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

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1.5.0 2015-11-20 19:05 UTC


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Entrust is a succinct and flexible way to add Role-based Permissions to Laravel 5.

If you are looking for the Laravel 4 version, take a look Branch 1.0. It contains the latest entrust version for Laravel 4.



In order to install Laravel 5 Entrust, just add

"zizaco/entrust": "dev-laravel-5"

to your composer.json. Then run composer install or composer update.

Then in your config/app.php add


in the providers array and

    'Entrust' => 'Zizaco\Entrust\EntrustFacade'

to the aliases array.

If you are going to use Middleware (requires Laravel 5.1 or later) you also need to add

    'role' => 'Zizaco\Entrust\Middleware\EntrustRole',
    'permission' => 'Zizaco\Entrust\Middleware\EntrustPermission',
    'ability' => 'Zizaco\Entrust\Middleware\EntrustAbility',

to routeMiddleware array in app/Http/Kernel.php.


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

You can also publish the configuration for this package to further customize table names and model namespaces.
Just use php artisan vendor:publish and a entrust.php file will be created in your app/config directory.

User relation to roles

Now generate the Entrust migration:

php artisan entrust:migration

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

php artisan migrate

After the migration, four new tables will be present:

  • roles — stores role records
  • permissions — stores permission records
  • role_user — stores many-to-many relations between roles and users
  • permission_role — stores many-to-many relations between roles and permissions



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

<?php namespace App;

use Zizaco\Entrust\EntrustRole;

class Role extends EntrustRole

The Role model has three main attributes:

  • name — Unique name for the Role, used for looking up role information in the application layer. For example: "admin", "owner", "employee".
  • display_name — Human readable name for the Role. Not necessarily unique and optional. For example: "User Administrator", "Project Owner", "Widget Co. Employee".
  • description — A more detailed explanation of what the Role does. Also optional.

Both display_name and description are optional; their fields are nullable in the database.


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

<?php namespace App;

use Zizaco\Entrust\EntrustPermission;

class Permission extends EntrustPermission

The Permission model has the same three attributes as the Role:

  • name — Unique name for the permission, used for looking up permission information in the application layer. For example: "create-post", "edit-user", "post-payment", "mailing-list-subscribe".
  • display_name — Human readable name for the permission. Not necessarily unique and optional. For example "Create Posts", "Edit Users", "Post Payments", "Subscribe to mailing list".
  • description — A more detailed explanation of the Permission.

In general, it may be helpful to think of the last two attributes in the form of a sentence: "The permission display_name allows a user to description."


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


use Zizaco\Entrust\Traits\EntrustUserTrait;

class User extends Eloquent
    use EntrustUserTrait; // add this trait to your user model


This will enable the relation with Role and add 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.

Soft Deleting

The default migration takes advantage of onDelete('cascade') clauses within the pivot tables to remove relations when a parent record is deleted. If for some reason you cannot use cascading deletes in your database, the EntrustRole and EntrustPermission classes, and the HasRole trait include event listeners to manually delete records in relevant pivot tables. In the interest of not accidentally deleting data, the event listeners will not delete pivot data if the model uses soft deleting. However, due to limitations in Laravel's event listeners, there is no way to distinguish between a call to delete() versus a call to forceDelete(). For this reason, before you force delete a model, you must manually delete any of the relationship data (unless your pivot tables uses cascading deletes). For example:

$role = Role::findOrFail(1); // Pull back a given role

// Regular Delete
$role->delete(); // This will work no matter what

// Force Delete
$role->users()->sync([]); // Delete relationship data
$role->perms()->sync([]); // Delete relationship data

$role->forceDelete(); // Now force delete will work regardless of whether the pivot table has cascading delete



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

$owner = new Role();
$owner->name         = 'owner';
$owner->display_name = 'Project Owner'; // optional
$owner->description  = 'User is the owner of a given project'; // optional

$admin = new Role();
$admin->name         = 'admin';
$admin->display_name = 'User Administrator'; // optional
$admin->description  = 'User is allowed to manage and edit other users'; // optional

Next, with both roles created let's assign them to the users. Thanks to the HasRole trait this is as easy as:

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

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

// or eloquent's original technique
$user->roles()->attach($admin->id); // id only

Now we just need to add permissions to those Roles:

$createPost = new Permission();
$createPost->name         = 'create-post';
$createPost->display_name = 'Create Posts'; // optional
// Allow a user to...
$createPost->description  = 'create new blog posts'; // optional

$editUser = new Permission();
$editUser->name         = 'edit-user';
$editUser->display_name = 'Edit Users'; // optional
// Allow a user to...
$editUser->description  = 'edit existing users'; // optional

// equivalent to $admin->perms()->sync(array($createPost->id));

$owner->attachPermissions(array($createPost, $editUser));
// equivalent to $owner->perms()->sync(array($createPost->id, $editUser->id));
Checking for Roles & Permissions

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

$user->hasRole('owner');   // false
$user->hasRole('admin');   // true
$user->can('edit-user');   // false
$user->can('create-post'); // true

