra on Linux, macOS, Windows, and Docker and how to build ORY Hydra from source.
We build Ory on several guiding principles when it comes to our architecture design:
- Minimal dependencies
- Runs everywhere
- Scales without effort
- Minimize room for human and network errors
ORY’s architecture designed to run best on a Container Orchestration Systems such as Kubernetes, CloudFoundry, OpenShift, and similar projects. Binaries are small (5-15MB) and available for all popular processor types (ARM, AMD64, i386) and operating systems (FreeBSD, Linux, macOS, Windows) without system dependencies (Java, Node, Ruby, libxml, …).
ORY Kratos: Identity and User Infrastructure and Management
ORY Kratos is an API-first Identity and User Management system that is built according to cloud architecture best practices. It implements core use cases that almost every software application needs to deal with: Self-service Login and Registration, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA/2FA), Account Recovery and Verification, Profile and Account Management.
ORY Hydra: OAuth2 & OpenID Connect Server
ORY Hydra is an OpenID Certified™ OAuth2 and OpenID Connect Provider can connect to any existing identity database (LDAP, AD, KeyCloak, PHP+MySQL, …) and user interface.
ORY Oathkeeper: Identity & Access Proxy
ORY Oathkeeper is a BeyondCorp/Zero Trust Identity & Access Proxy (IAP) with configurable authentication, authorization, and request mutation rules for your web services: Authenticate JWT, Access Tokens, API Keys, mTLS; Check if the contained subject is allowed to perform the request; Encode resulting content into custom headers (
X-User-ID), JSON Web Tokens and more!
ORY Keto: Access Control Policies as a Server
ORY Keto is a policy decision point. It uses a set of access control policies, similar to AWS IAM Policies, in order to determine whether a subject (user, application, service, car, …) is authorized to perform a certain action on a resource.
Why should I use ORY Hydra? It’s not that hard to implement two OAuth2 endpoints and there are numerous SDKs out there!
OAuth2 and OAuth2 related specifications are over 400 written pages. Implementing OAuth2 is easy, getting it right is hard. ORY Hydra is trusted by companies all around the world, has a vibrant community and faces millions of requests in production each day. Of course, we also compiled a security guide with more details on cryptography and security concepts. Read the security guide now.
If you think you found a security vulnerability, please refrain from posting it publicly on the forums, the chat, or GitHub and send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org instead.
Our continuous integration runs a collection of benchmarks against ORY Hydra. You can find the results here.
Our services collect summarized, anonymized data that can optionally be turned off. Click here to learn more.
The Guide is available here.
HTTP API documentation
The HTTP API is documented here.
Upgrading and Changelog
Command line documentation
hydra -h or
We encourage all contributions and encourage you to read our contribution guidelines.
You need Go 1.13+ with
GO111MODULE=on and (for the test suites):
- Docker and Docker Compose
- NodeJS / npm
It is possible to develop ORY Hydra on Windows, but please be aware that all guides assume a Unix shell like bash or zsh.
You can format all code using
make format. Our CI checks if your code is properly formatted.
There are three types of tests you can run:
- Short tests (do not require a SQL database like PostgreSQL)
- Regular tests (do require PostgreSQL, MySQL, CockroachDB)
- End to end tests (do require databases and will use a test browser)
Short tests run fairly quickly. You can either test all of the code at once:
go test -short ./...
or test just a specific module:
cd client; go test -short .
Regular tests require a database set up. Our test suite is able to work with docker directly (using ory/dockertest) but we encourage to use the Makefile instead. Using dockertest can bloat the number of Docker Images on your system and are quite slow. Instead we recommend doing:
Please be aware that
make test recreates the databases every time you run
make test. This can be annoying if you are trying to fix something very specific and need the database tests all the time. In that case we suggest that you initialize the databases with:
make resetdb export TEST_DATABASE_MYSQL='mysql://root:secret@(127.0.0.1:3444)/mysql?parseTime=true&multiStatements=true' export TEST_DATABASE_POSTGRESQL='postgres://postgres:email@example.com:3445/postgres?sslmode=disable' export TEST_DATABASE_COCKROACHDB='cockroach://firstname.lastname@example.org:3446/defaultdb?sslmode=disable'
Then you can run
go test as often as you’d like:
go test -p 1 ./... # or in a module: cd client; go test .
The E2E tests use Cypress to run full browser tests. You can execute these tests with:
The runner will not show the Browser window, as it runs in the CI Mode (background). That makes debugging these type of tests very difficult, but thankfully you can run the e2e test in the browser which helps with debugging! Just run:
./test/e2e/circle-ci.bash memory --watch # Or for the JSON Web Token Access Token strategy: # ./test/e2e/circle-ci.bash memory-jwt --watch
or if you would like to test one of the databases:
make resetdb export TEST_DATABASE_MYSQL='mysql://root:secret@(127.0.0.1:3444)/mysql?parseTime=true&multiStatements=true' export TEST_DATABASE_POSTGRESQL='postgres://postgres:email@example.com:3445/postgres?sslmode=disable' export TEST_DATABASE_COCKROACHDB='cockroach://firstname.lastname@example.org:3446/defaultdb?sslmode=disable' # You can test against each individual database: ./test/e2e/circle-ci.bash postgres --watch ./test/e2e/circle-ci.bash memory --watch ./test/e2e/circle-ci.bash mysql --watch # ...
Once you run the script, a Cypress window will appear. Hit the button “Run all Specs”!
OpenID Connect Conformity Tests
To run ORY Hydra against the OpenID Connect conformity suite, run
$ test/conformity/start.sh --build
and then in a separate shell
Running these tests will take a significant amount of time which is why they are not part of the CircleCI pipeline.
You can build a development Docker Image using:
Run the Docker Compose quickstarts
If you wish to check your code changes against any of the docker-compose quickstart files, run:
make docker docker compose -f quickstart.yml up # ....
Libraries and third-party projects
- Kubernetes helm chart
- Werther – an Identity Provider over LDAP
- Terraform Provider and its source code.
⚠️ Outdated Community Projects: The following projects are outdated and won’t work anymore in most cases. Having said that they still might help you to better understand how to integrate HYDRA and solve specific cases.