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When a fresh copy of CouchDB is started, there is no authentication in place; anyone can access any part of it through HTTP. When you're in development, this is very handy. However, this is almost never acceptable for production use. Fortunately, CouchDB allows you to lock down individual databases as well the whole server. First, let's create an admin. In the lower right-hand part of the screen you'll notice it says, Welcome to Admin Party! Everyone is admin. Fix this. Let's do what it suggests and click Fix this, type in admin as the Username, and then admin as the Password.
We've created an admin but we would still like to lock down the database. Anonymous users can still read from and write to the database. Click the Configuration link. There is a property called require_valid_ user, and it's currently set to false. Let's double-click and set that to true. Once you click the check, CouchDB requires a valid user for every operation. Let's test how this works. I'm going to go to the Command line to use curl. Go to Utilities > Terminal.
Let's try to get information about the restaurant database. Since we haven't logged in, it tells us that authentication is required. If we supply the username and password, it will now let us in. Now you don't have to use an admin as the only way of securing your database. You may have situations where you want certain users to be able to access and modify certain databases. CouchDB allows this with different roles, but for now we're just going to secure the whole entire database.
While CouchDB is completely open by default, it is easily secured. After creating an admin user set require_valid_user to true.
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