JSON Web Almost Everything - JWA, JWS, JWE, JWK, JWT, JWKS for Node.js with minimal dependencies

Usage no npm install needed!

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"JSON Web Almost Everything" - JWA, JWS, JWE, JWT, JWK, JWKS for Node.js with minimal dependencies

## Implemented specs & features

The following specifications are implemented by jose

The test suite utilizes examples defined in RFC7520 to confirm its JOSE implementation is correct.

Available JWT validation profiles

Detailed feature matrix (Click to expand)


  • Implemented
  • Missing node crypto support / won't implement
  • TBD

| JWK Key Types | Supported || | -- | -- | -- | | RSA | ✓ | RSA | | Elliptic Curve | ✓ | EC | | Octet Key Pair | ✓ | OKP | | Octet sequence | ✓ | oct |

| Serialization | JWS Sign | JWS Verify | JWE Encrypt | JWE Decrypt | | -- | -- | -- | -- | -- | | Compact | ✓ | ✓ | ✓ | ✓ | | General JSON | ✓ | ✓ | ✓ | ✓ | | Flattened JSON | ✓ | ✓ | ✓ | ✓ |

| JWS Algorithms | Supported || | -- | -- | -- | | RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5 | ✓ | RS256, RS384, RS512 | | RSASSA-PSS | ✓ | PS256, PS384, PS512 | | ECDSA | ✓ | ES256, ES256K, ES384, ES512 | | Edwards-curve DSA | ✓ | EdDSA | | HMAC with SHA-2 | ✓ | HS256, HS384, HS512 |

| JWE Key Management Algorithms | Supported || | -- | -- | -- | | AES | ✓ | A128KW, A192KW, A256KW | | AES GCM | ✓ | A128GCMKW, A192GCMKW, A256GCMKW | | Direct Key Agreement | ✓ | dir | | RSAES OAEP | ✓ | RSA-OAEP, RSA-OAEP-256 | | RSAES-PKCS1-v1_5 | ✓ | RSA1_5 | | PBES2 | ✓ | PBES2-HS256+A128KW, PBES2-HS384+A192KW, PBES2-HS512+A256KW | | ECDH-ES | ✓ | ECDH-ES, ECDH-ES+A128KW, ECDH-ES+A192KW, ECDH-ES+A256KW |

| JWE Content Encryption Algorithms | Supported || | -- | -- | -- | | AES GCM | ✓ | A128GCM, A192GCM, A256GCM | | AES_CBC_HMAC_SHA2 | ✓ | A128CBC-HS256, A192CBC-HS384, A256CBC-HS512 |

| JWT profile validation | Supported | profile option value | | -- | -- | -- | | ID Token - OpenID Connect Core 1.0 | ✓ | id_token | | JWT Access Tokens JWT Profile for OAuth 2.0 Access Tokens | ◯ || | Logout Token - OpenID Connect Back-Channel Logout 1.0 | ◯ || | JARM - JWT Secured Authorization Response Mode for OAuth 2.0 | ◯ ||


  • RSA-OAEP-256 JWE algorithm is only supported when Node.js >= 12.9.0 runtime is detected
  • Importing X.509 certificates and handling x5c is only supported when Node.js >= 12.0.0 runtime is detected
  • OKP keys are only supported when Node.js >= 12.0.0 runtime is detected
  • See #electron-support for electron exceptions

Pending Node.js Support 🤞:

Won't implement:

  • ✕ JWS embedded key / referenced verification
    • one can decode the header and pass the (x5c, jwk) to JWK.asKey and validate with that key, similarly the application can handle fetching and then instantiating the referenced x5u or jku in its own code. This way you opt-in to these behaviours.
  • ✕ JWS detached content
    • one can remove/attach the payload after/before the respective operation
  • ✕ "none" alg support
    • no crypto, no use

Have a question about using jose? - ask.
Found a bug? - report it.
Missing a feature? - If it wasn't already discussed before, ask for it.
Found a vulnerability? - Reach out to us via email first, see security vulnerability disclosure.


auth0-logo If you want to quickly add secure token-based authentication to Node.js projects, feel free to check Auth0’s free plan at auth0.com/overview.


If you or your business use jose, please consider becoming a sponsor so I can continue maintaining it and adding new features carefree.



For the best performance Node.js version >=12.0.0 is recommended, but ^10.13.0 lts/dubnium is also supported.

Installing jose

npm install jose


const jose = require('jose')
const {
  JWE,   // JSON Web Encryption (JWE)
  JWK,   // JSON Web Key (JWK)
  JWKS,  // JSON Web Key Set (JWKS)
  JWS,   // JSON Web Signature (JWS)
  JWT,   // JSON Web Token (JWT)
  errors // errors utilized by jose
} = jose

Keys and KeyStores

Prepare your Keys and KeyStores. See the documentation for more.

const key = jose.JWK.asKey(fs.readFileSync('path/to/key/file'))

const jwk = { kty: 'EC',
  kid: 'dl4M_fcI7XoFCsQ22PYrQBkuxZ2pDcbDimcdFmmXM98',
  crv: 'P-256',
  x: 'v37avifcL-xgh8cy6IFzcINqqmFLc2JF20XUpn4Y2uQ',
  y: 'QTwy27XgP7ZMOdGOSopAHB-FU1JMQn3J9GEWGtUXreQ' }
const anotherKey = jose.JWK.asKey(jwk)

const keystore = new jose.JWKS.KeyStore(key, key2)


The JWT module provides IANA registered claim type and format validations on top of JWS as well as convenience options for verifying UNIX timestamps, setting maximum allowed JWT age, verifying audiences, and more.

The JWS module on the other hand handles the other JWS Serialization Syntaxes with all their additional available features and allows signing of any payload, i.e. not just serialized JSON objects.

