It’s just plain hard to get true, real-time visibility into a running auth flow.

Parts of the process can be completely hidden from us; if the complete authorization process requires a redirect from a remote OAuth production server, then every debugging effort must go through the production server.

It’s practically unfeasible to debug this locally. There’s no way to reproduce the exact state and no way to inspect what is actually happening under the hood. Not ideal.

Knowing these types of challenges, we built Lightrun - a real-time production debugging tool - to allow you to understand complicated flows with code-level information. Add logs, take snapshots (virtual breakpoints), and instrument metrics without a remote debugger, without stopping the running service, and, most importantly - in real-time and without side effects.

Learn more with this 5-minute tutorial focused on debugging these kinds of scenarios using Lightrun:

>> Debugging Authentication and Authorization Using Lightrun

1. Overview

In this tutorial, we'll learn how to use Spring OAuth2RestTemplate to make OAuth2 REST calls.

We'll create a Spring Web Application capable of listing the repositories of a GitHub account.

2. Maven Configuration

First, we need to add spring-boot-starter-security and the spring-security-oauth2-autoconfigure dependencies to our pom.xml. As we are building a web application, we also need spring-boot-starter-web and spring-boot-starter-thymeleaf artifacts to be included.


3. OAuth2 Properties

Next, let's add the OAuth configuration to our file to be able to connect the GitHub account:



Notice we need to replace [CLIENT_ID] and [CLIENT_SECRET] with values from a GitHub OAuth App. We can follow the Creating an OAuth App guide to register a new app on GitHub:


Let's make sure the Authorization callback URL is set to http://localhost:8080, which will redirect the OAuth flow to our web application home page.

4. OAuth2RestTemplate Configuration

Now, it's time to create a security configuration to provide our application with OAuth2 support.

4.1. The SecurityConfig Class

First, let's extend WebSecurityConfigurerAdapter to take advantage of Spring's configuration helpers:

public class SecurityConfig extends WebSecurityConfigurerAdapter {
    OAuth2ClientContext oauth2ClientContext;

    public SecurityConfig(OAuth2ClientContext oauth2ClientContext) {
        this.oauth2ClientContext = oauth2ClientContext;


The @EnableOAuth2Client gives us access to an OAuth2 context that we'll use to create our OAuth2RestTemplate.

4.2. OAuth2RestTemplate Bean

Second, we'll create the bean for our OAuth2RestTemplate:

public OAuth2RestTemplate restTemplate() {
    return new OAuth2RestTemplate(githubClient(), oauth2ClientContext);

public AuthorizationCodeResourceDetails githubClient() {
    return new AuthorizationCodeResourceDetails();

With this, we're using the OAuth2 properties and context to create an instance of the template.

The @ConfigurationProperties annotation injects all github.client properties to the AuthorizationCodeResourceDetails instance.

4.3. Authentication Filter

Third, we need an authentication filter to handle the OAuth2 flow:

private Filter oauth2ClientFilter() {
    OAuth2ClientAuthenticationProcessingFilter oauth2ClientFilter = new OAuth2ClientAuthenticationProcessingFilter("/login/github");
    OAuth2RestTemplate restTemplate = restTemplate();
    UserInfoTokenServices tokenServices = new UserInfoTokenServices(githubResource().getUserInfoUri(), githubClient().getClientId());
    return oauth2ClientFilter;

public ResourceServerProperties githubResource() {
    return new ResourceServerProperties();

Here, we're instructing the filter to initiate the OAuth2 flow on the /login/github URL of our application.

4.4. Spring Security Configuration

Finally, let's register the OAuth2ClientContextFilter and create a web security configuration:

protected void configure(HttpSecurity http) throws Exception {
    http.authorizeRequests().antMatchers("/", "/login**", "/error**")
      .and().addFilterBefore(oauth2ClientFilter(), BasicAuthenticationFilter.class);

public FilterRegistrationBean<OAuth2ClientContextFilter> oauth2ClientFilterRegistration(OAuth2ClientContextFilter filter) {
    FilterRegistrationBean<OAuth2ClientContextFilter> registration = new FilterRegistrationBean<>();
    registration.setOrder(Ordered.HIGHEST_PRECEDENCE + 1);
    return registration;

We secure our web application paths and ensure that the OAuth2ClientAuthenticationProcessingFilter is registered ahead of BasicAuthenticationFilter.

5. Using the OAuth2RestTemplate

The main goal of the OAuth2RestTemplate is to reduce the code needed to make OAuth2-based API calls. It basically meets two needs for our application:

  • Handles the OAuth2 authentication flow
  • Extends Spring RestTemplate for making API calls

We're now able to use the OAuth2RestTemplate as an auto-wired bean in a web controller.

5.1. Login

Let's create the index.html file with login and home options:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en" xmlns="" xmlns:th="">
    <a href="/login/github" th:href="@{/home}" th:if="${#httpServletRequest?.remoteUser != undefined }">
        Go to Home
    <a href="/hello" th:href="@{/login/github}" th:if="${#httpServletRequest?.remoteUser == undefined }">
        GitHub Login

Unauthenticated users will be presented with the login option, while authenticated users can access the home page.

5.2. Home

Now, let's create a controller to greet the authenticated GitHub user:

public class AppController {

    OAuth2RestTemplate restTemplate;

    public AppController(OAuth2RestTemplate restTemplate) {
        this.restTemplate = restTemplate;

    public String welcome(Model model, Principal principal) {
        model.addAttribute("name", principal.getName());
        return "home";

Notice that we have a security Principal parameter in the welcome method. We're using the Principal‘s name as an attribute to the UI model.

Let's take a look at the home.html template:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en" xmlns="" xmlns:th="">
        Welcome <b th:inline="text"> [[${name}]] </b>
        <a href="/repos">View Repositories</a><br/><br/>

    <form th:action="@{/logout}" method="POST">
        <input type="submit" value="Logout"/>

In addition, we're adding a link to view the user's repository list and a logout option.

5.3. GitHub Repositories

Now, it's time to use the OAuth2RestTemplate created in the previous controller to present all the GitHub repositories owned by the user.

First, we need to create the GithubRepo class to represent a repository:

public class GithubRepo {
    Long id;
    String name;

    // getters and setters


Second, let's add a repositories mapping to the previous AppController:

public String repos(Model model) {
    Collection<GithubRepo> repos = restTemplate.getForObject("", Collection.class);
    model.addAttribute("repos", repos);
    return "repositories";

The OAuth2RestTemplate handles all the boilerplate code for making a request to GitHub. Also, it converts the REST response into a GithubRepo collection.

Finally, let's create the repositories.html template to iterate over the repositories collection:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en" xmlns="" xmlns:th="">
    <ul th:each="repo: ${repos}">
        <li th:text="${}"></li>

6. Conclusion

In this article, we learned how to use OAuth2RestTemplate to simplify REST calls to an OAuth2 resource server like GitHub.

We went through the building blocks of a web application running the OAuth2 flow. Then, we saw how to make a REST API call to retrieve all of a GitHub user's repositories.

As always, the complete example of this tutorial can be found over on GitHub.

Security bottom

I just announced the new Learn Spring Security course, including the full material focused on the new OAuth2 stack in Spring Security 5:

Security footer banner
Comments are closed on this article!