If you need per-page or partial page access restrictions, you are advised to install an appropriate content management package. MediaWiki was not written to provide per-page access restrictions, and almost all hacks or patches promising to add them will likely have flaws somewhere, which could lead to exposure of confidential data. We are not responsible for anything being leaked.
For further details, see Security issues with authorization extensions
Release status: stable
|Implementation||User rights, Parser extension, Tag|
|Description||Allows restricting access to specific pages based on internal groups or group lists from userspace|
|Author(s)||Aleš Kapica (Wanttalk)|
|Latest version||4.0 (2021-03-10)|
|Compatibility policy||Master maintains backwards compatibility.|
|License||GNU General Public License 2.0 or later|
|Example||Support DCEwiki or Thewoodcraft.org|
|Translate the AccessControl extension if it is available at translatewiki.net|
|Issues||Open tasks · Report a bug|
The AccessControl extension allows restricting access to specific pages based on internal groups or group lists from user space.
MediaWiki in its default state is not designed as a Content Management System (CMS), but when used as a corporate or school intranet it is required to protect sensitive data. AccessControl has been developed for this purpose.
How this extension meets the requirements for site security
- Atom/RSS feeds, diff, & revision links
- Page content is protected, but when opening a page from history a piece of raw content will appear. If the <accesscontrol> tag was placed at the beginning, a potential attacker may be able to see the names of contributing users!
- Listings & search
- Unless otherwise noted, if there is any page with protected content in search results, the user is redirected away. Since extension version 2.5, searching may be allowed too. But it should be borne in mind that the displayed search results can compromise sensitive data. Therefore, do not write in your wiki sensitive information, such as passwords, that could be obtained through a fulltext search if searching through the contents of pages protected through an access control is allowed!
- Inclusion/transclusion, related rights, & other extensions
- Pages containing the <accesscontrol> tag, or including another page protected by the <accesscontrol> tag, are secure. The <accesscontrol> tag is processed in raw wikitext before HTML conversion.
- The problem with redirection was repaired in version 1.1
- API & action links
- For each anonymous user the action class is automatically set to false, besides the view attribute for unprotected pages. Allowed actions for authorized users depend on the permissions settings of MediaWiki and the username listed in the access list pages use.
- Edit Section & watching pages
- Options are available only to registered users if they are logged in and are on the security access list.
- Files & images
- XML export (Special:Export)
- Warning: AccessControl version < 2.0, was based on a hook unprotected from MediaWiki's side before exporting pages to raw code. Therefore, if you use AccessControl version < 2.0, you must prohibit the special page to prohibit exporting the pages from MediaWiki.
- Author backdoor
- Extension AccessControl does not have a backdoor!
- I recommend turning off caching. See the previous paragraphs.
More info about potential problems regarding security is on the page Security issues with authorization extensions.
- Easy to set up and simple to use.
- No patches to MediaWiki core.
- Unlimited groups.
- Dual mode access control:
- View control.
- Edit control, including restrictions on manual edit access when using action=edit in the URL.
- User groups may use any namespace.
- Namespaces with group lists may be protected by another extension.
- MediaWiki sysop group may view and edit the protected pages.
- Controlled by extension variable
- Controlled by extension variable
- Access may be granted to multiple groups
- Read-only access may be granted to both groups and individual users.
- Unauthorized users can use the search feature only if is it allowed. See how this extension meets the requirements for site security.
Manual (in czech language for now) here as wiki page, but is prepared for translation. If you want to contribute to creating an English version, you must donate any money for pay a commercial translator, because author have not time and skills for it. The man page (for now only Czech version) is part of the source code , and can be imported into your private MediaWiki instance if you want.
New version of the extension 4.0 in the separate branch
form-support was developed for using with the Extension:Page Forms – as accesslist you may use any template, but old syntax of acesslists is supported. Changes for using with the VisualEditor was implemented too.
You may get code from git:
git clone -b form-support https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/p/mediawiki/extensions/AccessControl.git
Step 1: Local Settings File
- Add the following lines to the bottom of your LocalSettings.php:
require_once "extensions/AccessControl/AccessControl.php"; #if this one can't run it you can try this wfLoadExtension( 'AccessControl' );
- Add a namespace to the LocalSettings.php file for the purpose of creating groups.
- See Manual:Using_custom_namespaces for more information.
- Check the settings in AccessControl.php. These can be set in LocalSettings.php:
$wgAdminCanReadAll = true; // sysop users can read all restricted pages $wgAccessControlRedirect = false; // don't redirect from page with search results for denied and // anonymous users, if searching pattern is validate on any // protected page.
Step 2: Create User Groups
- This method has changes in the latest version, please see note 1 at the bottom of this page. (User lists must be stored in the main namespace).
User groups are simply standard wiki pages that are part of a namespace other than the default namespace. For ease of use, it is suggested that a specific custom namespace is created for the explicit purpose of managing access control list pages.
