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yar Logo

A hapi session plugin and cookie jar

npm version Build Status Dependency Status

Lead Maintainer: Mark Bradshaw


$ npm install yar --save

Hapi < 14.0.0

If you are using an older version of Hapi then you'll want to use version 7.0.2 of yar. Starting with version 8.0.0 of yar we only support later versions of Hapi due to a third party dependency issue.

Upgrading to 7.x.x and greater

Starting with Hapi 13 and Statehood 4 the password requirement for Iron encrypted cookies is now a minimum of 32 characters. The intention of increasing the size requirement is to make brute force guessing of your cookie password harder. Please update your app configuration to include a longer password if it is not already 32 characters long, or your server will not start.

Upgrading to 6.x.x and greater

Starting with Hapi 12 the request.session placeholder was removed. The guidance from Hapi maintainer Eran Hammer was for this and similar modules to move data storage away from request.session and use a more unique location. So, starting in 6.x.x the yar storage has been moved to request.yar. All the functionality remains the same, but it just lives in a different location. I apologize in advance for the inconvenience this may cause but updating your code should be fairly straight forward.


The yar hapi plugin adds session support - a persistant state across multiple browser requests using an iron encrypted cookie and server-side storage. yar tries to fit session data into a session cookie based on a configured maximum size. If the content is too big to fit, it uses server storage via the hapi plugin cache interface.

For example, the first handler sets a session key and the second gets it:

var handler1 = function (request, reply) {
    request.yar.set('example', { key: 'value' });
    return reply();
var handler2 = function (request, reply) {
    var example = request.yar.get('example');
    reply(example.key);     // Will send back 'value' 

The plugin requires a password for encryption that must be at least 32 characters long:

var options = {
    storeBlank: false,
    cookieOptions: {
        password: 'the-password-must-be-at-least-32-characters-long',
        isSecure: true
Please note that there are other default cookie options that can impact your security.
Please look at the description of the cookie options below to make sure this is doing
what you expect.
var server = new Hapi.Server();
    register: require('yar'),
    options: options
}, function (err) { });

Password considerations

Keep in mind some things in regard to your password:

  1. It should never be committed to the repository or hard coded in your code. Instead pass the password via environment variables or some other server configuration management option.
  2. In some situations it is possible that your password could be attacked remotely. So choose a password that is randomly generated. Use a random password generator to create something rather than creating your own. Make sure it is long and includes special characters.
  3. Consider rotating your cookie session password on a regular basis.

Cookie Options

You can read about more cookie options in the Api.


Set isSecure (default true) to false if you are using standard http. Take care to do this in development mode only though. You don't want to use cookies sent over insecure channels for session management. One way to take care of this is to use the NODE_ENV environment variable like this:

var options = {
    cookieOptions: {
        isSecure: process.env.NODE_ENV !== 'development',


ignoreErrors (default true) tells Hapi that it should not respond with a HTTP 400 error if the session cookie cannot decrypt. This could happen if the cookie is changed on the client, or more likely, if you change the cookie password in your settings. If you want to make this condition send an error like it did in prior versions, change this to false, but be aware that if you change your cookie password you will cause 400 errors to be returned to end users. In that case you should probably change this back to true for a short time to allow session cookies to get reset for the best user experience.

You may turn this off, false, and try to use the Hapi route state config option of failAction to instead get an event whenever a bad session cookie is encountered. This can allow more sophisticated handling strategies or even allow for mitigation of brute force attacks on your cookie password. See server.state documentation for more details.


clearInvalid (default true) tells Hapi that if a session cookie is invalid for any reason, to clear it from the browser. This prevents Hapi from having to reprocess the bad cookie on future requests. In general you'll probably want this on, but if you'd prefer that session cookies be dealt with in some other way you may set this to false.


There's a similar project called Hapi-Auth-Cookie that achieves similar ends to yar. If you want some additional options around authentication then you should take a look there.

API Reference

Api Reference