OAS 3 This guide is for OpenAPI 3.0. If you use OpenAPI 2.0, see our OpenAPI 2.0 guide.
Basic authentication is a simple authentication scheme built into the HTTP protocol. The client sends HTTP requests with the
Authorization header that contains the word
Basic word followed by a space and a base64-encoded string
username:password. For example, to authorize as
demo / p@55w0rd the client would send
Authorization: Basic ZGVtbzpwQDU1dzByZA==
Note: Because base64 is easily decoded, Basic authentication should only be used together with other security mechanisms such as HTTPS/SSL.
Describing Basic Authentication
Using OpenAPI 3.0, you can describe Basic authentication as follows:
basicAuth: # <-- arbitrary name for the security scheme
- basicAuth:  # <-- use the same name here
The first section,
, defines a security scheme named basicAuth
(an arbitrary name). This scheme must have
section then applies Basic authentication to the entire API. The square brackets
denote the security scopes used; the list is empty because Basic authentication does not use scopes.
can be set globally (as in the example above) or on the operation level. The latter is useful if only a subset of operations require Basic authentication:
- basicAuth: 
Basic authentication can also be combined with other authentication methods as explained in Using Multiple Authentication Types
You can also define the 401 “Unauthorized” response returned for requests with missing or incorrect credentials. This response includes the
header, which you may want to mention. As with other common responses, the 401 response can be defined in the global
section and referenced elsewhere via
description: Authentication information is missing or invalid
To learn more about the
responses syntax, see Describing Responses.
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