Version 8 (modified by Nat Meysenburg, 6 years ago) (diff)


Login Service

May First/People Link provides a web-based API for verifying login credentials called "login-service". It is designed to allow applications to verify that a given username and password is valid. It takes as input a username, password, and application id, and responds with either a 1 (indicating invalid) or a 0 indicating a valid username and password.

Server side

The server is running a python twisted web application, available via git: git:// It is currently installed on in /usr/local/share/login-service, listens on port 8080, requires tls, and is configured to use the key and certificate.

The application is managed by runit (via /etc/sv/login-service), so it should restart when the system restarts.

The application runs as the login-service unix user. It also has access to it's own mysql username and password (configured via files in /etc/sv/login-service/env) that grant it the privilege of logging into the MySQL server on hay and of executing the get_salt and valid_hash MySQL procedures that enable it to verify a username and password witout having access to the table of usernames and passwords.

One environment variable set via the file /etc/sv/login-service/env/LS_APP_IDS contains a space separated list of randomly generated strings that act as an application id. The idea is that each application that we configure to use the service will share a secret that is stored in this file. The shared secret helps prevent dictionary attacks against the service.

Client side

Writing a client to interface with the login service is relatively easy.


out=$(curl -s "$user&password=$pass&app_id=$3")
[ "$out" = "yes" ] && exit 0
exit 1


mayfirstAuth is a simple python module (currently only installed on mcchesney), source below. It allows a writer of any python script to easily query the login-service.



from mayfirstAuth import auth

username = 'YOUR-USER-NAME'
password = 'YOUR-PASSWORD'

check = auth(username, password)

if check == "0":
    print 'Login success'
    print 'Login failure'



import requests

# set the login service URL
url = ''
# this python lib uses a standard id

def auth(username, password):
    values = {'user' : username,
              'password' : password,
              'app_id' : appid}
    req =, data=values)
    is_valid_user = req.text

    if is_valid_user == "yes":
        return "0"
    return "1"



function authenticate_user($user, $password, $app_id) {
  $url = '' . urlencode($user) .
   '&password=' . urlencode($password) . '&app_id=' . $app_id;
  $out = file_get_contents($url);
  if($out == "yes") return TRUE; 
  return FALSE;

While GET functions are easier to write, POST functions are less likely to log your password (on the client side - logging is disabled on the server side).


function authenticate_user($user, $password, $app_id) {
        $url = '';
        $vars = 'user=' . urlencode($user) . '&password=' . urlencode($password) .
         '&app_id=' . urlencode($app_id);

        $ch = curl_init( $url );
        curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_POST, 1);
        curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $vars);
        curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);
        curl_setopt( $ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);

        $response = curl_exec( $ch );

        if($response == "yes") return TRUE;
        return FALSE;