A user is an account that identifies the person accessing Magnolia. In addition to a username, Magnolia stores the user’s full name, email address, language and time zone by default. These settings can be edited by the user itself in the Edit user profile dialog.

Every user has a certain set of permissions to grant access to resources, content, apps and similar things. Users inherit their permissions from the groups and roles they are attached to (see Organizing users). Use the Security app to edit the permissions of a user.

Types of users

Type Example

User icon


Accounts for people who work on site content such as authors, editors and publishers.

Group icon

System users

Technical accounts such as superuser and anonymous.

Role icon

Public users

End users or visitors of the site. They can be registered through the Public User Registration (PUR) module. Registering visitors allows you to provide them with personalized content such as members-only sections of the site, newsletters and mailing lists.


The term superuser may refer either to a system user (an account type) or to a role (a definition of what a user is allowed to do in the system). In a vanilla installation of Magnolia, the superuser role is assigned to the superuser account. In addition to the superuser role, the superuser account has some other roles too (see Default roles, groups and users).

As the name implies, the permissions of the superuser account are usually unrestricted in any way. For instance, superuser can read and write to all default JCR workspaces on /.

On a production system, create specific users with distinct roles and deactivate the superuser account.


The term anonymous may refer either to a system user or to a role. The latter is assigned to the former. Apart from the anonymous role, the anonymous system user is by default assigned other roles too (see Default roles, groups and users).

Every Magnolia resource intended to be accessible without authentication must be enabled for the anonymous system user. A users that interacts with Magnolia without authentication is determined as anonymous user.

On most systems, the rights and permissions of the anonymous role differ between author and public instances: allow read access to all on the public instance, while deny the same on the author instance. That is why you should not activate that role.

Editing user profile

Every user can set their own preferences. Next to your username in the upper-right corner, click the down arrow and select Edit user profile.

In the User profile tab, change your password, full name and email address.

Edit user profile tab

In the Preferences tab, change your language, time zone, and home screen.

The Preferences tab in the Edit user profile section

Setting time zone

Every user can select their own time zone. Open the Edit user profile dialog, go to the Preferences tab and set the time zone accordingly.

Magnolia continues to record events such as page creation using the host server time. The recorded time is converted and displayed in the user’s preferred time zone.

Tooltip displaying the user’s preferred time zone.

User home screen configuration

The home screen is what appears by default when you log in or close an app. Individual users can select either App launcher or Find Bar suggestions as their home screen.


  1. Open the Edit User Profile dialog.

  2. Go to the Preferences tab.

  3. Select your desired home screen option.

Users edit preferences

For the global configuration, see Global home screen configuration.

Organizing users

In Magnolia, users are organized as follows:

  • Users can have both roles and groups.

  • Groups can have groups and roles.

  • Roles can have only Access Control Lists (ACLs).

Organizing users diagram

Permissions are defined in the ACL. Users inherit permissions from the roles and groups assigned to them.

In a small site you can manage users and groups in Magnolia. On a larger site (hundreds of users), it is better to manage users and groups in an enterprise-grade user management infrastructure such as Microsoft Active Directory. You would define roles and ACLs in Magnolia but manage users and groups in the external system.

Get a list of all permissions assigned to a user or group in the Tools tab of the Security app.

Editing user permissions

Every user known to Magnolia is granted a set of permissions defined by roles. You can either assign roles directly to a user, or assign a user to a group that itself grants a set of roles (see Organizing users above).

Use the Security app to edit the permissions. The app is available in the Set up group of Admincentral, and by default the superuser role is required to access it.

Security icon

The Security app provides subapps to edit the users (system users and public users), groups and roles. Select the user you want to edit and double-click it or use the Edit user action. The Edit user action is available in the following subapps: Users, System users and Public users.

Editing user permissions.

The dialog where you can edit user details has three tabs:

  • User info: Use this tab to edit the user’s name and full name, the password, the email address, and the language, a property editable also in the Edit user profile dialog. You can use the tab to enable or disable a user account.
    The User info tab

  • Groups: On this tab you can assign the user to existing groups:
    Assigning users to existing groups.

  • Roles: On this tab you can grant roles to the user.
    Tab to grant users roles

Automatic lockout

An automatic lockout is a security precaution that prevents users from accessing Magnolia after a number of failed login attempts.

