This package provides a flexible way to add Role-based Permissions to Laravel 4

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Language: PHP

v1.0 2014-05-31 19:10 UTC


Rbac is a copy of rbac, modded for my need, provides a flexible way to add Role-based Permissions to Laravel4.

Required setup

In the require key of composer.json file add the following

"joseph/rbac": "v1.0"

Run the Composer update comand

$ composer update

In your config/app.php add 'Joseph\Rbac\RbacServiceProvider' to the end of the $providers array

'providers' => array(



At the end of config/app.php add 'Rbac' => 'Joseph\Rbac\RbacFacade' to the $aliases array

'aliases' => array(

    'App'        => 'Illuminate\Support\Facades\App',
    'Artisan'    => 'Illuminate\Support\Facades\Artisan',
    'Rbac'    => 'Joseph\Rbac\RbacFacade',



Set the propertly values to the config/auth.php. These values will be used by rbac to refer to the correct user table and model.

User relation to roles

Now generate the Rbac migration

$ php artisan rbac:migration

It will generate the <timestamp>_rbac_setup_tables.php migration. You may now run it with the artisan migrate command:

$ php artisan migrate

After the migration, two new tables will be present: roles which contain the existent roles and it's permissions and assigned_roles which will represent the Many-to-Many relation between User and Role.


Create a Role model following the example at app/models/Role.php:


use Joseph\Rbac\RbacRole;

class Role extends RbacRole


The Role model has one main attributes: name and permissions. name, as you can imagine, is the name of the Role. For example: "Admin", "Owner", "Employee". permissions field has been deprecated in preference for the permission table. You should no longer use it. It is an array that is automagically serialized and unserialized and the Model is saved. This array should contain the name of the permissions of the Role. For example: array( "manage_posts", "manage_users", "manage_products" ).

Create a Permission model following the example at app/models/Permission.php:


use Joseph\Rbac\RbacPermission;

class Permission extends RbacPermission


The Permission model has two attributes: name and display_name. name, as you can imagine, is the name of the Permission. For example: "Admin", "Owner", "Employee", "can_manage". Display name is a viewer friendly version of the permission string. "Admin", "Can Manage", "Something Cool".

Next, use the HasRole trait in your existing User model. For example:


use Joseph\Rbac\HasRole;

class User extends Eloquent /* or ConfideUser 'wink' */{ 
    use HasRole; // Add this trait to your user model


This will do the trick to enable the relation with Role and the following methods roles, hasRole( $name ), can( $permission ), and ability($roles, $permissions, $options) within your User model.

Don't forget to dump composer autoload

$ composer dump-autoload

And you are ready to go.



Let's start by creating the following Roles and Permissions:

$owner = new Role;
$owner->name = 'Owner';

$admin = new Role;
$admin->name = 'Admin';

Next, with both roles created let's assign then to the users. Thanks to the HasRole trait this are gonna be easy as:

$user = User::where('username','=','Joseph')->first();

/* role attach alias */
$user->attachRole( $admin ); // Parameter can be an Role object, array or id.

/* OR the eloquent's original: */
$user->roles()->attach( $admin->id ); // id only

Now we just need to add permissions to those Roles.

$managePosts = new Permission;
$managePosts->name = 'manage_posts';
$managePosts->display_name = 'Manage Posts';

$manageUsers = new Permission;
$manageUsers->name = 'manage_users';
$manageUsers->display_name = 'Manage Users';


Now we can check for roles and permissions simply by doing:

$user->hasRole("Owner");    // false
$user->hasRole("Admin");    // true
$user->can("manage_posts"); // true
$user->can("manage_users"); // false

You can have as many Roles was you want in each User and vice versa.

More advanced checking can be done using the awesome ability function. It takes in three parameters (roles, permissions, options). roles is a set of roles to check. permissions is a set of permissions to check. Either of the roles or permissions variable can be a comma separated string or array.

$user->ability(array('Admin','Owner'), array('manage_posts','manage_users'));
$user->ability('Admin,Owner', 'manage_posts,manage_users');

This will check whether the user has any of the provided roles and permissions. In this case it will return true since the user is an Admin and has the manage_posts permission.

The third parameter is an options array.