Both hasRole() and can() can receive an array of roles & permissions to check:

$user->hasRole(['owner', 'admin']);       // true
$user->can(['edit-user', 'create-post']); // true

By default, if any of the roles or permissions are present for a user then the method will return true. Passing true as a second parameter instructs the method to require all of the items:

$user->hasRole(['owner', 'admin']);             // true
$user->hasRole(['owner', 'admin'], true);       // false, user does not have admin role
$user->can(['edit-user', 'create-post']);       // true
$user->can(['edit-user', 'create-post'], true); // false, user does not have edit-user permission

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

The Entrust class has shortcuts to both can() and hasRole() for the currently logged in user:


// is identical to


You can also use placeholders (wildcards) to check any matching permission by doing:

// match any admin permission
$user->can("admin.*"); // true

// match any permission about users
$user->can("*_users"); // true
User ability

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('create-post', 'edit-user'));

// or

$user->ability('admin,owner', 'create-post,edit-user');

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 create-post 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 is an example output:

$options = array(
    'validate_all' => true,
    'return_type' => 'both'

list($validate, $allValidations) = $user->ability(
    array('admin', 'owner'),
    array('create-post', 'edit-user'),

// bool(false)

// array(4) {
//     ['role'] => bool(true)
//     ['role_2'] => bool(false)
//     ['create-post'] => bool(true)
//     ['edit-user'] => bool(false)
// }

The Entrust class has a shortcut to ability() for the currently logged in user:

Entrust::ability('admin,owner', 'create-post,edit-user');

// is identical to

Auth::user()->ability('admin,owner', 'create-post,edit-user');

Blade templates

Three directives are available for use within your Blade templates. What you give as the directive arguments will be directly passed to the corresponding Entrust function.

    <p>This is visible to users with the admin role. Gets translated to 

    <p>This is visible to users with the given permissions. Gets translated to 
    \Entrust::can('manage-admins'). The @can directive is already taken by core 
    laravel authorization package, hence the @permission directive instead.</p>

@ability('admin,owner', 'create-post,edit-user')
    <p>This is visible to users with the given abilities. Gets translated to 
    \Entrust::ability('admin,owner', 'create-post,edit-user')</p>


You can use a middleware to filter routes and route groups by permission or role

Route::group(['prefix' => 'admin', 'middleware' => ['role:admin']], function() {
    Route::get('/', 'AdminController@welcome');
    Route::get('/manage', ['middleware' => ['permission:manage-admins'], 'uses' => 'AdminController@manageAdmins']);

It is possible to use pipe symbol as OR operator:

'middleware' => ['role:admin|root']

To emulate AND functionality just use multiple instances of middleware

'middleware' => ['permission:owner', 'permission:writer']

For more complex situations use ability middleware which accepts 3 parameters: roles, permissions, validate_all

'middleware' => ['ability:admin|owner,create-post|edit-user,true']

Short syntax route filter

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

// only users with roles that have the 'manage_posts' permission will be able to access any route within admin/post
Entrust::routeNeedsPermission('admin/post*', 'create-post');

// only owners will have access to routes within admin/advanced
Entrust::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
Entrust::routeNeedsPermission('admin/post*', array('create-post', 'edit-comment'));
Entrust::routeNeedsRole('admin/advanced*', array('owner','writer'));

Both of these methods accept 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:

Entrust::routeNeedsRole('admin/advanced*', 'owner', Redirect::to('/home'));

Furthermore 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 'create-post', 'edit-comment', or both they will have access
Entrust::routeNeedsPermission('admin/post*', array('create-post', 'edit-comment'), null, false);

// if a user is a member of 'owner', 'writer', or both they will have access
Entrust::routeNeedsRole('admin/advanced*', array('owner','writer'), null, false);

// if a user is a member of 'owner', 'writer', or both, or user has 'create-post', 'edit-comment' they will have access
// if the 4th parameter is true then the user must be a member of Role and must have Permission
    array('owner', 'writer'),
    array('create-post', 'edit-comment'),

Route filter

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

Route::filter('manage_posts', function()
    // check the current user
    if (!Entrust::can('create-post')) {
        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()
    // check the current user
    if (!Entrust::hasRole('Owner')) {

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

As you can see Entrust::hasRole() and Entrust::can() checks if the user is logged in, and then if he or she 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 `role_user` add constraint role_user_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 role_user. Match sure both are INT(10).

When trying to use the EntrustUserTrait methods, you encounter the error which looks like

Class name must be a valid object or a string

then probably you don't have published Entrust assets or something went wrong when you did it. First of all check that you have the entrust.php file in your app/config directory. If you don't, then try php artisan vendor:publish and, if it does not appear, manually copy the /vendor/zizaco/entrust/src/config/config.php file in your config directory and rename it entrust.php.


Entrust is free software distributed under the terms of the MIT license.

Contribution guidelines

Support follows PSR-1 and PSR-4 PHP coding standards, and semantic versioning.

Please report any issue you find in the issues page.
Pull requests are welcome.