User Management

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Revision as of 09:15, 23 February 2012 by Dietmar (talk | contribs)
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Yellowpin.svg Note: Article about Proxmox VE 2.0 beta



Proxmox VE supports multiple authentication sources, e.g. Microsoft Active Directory, LDAP, Linux PAM or the integrated Proxmox VE authentication server.

By using the role based user- and permission management for all objects (VM´s, storages, nodes, etc.) granular access can be defined.

Authentication Realms

Proxmox VE stores all user attributes in /etc/pve/users.cfg. So there must be an entry for each user in that file. The password is not stored, instead you can use configure serveral realms to verify passwords.

Microsoft Active Directory



Linux PAM standard authentication

Proxmox VE authentication server

This is a unix like password store (/etc/pve/priv/shadow.cfg). Password are encrypted using the SHA-256 hash method. Users are allowed to change passwords.


A Proxmox VE user name consists of 2 parts: <userid>@<realm>. The login screen on the GUI shows them a separate items, but it is internally used as single string.

We store the following attribute for users (/etc/pve/user.cfg):

  • first name
  • last name
  • email address
  • expiration date
  • flag to enable/disable account
  • comment


The traditional unix superuser account is called 'root@pam'. All system mails are forwarded to the email assigned to that account.


Each user can be member of several groups. Groups are the preferred way to organize access permissions. You should always grant permission to groups instead of using individual users. That way you will get a much shorter access control list which is easier to handle.

Objects and Paths

Access permissions are assinged to objects, such as a virtual machines (/vms/{vmid}) or a storage (/storage/{storeid}). We use filesystem like paths to address those objects. Those paths forms a natural tree, and permissions can be inherited down that hierachy.


A privilege is the right to perform a specific action. To simplify management, lists of privileges are grouped into roles, which can then be uses to set permissions.

We currently use the following privileges:

  • Permissions.Modify: modify access permissions
  • Sys.PowerMgmt: Node power management (start, stop, reset, shutdown, ...)
  • Sys.Console: console access to Node
  • Sys.Syslog: view Syslog
  • Sys.Audit: view node status/config
  • Pool.Allocate: create/remove/modify a pool.

Virtual machine related privileges

  • VM.Allocate: create/remove new VM to server inventory
  • VM.Migrate: migrate VM to alternate server on cluster
  • VM.PowerMgmt: power management (start, stop, reset, shutdown, ...)
  • VM.Console: console access to VM
  • VM.Monitor: access to VM monitor (kvm)
  • VM.Backup: backup/restore VMs
  • VM.Audit: view VM config
  • VM.Config.Disk: add/modify/delete Disks
  • VM.Config.CDROM: eject/change CDROM
  • VM.Config.CPU: modify CPU settings
  • VM.Config.Memory: modify Memory settings
  • VM.Config.Network: add/modify/delete Network devices
  • VM.Config.HWType: modify emulated HW type
  • VM.Config.Options: modify any other VM configuration

Storage related privileges

  • Datastore.Allocate: create/remove/modify a data store, delete volumes
  • Datastore.AllocateSpace: allocate space on a datastore
  • Datastore.AllocateTemplate: allocate/upload templates and iso images
  • Datastore.Audit: view/browse a datastore


A role is simply a list of privileges. Proxmox VE comes with a number of predefined roles which satisfies most needs.

  • Administrator: has all privileges
  • NoAccess: has no privileges (used to forbid access)
  • PVEAdmin: can do most things, but miss rights to modify system settings (Sys.PowerMgmt, Sys.Modify, Realm.Allocate).
  • PVEAuditor: read only access

You can see the whole set of predefined roles on the GUI.


Permissions are the way we control access to objects. In technical terms they are simply a triple containing <path,user,role>. This concept is also known as access control lists. Each permission specifies a subject (user or group) and a role (set of privileges) on a specific path.

When a subject requests an action on an object, the framework looks up the roles assigned to that subject (using the object path). The set of roles defines the granted privileges.


Video Tutorials

tbd: Proxmox VE Youtube channel