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This plugin allows you to pass the currently logged in user to the model layer of a CakePHP 3 application.

It comes bundled with the FootprintBehavior to allow you control over columns such as user_id, created_by, company_id just like the core's TimestampBehavior.


Using Composer:

composer require muffin/footprint

You then need to load the plugin by running console command:

bin/cake plugin load Muffin/Footprint 



First, you will need to include the Muffin\Footprint\Auth\FootprintAwareTrait to your AppController:

use Muffin\Footprint\Auth\FootprintAwareTrait;

class AppController extends Controller
    use FootprintAwareTrait;

This will attach the Muffin\Footprint\Event\FootprintListener to models which will inject the currently logged in user's instance on Model.beforeSave and Model.beforeFind in the _footprint key of $options.

The user record provided by AuthComponent is converted to User entity before passing to models. If your AuthComponent is configured to use a non-default users table you must set the $_userModel property of the trait to same table:

public function initialize()

    // Specify the user model if required. Defaults to "Users".
    $this->_userModel = 'YourPlugin.Members';

    $this->loadComponent('Auth', [
        'authenticate' => [
            'Form' => [
                'userModel' => $this->_userModel, // Use same model for AuthComponent

Using Footprint with cakephp/authentication

If you are using the cakephp/authentication plugin instead of the AuthComponent, you will need to update your controller to tell Footprint where to find the identity. To do so, update the trait declaration and overwride _setCurrentUser to get the identity from the request:

use Muffin\Footprint\Auth\FootprintAwareTrait;

class AppController extends Controller
    use FootprintAwareTrait {
        _setCurrentUser as _footprintSetCurrentUser;

    protected function _setCurrentUser($user = null)
        if (!$user) {
            $user = $this->request->getAttribute('identity')->getOriginalData();

        return $this->_footprintSetCurrentUser($user);


To use the included behavior to automatically update the created_by and modified_by fields of a record for example, add the following to your table's initialize() method:


You can customize that like so:

$this->addBehavior('Muffin/Footprint.Footprint', [
    'events' => [
        'Model.beforeSave' => [
        	'user_id' => 'new',
            'company_id' => 'new',
            'modified_by' => 'always'
    'propertiesMap' => [
        'company_id' => '',

This will insert the currently logged in user's primary key in user_id and modified_by fields when creating a record, on the modified_by field again when updating the record and it will use the associated user record's company id in the company_id field when creating a record.


If you have the FootprintBehavior attached to a model do not load the model inside Controller::initialize() method directly or indirectly. If you do so the footprint (user entity) won't be set for the model and the behavior won't work as expected. You can load your model in Controller::beforeFilter() if needed.

This is because the FootprintListener which sets the user entity to the models is attached after Controller::initialize() is run.

Patches & Features

  • Fork
  • Mod, fix
  • Test - this is important, so it's not unintentionally broken
  • Commit - do not mess with license, todo, version, etc. (if you do change any, bump them into commits of their own that I can ignore when I pull)
  • Pull request - bonus point for topic branches

Bugs & Feedback


This was originally inspired by Ceeram/Blame.


Copyright (c) 2015-Present, Use Muffin and licensed under The MIT License.


CakePHP plugin to allow passing currently logged in user to model layer.





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