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phpBB3 Permissions

Description: A list of the permissions types in phpBB3 and how to use them properly.

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[url=https://www.phpbb.com/support/docs/en/3.0/kb/article/phpbb3-permissions/]Knowledge Base - phpBB3 Permissions[/url]

Quick Answers

  • Question: Nobody can see any of my new forums
    Answer: By default, new forums have no permissions assigned. You have to assign forum permissions, or copy them from another forum before anyone can see them.
  • Question: I have Full Administrator permissions. Why can I not see my new forums?
    Answer: Administrator Permissions have nothing to do with Forum Permissions. You have to assign Forum Permissions for yourself or your user group before you can see or post in a forum.
  • Question: I have added permissions to my new forums, but I still cannot see them.
    Answer: You also have to add permissions to your forums' parent categories.
  • Question: I have added a new category, with proper permissions, but I cannot see it.
    Answer: Categories will not show unless there are viewable forums under them.
  • Question: How can I allow my moderators to create Sticky or Announcement Topics?
    Answer: Sticky and Announcement permissions are in Forum Permissions. Assigning a "Full Access" forum role will allow them to make Stickies and Announcements.
  • Question: I set a sub-forum to copy permissions from its parent forum, but when I changed the permissions for the parent, the sub-forum did not change.
    Answer: "Copy permissions" is an action, not a setting. When you select to Copy permissions it copies the permissions when you click Submit. It will not copy any future changes unless you select to copy them again in Manage Forums Edit.
  • Question: I created a private forum with a special group that has permissions to see the forum. Now, even members of that group cannot see that forum.
    Answer: You probably set "Never" permissions for the Registered Users group. Since members of your special group are also members of Registered Users, that Never permission is overriding the Yes permission assigned by the new user group. You should be deleting the Registered Users group from that forum's Forum Permissions list, rather than assigning Never permissions.

Permissions Types

There are Five types of Permissions in phpBB3:
  • Global User permissions
  • Global Moderator permissions
  • Global Administrator permissions
  • Forum User permissions
  • Forum Moderator permissions
The three Global permissions are ones which apply to every forum or are unrelated to forums altogether.
The two Forum permissions are ones which apply to only one forum at a time.
Any of these five permission types may be assigned to individual users or to usergroups.

Global Permissions

Global User Permissions

Global User permissions are those permissions which apply to all forums, such as permissions to attach or download files or use a signature, or permissions which are unrelated to a forum, such as permissions relating to profiles, private messages, and email.

Global User permissions can be assigned to users by clicking "Users' permissions" from your ACP Permissions tab, selecting a user, and then selecting "User permissions" from the Select-type dropdown.

Global User permissions can be assigned to user groups by clicking "Groups' permissions" from your ACP Permissions tab, selecting a user group, and then selecting "User permissions" from the Select-type dropdown.

In either case, you will be allowed to select a stock User Role in the role dropdown, or you can click Advanced Permissions to customize the permissions.

Global Moderator Permissions

Global Moderator permissions are those permissions which apply to editing, deleting, or otherwise affecting other users' topics and posts, or to affect other users through reports, warnings, or bans. Permissions given here will apply to any forum the user or user group can see.

Global Moderator permissions can be assigned to users by clicking "Users' permissions" from your ACP Permissions tab, selecting a user, and then selecting "Global moderator permissions" from the Select-type dropdown.

Global Moderator permissions can be assigned to user groups by clicking "Groups' permissions" from your ACP Permissions tab, selecting a user group, and then selecting "Global moderator permissions" from the Select-type dropdown.

Global Moderator permissions can also be assigned to both users and user groups by clicking "Global Moderators" from your ACP Permissions tab. This option will display the all of the users and user groups who are currently assigned Global Moderator permissions. You can add, edit, or delete users and user groups from this option.

In either case, you will be allowed to select a stock Moderator Role in the role dropdown, or you can click Advanced Permissions to customize the permissions.

Global Administrator Permissions

Global Administrator permissions are those permissions which apply to maintaining your board through the Administration Control Panel. They include permissions for maintaining forums, users, and user groups, maintaining and assigning permissions, changing board configuration settings, and other such board maintenance tasks.

Global Administrator permissions can be assigned to users by clicking "Users' permissions" from your ACP Permissions tab, selecting a user, and then selecting "Global admin permissions" from the Select-type dropdown.

