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Version: 4.x

Social Auth with Google

In this last part of the tutorial, we will give users the ability to log in with Google. Currently, they can only log in with an email and a password.

To do this, you will use Foal's social authentication system.

This section assumes that you have already set up a Google application and have retrieved your client ID and secret. If you have not, you might want to check this page first. The redirection URIs allowed in your Google application must include http://localhost:3001/api/auth/google/callback.

Nullable Passwords

The first step is to update the User model. Some users may only use the social login and therefore not have a password. To take this into account, we will make the password column accept null values.

Open user.entity.ts and update its contents.

import { BaseEntity, Column, Entity, PrimaryGeneratedColumn } from 'typeorm';

export class User extends BaseEntity {

id: number;

@Column({ unique: true })
email: string;

@Column({ nullable: true })
password: string;

name: string;

avatar: string;


export { DatabaseSession } from '@foal/typeorm';

Make and run the migrations.

npm run makemigrations
npm run migrations

Then open auth.controller.ts and add a condition to check whether the password value is null in the database.

if (!user.password) {
return new HttpResponseUnauthorized();

if (!(await verifyPassword(password, user.password))) {
return new HttpResponseUnauthorized();


Now that the password problem is solved, you can install the packages and provide your social credentials in the configuration.

npm install @foal/social node-fetch@2


"port": "env(PORT)",
"settings": {
"social": {
"google": {
"clientId": "env(GOOGLE_CLIENT_ID)",
"clientSecret": "env(GOOGLE_CLIENT_SECRET)",
"redirectUri": "http://localhost:3001/api/auth/google/callback"


# ...

GOOGLE_CLIENT_ID="your Google client ID"
GOOGLE_CLIENT_SECRET="your Google client secret"

The Social Controller

Create the controller.

foal generate controller api/social-auth --register

Open the file and add two new routes.

API endpointMethodDescription
/api/auth/googlePOSTRedirects the user to Google login page.
/api/auth/google/callbackGETHandles redirection from Google once the user has approved the connection.
import { Context, dependency, Get, HttpResponseRedirect } from '@foal/core';
import { GoogleProvider } from '@foal/social';
import { User } from '../../entities';
import * as fetch from 'node-fetch';
import { Disk } from '@foal/storage';

interface GoogleUserInfo {
email: string;
name?: string;
picture?: string;

export class SocialAuthController {
google: GoogleProvider;

disk: Disk;

redirectToGoogle() {

async handleGoogleRedirection(ctx: Context<User>) {
const { userInfo } = await<GoogleUserInfo>(ctx);

if (! {
throw new Error('Google should have returned an email address.');

let user = await User.findOneBy({ email: });

if (!user) {
user = new User(); =;
user.avatar = ''; = ?? 'Unknown';

if (userInfo.picture) {
const response = await fetch(userInfo.picture);
const { path } = await this.disk.write('images/profiles/uploaded', response.body)
user.avatar = path;


ctx.user = user;

return new HttpResponseRedirect('/');


Open api.controller.ts and replace the path prefix of the SocialAuthController with /auth.

subControllers = [
controller('/stories', StoriesController),
controller('/auth', AuthController),
controller('/profile', ProfileController),
controller('/auth', SocialAuthController)

Go to http://localhost:3001/login and click on the Connect with Google button. You are redirected to the Google login page. Once you have validated the connection, you will be redirected to the home page. If you have a Google profile picture, you will see it on your profile page.

For this to work, you need to make sure you are using port 3001 to test the social login. This assumes that you created the production build in the previous step of this tutorial. You can't use the React development server here because the redirects won't work with both ports 3000 and 3001.

Congratulations! You have reached the end of this tutorial. You can find the complete source code here.