Programming language: Go
License: Apache License 2.0
Latest version: v0.10.0-alpha.0

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Ory Keto is the first and most popular open source implementation of "Zanzibar: Google's Consistent, Global Authorization System"!

Get Started

You can use Docker to run Ory Keto locally or use the Ory CLI to try out Ory Keto:

# This example works best in Bash
bash <(curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ory/meta/master/install.sh) -b . ory
sudo mv ./ory /usr/local/bin/

# Or with Homebrew installed
brew install ory/tap/cli

create a new project (you may also use Docker)

ory create project --name "Ory Keto Example"
export project_id="{set to the id from output}"

and follow the quick & easy steps below.

Create a namespace with the Ory Permission Language

# Write a simple configuration with one namespace
echo "class Document implements Namespace {}" > config.ts

# Apply that configuration
ory patch opl --project $project_id -f file://./config.ts

# Create a relationship that grants tom access to a document
echo "Document:secret#read@tom" \
  | ory parse relation-tuples --project=$project_id --format=json - \
  | ory create relation-tuples --project=$project_id -

# List all relationships
ory list relation-tuples --project=$project_id
# Output:
#   Document    secret  read        tom
#   IS LAST PAGE    true

Now, check out your project on the Ory Network or continue with a more in-depth guide.

Ory Keto on the Ory Network

The Ory Network is the fastest, most secure and worry-free way to use Ory's Services. Ory Permissions is powered by the Ory Keto open source permission server, and it's fully API-compatible.

The Ory Network provides the infrastructure for modern end-to-end security:

  • Identity & credential management scaling to billions of users and devices
  • Registration, Login and Account management flows for passkey, biometric, social, SSO and multi-factor authentication
  • Pre-built login, registration and account management pages and components
  • OAuth2 and OpenID provider for single sign on, API access and machine-to-machine authorization
  • Low-latency permission checks based on Google's Zanzibar model and with built-in support for the Ory Permission Language

It's fully managed, highly available, developer & compliance-friendly!

  • GDPR-friendly secure storage with data locality
  • Cloud-native APIs, compatible with Ory's Open Source servers
  • Comprehensive admin tools with the web-based Ory Console and the Ory Command Line Interface (CLI)
  • Extensive documentation, straightforward examples and easy-to-follow guides
  • Fair, usage-based pricing

Sign up for a free developer account today!

Ory Permissions, Keto and the Google's Zanzibar model

Determining whether online users are authorized to access digital objects is central to preserving privacy. This paper presents the design, implementation, and deployment of Zanzibar, a global system for storing and evaluating access control lists. Zanzibar provides a uniform data model and configuration language for expressing a wide range of access control policies from hundreds of client services at Google, including Calendar, Cloud, Drive, Maps, Photos, and YouTube. Its authorization decisions respect causal ordering of user actions and thus provide external consistency amid changes to access control lists and object contents. Zanzibar scales to trillions of access control lists and millions of authorization requests per second to support services used by billions of people. It has maintained 95th-percentile latency of less than 10 milliseconds and availability of greater than 99.999% over 3 years of production use.


If you need to know if a user (or robot, car, service) is allowed to do something - Ory Permissions and Ory Keto are the right fit for you.

Currently, Ory Permissions [on the Ory Network] and the open-source Ory Keto permission server implement the API contracts for managing and checking relations ("permissions") with HTTP and gRPC APIs, as well as global rules defined through the Ory Permission Language ("userset rewrites"). Future versions will include features such as Zookies, reverse permission lookups, and more.

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Who's Using It?


The Ory community stands on the shoulders of individuals, companies, and maintainers. We thank everyone involved - from submitting bug reports and feature requests, to contributing patches, to sponsoring our work. Our community is 1000+ strong and growing rapidly. The Ory stack protects API requests every month with over 250.000+ active service nodes. We would have never been able to achieve this without each and everyone of you!

The following list represents companies that have accompanied us along the way and that have made outstanding contributions to our ecosystem. If you think that your company deserves a spot here, reach out to [email protected] now!

Please consider giving back by becoming a sponsor of our open source work on Patreon or Open Collective.

Type Name Logo Website Sponsor Raspberry PI Foundation raspberrypi.org Contributor Kyma Project kyma-project.io Sponsor Tulip tulip.com Sponsor Cashdeck / All My Funds cashdeck.com.au Contributor Hootsuite hootsuite.com Adopter * Segment segment.com Adopter * Arduino arduino.cc Adopter * DataDetect unifiedglobalarchiving.com/data-detect/ Adopter * Sainsbury's sainsburys.co.uk Adopter * Contraste contraste.com Adopter * Reyah reyah.eu Adopter * Zero getzero.dev Adopter * Padis padis.io Adopter * Cloudbear cloudbear.eu Adopter * Security Onion Solutions securityonionsolutions.com Adopter * Factly factlylabs.com Adopter * Nortal nortal.com Sponsor OrderMyGear ordermygear.com Sponsor Spiri.bo spiri.bo Sponsor Strivacity strivacity.com Adopter * Hanko hanko.io Adopter * Rabbit rabbit.co.th Adopter * inMusic inmusicbrands.com Adopter * Buhta buhta.com Adopter * Connctd connctd.com Adopter * Paralus paralus.io Adopter * TIER IV tier4.jp Adopter * R2Devops r2devops.io Adopter * LunaSec lunasec.io Adopter * Serlo serlo.org Adopter * dyrector.io dyrector.io

