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Mock passport githubStrategy for functional testing

6 min read


Lately I've been exploring OAuth, but how to handle functional testing? Here I'll demonstrate an approach for testing an application that uses OAuth via the popular passport middleware for express. When we're done, we can test routes that require authentication without making any HTTPS calls to the OAuth provider.

Note: I'm using Koa (and thus the koa-passport wrapper module), but this approach will work with Express with modification.

The relevant files are shown below:


Each file serves a particular purpose:

  • app.js: Wrapper to bootstrap application
  • index.js: The application
  • mockProfile.js: My Github user profile data (substitute your own profile data here)
  • package.json: Our dependencies and scripts
  • node_modules/: third-party modules
  • test/index.js: Our tests
  • util/auth.js: Our authentication code
  • util/mock-strategy: Our mocked passport authentication strategy

And our dependancies:

"dependencies": {
"koa": "^2.3.0",
"koa-passport": "^3.0.0",
"koa-route": "^3.2.0",
"koa-session": "^5.4.0",
"passport-github2": "^0.1.10"
"devDependencies": {
"supertest": "^3.0.0",
"tape": "^4.8.0"

In the discussion that follows, I will omit some code for brevity, particularly the code that mocks a data store. Calls to userStore.fetchUser() and userStore.saveUser() reference functions defined in util/auth.js.

Our routes

The routes for this example are shown below. When we're done, we will be able to access /app from within our tests.

const route = require('koa-route');
// Classic redirect behavior
passport.authenticate('github', {
successRedirect: '/app',
failureRedirect: '/'
// Require authentication for now
app.use(async function(ctx, next) {
if (ctx.isAuthenticated()) {
return next();
} else {
app.use(route.get('/app', function(ctx) {
ctx.body = ctx.state.user;

Choose a strategy and provide a callback function

Inside util/auth.js, I define a function that returns the appropriate strategy based on the NODE_ENV environment variable.

const passport = require('koa-passport');
const GitHubStrategy = require('passport-github2').Strategy;
const MockStrategy = require('./mock-strategy').Strategy;
function strategyForEnvironment() {
let strategy;
switch(process.env.NODE_ENV) {
case 'production':
strategy = new GitHubStrategy({
clientID: process.env.CLIENT_ID,
clientSecret: process.env.CLIENT_SECRET,
callbackURL: process.env.CALLBACK_URL
}, strategyCallback);
strategy = new MockStrategy('github', strategyCallback);
return strategy;

The callback function shown below, strategyCallback(), is where we receive the result of the OAuth2 flow. Usually this is where you'll match the OAuth profile ID to a user in your database or create one if the user does not exist. This function is part of the normal configuration for passport and it is passed to both the GitHubStrategy and the MockStrategy.

function strategyCallback(accessToken, refreshToken, profile, done) {
// Possibly User.findOrCreate({…}) or similar
let u = {
id: 1,
oauthProvider: profile.provider,
email: profile.emails[0].value,
username: profile.username,
avatarUrl: profile._json.avatar_url
// synchronous in this example
done(null, u);

At the end of util/auth.js, we choose our desired strategy by calling the function strategyForEnvironment() that we defined earlier.


Define mock strategy

The mock strategy is defined using the strategy interface provided by passport. This code lives in util/mock-strategy.js:

const passport = require('passport-strategy');
const util = require('util');
// The reply from Github OAuth2
const user = require('../mockProfile');
function Strategy(name, strategyCallback) {
if (!name || name.length === 0) { throw new TypeError('DevStrategy requires a Strategy name') ; }; = name;
this._user = user;
// Callback supplied to OAuth2 strategies handling verification
this._cb = strategyCallback;
util.inherits(Strategy, passport.Strategy);
Strategy.prototype.authenticate = function() {
this._cb(null, null, this._user, (error, user) => {
module.exports = {

The code above has two important purposes: It defines the constructor function for our mock strategy which accepts our strategyCallback() function and it defines the passport.authenticate() method used in our route for /auth/github/callback which provides our user object.

The flow for this looks like this:

  • A GET request is made to /auth/github/callback
  • passport.authenticate() is called
  • passport.authenticate() calls our strategyCallback() with a faked OAuth profile and an anonymous done callback
  • strategyCallback() retrieves the correct user from a data store
  • strategyCallback() calls the done callback with the user object
  • The done callback supplied to strategyCallback() in passport.authenticate() calls this.success() with our user object
  • this.success() performs the necessary work to populate the user session

Our strategyCallback() function defined earlier in util/auth.js is saved to this._cb in the Strategy() constructor function.

The passport.authenticate() method is called by our route handling function for the /auth/github/callback route. Here we call this._cb (containing a reference to our strategyCallback()). As you'll recall, the function signature is function strategyCallback(accessToken, refreshToken, profile, done). For our mock, we don't care about accessToken or refreshToken, so we pass null for both.

We do care about profile and done. We mock the profile object, in this example using my own Github profile data. We supply a callback function for done within which we call this.success(user). Our done callback is how strategyCallback() provides our final user object, the one that is serialized into the ctx.state.user in our example Koa app.

Whoa, that's a lot to think about!

Test with sessions

We can now test application routes that require authentication! Let's define a few helper methods for our tests. The first helper function wires up the server and configures supertest to work with it. We can use this function to set up a new instance of the server for each test.

I am using tape as the test framework, which requires any outstanding file handles to be explicitly closed. This is the purpose behind calls to httpServer.close() that appear in the examples below.

const prepare = () => {
const httpServer = app.listen();
const request = agent(app.callback());
return {

The next helper, createAuthenticatedUser(), allows us to chain requests using supertest. It works by saving the request object to authenticatedUser, which persists our request state for future use. First, the function authenticates the user by accessing the /auth/github/callback route defined earlier. Then, it passes authenticatedUser to a callback function we supply to make future requests with.

const createAuthenticatedUser = (done) => {
const httpServer = app.listen();
const authenticatedUser = agent(app.callback());
.end((error, resp) => {

Now you can test routes that require authentication. The test below calls createAuthenticatedUser and passes in a callback function that receives a persisted supertest object as its only parameter. Performing a request using this object allows the request to succeed.

test('it should work', t => {
createAuthenticatedUser(request => {
.end((err, res) => {

The same request without an authenticated request object will fail:

test('it should deny access to /app', t => {
const {httpServer, request} = prepare();
.end((err, res) => {

The entire repository (koa-passport-oauth2-testing), with working tests, is available.

Happy testing!