Manage Users

Register users on your Foswiki site; change/reset/install passwords; remove user accounts

ALERT! Some of the features below may be disabled, depending on your Foswiki configuration.

Authentication and Access Control

Register User

You don't have to have user home pages in Foswiki for Authentication to work - see UserAuthentication for details.

Change, Reset and Install Passwords

Note that the below features are only relevant when you use an internal password manager where Foswiki can set and reset passwords.

  • ChangePassword is for users who can remember their password and want to change it
  • ResetPassword is for users who cannot remember their password; a system generated password is e-mailed to them
  • BulkResetPassword is for administrators who want to reset many passwords at once
  • ChangeEmailAddress changes the hidden email address stored in the password file

Changing User Account Names

To change the user's WikiName:
  • Rename the user's Foswiki homepage in the Main web, such as from JaneSmith to JaneMiller.
    • Fix backlinks in the Main web only
    • Make sure the group topics are updated (if any.)
  • Edit the Main.WikiUsers topic and move the user's entry so that the list is in proper alphabetical order.
  • Recreate the old topic with a pointer to the new topic, so that links in other webs work properly. Example content:
    %M% Jane Smith is now known as JaneMiller

If external authentication is used and you want to change the login username:
  • The login username needs to be changed in the authentication server (e.g. Active Directory)
  • In Foswiki's Main.WikiUsers topic, fix the mapping from username to WikiName:
       * JaneSmith - jsmith - 13 Sep 2006
       * JaneMiller - jmiller - 13 Sep 2006

Removing User Accounts

The following API can be used by administrators to delete a user's account.
  • The user is removed from the user database.
  • The user's topic is moved to the trash web
  • The user is removed from any groups

Enter user to be removed

Remove user topic?

(Check to remove topic) Prefix for deleted topic: (Follow topic naming rules)

Note: Consider leaving the user topic file in place so their past signatures and revision author entries don't end up looking like AnUncreatedTopic. If you want to make it clear the user is no longer around, replace the topic content with a note to that effect. The existence of the UserName topic should also prevent that username from being re-used, sealing the potential security hole regarding inherited permissions..

TIP See the AntiWikiSpamPlugin extension for another method of removing users. It provides a rest handler to:
  • Move the user topic to the Trash web.
  • Remove the user from the password / mapper
  • Remove the user from any groups.

Other registration controls

Registration process is configured at Security and Authentication tab, Registration sub-tab.


Registration can be configured to require a confirmation via the registered email address:
  • An email is sent to the email address entered by the new user with a confirmation code.
  • The user must enter the confirmation code into a dialog on the wiki to confirm the registration.
  • The pending registration lifetime defaults to 6 hours. If the user does not confirm within that time, the pending registration will be removed.

Registration Email Requirements

Normally Foswiki does not require unique email addresses. Multiple users can register using the same email address. Enable the setting {Register}{UniqueEmail} to prevent use of the same email by multiple users.

Normally any email domain can be used for registration. Set the expert setting {Register}{EmailFilter} to restrict the domains usable for registration. See the configure help for more details.

See the configure help at Security and Authentication tab, Registration sub-tab, for more details.

Customizing registration Emails.

Foswiki's Registration can send 3 emails whose output is governed by templates:
  1. User registration confirmation - templates/registerconfirm.tmpl
  2. User registration notification - templates/registernotify.tmpl
  3. Email to notify the Wiki admin of registration - templates/registernotifyadmin.tmpl

As these are SkinTemplates, they can be customized and selected using the SKIN path setting. Because there are default .tmpl files in the templates dir, this cannot use Template topics.

These template files have a specific format that matches the raw format of emails sent via SMTP, so be careful and test your changes. It is easiest to start by copying the default templates:

cd templates
cp registernotify.tmpl registernotify.myskin.tmpl
cp registerconfirm.tmpl registerconfirm.myskin.tmpl
cp registernotifyadmin.tmpl registernotifyadmin.myskin.tmpl
then add myskin to the beginning of the SKIN setting in SitePreferences.

From this point on, your myskin templates will be used for the registration emails.

To make it possible for users to modify the email contents, you could use a parameterized %INCLUDE% statement in your customized version, eg:

Subject: %MAKETEXT{
   "[_1] - Registration for [_2] ([_3])"
Auto-Submitted: auto-generated
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=%CHARSET%
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

HELP Note the use of %WIKINAME%, %FIRSTLASTNAME%, %EMAILADDRESS% passed in from the INCLUDE so that the topic below is similar to the original template

and then create a topic Main.RegisterNotifyEmail:
Welcome to %WIKITOOLNAME%.

%MAKETEXT{"Your personal [_1] topic is located at [_2]. You can customize it as you like:" args="%WIKITOOLNAME%, %SCRIPTURL{"view"}%/%USERSWEB%/%WIKINAME%"}%

   * %MAKETEXT{"Some people turn it into a personal portal with favorite links, what they work on, what help they'd like, etc."}%
   * %MAKETEXT{"Some add schedule information and vacation notice."}%

Your Wiki Admin

   2 %MAKETEXT{"You can change your password at via [_1]" args="%SCRIPTURL{"view"}%/%SYSTEMWEB%/ChangePassword"}%
   3 %MAKETEXT{"If you haven't set a password yet or you want to reset it, go to: [_1]" args="%SCRIPTURL{"view"}%/%SYSTEMWEB%/ResetPassword"}%

%MAKETEXT{"Submitted content:"}%

ALERT! Remember to secure the topic appropriately to prevent attackers from getting emailed sensitive passwords.