We also want to thank all individual contributors

as well as all of our backers

and past & current supporters (in alphabetical order) on Patreon: Alexander Alimovs, Billy, Chancy Kennedy, Drozzy, Edwin Trejos, Howard Edidin, Ken Adler Oz Haven, Stefan Hans, TheCrealm.

* Uses one of Ory's major projects in production.



Head over to the documentation to learn about ways of installing Ory Keto.



We build Ory on several guiding principles when it comes to our architecture design:

  • Minimal dependencies
  • Runs everywhere
  • Scales without effort
  • Minimize room for human and network errors

Ory's architecture is designed to run best on a Container Orchestration system such as Kubernetes, CloudFoundry, OpenShift, and similar projects. Binaries are small (5-15MB) and available for all popular processor types (ARM, AMD64, i386) and operating systems (FreeBSD, Linux, macOS, Windows) without system dependencies (Java, Node, Ruby, libxml, ...).

Ory Kratos: Identity and User Infrastructure and Management

Ory Kratos is an API-first Identity and User Management system that is built according to cloud architecture best practices. It implements core use cases that almost every software application needs to deal with: Self-service Login and Registration, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA/2FA), Account Recovery and Verification, Profile, and Account Management.

Ory Hydra: OAuth2 & OpenID Connect Server

Ory Hydra is an OpenID Certified™ OAuth2 and OpenID Connect Provider which easily connects to any existing identity system by writing a tiny "bridge" application. It gives absolute control over the user interface and user experience flows.

Ory Oathkeeper: Identity & Access Proxy

Ory Oathkeeper is a BeyondCorp/Zero Trust Identity & Access Proxy (IAP) with configurable authentication, authorization, and request mutation rules for your web services: Authenticate JWT, Access Tokens, API Keys, mTLS; Check if the contained subject is allowed to perform the request; Encode resulting content into custom headers (X-User-ID), JSON Web Tokens and more!

Ory Keto: Access Control Policies as a Server

Ory Keto is a policy decision point. It uses a set of access control policies, similar to AWS IAM Policies, in order to determine whether a subject (user, application, service, car, ...) is authorized to perform a certain action on a resource.



Disclosing Vulnerabilities

If you think you found a security vulnerability, please refrain from posting it publicly on the forums, the chat, or GitHub. You can find all info for responsible disclosure in our security.txt.


Our services collect summarized, anonymized data which can optionally be turned off. Click here to learn more.


The Guide is available here.

HTTP API Documentation

The HTTP API is documented here.

Upgrading and Changelog

New releases might introduce breaking changes. To help you identify and incorporate those changes, we document these changes in [UPGRADE.md](./UPGRADE.md) and [CHANGELOG.md](./CHANGELOG.md).

Command Line Documentation

Run keto -h or keto help.


We encourage all contributions and recommend you read our [contribution guidelines](./CONTRIBUTING.md).


You need Go 1.19+ and (for the test suites):

  • Docker and Docker Compose
  • GNU Make 4.3
  • NodeJS / npm >= v7

It is possible to develop Ory Keto on Windows, but please be aware that all guides assume a Unix shell like bash or zsh.

Install From Source

make install

Formatting Code

You can format all code using make format. Our CI checks if your code is properly formatted.

Running Tests

There are two types of tests you can run:

  • Short tests (do not require a SQL database like PostgreSQL)
  • Regular tests (do require PostgreSQL, MySQL, CockroachDB)
Short Tests

Short tests run fairly quickly. You can either test all of the code at once:

```shell script go test -short -tags sqlite ./...

or test just a specific module:

```shell script
go test -tags sqlite -short ./internal/check/...
Regular Tests

Regular tests require a database set up. Our test suite is able to work with docker directly (using ory/dockertest) but we encourage to use the script instead. Using dockertest can bloat the number of Docker Images on your system and starting them on each run is quite slow. Instead we recommend doing:

source ./scripts/test-resetdb.sh
go test -tags sqlite ./...
End-to-End Tests

The e2e tests are part of the normal go test. To only run the e2e test, use:

source ./scripts/test-resetdb.sh
go test -tags sqlite ./internal/e2e/...

or add the -short tag to only test against sqlite in-memory.

Build Docker

You can build a development Docker Image using:

make docker