Cross origin resource sharing

Scalatra has CORS support enabled by default. CORS is a security feature from browsers. If a page in a browser wants to do a request to another domain, it will first send an OPTIONS request (called a pre-flight) and depending on the response headers the browser will block or execute the actual request. See the wikipedia page on cross-origin resource sharing for more information.

You can configure your application to be more restrictive by using the following init params.

// List the hosts and ports which will be allowed to make cross-origin requests, 
// separated by commas (* by default).
context.initParameters("org.scalatra.cors.allowedOrigins") = ","

// List what HTTP methods will be accepted. 
// Available options are GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, HEAD, OPTIONS, and PATCH. 
// All methods are accepted by default.
context.initParameters("org.scalatra.cors.allowedMethods") = "GET"

// Set a list of allowed HTTP headers, most headers are supported.
context.initParameters("org.scalatra.cors.allowedHeaders") = "Content-Type"

// Set the number of seconds that preflight requests can be cached by the client.
// Default value is 0 seconds.
context.initParameters("org.scalatra.cors.preflightMaxAge") = 1800

// By default, cookies are not included in CORS requests. Set this to `true` to allow cookies.
context.initParameters("org.scalatra.cors.allowCredentials") = true

// If CorsSupport needs to be disabled, set to false. Default: CorsSupport is enabled.
context.initParameters("org.scalatra.cors.enable") = false

Special care when allowedOrigins = “*” (which is the default!)

If your init param org.scalatra.cors.allowedOrigins is equal to “*“, which is the default, then you must set org.scalatra.cors.allowCredentials to false. Otherwise the browser will block the request because it could leak credentials to any domain.

Recommended configuration:

// Optional because * is the default
context.initParameters("org.scalatra.cors.allowedOrigins") = "*"
// Disables cookies, but required because browsers will not allow passing credentials to wildcard domains  
context.initParameters("org.scalatra.cors.allowCredentials") = false

If you need allowedCredentials to be true, then you have to implement an options route and set the allowed domain:

import org.scalatra.CorsSupport

class YourServlet extends ScalatraBase with CorsSupport {

    response.setHeader("Access-Control-Allow-Origin", request.getHeader("Origin"))


If you’re not familiar with CORS, you may want to find out a bit more about preflightMaxAge and allowCredentials or read the whole spec at the W3C. A good tutorial is also available at HTML5Rocks.