By default, a lockout is triggered and an account is automatically disabled after N+1 failed login attempts. The number of failed attempts can be configured. No lockout is triggered when a username that does not exist is entered. A lockout applies to both system and admin users, but not to public users. After a lockout, an administrator can re-enable the account by selecting the Enabled checkbox in the user profile. When a lockout occurs, this checkbox is cleared.

Enabling the user account after an automatic lockout.

The number of failed login attempts N that will trigger a lockout can be configured using the maxFailedLoginAttempts property in /server/security/userManagers/system and /admin. Different values may be set for Users and Systems Users.

Configuring the number of login attempts before automatic lockout.


Property Description


optional, default is false

Allows duplicate usernames in different realms. Only applicable to admin realm.



A class that implements the UserManager interface.


  • manages users stored in Magnolia.

  • manages JAAS users.

  • is a variation of MgnlUserManager that stores users hierarchically using the structure /<path>/<first letter of username>/<first two letters of username> such as /public/j/js/jsmith.

  • ``retrieves the user’s ACLs.

  • manages system users such as anonymous and superuser.


optional, default is false

Allows to disable caching if set to true.



Realm name corresponding to JAAS login configuration.


optional, default is false

Indicates what methods are used to deal with the PartialResultException exception thrown by the LDAP service provider (c.f. java.naming.referral property).

  • true uses the hasMoreElements() and nextElement() methods.

  • false uses the hasMore() and next() methods.



A subnode which allows you to specify a custom connectionFactory.


The class that implements the connectionFactory.

The default class used is info.magnolia.jaas.sp.ldap.connection.DefaultConnectionFactory.

Two additional implementations are available:

  • info.magnolia.jaas.sp.ldap.connection.JavaBeanBasedConnectionFactory
    This implementation supports defining properties securityPrincipal and securityCredentials. For usage please see Apache’s Generic JavaBean Resources.

  • info.magnolia.jaas.sp.ldap.connection.JNDIResourceConnectionFactory
    This is a JNDI resource based factory. It can be used with com.sun.jndi.ldap.LdapCtxFactory or with info.magnolia.jaas.sp.ldap.connection.jndiresources.MagnoliaLdapContextFactory. For usage please see Apache’s Adding Custom Resource Factories.



A subnode which specifies the envPropertiesPredicate.

If not defined explicitly then the predicate accepts anything within the following namespaces:

  • java.naming.* (except credentials and principal)

  • com.sun.jndi.ldap.*


The class that implements the envPropertiesPredicate.

The default class is info.magnolia.jaas.sp.ldap.connection.EnvPropertiesDefaultPredicate.



A subnode which defines the decoding method of the admin password used by the connectionFactory.

The decoder is available only with the DefaultConnectionFactory and JavaBeanBasedConnectionFactory connection classes. However, you can also write your own password decoder.


The decoder is available in three implementations:

  • info.magnolia.jaas.sp.ldap.connection.password.NoOpPasswordDecoder
    This implementation returns a password without any decoding.

  • info.magnolia.jaas.sp.ldap.connection.password.ActivationKeyBasedPasswordDecoder
    This implementation uses the same set of keys as activation. To gain an encoded password, use the SecurityUtil.encrypt("password") method.

  • info.magnolia.jaas.sp.ldap.connection.password.PasswordManagerBasedPasswordDecoder
    This implementation loads the admin’s LDAP password from the Password Manager module.


optional, default is 500

Specifies the number of objects to be returned in a single search result.

AdminCentral user login information

For peace of mind and added protection, all users within AdminCentral can see their latest login information conveniently from the App Launcher. Typically, the login information is found in the top-right of the App Launcher and is displayed in the user’s local time.

Login information format

Last login: DD/MM/YYYY, hh:mm

last login information

The latest login information is shown for Magnolia users, accessing via the default login, and SSO users (accessing via the SSO module, version 3.1.2 and later).
The following types of authentication still need to be extended with the latest login information: custom client authentications, the LDAP connector module, and the SSO connector module.

External services

The LDAP Connector module is a standard JAAS login module that connects to any LDAP V3 supported directory service. This module is useful where an enterprise-grade user management infrastructure already exists. With the JAAS standard support you can meet single sign-on requirements or connect to legacy LDAP/ADS directory servers.