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Role management library with resource scoping

tag: v0.7

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Octocat-spinner-32 lib
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Very simple Roles library without any authorization enforcement supporting scope on resource object.

Let's see an example:

user.has_role?("moderator", Forum.first) 
=> false # if user is moderator of another Forum

This library was intended to be used with CanCan and devise but should be generic enough to be used by any other authentication/authorization solutions.


  • >= Rails 3.1 (rc4 is currently out)

  • ActiveRecord ORM


In Rails 3, add this to your Gemfile and run the bundle command.

gem "rolify"

Alternatively, you can install it as a plugin.

rails plugin install git://

Getting Started

1. Generate Role Model

First, create your Role model and migration file using this generator:

rails g rolify:role Role User

Role and User classes are the default. You can specify any Role class name you want. This is completly a new file so any name can do the job. For the User class name, you would probably use the one provided by your authentication solution. rolify just adds some class methods in an existing User class. **For now, please stick to Role and User class names, see #5 for details**

2. Run the migration

Let's migrate !

rake db:migrate

3. Add a role to a user

To define a global role:

user = User.find(1)
user.has_role "admin"

To define a role scoped to a resource

user = User.find(2)
user.has_role "moderator", Forum.first

That's it !

4. Check roles

To check if a user has a global role:

user = User.find(1)
user.has_role "admin" # sets a global role
user.has_role? "admin"
=> true

To check if a user has a role scoped to a resource:

user = User.find(2)
user.has_role "moderator", Forum.first # sets a role scoped to a resource
user.has_role? "moderator", Forum.first
=> true
user.has_role? "moderator", Forum.last
=> false

A global role overrides resource role request:

user = User.find(3)
user.has_role "moderator" # sets a global role
user.has_role? "moderator", Forum.first
=> true
user.has_role? "moderator", Forum.last
=> true

Please see on the wiki for all the available commands

Questions or Problems?

If you have any issue or feature request with/for rolify, please add an issue on GitHub or fork the project and send a pull request.


  • write a tutorial showing how to use rolify with CanCan and devise

  • complete tests coverage

  • performance enhancements

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