JWT Signing

Sign with a private or symmetric key with plethora of convenience options. See the documentation for more.

  { 'urn:example:claim': 'foo' },
    algorithm: 'PS256',
    audience: 'urn:example:client_id',
    expiresIn: '1 hour',
    header: {
      typ: 'JWT'
    issuer: 'https://op.example.com'

JWT Verifying

Verify with a public or symmetric key with plethora of convenience options. See the documentation for more.

    issuer: 'https://op.example.com',
    audience: 'urn:example:client_id',
    algorithms: ['PS256']

ID Token Verifying

ID Token is a JWT, but profiled, there are additional requirements to a JWT to be accepted as an ID Token and it is pretty easy to omit some, use the profile option of JWT.verify to make sure what you're accepting is really an ID Token meant to your Client. This will then perform all doable validations given the input. See the documentation for more.

    profile: 'id_token',
    issuer: 'https://op.example.com',
    audience: 'urn:example:client_id',
    nonce: 'a51ccf08f4bbb06e88715ddc4bbb41d8',
    algorithms: ['PS256']

Note: Depending on the channel you receive an ID Token from the following claims may be required and must also be checked: at_hash, c_hash or s_hash. Use e.g. oidc-token-hash to validate those hashes after getting the ID Token payload and signature validated by jose

JWS Signing

Sign with a private or symmetric key using compact serialization. See the documentation for more.

  { sub: 'johndoe' },
  { kid: privateKey.kid }

JWS Verifying

Verify with a public or symmetric key. See the documentation for more.


JWE Encrypting

Encrypt using the recipient's public key or a shared symmetrical secret. See the documentation for more.

  { kid: publicKey.kid }

JWE Decrypting

Decrypt using the private key or a shared symmetrical secret. See the documentation for more.



Note: the secp256k1 JOSE parameters registration and the RFC is still in a draft state. If the WG draft changes its mind about the parameter names again the new values will be propagated as a MINOR library version.

When you require jose you can work with secp256k1 EC keys right away, the EC JWK crv used is as per the specification secp256k1.

const jose = require('jose')
let key = jose.JWK.generateSync('EC', 'secp256k1')
key = jose.JWK.asKey(fs.readFileSync('path/to/key/file'))
key.crv === 'secp256k1'

For legacy reasons the unregistered EC JWK crv value P-256K is also supported but you must require jose like so to use it:

const jose = require('jose/P-256K')
let key = jose.JWK.generateSync('EC', 'P-256K')
key = jose.JWK.asKey(fs.readFileSync('path/to/key/file'))
key.crv === 'P-256K'

Electron Support

Electron v6.x runtime is supported to the extent of the crypto engine BoringSSL feature parity with standard Node.js OpenSSL. The following is disabled in Electron runtime because of its lack of support.

  • JWE A128KW, A192KW and A256KW algorithms are not available, this also means that other JWAs depending on those are not working, those are ECDH-ES+A128KW, ECDH-ES+A192KW, ECDH-ES+A256KW, PBES2-HS256+A128KW, PBES2-HS384+A192KW, PBES2-HS512+A256KW)
  • OKP curves Ed448, X25519 and X448 are not supported
  • EC curve secp256k1 is not supported

Customized sign and verify support

You can implement CustomKey in order to JWT signing via KMS like Google Cloud KMS.

const { JWT, JWK, KeyObject } = require('jose')

class CustomKey extends JWK.CustomKey {
  constructor () {
    super({ alg: 'EC', use: 'sig', kid: '12345678', ops: ['sign', 'verify'], keyType: 'private' })

  toPEM (priv, encoding) {
    return undefined

  algorithms (operation) {
    return new Set(['ES256'])

  sign (alg, buffer) {
    console.log('sign invoked: ', alg)

  verify (alg, buffer) {
    console.log('verify invoked: ', alg)
    return true

const customKey = new CustomKey()

const encoded = JWT.sign({}, customKey, {
  expiresIn: '600s'

console.log('encoded : ', encoded)

const decoded = JWT.verify(encoded, customKey)

console.log('decoded : ', decoded)



Yes. Everything that's either exported in the TypeScript definitions file or documented is subject to Semantic Versioning 2.0.0. The rest is to be considered private API and is subject to change between any versions.

How do I use it outside of Node.js

It is only built for ^10.13.0 || >=12.0.0 Node.js environment - including jose in transpiled browser-environment targeted projects is not supported and may result in unexpected results.

How is it different from jws, jwa or jsonwebtoken?

  • it supports JWK Key Format for all four key types (oct, RSA, EC and OKP)
  • it is providing Key and KeyStore abstractions
  • there is JSON Web Encryption support
  • it supports all JWS / JWE Serialization Syntaxes
  • it supports the "crit" member validations to make sure extensions are handled correctly
  • it is not only validating the signatures, it is making sure the JWE/JWS is syntactically correct, e.g. not having duplicated header parameters between protected/unprotected or per-recipient headers

How is it different from node-jose

node-jose is built to work in any javascript runtime, to be able to do that it packs a lot of backfill and javascript implementation code in the form of node-forge, this significantly increases the footprint of the module with dependencies that either aren't ever used or have native implementation available in Node.js already, those are often times faster and more reliable.

What is the ultimate goal?

  • No dependencies, the moment JWK formatted keys are supported by node's crypto the direct dependency count will go down from 1 to 0. 🚀
  • Just the API one needs, having used other jose modules for 3+ years I only include what's useful

Why? Just, why?

I was using node-jose for openid-client and oidc-provider and came to realize its shortcomings in terms of performance and API (not having well defined errors).

+ this was an amazing opportunity to learn JOSE as a whole