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Ory Kratos - Cloud native Identity and User Management

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Ory Kratos is the first and only cloud native Identity and User Management System in the world. Finally, it is no longer necessary to implement a User Login process for the umpteenth time!

Table of Contents

What is Ory Kratos?

Ory Kratos is an API-first Identity and User Management system that is built according to cloud architecture best practices. It implements core use cases that almost every software application needs to deal with:

  • Self-service Login and Registration: Allow end-users to create and sign into accounts (we call them identities) using Username / Email and password combinations, Social Sign In ("Sign in with Google, GitHub"), Passwordless flows, and others.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA/2FA): Support protocols such as TOTP (RFC 6238 and IETF RFC 4226 - better known as Google Authenticator)
  • Account Verification: Verify that an E-Mail address, phone number, or physical address actually belong to that identity.
  • Account Recovery: Recover access using "Forgot Password" flows, Security Codes (in case of MFA device loss), and others.
  • Profile and Account Management: Update passwords, personal details, email addresses, linked social profiles using secure flows.
  • Admin APIs: Import, update, delete identities.

We highly recommend reading the Ory Kratos introduction docs to learn more about Ory Krato's background, feature set, and differentiation from other products.

Who is using it?

The Ory community stands on the shoulders of individuals, companies, and maintainers. We thank everyone involved - from submitting bug reports and feature requests, to contributing patches, to sponsoring our work. Our community is 1000+ strong and growing rapidly. The Ory stack protects API requests every month with over 250.000+ active service nodes. We would have never been able to achieve this without each and everyone of you!

The following list represents companies that have accompanied us along the way and that have made outstanding contributions to our ecosystem. If you think that your company deserves a spot here, reach out to [email protected] now!

Please consider giving back by becoming a sponsor of our open source work on Patreon or Open Collective.

Type Name Logo Website
Sponsor Raspberry PI Foundation Raspberry PI Foundation
Contributor Kyma Project Kyma Project
Sponsor ThoughtWorks ThoughtWorks
Sponsor Tulip Tulip Retail
Sponsor Cashdeck / All My Funds All My Funds
Sponsor 3Rein 3Rein
Contributor Hootsuite Hootsuite
Adopter * Segment Segment
Adopter * Arduino Arduino
Adopter * DataDetect Datadetect
Adopter * Sainsbury's Sainsbury's
Sponsor OrderMyGear OrderMyGear

We also want to thank all individual contributors

as well as all of our backers

and past & current supporters (in alphabetical order) on Patreon: Alexander Alimovs, Billy, Chancy Kennedy, Drozzy, Edwin Trejos, Howard Edidin, Ken Adler Oz Haven, Stefan Hans, TheCrealm.

* Uses one of Ory's major projects in production.

Getting Started

To get started, head over to the Ory Kratos Documentation.


The Ory Kratos Quickstart teaches you Ory Kratos basics and sets up an example based on Docker Compose in less than five minutes.


Head over to the Ory Developer Documentation to learn how to install Ory Kratos on Linux, macOS, Windows, and Docker and how to build Ory Kratos from source.


We build Ory on several guiding principles when it comes to our architecture design:

  • Minimal dependencies
  • Runs everywhere
  • Scales without effort
  • Minimize room for human and network errors

Ory's architecture designed to run best on a Container Orchestration Systems such as Kubernetes, CloudFoundry, OpenShift, and similar projects. Binaries are small (5-15MB) and available for all popular processor types (ARM, AMD64, i386) and operating systems (FreeBSD, Linux, macOS, Windows) without system dependencies (Java, Node, Ruby, libxml, ...).

Ory Kratos: Identity and User Infrastructure and Management

Ory Kratos is an API-first Identity and User Management system that is built according to cloud architecture best practices. It implements core use cases that almost every software application needs to deal with: Self-service Login and Registration, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA/2FA), Account Recovery and Verification, Profile and Account Management.

Ory Hydra: OAuth2 & OpenID Connect Server

Ory Hydra is an OpenID Certified™ OAuth2 and OpenID Connect Provider which easily connects to any existing identity system by writing a tiny "bridge" application. Gives absolute control over user interface and user experience flows.

Ory Oathkeeper: Identity & Access Proxy

Ory Oathkeeper is a BeyondCorp/Zero Trust Identity & Access Proxy (IAP) with configurable authentication, authorization, and request mutation rules for your web services: Authenticate JWT, Access Tokens, API Keys, mTLS; Check if the contained subject is allowed to perform the request; Encode resulting content into custom headers (X-User-ID), JSON Web Tokens and more!

Ory Keto: Access Control Policies as a Server

Ory Keto is a policy decision point. It uses a set of access control policies, similar to AWS IAM Policies, in order to determine whether a subject (user, application, service, car, ...) is authorized to perform a certain action on a resource.


Running identity infrastructure requires attention and knowledge of threat models.

Disclosing vulnerabilities

If you think you found a security vulnerability, please refrain from posting it publicly on the forums, the chat, or GitHub and send us an email to [email protected] instead.


Ory's services collect summarized, anonymized data that can optionally be turned off. Click here to learn more.



The Guide is available here.

HTTP API documentation

The HTTP API is documented here.

Upgrading and Changelog

New releases might introduce breaking changes. To help you identify and incorporate those changes, we document these changes in and

Command line documentation

Run kratos -h or kratos help.


We encourage all contributions and encourage you to read our contribution guidelines


You need Go 1.13+ with GO111MODULE=on and (for the test suites):

  • Docker and Docker Compose
  • Makefile
  • NodeJS / npm

It is possible to develop Ory Kratos on Windows, but please be aware that all guides assume a Unix shell like bash or zsh.

Install from source

make install

Formatting Code

You can format all code using make format. Our CI checks if your code is properly formatted.

Running Tests

There are three types of tests you can run:

  • Short tests (do not require a SQL database like PostgreSQL)
  • Regular tests (do require PostgreSQL, MySQL, CockroachDB)
  • End to end tests (do require databases and will use a test browser)
Short Tests

Short tests run fairly quickly. You can either test all of the code at once

go test -short -tags sqlite ./...

or test just a specific module:

cd client; go test -tags sqlite -short .
Regular Tests

Regular tests require a database set up. Our test suite is able to work with docker directly (using ory/dockertest) but we encourage to use the Makefile instead. Using dockertest can bloat the number of Docker Images on your system and are quite slow. Instead we recommend doing:

make test

Please be aware that make test recreates the databases every time you run make test. This can be annoying if you are trying to fix something very specific and need the database tests all the time. In that case we suggest that you initialize the databases with:

make test-resetdb
export TEST_DATABASE_MYSQL='mysql://root:[email protected]('
export TEST_DATABASE_POSTGRESQL='postgres://postgres:[email protected]:3445/kratos?sslmode=disable'
export TEST_DATABASE_COCKROACHDB='cockroach://[email protected]:3446/defaultdb?sslmode=disable'

Then you can run go test as often as you'd like:

go test -tags sqlite ./...

# or in a module:
cd client; go test  -tags sqlite  .
End-to-End Tests

We use Cypress to run our e2e tests. You can run all tests using:

make test-e2e

If you intend developing e2e tests, run the following command for more details:


Build Docker

You can build a development Docker Image using:

make docker

Documentation Tests

To prepare documentation tests, run npm i to install Text-Runner.

  • test all documentation: make test-docs
  • test an individual file: text-run

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