Use Firebase Auth with your app

Encore's authentication support provides a simple yet powerful way of dealing with various authentication scenarios.

Firebase Authentication is a common solution for quickly setting up a user store and simplifying social logins.

Encore makes it really easy to integrate with Firebase Authentication on the backend.

Set up auth handler

First, install two modules:

$ go get

Next it's time to define your authentication handler. It can live in whatever service you'd like, but it's usually easiest to create a designated user service.

Create the user/user.go file and add the following skeleton code:

package user

import (

    firebase ""
    fbauth ""

// Data represents the user's data stored in Firebase Auth.
type Data struct {
    // Email is the user's email.
    Email string
    // Name is the user's name.
    Name string
    // Picture is the user's picture URL.
    Picture string

// ValidateToken validates an auth token against Firebase Auth.
func ValidateToken(ctx context.Context, token string) (auth.UID, *Data, error) {
    // TODO ...

Initialize Firebase SDK

Next, let's set up the Firebase Auth client. We'll use  syncutil.Once  to do it lazily the first time we need it.

Add to the bottom of our file:

var (
    fbAuth    *fbauth.Client
    setupOnce syncutil.Once

// setupFB ensures Firebase Auth is setup.
func setupFB() error {
    return setupOnce.Do(func() error {
        opt := option.WithCredentialsJSON([]byte(secrets.FirebasePrivateKey))
        app, err := firebase.NewApp(context.Background(), nil, opt)
        if err == nil {
            fbAuth, err = app.Auth(context.Background())
        return err

var secrets struct {
    // FirebasePrivateKey is the JSON credentials for calling Firebase.
    FirebasePrivateKey string

Validate token against Firebase

Now that we have the code to initialize Firebase Auth, we can use it from our ValidateToken auth handler. Update the function to look like the following:

func ValidateToken(ctx context.Context, token string) (auth.UID, *Data, error) {
    if err := setupFB(); err != nil {
        return "", nil, err
    tok, err := fbAuth.VerifyIDToken(ctx, token)
    if err != nil {
        return "", nil, err

    email, _ := tok.Claims["email"].(string)
    name, _ := tok.Claims["name"].(string)
    picture, _ := tok.Claims["picture"].(string)
    uid := auth.UID(tok.UID)

    usr := &Data{
        Email:   email,
        Name:    name,
        Picture: picture,
    return uid, usr, nil

Great! We're done with the code. Now we just need to set up the secret.

Set Firebase secret credentials

If you haven't already, set up a Firebase project.

Then, go to Project settings and navigate to Service accounts. Select Go as the language of choice and click Generate new private key. Download the generated key and take note where it is stored.

Next, store the private key as your firebase secret. From your terminal (inside your Encore app directory), run:

$ encore secret set --prod FirebasePrivateKey < /path/to/firebase-private-key.json
Successfully updated production secret FirebasePrivateKey

Now you should do the same for the development secret. The most secure way is to set up a different Firebase project and use that for development.

Depending on your security requirements you could also use the same Firebase project, but we recommend generating a new private key for development in that case.

Once you have a private key for development, set it similarly to before:

$ encore secret set --dev FirebasePrivateKey < /path/to/firebase-private-key.json
Successfully updated development secret FirebasePrivateKey

That's it! You can now call your Encore application and pass in Firebase tokens. Encore will run your auth handler and validate the token against Firebase Auth.