Module: Authlogic::TestCase

Defined in:


This module is a collection of methods and classes that help you easily test Authlogic. In fact, I use these same tools to test the internals of Authlogic.

The quick and dirty

require "authlogic/test_case" # include at the top of test_helper.rb
setup :activate_authlogic # run before tests are executed
UserSession.create(users(:whomever)) # logs a user in

For a more detailed explanation, see below.

Setting up

Authlogic comes with some simple testing tools. To get these, you need to first require Authlogic’s TestCase. If you are doing this in a rails app, you would require this file at the top of your test_helper.rb file:

require "authlogic/test_case"

If you are using Test::Unit::TestCase, the standard testing library that comes with ruby, then you can skip this next part. If you are not, you need to include the Authlogic::TestCase into your testing suite as follows:

include Authlogic::TestCase

Now that everything is ready to go, let’s move onto actually testing. Here is the basic idea behind testing:

Authlogic requires a “connection” to your controller to activate it. In the same manner that ActiveRecord requires a connection to your database. It can’t do anything until it gets connected. That being said, Authlogic will raise an Authlogic::Session::Activation::NotActivatedError any time you try to instantiate an object without a “connection”. So before you do anything with Authlogic, you need to activate / connect Authlogic. Let’s walk through how to do this in tests:

Fixtures / Factories

Creating users via fixtures / factories is easy. Here’s an example of a fixture:

  email: [email protected]
  password_salt: <%= salt = Authlogic::Random.hex_token %>
  crypted_password: <%= Authlogic::CryptoProviders::SCrypt.encrypt("benrocks" + salt) %>
  persistence_token: <%= Authlogic::Random.hex_token %>
  single_access_token: <%= Authlogic::Random.friendly_token %>
  perishable_token: <%= Authlogic::Random.friendly_token %>

Notice the crypted_password value. Just supplement that with whatever crypto provider you are using, if you are not using the default.

Functional tests

Activating Authlogic isn’t a problem here, because making a request will activate Authlogic for you. The problem is logging users in so they can access restricted areas. Solving this is simple, just do this:

setup :activate_authlogic

For those of you unfamiliar with TestUnit, the setup method basically just executes a method before any test is ran. It is essentially “setting up” your tests.

Once you have done this, just log users in like usual:

# access my restricted area here

Do this before you make your request and it will act as if that user is logged in.

Integration tests

Again, just like functional tests, you don’t have to do anything. As soon as you make a request, Authlogic will be connected. If you want to activate Authlogic before making a request follow the same steps described in the “functional tests” section above. It works in the same manner.

Unit tests

The only time you need to do any trickiness here is if you want to test Authlogic models. Maybe you added some custom code or methods in your Authlogic models. Maybe you are writing a plugin or a library that extends Authlogic.

That being said, in this environment there is no controller. So you need to use a “mock” controller. Something that looks like a controller, acts like a controller, but isn’t a “real” controller. You are essentially connecting Authlogic to your “mock” controller, then you can test off of the mock controller to make sure everything is functioning properly.

I use a mock controller to test Authlogic myself. It’s part of the Authlogic library that you can easily use. It’s as simple as functional and integration tests. Just do the following:

setup :activate_authlogic

You also get a controller method that you can test off of. For example:

ben = users(:ben)
assert_nil controller.session["user_credentials"]
assert UserSession.create(ben)
assert_equal controller.session["user_credentials"], ben.persistence_token

See how I am checking that Authlogic is interacting with the controller properly? That’s the idea here.

Testing with Rails 5

Rails 5 has [deprecated classic controller tests]( Controller tests now inherit from ‘ActionDispatch::IntegrationTest` making them plain old integration tests now. You have two options for testing AuthLogic in Rails 5:

  • Add the ‘rails-controller-testing` gem to bring back the original controller testing usage

  • Go full steam ahead with integration testing and actually log a user in by submitting a form in the integration test.

Naturally DHH recommends the second method and this is [what he does in his own tests]( This is useful for testing not only AuthLogic itself (submitting login credentials to a UserSessionsController, for example) but any controller action that is behind a login wall. Add a helper method and use that before testing your actual controller action:

# test/test_helper.rb
def login(user)
  post user_sessions_url, :params => { :email =>, :password => 'password' }

# test/controllers/posts_controller_test.rb
test "#create requires a user to be logged in
  post posts_url, :params => { :body => 'Lorem ipsum' }

  assert_redirected_to new_user_session_url

test "#create lets a logged in user create a new post" do

  assert_difference 'Posts.count' do
    post posts_url, :params => { :body => 'Lorem ipsum' }

  assert_redirected_to posts_url

You still have access to the ‘session` helper in an integration test and so you can still test to see if a user is logged in. A couple of helper methods might look like:

# test/test_helper.rb
def assert_logged_in
  assert session[:user_credentials].present?

def assert_not_logged_in
  assert session[:user_credentials].blank?

# test/user_sessions_controller_test.rb
test "#create logs in a user" do


Defined Under Namespace

Classes: MockAPIController, MockController, MockCookieJar, MockEncryptedCookieJar, MockLogger, MockRequest, MockSignedCookieJar, RailsRequestAdapter

Instance Method Summary collapse

Instance Method Details


Activates authlogic so that you can use it in your tests. You should call this method in your test’s setup. Ex:

setup :activate_authlogic

# File 'lib/authlogic/test_case.rb', line 191

def activate_authlogic
  if @request && !@request.respond_to?(:params)
    class <<@request
      alias_method :params, :parameters

  Authlogic::Session::Base.controller = @request && ||


The Authlogic::TestCase::MockController object passed to Authlogic to activate it. You can access this in your test. See the module description for an example.

# File 'lib/authlogic/test_case.rb', line 206

def controller
  @controller ||=

#initialize(*args) ⇒ Object

# File 'lib/authlogic/test_case.rb', line 182

def initialize(*args)
  @request = nil