Global Administrator permissions can be assigned to user groups by clicking "Groups' permissions" from your ACP Permissions tab, selecting a user group, and then selecting "Global admin permissions" from the Select-type dropdown.

Global Administrator permissions can also be assigned to both users and user groups by clicking "Administrators" from your ACP Permissions tab. This option will display the all of the users and user groups who are currently assigned Administrator permissions. You can add, edit, or delete users and user groups from this option.

In either case, you will be allowed to select a stock Admin Role in the role dropdown, or you can click Advanced Permissions to customize the permissions.

Forum Permissions

Forum User Permissions

Forum User permissions are those which apply to creating and editing ones own posts in a particular forum.

Forum User permissions can be assigned to users by clicking "Users' forum permissions" from your ACP Permissions tab, selecting a user, selecting one or more forums from the list, and then selecting "Forum permissions" from the Select-type dropdown.

Forum User permissions can be assigned to user groups by clicking "Groups' forum permissions" from your ACP Permissions tab, selecting a user group, selecting one or more forums from the list, and then selecting "Forum permissions" from the Select-type dropdown.

Forum User permissions can also be assigned to both users and user groups by clicking "Forum permissions" from your ACP Permissions tab, and then selecting one or more forums from the list. This option will display the all of the users and user groups who are currently assigned Forum User permissions for that forum. You can add, edit, or delete users and user groups from this option.

In either case, you will be allowed to select a stock Forum Role in the role dropdown, or you can click Advanced Permissions to customize the permissions.

Forum Moderator Permissions

Forum Moderator permissions are those which apply to editing, deleting, or otherwise affecting other users' topics and posts in one particular forum, or to affect other users through reports, warnings, or bans.

Forum Moderator permissions can be assigned to users by clicking "Users' forum permissions" from your ACP Permissions tab, selecting a user, selecting one or more forums from the list, and then selecting "Moderator permissions" from the Select-type dropdown.

Forum Moderator permissions can be assigned to user groups by clicking "Groups' forum permissions" from your ACP Permissions tab, selecting a user group, selecting one or more forums from the list, and then selecting "Moderator permissions" from the Select-type dropdown.

Forum Moderator permissions can also be assigned to both users and user groups by clicking "Forum Moderators" from your ACP Permissions tab, and then selecting one or more forums from the list. This option will display the all of the users and user groups who are currently assigned Forum Moderator permissions for that forum. You can add, edit, or delete users and user groups from this option.

In either case, you will be allowed to select a stock Moderator Role in the role dropdown, or you can click Advanced Permissions to customize the permissions.

Permission Roles

There are four types of Permission Roles:
  • Admin Roles, used with Global Administrator permissions
  • User Roles, used with Global User permissions
  • Moderator Roles, used with Global Moderator permissions and Forum Moderator permissions
  • Forum Roles, used with Forum User permissions
Permission Roles can be maintained by clicking the corresponding link on the ACP Permissions tab. Roles provide a convenient permissions template to use when assigning permissions to either users or user groups. A Role's permissions settings can be viewed or edited by clicking the green-gear for that role.

Most standard Roles use combinations of "Yes" and "No", meaning that if one user is assigned two different roles from being a member of two different groups, for instance Limited Access and Regular Access, the Yeses will override the No’s and leave the user with Regular Access.

The Exceptions are the ones with "Never" settings, such as the User Roles "No Avatar" and "No PMs" and the Forum Role "On Moderation Queue". These three Roles use "Never" settings, and therefore override the "Yes" settings that would have been granted by other roles.

You should never use one of these three roles, or any other "Never" settings with your Registered Users group. Doing so will take those permissions away from everyone, including yourself.

If a Role's permission settings are not quite right for your forum -- for instance, you don't want anyone to be able to hide their online status -- you can add or subtract a permission here. Then where ever that role is used, that permission will be changed.

You can also create your own custom roles by typing a new name into the "Create role" box, selecting a role to copy from in the "Use settings from" dropdown, and click submit. Then you can customize your new role and use it for assigning those permissions.

Using such custom roles is simpler than editing the advanced permissions for multiple forums and should reduce the resources required by your forum when checking permissions.

Permission Masks

Permission masks is a tool for viewing the permission settings for all five permissions types for both users and user groups.

