Usage Guide

Running PrawOAuth2Server

For first time, as I mentioned earlier, you need to fetch the access_token and a valid refresh_token. So it is enough if you do the following only once. An instance of PrawOAuth2Server will run a server the moment you start it and it will be ready to handle requests from Reddit’s OAuth Server. It basically captures the OAuth code from the redirect url, coming from Reddit.

  1. First you need to register your bot/app on Reddit. The praw documentation already has a nice overview about how. Go here and here’s what I recommend for a bot:


    Just make sure you are setting redirect uri to Rest doesn’t matter. Once you have created the app, you will get app_key and app_secret (sometimes referred as client_id and client_secret respectively). Copy them somewhere. These are the credentials of your app, so make sure you keep them super secret and never ever commit them in git.


  2. Import the required modules:

     import praw
     from prawoauth2 import PrawOAuth2Server
  3. Create a praw instance

     user_agent = 'some string that uniquely identifies my bot'
     reddit_client = praw.Reddit(user_agent=user_agent)
  4. Scopes specify what all permissions your app (or bot script) needs from user’s Reddit account(or your bot account), like read private messages, spend gold credits etc. You can read about different scopes on praw’s official documentation. Make sure you get the scopes correct or else your bot will fail. For example, if you want your bot to be able to make comments then it must have submit scope, along with with identity and read. Check the examples directory for to see how I am managing it. You need to send scopes param to PrawOAuth2Server (and also to PrawOAuth2Mini) and it is a list containing scopes:

     scopes = ['identity', 'read', 'submit']
  5. Pass the app_key and app_secret of your app, along with the praw instance to the PrawOAuth2Server which will give you an instance to play with.

     oauthserver = PrawOAuth2Server(reddit_client, app_key, app_secret,
                                    state=user_agent, scopes=scopes)
  6. Now, you need to start the oauth client server, which runs internally.


    The moment you start it, it opens the default web browser. If you are not logged in, log in with your bot account credentials and authorize the script (i.e. clicking on accept). This basically says, ‘Hey Reddit, give access of my reddit account(your bot account) to this app(your script)’. This will be redirected back, to the redirect url you specified earlier and will show you a successful message.

  7. Once it is successful, you can get the tokens by calling get_access_codes.

     tokens = oauthserver.get_access_codes()

    The tokens is a dict type:

     >>> tokens
     {'access_token': '2...U', 'scope': set(['identity', 'read', 'submit']), 'refresh_token': u'2...s'}

Using PrawOAuth2Mini

PrawOAuth2Mini will be used in your main bot script always (unlike PrawOAuth2Server). It basically does two operations. First, it sets the praw instance with all the required credentials required for OAuth operation. The access_token expires for every 60 minutes (this is set by Reddit), so you can do refresh operation to get the new tokens. You don’t really need to keep track of expiry time, when the tokens are expired, OAuthInvalidToken exception will be thrown. Catch it and do refresh. On the other hand, you can call the refresh before every operation, however it will get you new tokens only when old ones are about to expire. Check the examples directory to see how I am handling it.

  1. Just create an instance of PrawOAuth2Mini with all the required parameters:

     oauth_helper = PrawOAuth2Mini(reddit_client, app_key=app_key,
                                   refresh_token=refresh_token, scopes=scopes)
  2. Call refresh before every operation and/or in catch block of OAuthInvalidToken exception:


Check the examples directory for examples.