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Wave Server API Access Keys

Wave apps and scripts access the Wave server using access keys via HTTP Basic Authentication.

An application access key is a pair of strings: ID and Secret.


The default ID and secret are the strings access_key_id/access_key_secret, which are set for development convenience, but are obviously not secure.

During development, you can change the default ID and secret when you start the Wave server like this:

./waved -access-key-id <id> -access-key-secret <secret>

If you change the ID and secret, you'll need to ensure that your app or script uses the new credentials by setting the H2O_WAVE_ACCESS_KEY_ID and H2O_WAVE_ACCESS_KEY_SECRET environment variables accordingly.


For production deployments, you should generate cryptographically secure random ID/secret pairs like this:

$ ./waved -create-access-key


Make sure to copy your new access key ID and secret now.
You won't be able to see it again!


Your key was also added to the keychain located at

The above command also stores the credentials in a file named .wave-keychain in the current working directory. The file format is similar to a .htpasswd file, but always uses bcrypt hashes. Note that the access key secret displayed on the console is not stored anywhere, and cannot be recovered. If you lose the secret, simply generate a new one and reconfigure your app to use the new secret.

You can also make the -create-access-key command use a keychain file located elsewhere, like this:

./waved -create-access-key -access-keychain /path/to/file.extension

The Wave server uses the keychain file to authenticate requests from apps and scripts. By default, it automatically loads the .wave-keychain file if present in the current working directory.

To make the Wave server use a specific keychain file, launch it like this:

./waved -access-keychain /path/to/file.extension

To view a sorted list of all the keys in a keychain file, use -list-access-keys, like this:

$ ./waved -list-access-keys

To remove a key from a keychain file, use -remove-access-key, like this:

./waved -remove-access-key ENHL90KR2HZD6X2ZIYLZ

To remove a key from a keychain file located elsewhere, do this:

./waved -remove-access-key ENHL90KR2HZD6X2ZIYLZ -access-keychain /path/to/file.extension


To enable HTTP over TLS to secure your Wave server, pass the following flags when starting the Wave server:

  • -tls-cert-file: path to certificate file or using H2O_WAVE_TLS_CERT_FILE env variable.
  • -tls-key-file: path to private key file or using H2O_WAVE_TLS_KEY_FILE env variable.

File paths need to be either absolute or relative to the Wave server (waved) location.

Once set, the Wave app needs to know it should talk to the Wave server via https and not http as it does by default. This can be set using H2O_WAVE_ADDRESS="" env variable when starting the Wave app.

Self Signed Certificate

To enable TLS during development, use a self-signed certificate.

To create a private key and a self-signed certificate from scratch, use openssl:

openssl req \
-newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -keyout domain.key \
-x509 -days 365 -out domain.crt

The above command creates a 2048-bit private key (domain.key) and a self-signed x509 certificate (domain.crt) valid for 365 days.

Single Sign On

Wave has built-in support for OpenID Connect.

To enable OpenID Connect, pass the following flags when starting the Wave server:

  • -oidc-provider-url: The URL for authentication (the identity provider's URL).
  • -oidc-redirect-url: The URL to redirect back to after authentication. This is typically /_auth/callback appended to the Wave server's address. For example, if the Wave server is running at, set this to If you're testing your app's authorization workflow during development and the Wave server is running at http://localhost:10101, you can set this argument to http://localhost:10101/_auth/callback. If you also specified the -base-url argument for Wave server, then make sure the redirect URL includes the base URL. For example, if the base URL is set to /my/app/, set the redirect URL to
  • -oidc-client-id: Client ID (refer to your identity provider's documentation).
  • -oidc-client-secret: Client secret (refer to your identity provider's documentation).
  • -oidc-end-session-url: (Optional) URL to log out (refer to your identity provider's documentation). This flag is optional and might not be supported by your identity provider.
  • -oidc-scopes: (Optional) Comma-separated scopes that will override defaults (openid,profile).
  • -oidc-skip-login: (Optional) Don't show the built-in login form during OIDC authorization. Instead, navigate directly to the identity provider's login form.
  • -oidc-auth-url-params: (Optional) Additional URL parameters to pass during OIDC authorization.

Once authenticated, you can access user's authentication and authorization information from your app using q.auth (see the Auth class for details):

from h2o_wave import Q, main, app

async def serve(q: Q):

Explicit token refresh

Note that access token is not refreshed automatically and it's not suited for long running jobs. The lifespan of a token depends on a provider settings but usually it's short. Access token is refreshed each time user performs an action i.e. the query handler serve() is called. However, if your UI is blocked (no user interacitons that could automatically refresh the token) and you are performing a long-running job, and still need fresh access token, you can call ensure_fresh_token function that refreshes and sets the token explicitly. Additionally, it also returns the access token if needed for async token providers.

from h2o_wave import Q, main, app

async def serve(q: Q):
# Refreshes the token and makes it available in q.auth.access_token.
new_access_token = await q.auth.ensure_fresh_token()

Synchronous version ensure_fresh_token_sync is also supported if your token provider is synchronous. However, using it is heavily discouraged due to its blocking nature - will make the Wave app super slow for all users, thus only recommended for throwaway, single user PoCs. Async version is the preferred choice to mitigate this.

App Server API Access Keys

Access to a Wave app is controlled via HTTP Basic Authentication. The basic authentication username/password pair is automatically generated on app launch, and is visible only to the Wave server. You can manually override this behavior by setting the $WAVE_APP_ACCESS_KEY_ID / $WAVE_APP_ACCESS_KEY_SECRET environment variables (for development/testing only - not recommended in production).

Additional HTTP Response Headers

You can make the Wave daemon include additional HTTP response headers by using the -http-headers-file command line argument to waved, pointing to a MIME-formatted file.

A sample file (make sure there's an empty line at the end):

X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN
X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff
X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block

Accessing forwarded headers

It's possible to access the HTTP headers that were set on websocket HTTP connection request via q.headers. This might be useful in case built-in OIDC auth is not an option and you already have an existing, company-wide auth based on intercepting all the traffic and verifying if the requests are authenticated.


Since Wave is websocket-based, the headers retrieved do not come from the initial GET index.html request, but from the websocket /_s/ one.

For a more fine-grained control over which HTTP headers are forwarded or not, check the H2O_WAVE_FORWARDED_HTTP_HEADERS configuration option.