User API keys specification

I find allowed_user_api_auth_redirects default of “discourse://auth_redirect” rather restrictive, especially because “discourse” does not appear to be a valid URI scheme.

Please explain the thinking behind this default. Thank you.

I am having this issue as well. If I initiate the API from a JS application, then automatically the allowed headers are: User-Api-Key, User-Api-Client-Id even though I do not need user API keys. All I want is a simple API key but I cannot get anything to work. If I try to pass Api-Key in the headers I get a CORS error since it expects User-Api-Key. But when I try to use User-Api-Key, I get 403 errors. I am stuck. I would think this is the base usage for using the APIs. I am not trying to do anything out of the ordinary. I am simply trying to create a new topic post.


That is the custom URI scheme used by the DiscourseHub app for iOS and Android.


I’ve got a question concerning the “read tokens” and “write tokens”. This comment here is from 2016, so this possibly had already been changed? Or are the defaults still only “read tokens”?

Background: I’m one of the coders behind a distributed social media system. We already do have connectors to non-federating systems. The idea is to write an addon for discourse as well. But when most likely most system won’t allow users to generate tokens that allow posting, we will try another way. We already do have a mail connector. Then we will simply use the mailing list function of Discourse and we will try to enhance the returned content and will post via SMTP.

You can do write tokens if you ask for the scope upfront


Of course this is always possible. But I have the feeling that this is a support nightmare. Our software has got some hundred installations with (in total) more than 10k users. When they see that there is an addon that is connection to Discourse, many will surely like to use it. And since it most likely won’t work out of the box, this will generate questions and support work from our side. Additionally it will generate work for the admins of the several Discourse installations. And very likely not all will allow it - which will cause frustration.

So possibly at first I will focus on integrating the mailing list mode mails. Or is it possible to combine these two? Means: Reading of the posts via the API, but posting via SMTP?

Hi…I don’t know to generate public_key… should I use RSA generator to get public/private key?
If so I have done with some online RSA generators. but I am getting this error:

OpenSSL::PKey::RSAError (Neither PUB key nor PRIV key: nested asn1 error) /var/www/discourse/app/controllers/user_api_keys_controller.rb:189:in `initialize'

Also, I want to ask you guys if this suits my user case:
I have an app, and I want to basically authenticate user and get the username, is generating api key flow the simplest flow for me to validate user’s login in my app? If possible, I want avoid SSO because it seems more complicate.

Same boat here, although I am only trying to use User-Api-Key (not Api-Key) to create a topic post and am getting CSRF denial from the actionpack library.

Unless the discourse server has turned off CSRF checking, posting from a third-party desktop app seems hard. I’m not about to emulate a browser.

@sam What is your take on allowing User API Keys that only have the read scope attached, to be passed via URL params on GET requests?

Use case is allowing integrations like subscribing your Improved Bookmarks with Reminders in Google Calendar using User API keys.


How about creating a specific new scope, with a third parameter to indicate “get param allowed”. That way, people can’t misuse it for other things (e.g. bypassing CORS and requesting the discourse API from another site).

(from here)

    read: [:get],
    write: [:get, :post, :patch, :put, :delete],
    message_bus: [[:post, 'message_bus']],
    push: nil,
    one_time_password: nil,
    notifications: [[:post, 'message_bus'], [:get, 'notifications#index'], [:put, 'notifications#mark_read']],
    session_info: [
      [:get, 'session#current'],
      [:get, 'users#topic_tracking_state'],
      [:get, 'list#unread'],
      [:get, 'list#new'],
      [:get, 'list#latest']
+   calendar: [ [:get, 'users#bookmarks_cal', true ] ],

(Aside: why are we using nested arrays here…)


I like that the API key would be flagged explicitly as “allowed in GET” at the user level.

As a whole the option could be open for any GETs. The rule I like is, when operating in this mode:

  1. User API key is 100% restricted to a single specific GET controller action
  2. User API key is flagged as allowed in GET query params.

This limits the impact of any leak here via a proxy cause the key will never be reused.

I guess {get: 'list#new'} , {get: 'list#latest'} would work as well.


I’m super interested in get param only type user api keys. My question is, are you guys planning to allow people to generate these keys via UI?

Probably, maybe behind a site setting or with a plugin. We do plan to normalise the feature set a bit so admin api keys also support scopes.


Hi…Are you able to resolve this issue? I have the same issue and not able to fix it. I tried passing different type of keys and nothing worked. Any help would be greatly appreciated.