- Create a wiki page with a users list in any namespace
- It is not sufficient to simply create a page with a colon (:) in the name, this extension requires the use of a namespace and one or more pages within namespaces
- Page Name Example: My:Group
- The namespace is My
- The group page is Group
- This is the name of user group
- Users are added to the group in a bulleted list
- Page Content Example
- Presume that the namespace IT exists
- Note that in v3.0 you also need to registered the namespace IT either in LocalSettings.php e.g. $wgAccessControlNamespaces = array(NS_IT); or modify the extension.json . Furthermore IT: should not be specified in the accesscontrol tag, just "Department"
- Create a page in the namespace titled "Department"
- Create users "John Doe" and "Jane Doe" in the group. The group information is contained on the page "Department".
- Each username appears as a list item.
- Presume that the namespace IT exists
* John Doe * Jane Doe (ro)
- User names listed with "(ro)" at the end can only read the protected article, not edit it. For other groups of users, you can create another member list with the name Department in another namespace. Note that the user's name must start with a capital letter!
- To protect the IT namespace you can use the Lockdown extension, but you can also use the <accesscontrol> tag to protect it.
Step 3: Additional Access Control
- Depending on localization, your wiki needs pages created to which anonymous or unauthorized users will be redirected. You have to create them in advance because some of them can't access pages from another page.
- The safety of the page is provided by the <accesscontrol> tag. If there isn't a tag or the page is empty, it's freely accessible to logged-in users that can read and edit the page. No user, logged in or anonymous, will have read-only access.
- Members from groups listed in the <accesscontrol> tag can edit the page only if the group title isn't listed with "(ro)" and if they don't have read only access set in the group member list.
- By default the variable
$wgAdminCanReadAllis set to true so that members of sysop can edit user group pages in any namespace.
- Example tag code
<accesscontrol>Department</accesscontrol>worked for me.
In this example, all users from the groups "Administrators", "IT:Department" and "Sales" can read the page but only the users from "Administrators" group (if exists) and John Doe from "IT:Department" user group can edit it.
Usage on Pages to Control Access
That is for the installation. To restrict access to a page for specific user groups, just include the names of the allowed user groups (separated by commas) as the content of the <accesscontrol> tag in the top of the content page.
1.21 – 1.28
Version 2.5.1 is strongly recommended to be used.
For version < 2.3
- There was a problem in function fromTemplate() causing AccessControl to ignore tags from included pages or templates. Actualization is recommended!
For version ≥ 2.0
1.18 – 1.20
- Pages can have only one <accesscontrol> element.
- If the user is a member of multiple groups, the group that gives them more access is assumed.
- This extension uses a MediaWiki hook that is called whenever a search result is displayed. This means that a page that has an ACL will trigger an "Access Denied" message for end users who happen to search for text contained in a protected page. A simple solution is to put pages that require AccessControl into another namespace and then disable searching for that namespace. Although this isn't really a bug, it is undesirable behavior. Click here for an example showing a work around.
For version ≤ 1.3
- Groups from MediaWiki must not be in localized form! sysop cannot be Správce, etc.
- A page may have multiple <accesscontrol> elements, with access accepted from groups in any tag.
- Anonymous users do not have access to pages protected by <accesscontrol> elements.
- If variable
$wgAdminCanReadAllis true, sysops always have edit access.
MediaWiki Version Testing
form-supportof git repository (see link for clone on top of this page) was tested on MediaWiki 1.35 the current stable release of long-term support (September 2023)
- Version 3.0.1 was tested on MediaWiki 1.34.0, but is obsolete. Upgrade recommend.
- Version 2.5.1 was tested on MediaWiki 1.33.0-alpha (5eb97ec)
- Version 2.6 was tested on MediaWiki 1.27.0-rc.0 (57f722a)
- Version 2.5 was tested on MediaWiki 1.27.0 (from git repository)
- Version 2.5 was tested on MediaWiki 1.22.9 (from git repository)
- Version 2.3 was tested on MediaWiki 1.22.0 (from git repository)
- Version 2.2 was tested on MediaWiki 1.22.0 (from git repository)
- Version 2.0 was tested on MediaWiki 1.19-alpha (from svn repository)
- Version 1.2 was tested on MediaWiki 1.15.5-1 (from Debian repository)
- Version 1.1 was tested on MediaWiki 1.16.0(b3). Works fine, except that it needed a minor change to line 358 of AccessControl.php (remove '&' from parameter to
function controlEditAccess()). When viewing a page on a Linux server, the <accesscontrol> tags show. But on a Windows server, the tags don't show and it is fine! Still haven't figured that one out, but it is ok for my application.
- Version 1.1 was tested on MediaWiki 1.15
- Version 1.0 of this extension has been tested and works fine on MediaWikis > 1.12.x.
- Version 1.1 tested on MediaWiki 1.16.1 with new patch from http://git.felk.cvut.cz/pub/git?p=accesscontrol.git;a=commitdiff;h=2f678deed0e4e4f77620e391c94559c7b50102a9
- As of version 2.0, it only works with ACLs stored in the main namespace. It also can only protect pages that are in the main namespace. Changes need to be made to
$getContentPageto correct this behavior. Click here to see a patched version of the extension that is compatible with namespaces.
- Unlike Group Based Access Control, double commas aren't used to split the content of an <accesscontrol> tag when more access lists are used. Only one comma is required. And is not necessary to use the ',,' separator at the end of the element content.