encrypted pouchdb/couchdb database
Last updated 3 years ago by cwmma .
MIT · Repository · Bugs · Original npm · Tarball · package.json
$ cnpm install crypto-pouch 
SYNC missed versions from official npm registry.

crypto pouch Build Status

Plugin to encrypt a PouchDB/CouchDB database.

var db = new PouchDB('my_db');

// all done, docs should be transparently encrypted/decrypted

// will no longer encrypt decrypt your data

It encrypts with the AES-GCM using native crypto which prefers the native version in node or the web crypto version in the browser, falling back to the version from crypto browserify if no native version exists. Chacha20-Poly1305 is also available and previous versions defaulted to this algorithm. You might consider using this if your app will primarily be used in browsers that don't support the web crypto api (e.g. safari).

Note: Attachments cannot be encrypted at this point. Use {ignore: '_attachments'} to leave attachments unencrypted. Also note that db.putAttachment / db.getAttachment are not supported. Use db.put and db.get({binary: true, attachment: true}) instead. (#18).

This only encrypts the contents of documents, NOT THE ID (or rev). So if you have a document with the id plan_to_screw_over_db_admin, while this plugin will happily encrypt that document, that may not be as helpful as you'd want it to be.


This plugin is hosted on npm. To use in Node.js:

npm install crypto-pouch

If you want to use it in the browser, download the browserified version from and then include it after pouchdb:

<script src="pouchdb.js"></script>
<script src="pouchdb.crypto-pouch.js"></script>


db.crypto(password [, options])

Set up encryption on the database.

If the second argument is an object:

  • options.ignore
    String or Array of Strings of properties that will not be encrypted.
  • options.digest
    Any of sha1, sha256, sha512 (default).
  • options.algorithm Valid options are chacha20 and aes-gcm (default).
  • iterations How many iterations of pbkdf2 to perform, defaults to 100000 (1000 in older versions).
  • key If passed a 32 byte buffer then this will be used as the key instead of it being generated from the password. Warning this buffer will be randomized when encryption is removed so pass in a copy of the buffer if that will be a problem.
  • password You can pass the options object as the first param if you really want and pass in the password in as an option.
  • cb A function you can pass in to get the derived key back called with 2 parameters, an error if there is one and the key if no error. Warning this buffer will be randomized when encryption is removed copy it or convert it to a string if that will be a problem.


Disables encryption on the database and randomizes the key buffer.


If you replicate to another database, it will decrypt before sending it to the external one. So make sure that one also has a password set as well if you want it encrypted too.

If you change the name of a document, it will throw an error when you try to decrypt it. If you manually move a document from one database to another, it will not decrypt correctly. If you need to decrypt it a file manually you will find a local doc named _local/crypto in the database. This doc has fields named salt which is a hex-encoded buffer, digest which is a string, iterations which is an integer to use and algo which is the encryption algorithm. Run pbkdf2 your password with the salt, digest and iterations values from that document as the parameters generate a 32 byte (256 bit) key; that is the key for decoding documents. If digest, iterations, or algo are not on the local document due to it being created with an older version of the library, use 'sha256', 1000, and 'chacha20' respectively.

Each document has 3 relevant fields: data, nonce, and tag. nonce is the initialization vector to give to the encryption algorithm in addition to the key you generated. Pass the document _id as additional authenticated data and the tag as the auth tag and then decrypt the data. If it throws an error, then you either screwed up or somebody modified the data.


Derive key from password and salt

db.get('_local/crypto').then(function (doc) {
  return new Promise(function (resolve, reject) {
    crypto.pbkdf2(password, doc.salt, doc.iterations, 256/8, doc.digest, function (err, key) {
      if (err) {
        return reject(err);
}).then(function (key) {
  // you have the key

Decrypt a document encrypted with chacha

var chacha = require('chacha');

db.get(id).then(function (doc) {
  var decipher = chacha.createDecipher(key, new Buffer(doc.nonce, 'hex'));
  decipher.setAAD(new Buffer(doc._id));
  decipher.setAuthTag(new Buffer(doc.tag, 'hex'));
  var out = decipher.update(new Buffer(, 'hex')).toString();;
  // parse it AFTER calling final
  // you don't want to parse it if it has been manipulated
  out = JSON.parse(out);
  out._id = doc._id;
  out._rev = doc._rev;
  return out;

Decrypt a document encrypted with aes-gcm

var decrypt = require('native-crypto/decrypt');

db.get(id).then(function (doc) {
  var encryptedData =  Buffer.concat([
    new Buffer(, 'hex'),
    new Buffer(doc.tag, 'hex')
  return decrypt(key, new Buffer(doc.nonce, 'hex'), encryptedData, new Buffer(doc._id)).then(function (resp) {
    var out = JSON.parse(resp.toString());
    out._id = doc._id;
    out._rev = doc._rev;
    return out;

Current Tags

  • 3.1.3                                ...           latest (3 years ago)

13 Versions

  • 3.1.3                                ...           3 years ago
  • 3.1.2                                ...           4 years ago
  • 3.1.1                                ...           4 years ago
  • 3.1.0                                ...           4 years ago
  • 3.0.0                                ...           5 years ago
  • 2.0.0                                ...           5 years ago
  • 1.2.1                                ...           5 years ago
  • 1.2.0                                ...           5 years ago
  • 1.1.3                                ...           5 years ago
  • 1.1.2                                ...           6 years ago
  • 1.1.1                                ...           6 years ago
  • 1.1.0                                ...           6 years ago
  • 1.0.0                                ...           6 years ago
Maintainers (1)
Today 0
This Week 1
This Month 1
Last Day 0
Last Week 0
Last Month 1
Dependencies (6)
Dev Dependencies (6)

Copyright 2014 - 2016 © |