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Pm Wiki has built-in support for password-protecting various areas of the wiki site. Passwords can be applied to individual pages, to WikiGroups, 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.

Note: If your web server is giving you trouble with passwords, try the scripts/sessionauth.php script. See comments in the sample-config.php script that comes with the distro. Using sessionauth will prompt for a password, and install a cookie in the user's browser. The cookie is removed automatically when the browser is closed.

When accessing a password-protected page, leave the Username field blank.

PmWiki supports several levels of access to wiki pages:
read passwords allow viewing the contents of wiki pages
edit passwords control editing and modification of wiki pages
attr passwords control who is able to set passwords on pages (and potentially other future attributes)
if uploads are enabled, upload passwords control uploading of files and attachments

Finally, there is an admin access for the entire wiki site that allows an administrator to override the passwords set for any individual page or group. All passwords are stored in an encrypted format so that other users on the system cannot simply browse the contents of files to determine the passwords.

By default, PmWiki is configured with empty read and edit passwords for the whole site (allowing anyone to view or edit pages), the attr password is locked for the Main and PmWiki groups, and the admin password is locked entirely. You can unlock the attr password for either of those groups by accessing that group's attributes page, and entering clear in the appropriate field (you'll need to set the global admin password to do this, since it's also locked by default). Global passwords for the wiki site are controlled by the $DefaultPasswords array in config.php. To set an admin password to "mysecret" for a site, you can add the following line to config.php:

    $DefaultPasswords['admin'] = crypt('mysecret');

Of course, anyone able to view config.php would be able to find out your secret password, so we'd like to encrypt it somehow. Add ?action=crypt or &action=crypt to the end of any PmWiki URL (or jump to ThisWiki:?action=crypt ) and you'll be presented with a form to give you the encrypted form of the password. For example, when the crypt action is given the password "mysecret", PmWiki gives back a string like

    $1$hMMhCdfT$mZSCh.BJOidMRn4SOUUSi1

(it may be different on your system). This can then be put directly into config.php as:
    
    $DefaultPasswords['admin'] = '$1$hMMhCdfT$mZSCh.BJOidMRn4SOUUSi1';  

(Note: The crypt keyword and parenthesis have been removed, since the inserted text is already encrypted. The sample-config.php has the crypt keyword present, be sure to remove this when switching your passwords to pre-encrypted.)

Note that the encrypted password has to be enclosed in single-quotes. Here, the password is still "mysecret", but somebody looking at config.php won't be able to see that just from looking at the encrypted form. Crypt may give you different encryptions for the same password--this is normal (and makes it harder for someone else to determine the original password).

Similarly, you can set $DefaultPasswords['read'], $DefaultPasswords['edit'], and $DefaultPasswords['attr'] to control default read, edit, and attr passwords for the entire site. The default passwords are used only for pages and groups which do not have passwords set. Also, any of these values may be arrays of encrypted passwords.

In PmWiki, page passwords override group passwords, group passwords override the default passwords, and the admin password always allows access. This gives a great deal of flexibility in controlling access to wiki pages in PmWiki. You can also use the special password "nopass" (defined by the $AllowPassword variable) to have a non-password protected page within a password-protected group, or a non-password protected group with a site-wide default password set.

To use PmWiki itself to set passwords on individual wiki pages and WikiGroups, see PmWiki.Passwords.

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Page last modified on October 01, 2004, at 04:00 PM