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Mathias Kende > OAuth-Consumer > OAuth::Consumer



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OAuth::Consumer - LWP based user agent with OAuth for consumer application


OAuth is a protocol to allow a user to authorize an application to access on its behalf ressources on a server without giving its password to the application. To achieve this aim OAuth have a fairly complicated 3-steps authentication mechanism which require to user to go to a website to authenticate itself. The authentication response is then sent-back by the user itself through a callback mechanism.

OAuth::Consumer hide away to complexity of this process, including the set-up of a callback webserver which can be called by the user browser when its authentication is performed.

This library is oriented toward desktop application, it could possibly be used in a web application but I have not tried it (and the LWP setup may not be the most appropiate in this case).

Authenticating your application with OAuth to access some user's ressources is a matter of requesting and authorising a token. This can be done with the following steps:

  use OAuth::Consumer;
  my $ua = OAuth::Consumer->new(
                oauth_consumer_key => 'key',
                oauth_consumer_secret => 'secret'
                oauth_request_token_url => 'http://provider/oauth/request_token',
                oauth_authorize_url => 'http://provider/oauth/authorize',
                oauth_access_token_url => 'http://provider/oauth/access_token'
  my $verifer_url = $ua->get_request_token();
  print "You should authentify yourself at this URL: $verifier_url\n";
  my ($token, $secret) = $ua->get_access_token()

At this point, $ua is an OAuth enabled LWP user-agent that you can use to access OAuth protected ressources. You should save the $token and $secret that you got and, in a later session, you may just do the following to gain access to the protected ressources:

  my $ua = OAuth::Consumer->new(
                oauth_consumer_key => 'key',
                oauth_consumer_secret => 'secret'
                oauth_token_=> $token,
                oauth_token_secret => $secret


As OAuth::Consumer is a high-level library, this documentation does not describe precisely the OAuth protocol. You may find documentation on this protocol on these websites:


  my $ua = OAuth::Consumer->new(%args);

The OAuth::Consumer constructor gives you an LWP::UserAgent object (well, strictly speaking this is an LWP::Authen::OAuth object, but you should not use directly the method of this module). This object is able to authenticate using the OAuth 1.0 or 1.0a protocol (but not OAuth 2.0).

You can give to the constructor any LWP::UserAgent arguments. The OAuth::Consumer constructor expects some additionnal arguments described here:


The methods described here allow you to get an authorised access token and its associated secret. If you already have those (maybe from previous call to these methods) then you do not need them.

An OAuth::Consumer object is also an LWP::UserAgent object and as such you can use any method of the LWP::UserAgent class with an OAuth::Consumer object. If your object is properly identified you may use it directly (e.g. with its get or post method) to access OAuth protected ressources (that is, directly after it is constructed if you provided valid oauth_token and oauth_token_secret to the constructor, or after a call to get_request_token/get_access_token if you need a new token).


  my $verifer_url = $ua->get_request_token(%args)

This call initiates a new authorisation procedure. It does not expect any arguments but you can provide any additionnal OAuth argument required by your service provider. Example of such argument are xoauth_displayname, scope, or realm. You should look at the documentation of your service provider to know which arguments it expects. These arguments will be added as POST arguments in the OAuth query. If you need to pass them as GET arguments (in the url of the query), then you should modify yourself the oauth_request_token_url that you give to the constructor of the class.

On success, this method returns a string containing an URL to which the application user should be directed to authorise your application to access to the service provider on behalf of this user. At the end of its authorisation the user's browser will be automatically redirected to a small web server set up by the library. This web server will automatically read the verifier code that is given by the service provider.

You may also use this verifer_url to programatically authorise your request (e.g. with WWW::Mechanize).

Finally, if your service provider does not need you to authenticate your token then the return value may be ignored and you may directly call the get_access_token method. In that case you must set the oauth_verifier_type to manual to prevent the application from blocking.

The method will croak in case of error.


  my ($token, $secret) = $ua->get_access_token(%args)

Once you have redirected your user to the verifier url, you can call this method. It will block until the user finishes authenticating itself on the service provider's website. If this process takes more time than the value of the oauth_verifier_timeout parameter (in the constructor) then the method will croak with the following message: 'Timeout error while waiting for a callback connection'. You can trap this error (with eval) and, optionnaly, restart the call to get_access_token (which will wait for the same duration) if the oauth_verifier_type is blocking (you may not call this function more than once per call to get_request_token in thread mode).

If the oauth_verifier_type parameter is 'blocking' you must call this function as soon as you have instructed your user to authenticate at the verifier URL.

If the oauth_verifier_type parameter is 'manual' then this function will not block. But then you must specify an oauth_verifier named argument to this function with its value being the value of the verifier that you got (your user may have entered it in your application if your using out-of-bound verification).

