Setting the Guard Per Route in Laravel

edit you will be able to do this natively in 5.3. The auth middleware will set the default guard and the user resolver.

I’ve been working with Laravel for awhile, and the authentication that comes out of the box is pretty awesome.

Laravel let’s you setup different guards which authenticate the user differently. You might have a web guard that uses the session and cookies and an api guard that uses an OAuth token.

If you use two guards in the same app, you need to specify which one you want everytime you access it.

$user = Auth::user();               // Uses the default guard
$user = Auth::guard('api')->user(); // You have to manually specify the guard

I thought it would be really nice to be able to set the guard for a route group like this:

Route::group(['domain' => '', 'guard' => 'api'], function () {
    // ...

That way I only need to set it once, and every time I call Auth::user() or inject the Guard I get the correct instance.

After a little digging, I found out that Laravel emits an event when it matches a route. The event is called RouteMatched and you can access the current route from it.

First I registerer a listener for the event. The listener gets the current route, and checks if the route has the ‘guard’ attribute. I added the code to my AppServiceProvider in the boot method.

Next I needed to hook into authentication and set the guard. When you call Auth::user() or auth(), what actually gets loaded is the AuthManager. The AuthManager is aliased as ‘auth’, so I just used that to access it.

The first method, resolveUsersUsing, lets you set a callback which will be invoked when someone tries to get the current user from the auth manager. I thought that would be what get’s called when you call Auth::user(), but it’s not ¯_(ツ)_/¯. Apparently that’s used to resolve the Authenticatable contract, when making a new Gate, and when you call $request->user().

The second method sets the default driver. That’s what actually gets used when you inject the guard or call Auth::user(). I figured that out by reading the auth service provider.

The whole thing looks like this:

$this->app['router']->matched(function (\Illuminate\Routing\Events\RouteMatched $event) {
    $route = $event->route;
    if (!array_has($route->getAction(), 'guard')) {
    $routeGuard = array_get($route->getAction(), 'guard');
    $this->app['auth']->resolveUsersUsing(function ($guard = null) use ($routeGuard) {
        return $this->app['auth']->guard($routeGuard)->user();

Edit: a reader pointed out that you might want to set a guard for the route group but then set a different guard for the specific route. If you do this the guard will be an array. He suggested fetchching the last element in the array, since that will be the most recently added guard (thanks Mitch!).

$routeGuard = Arr::last(Arr::wrap($route->getAction(), 'guard'));

Now our routes can specify a guard, and the default guard will be swapped to that one as soon as the route is resolved. Awesome 👍

Route::group(['guard' => 'api'], function () {
    Route::get('/api/whoami', function () {
        return Auth::user()->toJson();

Route::group(['guard' => 'web'], function () {
    Route::get('/whoami', function () {
        $name = Auth::user()->name;
        return "hello {$name}!";