Skip to content


Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with
Download ZIP
CanCan extension with role oriented permission management, rules caching and much more

Fetching latest commit…

Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time

Failed to load latest commit information.



CanTango is an advanced Access Control (permissions) system for Rails 3. It:

  • extends CanCan and offers a role oriented design
  • integrates with role and authentication systems in a non-intrusive manner
  • can cache rules between requests for increased performance
  • can store rules in a permission store, including a YAML file, for easy administration
  • works well with multiple user accounts and sub applications
  • supports multiple Devise users

Will CanTango meet my Access Control (permission) requirements?


Ruby versions

CanTango has been tested to work with Ruby 1.9+ and currently doesn’t support Ruby 1.8.7
If you require ruby 1.8.7 support, please help patch it and make a pull request ;)

Install in current environment (or gemset)

gem install cantango

Install in application

Insert into Gemfile

gem 'cantango'

Run bundler in a terminal/console from the folder of your Gemfile (root folder of app)

$ bundle


See the Quickstart guide in the wiki.

For devise integration, see Quickstart with Devise

The following scenarios demonstrate some of the problems CanTango can help solve in an elegant way


Cantango comes with a set of Generators to get your app dancing…
Simply start with:

  • cantango:install

To use the Permit generators please see the Generators wiki page ;)

Rails 3 configuration

The CanTango Configuration consists of a nice DSL that let’s you configure most of the things we imagine you would want to customize. Feel free to suggest more configuration options!

Access Control via Permits and Permissions

AC rules can be defined in both:

AC rules can be defined for the following conceptual entities:

  • User models
  • User Account models
  • Roles
  • Role groups
  • Users

Design overview

The default CanTango ability pattern is simple.

1. Return cached rules for ability candidate if available
2. Generate rules for candidate
3. Cache rules for candidate

An ability candidate is typically either a user or an account instance.

Caching can be enabled or disabled. To generate the rules, one or more engines are executed.

CanTango comes with the following engines:

You can however freely plugin or unplug engines as you wish as described in Pluggable engines

You need help?

Please post ideas, questions etc. in the cantango group on Google.

Bugs, issues or feature request/ideas?

If you encounter bugs, raise an issue or:

  • Fork the project.
  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don’t break it in a
    future version unintentionally.
  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history.
    (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)
  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.


Kristian Mandrup
- Main architect
- Designer of structure
- Feature ideas
- Initiator of project
- Devise app integration specs

Stanislaw Pankevich
- Main contributor of permissions engine
- Caching of Procs for caching engine
- Lots of bug fixes and specs
- Tireless “worker” ;)


Copyright © 2010 Kristian Mandrup. See LICENSE for details.

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.