Each link on the Permissions Masks section of the ACP Permissions tab corresponds to one of the five permission types:
  • View administrative permissions for Global Administrator permissions
  • View user-based permissions for Global User permissions
  • View global moderation permissions for Global Moderator permissions
  • View forum moderation permissions for Forum Moderator permissions
  • View forum-based permissions for Forum User permissions
Any of these five links will take you to a page listing the users and user groups that are assigned those Global or Forum permissions.
Selecting one or more user groups will display the permissions for those user groups, much the same way they are shown in the permissions edit pages.

Viewing a user's permissions is much different.

If you type a user's name into the "Find a member" box for any of the five permission types and click "View permissions" it will display that user's resulting permissions, taking into account all of the user's groups' permissions. Also, the "forum moderation" mask will take into account global moderation permissions as well.

Each individual permission will have a circle-arrow which is a link to display all of that user's groups and which groups grant or deny that permission.
Image
Note: in this example you see how a Global Moderation "Yes" overrides a Forum Moderation "Never". This is one exception to the rule about Nevers overriding Yeses.
The other exception is "Founders". If a user is marked as a Founder on their User Administration Overview page, they will be granted All of the Global Administrator permissions, overriding any No or Never settings given to that user or his user groups.

Other Shortcuts

The shortcuts on the ACP Permissions tab are sprinkled around other spots in the ACP.
  • The Users' permissions, Users' forum permissions, Groups' permissions, and Groups' forum permissions links are duplicated on the ACP User & Groups tab
  • The Forum permissions, Forum moderators, Users' forum permissions, and Groups' forum permissions links are duplicated on the ACP Forums tab
  • On the Manage Users page, after selecting a User, you can select "Permissions" on the "Select from dropdown":
    • The three Global permissions Masks are shown by default
    • The "Select a forum" dropdown will display the two Forum permissions masks
    • Set users permissions link leads to update the three Global Permissions
    • Set users forum permissions link leads to update the two Forum Permissions

Permissions Quick Start

The following permissions can be set to help start a new forum.

Global Administrator Permissions

  • By default the Administrators user group has the Standard Admin role. This will prevent anyone but the Founder from assigning any other Administrators, editing Roles, and installing any language packs, styles or modules into your forum.
  • By default the Standard Admin Role cannot use other's permissions. This makes maintaining permissions more difficult, so I would recommend editing the "Standard Admin" Admin role and adding the permission "Can use others permissions".

Global Moderator Permissions

  • By default the Global Moderators user group has the Standard Moderator role. This allows them to moderate any forum they can see, but does not allow them to change a post's author or ban users.
  • Add the Standard Moderator or Full Moderator Role to the Administrators user group. This will allow your Administrators to moderate any forum, without having to add them to the Global Moderators user group.

Global User Permissions

  • Administrators and Global Moderators user groups start with All Features User role, which is fine.
  • Registered Users start with Standard Features User role, which gives them most normal user rights, but does not allow them to change their username or default user group and a few other things.
  • Standard Features User role allows users to hide their online status. You may want to edit this Standard Features role and set this permission to No.
  • Guests start with custom Global User permissions that only allow downloading and searching.

Forum Moderator Permissions

  • Administrators and Global Moderators would have Global Moderator permissions, so it is unnecessary to assign them as Forum Moderators.
  • If you will have junior moderators who will moderate individual forums, add those users to those forums' moderator lists, or create moderator user groups for those moderators and add the user groups here. Assign the users or user groups appropriate Moderator Roles.

Forum User Permissions

  • For most forums, give your Administrators and Global Moderators user groups the Full Access Forum Role. This will allow them to make Stickies and Announcements.
  • Give your Registered Users user group the Standard Access Forum Role for any forums except your admin/mods only forums or other hidden forums.
  • Give Read Only Access Forum Role to the Guests user group for forums you want un-registered guests to be able to read.
  • Add the Bot Access Forum Role for the Bots user group for the same forums you want guests to read, so webcrawler searchbots can index those forums.
  • The No Access Forum Role would be more useful with "Never" permissions than its current "No’s". Edit the No Access Forum Role and change "Can see forum" and "Can read forum" from "No" to "Never". This will allow you to use this role to block access to a forum for a small group.

2010-Aug-6 Added an "anchor" to the "Permission masks" heading. ric323
2010-Nov-4 Fixed some typos. RMcGirr83