Manually approving registrations

In some installations, registration requests should be forwarded to an administrator for approval. This can be accomplished relatively easily by modifying the registration email template to send the "Verification" request to an approval address instead of returning to the user.

This will be accomplished by creating a new skin to override the templates used in the registration process. By creating a new skin, you avoid modifying any files that are replaced when Foswiki is upgraded.

Summary of steps:

  1. Name a new skin for the registration email: ex. approval
  2. Copy and modify the registration confirmation - templates/registerconfirm.tmpl to templates/registerconfirm.approval.tmpl
  3. optional Copy and modify the registration notification - templates/registernotify.tmpl to templates/registernotify.approval.tmpl
  4. optional Copy and modify the the Wiki admin notification - templates/registernotifyadmin.tmpl to templates/registernotifyadmin.approval.tmpl
  5. Create a new template to override the registration response to the user: templates/messages.approval.tmpl
  6. Edit your Main.SitePreferences topic and enable the new skin, and set the %REGISTRATIONAPPROVAL% and %REGISTRATIONAPPROVALEMAIL% variables
  7. Enable confirmation email messages using Security and Authentication tab Registration sub-tab to enable {Register}{NeedVerification}
  8. Also, set the {Register}{ExpireAfter} setting to a value long enough to ensure that the approver has a chance to process the request before it expires.

The following examples assume that Step 1 chose approval as the skin name. And the registration notifications sent to the user and Wiki admin do not need to be modified.

Registration confirmation template templates/registerconfirm.approval.tmpl (Step 2)

Copy the template: cp templates/registerconfirm.tmpl templates/registerconfirm.approval.tmpl and edit to appear as follows. This email message will be sent to the address responsible for approving registrations.

%{ This is a default template }%From: %WIKIWEBMASTERNAME% <%WIKIWEBMASTER%>
Subject: Registration request by %FIRSTLASTNAME% <%EMAILADDRESS%>
Auto-Submitted: auto-generated
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=%CHARSET%
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

needs your approval.
Verification code %VERIFICATIONCODE%

TIP Note The line following the Content-Transfer must be completely empty, with no spaces, or the email wil fail.

Wiki Admin notification templates/registernotifyadmin.approval.tmpl (Step 4)

This is sent to the Admin upon successful registration. This message is extended to provide confirmation to the approver that the registration succeeded.

%{ This is a default template }%From: %WIKIWEBMASTERNAME% <%WIKIWEBMASTER%>
Subject: %MAKETEXT{"[_1] - Registration for [_2] ([_3])" args="%WIKITOOLNAME%, %WIKINAME%, %EMAILADDRESS%"}%
Auto-Submitted: auto-generated
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=%CHARSET%
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

%MAKETEXT{"This is an automated e-mail notification of user registration in [_1]." args="%WIKITOOLNAME%"}%

%MAKETEXT{"[_1] has been approved and registered with e-mail [_2]" args="%WIKINAME%, %EMAILADDRESS%"}%

%MAKETEXT{"Submitted content:"}%


%MAKETEXT{"Saved to:"}%


Registration response message templates/messages.approval.tmpl (Step 5)

Create a new template: templates/messages.approval.tmpl This template will override one message from the large collection of messages in templates/messages.tmpl

This "confirm" message will be returned to the user when they submit the registration request.

---+++ %MAKETEXT{"Thank you for registering"}%

Your request has been sent to %REGISTRATIONAPPROVAL% <%REGISTRATIONAPPROVALEMAIL%> who will normally approve your
registration within 1-2 working days.


Site preferences Main.SitePreferences (Step 6)

Edit your Main.SitePreferences topic and enable the new skin, and set the %REGISTRATIONAPPROVAL% and %REGISTRATIONAPPROVALEMAIL% variables. (Do not include the # shown in the below example.)

   * #Set SKIN=approval,pattern
   * #Set

Edit the Registration Configuration (Steps 7-8)

This checkbox should be enabled in the "Security and Authentication" -> "Registration" tab.
Set to a value that is > than the longest delay expected for approval. For ex. a "Holiday weekend" - 3-day lifetime would require 259200 seconds.

Set the pending registration timeout, in seconds. The pending registration will be cleared after this amount of time. The default is 6 hours (21600 seconds). This is only used if {Register}{NeedVerification} is enabled.

Note By default, registration expiry is done "on the fly" during the registration process. For best performance, you can set {Register}{ExpireAfter} to a negative number, which will mean that Foswiki won't try to clean up expired registrations durning registration. Instead you should use a cron job to clean up expired sessions. The standard maintenance cron script tools/ includes this function.

Note that if you are using registration approval by 3rd party reviewers, this timer should most likely be significantly increased. 24 hours = 86400, 3 days = 259200.

Pending registration requests are stored in the {WorkingDir}/registration_approvals directory.

Related Topics: AdminDocumentationCategory
Topic revision: r1 - 03 Feb 2016, UnknownUser
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