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A super lightweight library for handling role based permissions in Laravel

0.0.1-alpha 2020-02-24 13:00 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2021-11-24 16:57:16 UTC


A super lightweight library for handling role based permissions in Laravel.

This library is in early release and is pending unit tests.

Table of Contents


There are some great existing role based authorization libraries out there, so why another one?

For our internal systems, we wanted something which is:

  1. simple to use
  2. does not contain all the bells and whistles
  3. works with the framework's existing authorization library
  4. focuses on performance first
  5. elegantly modeled without a plethora of pivot tables - json type works fine!

We've managed to keep things simple and efficient by:

  1. creating just 2 tables, a roles table and a role_user table mapping users to roles
  2. storing assigned permissions in a json column on the roles table
  3. performing just a single database query to retrieve all users, assigned roles & permissions
  4. keeping an in-object mapping cache of user -> permissions
  5. decorating this mapping cache with an external cache of your choice (memcached, redis, etc)


composer require balfour/laravel-custodian


The package works out the box without any configuration, however if you'd like to publish the config file, you can do so using:

php artisan vendor:publish --provider="Balfour\LaravelCustodian\ServiceProvider"

Custom User Model

The library will try to detect the path of your user model from the auth config's default guard.

If you'd like to use a custom model such as \App\User::class, you can specify a class path in the user_model config value.

An alternative way to set the user model on the fly is via the Balfour\LaravelCustodian\UserModelResolver::setModel(\App\User::class) function.

Super Admins

The admins config value takes an array of email addresses which should be given super admin access on the custodian. This means that these users will automatically pass all gate (permission) checks.

We do not recommend using this outside of testing. You should rather make use of Laravel's Gate::before or Gate::after hooks to accomplish this.

Configuring User Model

Add the HasRoles trait to your user model.

namespace App;

use Balfour\LaravelCustodian\HasRoles;
use Illuminate\Notifications\Notifiable;
use Illuminate\Contracts\Auth\MustVerifyEmail;
use Illuminate\Foundation\Auth\User as Authenticatable;

class User extends Authenticatable
    use HasRoles;

This will establish a relationship between users and roles; and also give you the following utility methods:

 * @param mixed $role
public function assignRole($role)

 * @param mixed $role
public function revokeRole($role)

 * @param array $ids
public function syncRoles(array $ids)


Creating Roles

use Balfour\LaravelCustodian\Models\Role;

$admin = Role::create(['name' => 'admin']);

$support = Role::create(['name' => 'customer-support']);

Registering Permissions

You must register permissions before they can be assigned to roles.

The package does not store available permissions in the database, but instead, registers them against a PermissionRegistrar. This means that permissions must be registered upon bootstrap, such as in your app's AppServiceProvider, or a module/package's ServiceProvider.

use Balfour\LaravelCustodian\Custodian;

$custodian = app(Custodian::class);

Listing Available Permissions

use Balfour\LaravelCustodian\Custodian;

$custodian = app(Custodian::class);
$permissions = $custodian->getAvailablePermissions();

// you could use this to generate a permission matrix for a user, or display a checkbox list
// of permissions on an edit user type of page

Assigning Permissions to Roles

use Balfour\LaravelCustodian\Models\Role;

$admin = Role::where('name', 'admin')->first();

Revoking Permissions from Roles

use Balfour\LaravelCustodian\Models\Role;

$admin = Role::where('name', 'admin')->first();

Assigning Roles to Users

use App\User;
use Balfour\LaravelCustodian\Models\Role;

$user = User::find(1);

// you can also assign using a model
$admin = Role::where('name', 'admin')->first();

// or by id

Syncing User Roles

use App\User;

$user = User::find(1);

Revoking Roles from Users

use App\User;
use Balfour\LaravelCustodian\Models\Role;

$user = User::find(1);

// you can also revoke using a model
$admin = Role::where('name', 'admin')->first();

// or by id

Listing User Roles

use App\User;

$user = User::find(1);
$roles = $user->roles;

Retrieving a User's Permissions

use App\User;
use Balfour\LaravelCustodian\Custodian;

$custodian = app(Custodian::class);
$user = User::find(1);
$permissions = $custodian->getUserPermissions();

Authorizing Users

The library does not add any special functionality for checking if a user can perform a specific permission (or ability).

Please see the Laravel Authorization documentation for more info on this subject.

use App\User;

$user = User::find(1);

// via middleware
Route::put('/users/{user}', function (User $user) {


// via blade
    // ....