Configuring a public JSPWiki instance for private use

Been a tad quiet on this blog for a while I realise – time to freshen thing up a bit.

In this blog post we’re going to quickly cover how to configure a JSPWiki instance such that wiki content cannot be viewed without being authenticated with a login account. For example, you may wish to deploy JSPWiki in the cloud for convenient access anywhere, but also use it to host company-sensitive documentation. In this case you probably don’t want the general public even having read-only access to the wiki content.

It turns out this is very straightforward to achieve and merely consists of making the desired changes in the jspwiki.policy file. The function of each policy block within jspwiki.policy is also clearly documented in the same file, so everything is pretty self explanatory.

JSPWiki setup and configuration is outside the scope of this post, so I’m assuming you’ve set up JSPWiki to use container-managed authentication similar to some of my previous articles here. Also note that in recent releases of JSPWiki (certainly v2.10.x) the location of various configurations files has changed – again, outside the scope of this post. All this considered, the following full excerpt of my jspwiki.policy file achieves the following:

  • All public users are prevented from being able to view the wiki.
  • Anonymous users have no permissions.
  • Users authenticated via a browser cookie have no permissions.
  • Users authenticated with a JSPWiki login account (configured in our application server, e.g. GlassFish) have a set of standard permissions for viewing, editing, and modifying content.
  • Admin users have full permissions.

Note that I’ve left the original policy blocks in place commented out so you can see the exact settings I’ve made.

//  Licensed to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under one
//  or more contributor license agreements.  See the NOTICE file
//  distributed with this work for additional information
//  regarding copyright ownership.  The ASF licenses this file
//  to you under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the
//  "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance
//  with the License.  You may obtain a copy of the License at
//  Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing,
//  software distributed under the License is distributed on an
//  KIND, either express or implied.  See the License for the
//  specific language governing permissions and limitations
//  under the License.

// $Id: jspwiki.policy,v 1.23 2007-07-06 10:36:36 jalkanen Exp $
// This file contains the local security policy for JSPWiki.
// It provides the permissions rules for the JSPWiki
// environment, and should be suitable for most purposes.
// JSPWiki will load this policy when the wiki webapp starts.
// As noted, this is the 'local' policy for this instance of JSPWiki.
// You can also use the standard Java 2 security policy mechanisms
// to create a consolidated 'global policy' (JVM-wide) that will be checked first,
// before this local policy. This is ideal for situations in which you are
// running multiple instances of JSPWiki in your web container.
// To set a global security policy for all running instances of JSPWiki,
// you will need to specify the location of the global policy by setting the
// JVM system property '' in the command line script
// you use to start your web container. See the documentation
// pages at If you
// don't know what this means, don't worry about it.
// Also, if you are running JSPWiki with a security policy, you will probably
// want to copy the contents of the file jspwiki-container.policy into your
// container's policy. See that file for more details.

// The first policy block grants privileges that all users need, regardless of
// the roles or groups they belong to. Everyone can register with the wiki and
// log in. Everyone can edit their profile after they authenticate.
// Everyone can also view all wiki pages unless otherwise protected by an ACL.
// If that seems too loose for your needs, you can restrict page-viewing
// privileges by moving the PagePermission 'view' grant to one of the other blocks.

//grant principal "All" {
//    permission "*:*", "view";
//    permission "*", "editPreferences";
//    permission "*", "editProfile";
//    permission "*", "login";

grant principal "All" {
    permission "*", "editPreferences";
    permission "*", "editProfile";
    permission "*", "login";

// The second policy block is extremely loose, and unsuited for public-facing wikis.
// Anonymous users are allowed to create, edit and comment on all pages.
// Note: For Internet-facing wikis, you are strongly advised to remove the
// lines containing the "modify" and "createPages" permissions; this will make
// the wiki read-only for anonymous users.

// Note that "modify" implies *both* "edit" and "upload", so if you wish to
// allow editing only, then replace "modify" with "edit".

//grant principal "Anonymous" {
//    permission "*:*", "modify";
//    permission "*", "createPages";

grant principal "Anonymous" {

// This next policy block is also pretty loose. It allows users who claim to
// be someone (via their cookie) to create, edit and comment on all pages,
// as well as upload files.
// They can also view the membership list of groups.

//grant principal "Asserted" {
//    permission "*:*", "modify";
//    permission "*", "createPages";
//    permission "*:*", "view";

grant principal "Asserted" {

// Authenticated users can do most things: view, create, edit and
// comment on all pages; upload files to existing ones; create and edit
// wiki groups; and rename existing pages. Authenticated users can also
// edit groups they are members of.

grant principal "Authenticated" {
    permission "*:*", "modify,rename";
    permission "*:*", "view";
    permission "*:<groupmember>", "edit";
    permission "*", "createPages,createGroups";

// Administrators (principals or roles possessing AllPermission)
// are allowed to delete any page, and can edit, rename and delete
// groups. You should match the permission target (here, 'JSPWiki')
// with the value of the 'jspwiki.applicationName' property in
// Two administative groups are set up below:
// the wiki group "Admin" (stored by default in wiki page GroupAdmin)
// and the container role "Admin" (managed by the web container).

grant principal "Admin" {
    permission "*";
grant principal "Admin" {
    permission "*";

After applying this and restarting the application server domain, one can now see that we need to authenticate even to view any of the wiki content.

JSPWiki now requires authentication to view.

Enjoy, and if you have any problems please leave a comment.


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