$options = array(
'validate_all' => true | false (Default: false),
'return_type' => boolean | array | both (Default: boolean)

validate_all is a boolean flag to set whether to check all the values for true, or to return true if at least one role or permission is matched.

return_type specifies whether to return a boolean, array of checked values, or both in an array.

Here's an example output.

$options = array(
    'validate_all' => true,
    'return_type' => 'both'
list($validate,$allValidations) = $user->ability(array('Admin','Owner'), array('manage_posts','manage_users'), $options);

// Output
array(4) {
  ['role'] => bool(true)
  ['role_2'] => bool(false)
  ['manage_posts'] => bool(true)
  ['manage_users'] => bool(false)

Short syntax Route filter

To filter a route by permission or role you can call the following in your app/filters.php:

// Only users with roles that have the 'manage_posts' permission will
// be able to access any route within admin/post.
Rbac::routeNeedsPermission( 'admin/post*', 'manage_posts' );

// Only owners will have access to routes within admin/advanced
Rbac::routeNeedsRole( 'admin/advanced*', 'Owner' );

// Optionally the second parameter can be an array of permissions or roles.
// User would need to match all roles or permissions for that route.
Rbac::routeNeedsPermission( 'admin/post*', array('manage_posts','manage_comments') );

Rbac::routeNeedsRole( 'admin/advanced*', array('Owner','Writer') );

Both of these methods accepts a third parameter. If the third parameter is null then the return of a prohibited access will be App::abort(403). Otherwise the third parameter will be returned. So you can use it like:

Rbac::routeNeedsRole( 'admin/advanced*', 'Owner', Redirect::to('/home') );

Further both of these methods accept a fourth parameter. It defaults to true and checks all roles/permissions given. If you set it to false, the function will only fail if all roles/permissions fail for that user. Useful for admin applications where you want to allow access for multiple groups.

// If a user has `manage_posts`, `manage_comments` or both they will have access.
Rbac::routeNeedsPermission( 'admin/post*', array('manage_posts','manage_comments'), null, false );

// If a user is a member of `Owner`, `Writer` or both they will have access.
Rbac::routeNeedsRole( 'admin/advanced*', array('Owner','Writer'), null, false );

// If a user is a member of `Owner`, `Writer` or both, or user has `manage_posts`, `manage_comments` they will have access.
// You can set the 4th parameter to true then user must be member of Role and must has Permission.
Rbac::routeNeedsRoleOrPermission( 'admin/advanced*', array('Owner','Writer'), array('manage_posts','manage_comments'), null, false);

Route filter

Rbac roles/permissions can be used in filters by simply using the can and hasRole methods from within the Facade.

Route::filter('manage_posts', function()
    if (! Rbac::can('manage_posts') ) // Checks the current user
        return Redirect::to('admin');

// Only users with roles that have the 'manage_posts' permission will
// be able to access any admin/post route.
Route::when('admin/post*', 'manage_posts'); 

Using a filter to check for a role:

Route::filter('owner_role', function()
    if (! Rbac::hasRole('Owner') ) // Checks the current user

// Only owners will have access to routes within admin/advanced
Route::when('admin/advanced*', 'owner_role'); 

As you can see Rbac::hasRole() and Rbac::can() checks if the user is logged, and then if he has the role or permission. If the user is not logged the return will also be false.


If you encounter an error when doing the migration that looks like:

SQLSTATE[HY000]: General error: 1005 Can't create table 'laravelbootstrapstarter.#sql-42c_f8' (errno: 150) (SQL: alter table `assigned_roles` add constraint assigned_roles_user_id_foreign foreign key (`
  user_id`) references `users` (`id`)) (Bindings: array (

Then it's likely that the id column in your user table does not match the user_id column in assigned_roles. Match sure both are INT(10).

Name is having issues saving.

RbacRole->name has a length limitation set within the rules variable of the RbacRole class.

You can adjust it by changing your Role Model.


use Joseph\Rbac\RbacRole;

class Role extends RbacRole
     * Ardent validation rules
     * @var array
    public static $rules = array(
      'name' => 'required|between:4,255'


Rbac is free software distributed under the terms of the MIT license

Aditional information

Any questions, feel free to contact me or ask here

Any issues, please report here