Welcome to pyca/cryptography

cryptography includes both high level recipes, and low level interfaces to common cryptographic algorithms such as symmetric ciphers, message digests and key derivation functions. For example, to encrypt something with cryptography‘s high level symmetric encryption recipe:

>>> from cryptography.fernet import Fernet
>>> # Put this somewhere safe!
>>> key = Fernet.generate_key()
>>> f = Fernet(key)
>>> token = f.encrypt(b"A really secret message. Not for prying eyes.")
>>> token
>>> f.decrypt(token)
'A really secret message. Not for prying eyes.'

If you are interested in learning more about the field of cryptography, we recommend Crypto 101, by Laurens Van Houtven.


You can install cryptography with pip:

$ pip install cryptography

See Installation for more information.


cryptography is broadly divided into two levels. One with safe cryptographic recipes, “cryptography for humans” if you will. These are safe and easy to use and don’t require developers to make many decisions.

The other level is low-level cryptographic primitives. These are often dangerous and can be used incorrectly. They require making decisions and having an in-depth knowledge of the cryptographic concepts at work. Because of the potential danger in working at this level, this is referred to as the “hazardous materials” or “hazmat” layer. These live in the cryptography.hazmat package, and their documentation will always contain an admonition at the top.

We recommend using the recipes layer whenever possible, and falling back to the hazmat layer only when necessary.

The cryptography open source project


cryptography has not been subjected to an external audit of its code or documentation. If you’re interested in discussing an audit please get in touch.