Troubleshooting Supabase JWT Authentication in Python

What will you learn?

In this comprehensive guide, you will master the art of resolving issues related to JSON Web Token (JWT) authentication from a Python client in Supabase, especially when dealing with Row Level Security (RLS). You’ll understand how to configure JWT authentication effectively to work seamlessly with RLS and ensure secure interactions between your Python application and your database.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

When integrating Supabase with a Python application, challenges may arise, particularly when Row Level Security (RLS) is in place. The key lies in configuring JWT authentication correctly to harmonize with RLS policies. This alignment guarantees that your application can securely interact with your database while respecting the granular permissions set by RLS.

To address this issue, we will dive into the workings of JWT within Supabase and RLS. We’ll guide you through setting up a Python client capable of authenticating using JWTs. The solution involves generating suitable tokens, configuring your Supabase project accurately, and ensuring that your Python code effectively handles these tokens for successful authentication.


import supabase_py

# Initialize connection to your Supabase project
url: str = "your_supabse_url"
key: str = "your_supbase_anon_key"
supabase = supabase_py.create_client(url, key)

# Function to authenticate and retrieve JWT token
def authenticate(email: str, password: str):
    auth_response = supabase.auth.sign_in(email=email, password=password)
    jwt_token = auth_response['access_token']
    return jwt_token

# Example usage - Replace 'email' and 'password' with actual credentials 
jwt_token = authenticate('', 'your_password')
print(f"JWT Token: {jwt_token}")

# Copyright PHD


The provided code snippet illustrates setting up basic authentication against a Supabase backend from a Python client. 1. Initialization: Begin by establishing a connection by providing your Supabase URL and API key. 2. Authentication Function: The authenticate function facilitates sign-in using email and password credentials through the sign_in method from supabase.auth. 3. Retrieving JWT Token: Upon successful login, extract the access_token, serving as the essential JWT token for subsequent authorized requests.

This process ensures acquiring a valid JWT token for inclusion in request headers when interacting with tables under RLS.

    1. How do I enable Row Level Security (RLS) on my tables? You can enable it directly via SQL commands on the SupaBase UI or utilize SQL scripts like ALTER TABLE my_table ENABLE ROW LEVEL SECURITY;.

    2. What is a JSON Web Token (JWT)? A standard for securely transmitting information between parties as a JSON object�primarily used for authenticating requests between clients and servers.

    3. Can I use environment variables for storing sensitive data like URLs and keys? Absolutely! It’s advisable to leverage environment variables or secret management tools over hardcoding sensitive data into scripts.

    4. How does RLS work alongside JWTs? RLS employs policies attached to tables evaluating session claims from tokens like JWTS�granting or denying access based on these claims.

    5. What happens if I don’t provide an access token when making requests? Requests will either be denied or treated as unauthenticated based on configured security rules within your database schema.

    6. Is there any way to refresh expired tokens automatically? Yes! Most SDKs offer functions for refreshing tokens upon expiration; implementation specifics may vary based on requirements.


Efficiently integrating JWT-based authentication into applications interacting with databases under row-level security demands precise configuration at both API and database levels. This includes proper token generation/handling along with meticulous policy adherence ensuring secure yet seamless interactions across systems involved. By following the outlined steps diligently alongside troubleshooting tips from FAQs above, you can navigate common hurdles effectively towards achieving desired operational outcomes seamlessly.

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