Exploring SuperTokens Open source alternative to Auth0 Firebase Auth AWS Cognito

In today's fast-paced digital landscape, ensuring secure authentication while maintaining an exceptional user and developer experience is crucial. Traditional authentication providers, though powerful, often come with limitations such as high costs, complexity, and a lack of control over user data. Enter SuperTokens – an open-source authentication provider that promises to revolutionize the way we approach authentication by offering a seamless, secure, and user-friendly solution.

What is SuperTokens?

SuperTokens is an open-core authentication solution designed to simplify the integration of secure login and session management into your applications. Unlike proprietary solutions like Auth0, Firebase Auth, or AWS Cognito, SuperTokens offers an open-source alternative that can be used for free, forever, with no limits on the number of users. This gives you full control over your user data, enabling on-premises deployment using your own database.


SuperTokens was built with a philosophy centered around optimizing the three key pillars of authentication solutions: user experience, developer experience, and security. The team behind SuperTokens believes that existing solutions fail to balance these pillars effectively, often leading developers to create their own authentication systems. This not only results in security risks but also consumes significant development time.

SuperTokens aims to change this by providing a solution with the right level of abstraction, giving developers maximum control, ensuring security, and simplifying usage – akin to building an authentication system from scratch, but without the associated time and effort.

Docker pull stats

Key Features

SuperTokens boasts a comprehensive set of features designed to cater to various authentication needs. These include:

  • Passwordless Login: Allow users to log in using a magic link sent to their email, eliminating the need for passwords.
  • Social Login: Enable users to sign in with their social media accounts, such as Google, Facebook, or GitHub.
  • Email Password Login: Traditional email and password-based authentication.
  • Phone Password Login: Authenticate users using their phone numbers.
  • Session Management: Manage user sessions securely with automatic session refreshing and revocation.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Add an extra layer of security by requiring multiple forms of verification.
  • Multi-Tenancy / Organization Support (Enterprise SSO): Support for enterprise single sign-on and multi-tenancy.
  • User Roles: Define and manage user roles and permissions.
  • Microservice Authentication: Securely authenticate users in microservices architectures.

These features make SuperTokens a versatile solution that can be tailored to fit various authentication requirements.


SuperTokens' architecture is designed to be modular and flexible, making it easy to integrate into any application. The architecture consists of three main building blocks:

  1. Frontend SDK: This SDK manages session tokens and renders login UI widgets. It provides a seamless user experience by handling the intricacies of token management on the client side.
  2. Backend SDK: This SDK provides APIs for sign-up, sign-in, sign-out, session refreshing, and more. The frontend communicates with these APIs to perform authentication operations.
  3. SuperTokens Core: The core of the system is an HTTP service that handles the core authentication logic and database operations. It is used by the Backend SDK to perform tasks such as token generation, validation, and storage.

Architecture Diagram

This modular architecture allows developers to use SuperTokens for specific authentication needs, such as session management or social login, or as a complete authentication solution.

Why Java?

SuperTokens is built using Java, a choice driven by several key factors:

  • Mature Ecosystem: Java has a well-established ecosystem with battle-tested third-party libraries, ensuring reliability and security.
  • Strong Typing System: Java's strong typing system reduces bugs and enhances maintainability, which is crucial for a project expected to be collaboratively developed.
  • Ease of Distribution: SuperTokens provides the JDK along with the binary or Docker image, simplifying deployment and making it as easy to run as any other HTTP microservice.
  • Memory Management: Despite Java's reputation for high memory usage, SuperTokens employs strategies to mitigate this, such as using an embedded Tomcat server and planning future use of GraalVM to reduce memory usage by up to 95%.

User Management Dashboard

SuperTokens offers a user management dashboard that allows you to oversee and manage your users effectively. Key features of the dashboard include:

List Users

The dashboard provides a comprehensive list of all users who have signed up for your application, allowing you to manage their details and sessions easily.

Manage Users

You can manage users by modifying or deleting their sessions, metadata, roles, and account information. This level of control ensures that you can maintain a secure and organized user base.

Getting Started with SuperTokens

Getting started with SuperTokens is straightforward, thanks to its extensive documentation and easy-to-follow guides. The documentation covers everything from installation to advanced configuration, ensuring that you have all the information you need to integrate SuperTokens into your application seamlessly.

Installation and Setup

SuperTokens can be installed using Docker, making it easy to get up and running quickly. Here’s a brief overview of the installation process:

  1. Pull the Docker Image: Use the following command to pull the SuperTokens Docker image:
     docker pull supertokens/supertokens-core
  2. Run the Docker Container: Start the SuperTokens core by running:
     docker run -p 3567:3567 supertokens/supertokens-core
  3. Integrate with Your Backend: Use the appropriate SDK for your backend (Node.js, Go, Python, etc.) to integrate SuperTokens into your application. Detailed guides for each SDK are available in the documentation.

Frontend Integration

SuperTokens provides frontend SDKs for popular frameworks like React.js, React Native, and Vanilla JS. These SDKs handle session tokens and render login UI widgets, making it easy to provide a seamless authentication experience for your users.

SuperTokens vs. Other Providers

When compared to other authentication providers, SuperTokens stands out in several key areas:

Open Source

SuperTokens is fully open-source, allowing you to use it for free, forever, with no limits on the number of users. This transparency and freedom are unmatched by proprietary solutions.

On-Premises Deployment

SuperTokens can be deployed on-premises, giving you complete control over your user data. This is a significant advantage for organizations that prioritize data privacy and compliance.

Flexibility and Extensibility

SuperTokens is designed to be flexible and extensible. You can use it for specific authentication needs, such as session management, or as a complete solution. Additionally, the open-source nature of SuperTokens allows you to contribute and enhance its capabilities.

Ease of Use

SuperTokens prioritizes ease of implementation and a great developer experience. The comprehensive documentation and modular architecture make it easy to integrate SuperTokens into your application, reducing development time and effort.

Community and Support

SuperTokens has a vibrant community of developers who contribute to its continuous improvement. The project is actively maintained, and contributions are welcomed. You can join the SuperTokens community on Discord for support, feedback, and collaboration.

If you encounter issues or have questions, you can create an issue on the GitHub repository. The SuperTokens team and community are responsive and ready to assist you.


SuperTokens offers a compelling alternative to traditional authentication providers by combining the benefits of open-source software with a robust set of features designed to enhance security, user experience, and developer productivity. Its modular architecture, ease of use, and flexibility make it an ideal choice for developers looking to implement secure authentication in their applications.

Whether you're building a small startup application or an enterprise-level solution, SuperTokens provides the tools and support you need to manage authentication effectively. With its commitment to open-source principles and continuous improvement, SuperTokens is poised to become a leading player in the authentication space.

To learn more about SuperTokens and get started, visit the official website. For detailed documentation and guides, check out the documentation section.

If you like the project, consider starring the GitHub repository and joining the [

community on Discord](https://supertokens.io/discord). Your feedback and contributions are valuable in making SuperTokens even better.

SuperTokens is not just an authentication provider; it's a community-driven movement towards more secure, flexible, and user-friendly authentication solutions. Join us in revolutionizing authentication, one login at a time.

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