Producing JWT tokens

To produce the JWT token i’ll be using the Nimbus JOSE+JWT Java library, which implements the Javascript Object Signing and Encryption (JOSE) suite of specifications as well as the closely related JSON Web Token (JWT) specification.

Technologies used:

  • Apache Maven 3.0.5
  • Nimbus JOSE+JWT 2.16
  • Java 7


First, let’s add maven dependency for Nimbus JOSE+JWT lib:



…and start composing the JWT reserved claims right away:

JWTClaimsSet jwtClaims = new JWTClaimsSet();
List aud = new ArrayList<>();
jwtClaims.setExpirationTime(new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1000*60*10));
jwtClaims.setNotBeforeTime(new Date());
jwtClaims.setIssueTime(new Date());

as you can see, we’re setting up all of the Reserved Claim Names mentioned in my earlier post on JWT (ie. Issuer, Subject, Audience, Expiration Time (to 10 minutes), Not Before Time, Issued At Time and the JWT ID) and using random UUID as the identifier of the token.


When printed out the above, you should see something similar to this:



now, let’s create the JWT header and specify RSA-OAEP as the encryption algorithm and 128-bit AES/GCM as the encryption method that will be used to protect the JWT token:

JWEHeader header = new JWEHeader(


next create the EncryptedJWT object that will be later used to perform the RSA encryption:

EncryptedJWT jwt = new EncryptedJWT(header, jwtClaims);


…create an RSA encrypter with the specified public RSA key:

RSAEncrypter encrypter = new RSAEncrypter(publicRsaKey);

(for details on how to generate RSA keys, please read my post on “RSA Keys Generation”)


and do the actual encryption:



finally, we can serialize to JWT compact form in order to print it out to the screen nicely:

String jwtString = jwt.serialize();


what you should see after performing the steps above, is something similar to this:



Now, if you’d like to read the data back from the token using your private RSA key, you’d have to do the following:

parse the above JWT string using EncryptedJWT object:

EncryptedJWT jwt = EncryptedJWT.parse(jwtString);


create a decrypter with the specified private RSA key:

RSADecrypter decrypter = new RSADecrypter(privateRsaKey);


do the decryption:



and print out the claims:

System.out.println("iss: " + jwt.getJWTClaimsSet().getIssuer());
System.out.println("sub: " + jwt.getJWTClaimsSet().getSubject());
System.out.println("aud: " + jwt.getJWTClaimsSet().getAudience().size());
System.out.println("exp: " + jwt.getJWTClaimsSet().getExpirationTime());
System.out.println("nbf: " + jwt.getJWTClaimsSet().getNotBeforeTime());
System.out.println("iat: " + jwt.getJWTClaimsSet().getIssueTime());
System.out.println("jti: " + jwt.getJWTClaimsSet().getJWTID());


resulting with the following output:

sub: Mariusz
aud: 2
exp: Fri Jul 12 12:32:40 CEST 2013
nbf: Fri Jul 12 12:22:41 CEST 2013
iat: Fri Jul 12 12:22:41 CEST 2013
jti: c79772ea-8777-44dc-a0fe-9001aeee9d02



If you’re interested in a complete source code of this example, please clone the following Gist available on my GitHub account.





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