Laravel Sanctum Vs Jwt

Laravel Sanctum vs JWT

Laravel Sanctum and JSON Web Tokens (JWT) are two popular authentication mechanisms in Laravel. Let’s explore the differences between them and provide examples to understand their usage.

Laravel Sanctum

Laravel Sanctum is a lightweight package provided by Laravel for API authentication. It uses Laravel’s built-in session authentication to authenticate API requests. Sanctum generates API tokens for each user session and associates them with the user. These tokens are used to authenticate subsequent API requests.

Usage Example:

use Illuminate\Http\Request;
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Route;

Route::middleware('auth:sanctum')->get('/api/user', function (Request $request) {
    return $request->user();

In the above example, the auth:sanctum middleware ensures that the API request is authenticated using Sanctum. The authenticated user can then be accessed using $request->user().

JSON Web Tokens (JWT)

JSON Web Tokens (JWT) are an open standard for securely transmitting information between parties as a JSON object. JWTs consist of three parts: a header, a payload, and a signature. The payload contains the data that needs to be transmitted. Laravel does not provide a built-in JWT authentication mechanism, but there are third-party packages available for JWT implementation in Laravel.

Usage Example:

use Illuminate\Http\Request;
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Route;
use Tymon\JWTAuth\Facades\JWTAuth;

Route::middleware('auth:api')->get('/api/user', function (Request $request) {
    $user = JWTAuth::parseToken()->authenticate();
    return $user;

In this example, the auth:api middleware is used to authenticate the API request. JWTAuth’s parseToken() method is used to extract and verify the JWT from the request headers. The authenticate() method then retrieves the authenticated user.


Sanctum JWT
Uses Laravel’s built-in session authentication Does not rely on sessions, stateless
Generates API tokens for each user session Does not generate tokens automatically, handled through JWT creation
Well-integrated with Laravel, easy to set up Third-party packages required for implementation

The choice between Laravel Sanctum and JWT depends on the specific requirements of your project. If your application requires stateful authentication with session tokens, Laravel Sanctum is a suitable option. On the other hand, if you need stateless authentication or want more control over the token generation process, JWT can be a better choice.

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