PmWiki has built-in support for password-protecting various areas of the wiki site. Passwords can be applied to individual pages, to Wiki Groups, or to the entire wiki site. Note that the password protection mechanisms described here are only a small part of overall system (and wiki) security, see PmWiki.Security for more discussion of this.
Authors can use PmWiki to add passwords to individual pages and Wiki Groups as described in Passwords. However, WikiAdministrators can also set passwords in local/config.php as described below. (Please note that one cannot set passwords reliably in per group or per page customization files. See the FAQ section for details.)
PmWiki supports several levels of access to wiki pages, known as authorisation level:
By default, PmWiki has the following password settings:
See Passwords for information about setting per-page and per-group passwords. The remainder of this page describes setting site-wide passwords from the local/config.php file.
Setting site-wide passwords
One of the first things an admin should do is set an
Note that the crypt() call is required for this — PmWiki stores and processes all passwords internally as encrypted strings. See the crypt section below for details about eliminating the cleartext password from the configuration file.
To set the entire site to be editable only by those who know an “edit” password, add a line like the following to local/config.php:
Similarly, you can set a password for any available action, viz
This says that either “alpha” or “beta” can be used to read pages, but only the “beta” password will allow someone to edit a page. Since PmWiki remembers any passwords entered during the current session, the “beta” password will allow both reading and writing of pages, while the “alpha” password allows reading only. A person without either password would be unable to view pages at all.
Setting passwords by reference
Setting passwords by reference allows you to change the password for a whole set of pages as easily as you can change site-wide passwords. (Otherwise you would have to update each page’s attributes individually.) Enter in the Group or Page Attributes:
And in the local configuration file set the actual password with lines like this:
Identity-based authorization (username/password logins, AuthUser)
Unlike many systems which have identity-based systems for controlling access to pages (e.g., using a separate username and password for each person), PmWiki defaults to a password-based system as described above. In general password-based systems are often easier to maintain because they avoid the administrative overheads of creating user accounts, recovering lost passwords, and mapping usernames to permitted actions.
However, PmWiki’s authuser.php script augments the password-based system to allow access to pages based on a username and password combination. See AuthUser for more details on controlling access to pages based on user identity.
Security holes …
Administrators need to carefully plan where passwords are applied to avoid opening inadvertent security holes. If your wiki is open (anyone can read and edit), this would not seem to be a concern, except, a malicious or confused user could apply a read password to a group and make the group completely unavailable to all other users. At the very least, even an open wiki should have a site-wide “admin” password and a site-wide “attr” password set in config.php. The sample-config.php file distributed with PmWiki indicates that the PmWiki and Main groups have “attr” locked by default, but if anyone creates a new group, “attr” is unlocked. Administrators must remember to set “attr” passwords for each new group (if desired) in this case. An easier solution is to include these lines in config.php :
$DefaultPasswords['admin'] = crypt('youradminpassword'); $DefaultPasswords['attr'] = crypt('yourattrpassword');
One drawback to using the crypt() function directly to set passwords in config.php is that anyone able to view the file will see the unencrypted password. For example, if config.php contains
then the “mysecret” password is in plain text for others to see. However, a wiki administrator can obtain and use an encrypted form of the password directly by using
The string returned from
Note that in the encrypted form the crypt keyword and parentheses are removed, since the password is already encrypted. Also, the encrypted password must be in single quotes. In this example the password is still “
To remove a site password entirely, such as the default locked password for uploads, just set it to empty:
You can also use the special password “@nopass” via
Revoking or invalidating passwords
If a password is compromised and the wiki administrator wants to quickly invalidate all uses of that password on a site, a quick solution is the following in local/config.php:
$ForbiddenPasswords = array('secret', 'tanstaafl'); if (in_array(@$_POST['authpw'], $ForbiddenPasswords)) unset($_POST['authpw']);
This prevents “secret” and “tanstaafl” from ever being accepted as a valid authorization password, regardless of what pages may be using it.
Protecting actions (example)
Each action can be password protected. Cookbook authors providing scripts with own actions can use this also, but I’ll limit the example to a (by default) not protected
There are several solutions for that:
If you additionally want to set the password in the attributes page add:
In general, adding the prefix ‘passwd’ to an action name in the
The full set of steps to add new password handling for an action such as “diff” would be:
# add a new (encrypted) field to the attr page $PageAttributes['passwddiff'] = '$[Set new history password]'; # clear the default password for 'diff' $DefaultPasswords['diff'] = ''; # Tell PmWiki that the 'diff' password allows action 'diff'. $HandleAuth['diff'] = 'diff'; # Tell PmWiki that a 'read' password # (or optionally the 'edit') password # is also sufficient to enable 'diff'. # Of course, the 'admin' password will work too. $AuthCascade['diff'] = 'read'; ## or 'edit'
There isn’t any valid password until you set one. Passwords admin describes how to set one.
PmWiki comes “out of the box” with
Q How do I use passwd-formatted files (like .htpasswd) for authentication?
As described in PmWiki.GroupCustomizations per-group or per-page configuration files should not be used for defining passwords. The reason is that per-group (or per-page) customization files are only loaded for the current page. So, if
Q How can I password protect the creation of new pages?
Q How do I change the password prompt screen?
If your question is about how to make changes to that page… edit Site.AuthForm. If your question is about how to change which page you are sent to when prompted for a password, you might check out the Cookbook:CustomAuthForm for help.
Q How do I change the prompt on the attributes (
Note that this only changes the text above the password inputs on the attributes page, but doesn’t change the inputs themselves - the inputs have to be dealt with separately. See Cookbook:CustomAttrForm for more info.
Q I get http error 500 “Internal Server Error” when I try to log in. What’s wrong?
This can happen if the encrypted passwords are not created on the web server that hosts the PmWiki.
Solution: Create the passwords on the system with the oldest PHP version and use them on all other systems.
Q I only want users to have to create an ‘edit’ password, which is automatically used for their ‘upload’ & ‘attr’ passwords (without them having to set those independently). How do I do this?