If your service provider does not require you to verify the request token (and as such did not give you an oauth_authorize_url). You must use 'manual' mode with a dummy oauth_authorize_url in the constructor and you should pass an empty value to the oauth_verifier argument of this method.

All other arguments in the %args hash will be passed with the access token query. To the author knowledge, no service providers require any arguments with this query (as opposed to the request token query).

Finally, this function plays with the alarm function and associated handler. So you should not rely on alarm handler set accross this function call.


Getting an access token and secret

Here are the steps to follow to request an access token from a ressource provider. To achieve this, you need the 3 endpoints URL that should be described in the documentation of the API of the provider. You also need a consumer key and secret. Depending on the provider and the service, these value may be fixed to a specific value or you may need to register your application at the provider website to get them.

Some providers require extra arguments for the get_request_token call. These arguments are not mendatory in the OAuth specification but you should check the API documentation of your service provider to know what it expects.

  my $ua = OAuth::Consumer->new(
        oauth_consumer_key      => 'my-consumer-key',
        oauth_consumer_secret   => 'my-consumer-secret',
        oauth_request_token_url => '',
        oauth_access_token_url  => '',
        oauth_authorize_url     => '',
  my $verifier_url = $ua->get_request_token(
        scope              => '',
        xoauth_displayname => 'My Application Name'
  # Send your user to $verifier_url to authenticate or use a WWW::Mechanize
  # robot to performs the authentication programatically. In this later case,
  # you should use the "oauth_verifier_type => thread" argument in the call to
  # new to ensure that the authentication can terminate before the call to
  # get_access_token.
  my ($token, $secret) = $ua->get_access_token();
  $r = $ua->get('');

At the end of this procedure you should store the $token and $secret values as they should remains valid (usually service providers do not expire those). You can then use them directly in a future session.

Getting an access token and secret with out-of-bound (OOB) verifier

If your service provider will not redirect your user to OAuth::Consumer validation page, or if it is not feasible to ask the user to use his browser on the same machine as where the program is running, you may use out-of-bound verification where the user will be shown the verification code and can then enter it in your application.

Not all service provider support the oob callback scheme, so the example below may not work correctly. An alternative is to redirect the user to a web page that you control and that will show the user the verification code. Some practice about this are discussed on this web page:

  my $ua = OAuth::Consumer->new(
        oauth_consumer_key      => 'my-consumer-key',
        oauth_consumer_secret   => 'my-consumer-secret',
        oauth_verifier_type     => 'manual',
        oauth_request_token_url => '',
        oauth_access_token_url  => '',
        oauth_authorize_url     => '',
  my $verifier_url = $ua->get_request_token();
  print "Please, authenticate yourself at: $verifier_url\n";
  print "Type in the verification code that you got: ";
  my $verifier = <STDIN>;
  my ($token, $secret) = $ua->get_access_token(oauth_verifier => $verifier);
  $r = $ua->get('');

Be carefull that a verifier URL may not remain valid for a long time (usual expiration time is around an hour).

Using an access token and secret

If you saved your user specific access token and secret from a previous session or if your service provider does not allow for the authentication procedure and, instead, gives directly the token and its secret to your user on some web page (e.g. this is what Twitter does), then you can directly use these value in the constructor of the OAuth::Consumer object and completely skip the authentication procedure.

  my $ua = OAuth::Consumer->new(
        oauth_consumer_key      => 'my-consumer-key',
        oauth_consumer_secret   => 'my-consumer-secret',
        oauth_token             => $token,
        oauth_token_secret      => $secret
  $r = $ua->get('');

However, you should check your response code in case the token has been revoked or has expired (in which cases you will probably get a status code of 401 or 403, but some servers return a 500 status code).

Two-legged request (tokenless or consumer mode)

Some service provider only require a your consumer key to authorise the access to some protected ressource. This is called two-legged request (as opposed to the normal three-legged mode) or tokenless mode.

In this case, once you got your consumer key and secret (probably from your application page on the service provider website) you can just use those to access protected ressource.

  my $ua = OAuth::Consumer->new(
        oauth_consumer_key      => 'my-consumer-key',
        oauth_consumer_secret   => 'my-consumer-secret',
  $r = $ua->get('');



Please report any bugs or feature requests to, or through the web interface at

However note that the tests for this distribution all depend on external service which may be unavailable or broken at some point. I have removed from the distribution the test depending on unreliable provider but some errors may still happen.


LWP::Authen::OAuth, LWP::UserAgent, OAuth::Simple, Net::OAuth, OAuth::Lite, Net::OAuth::Simple, OAuth::Lite::Consumer


Mathias Kende (


Version 0.03 (March 2013)


Copyright 2013 © Mathias Kende. All rights reserved.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

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