System Users

Traditionally, in OrientDB, there have been two types of users: a server user and a database user.

A server user is specified in the <users> section of the orientdb-server-config.xml file or as a user object in the ODefaultPasswordAuthenticator section of security.json. A server user typically has a name, a password, and a list of permitted resources to server-related activities that are not specific to a single database. An example is "" which permits returning such things as the currently active client connections, the databases on the server, and a list of global properties.

A database user resides in each database as an OUser record, and its associated roles and permissions apply only to that database.

A third type of user now exists, called a system user. A system user is similar in concept to a server user but resides in the system database as an OUser record. Like a database user, a system user is assigned roles that are comprised of resources and permissions. See Database Security. What's unique about a system user is that its roles may be specified per-database or against the server, depending on the chosen resource.


To support the system users a new authenticator has been added, called OSystemUserAuthenticator. It is enabled, by default, in the security.json configuration file, and has been added in the chain of authenticators. See New Security Features.

Users and Roles

To create new System users, they are added to the system database, and the procedure is identical to adding a user as outlined in Database Security.

The main difference between a system user and a database user comes with roles. A role can be created that allows a system user to have access to a specific database, multiple databases, or all databases while still supporting the standard database resources (such as database, database.class, database.cluster, database.command).

The way this is achieved is by adding a property to the ORole record, called dbFilter. As an example, say we have an OrientDB class called Car, and we want to create a role to allow a user to modify all the Car records. For a regular database user, we'd do something like this:

INSERT INTO ORole SET name = "carAdmin", mode = 0
UPDATE ORole PUT rules = "database.class.Car", 15 WHERE name = "carAdmin"

These commands will create a new role called carAdmin with a mode of "deny all but", and will add a rule to the role granting all permissions (create, read, update, delete) to modify the Car class.

To make this work for a system user, we make a small change by adding a dbFilter property to the role. Here's an example allowing a role to access the MyCarDB database:

UPDATE ORole SET dbFilter = ["MyCarDB"] WHERE name = "carAdmin"

The dbFilter property is a list of strings indicating which databases a role is allowed to access. A wildcard ("*") may be specified to permit access to all databases.

Server Resources

What's unique about a system user is that it's essentially a hybrid of a server user and a database user. A server user has access to a finite number of server-related resources (such as, server.listDatabases, and db.copy). A system user also has access to the same server resources as a server user has, but the resource name is added as a rule of a role.

Here's an example of adding the resource to a role called sysinfo.

UPDATE ORole PUT rules = "", 16 WHERE name = "sysinfo"

Notice that a new permission (16 - execute) has been specified for the rule. Server resources typically have execute-only permission.

The previously mentioned, database-specific property, dbFilter, is not set on the role since is specific to the server and not an individual database.

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