Difference between revisions of "IntraACL"

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Revision as of 15:37, 22 October 2013


IntraACL is a MediaWiki extension.

  • Main purpose: Best page-specific rights extension for MediaWiki. It is based on HaloACL, correcting its endless bugs and inconveniences.
  • Repository: https://github.com/mediawiki4intranet/IntraACL
  • Homepage: http://wiki.4intra.net/IntraACL 
  • Compatible MediaWiki versions: guaranteed 1.19-1.25, maybe others 
  • Authors: Vitaliy Filippov & Stas Fomin. Based on HaloACL by ontoprise GmbH, 2009.
  • License: GPLv3.0+ 
  • Created: 2010-09-03 
  • Last version: 2.1.8 
  • Our rating: Definitely useful (5)

Status for Mediawiki4Intranet distribution:

  • Inclusion date: 2010-09-03
  • Included version: newest available
  • Improvement status: Created by MediaWiki4Intranet project


Overview of rights in MediaWiki

MediaWiki is not designed to be a CMS, or to protect sensitive data. To the contrary, it was designed to be as open as possible. Thus it does not inherently support full featured, air-tight protection of private content. But with the massive increase of MediaWiki use in corporate intranets and the many CMS-like features emerging, demand for tighter security is emerging.

As you know, MediaWiki was designed as Wikipedia engine. Wikipedia is open and doesn't need access rights. Moreover, one of WikiWiki principles is to allow easy and fast editing for anyone, and of course, access must also be open.

This is why MediaWiki is not designed to protect anything from anyone, except anonymous editing. There is plenty of ways to break the read rights (page inclusion, recent changes and etc), especially when any of 1700+ MediaWiki extensions can use direct database access (if it couldn't, MediaWiki would probably be as fast as all other "global and stable ntrprise").

Examples of such ways are described here: Security issues with authorization extensions and here: page with comparison of existing access control extensions, from which we did know about HaloACL.

Original HaloACL already solves most of these problems, but when we tried to use it, we discovered many bugs, inconveniences, and slow interfaces (thanks YAHOO UI library). So we started to improve it, and then forked it and called IntraACL.

IntraACL features

  • Interactive right editor (special page).
  • Ability to create pages protected from beginning.
  • Page protection.
  • Category protection.
  • Namespace protection.
  • Right inclusions.
  • Right definition using Wiki pages inside a special namespace.
  • User groups, group-into-group inclusions - orthogonal to MediaWiki groups, also stored on wiki pages.
  • Easy protection of content used on a page.


In theory IntraACL should work for any MediaWiki >= 1.14. But in fact, patches are available for at least 1.18.


First checkout IntraACL code to extensions/IntraACL.

Note.svg There is a new version available in 'storage-rewrite' git branch which should deliver better performance, but it is in beta state by now. It passes right evaluation tests and it should have no critical bugs, so you can already use it.

Then add the following lines into your LocalSettings.php:


You can also add custom configuration options before enableIntraACL() call. For the option list, see extensions/IntraACL/includes/HACL_Initialize.php or this page.

Then apply patch for appropriate version of MediaWiki:

patch -p0 < extensions/IntraACL/patches/IntraACL-MediaWiki-<YOUR_VERSION>.diff

Run MediaWiki database update tool:

php maintenance/update.php

Note.svg You should check all your extensions for compatibility with IntraACL because of possible security breaches.

The method of IntraACL installation via the super-duper-installer of Halo MediaWiki bundle is now removed as very non-standard.

MediaWiki 4 Intranet

You can also use Mediawiki4Intranet bundle. It already includes IntraACL and many other useful extensions which are made compatible with it.

See Mediawiki4Intranet.


Patches are available for 1.18.6, 1.19.8, 1.20.7, and 1.21.2 in the repository under /patches.