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Accessing authenticated user details with JavaScript in Laravel

If you're using Vue/Alpine or any other JavaScript in your Laravel projects, chances are at some point you'll need to grab authenticated user information.

Take this snippet as an example.

    <img :src="$user.avatar" class="w-12 h-12 rounded-full mr-3">

That's just a Vue component, registered in Laravel, that needs to access the currently authenticated user's avatar (perhaps for a <new-comment /> component).

How to do it

Getting straight into it, the easiest way to do this is to head to your base template (usually app.blade.php) and add the following in the head of the template.

    window.User = {
        id: {{ optional(auth()->user())->id }},
        avatar: '{{ optional(auth()->user())->avatar() }}',

That gives us the id and avatar of the user, if they're available. The optional helper in Laravel wraps both, returning null if the user isn't authenticated.

Using in Vue

If you have an example like the  Vue template below, you'll be unable to access window values from inside your template.

    <!-- This wont work -->
    <img :src="window.User.avatar" class="w-12 h-12 rounded-full mr-3">

There are two ways to get around this.

Register globally on Vue

In app.js, the following snippet can be used to add $user (or whatever you'd like it to be called) to Vue.

Vue.prototype.$user = window.User

Then you can access it like we did earlier.

<img :src="$user.avatar" class="w-12 h-12 rounded-full mr-3">

The great thing about this solution is that now, anywhere inside a Vue component (the mounted hook, for example), you can access this.$user.avatar, etc.

Use a data property

In the script section of your Vue component, you may wish to add this as a data property that directly pulls from the global User object.

data () {
  return {
    user: window.User

Hint: You can omit window. here, but I always add it for clarity.

With any other library

The same principals apply here. I haven't worked with React much, but as long as you know how to globally share data with your favourite framework, you're good to go. It's a global object, so your options are pretty open.

Alpine as an example

Alpine is simple in terms of how it's pulled into a project, and usually you'll just have the script pulled in at the top of your page. That means, in your Alpine components, you'd just need to reference the global User object.

<div x-data="{ user: window.User }">
    <span x-text=""></span>

The same goes for any methods you're invoking in Alpine. Just access window.User or User.

Making it cleaner and easier

If you just have a few properties you want to access from the user, there's a super simple way to do this in one line, with the added ability to quickly pull in additional properties.

Take a look.

    window.User = {!! json_encode(optional(auth()->user())->only('id', 'email')) !!}

If a user isn't authenticated, this gives you window.User = null. If a user is signed in, you'll get an object with the properties you pass through to the only method. This does mean you'll have to check that window.User is not null before you try to access any properties.

Just be aware, this unescapes the data that you're rendering to the page, potentially leading to XSS attacks. This simplified version works best for data that's heavily validated before being stored, or data that can't be stored as anything other than a safe value (e.g. the ID of the user).

That's it

It's a simple solution, but I've seen this method of accessing user data via JavaScript on some pretty big, popular sites. Next time you're curious, view the page source of a site you know to be using a mix of Laravel and JavaScript, you'll probably find this being used ✌️