Access control is a vital part of configuring Icinga Web 2 in a secure way. It is important that not every user that has access to Icinga Web 2 is able to do any action or to see any host and service. For example, it is useful to allow only a small group of administrators to change the Icinga Web 2 configuration, to prevent misconfiguration or security breaches. Another important use case is creating groups of users which can only see the fraction of the monitoring environment they are in charge of.

This chapter will describe how to do the security configuration of Icinga Web 2 and how to apply permissions and restrictions to users or groups of users.


Icinga Web 2 access control is done by defining roles that associate permissions and restrictions with users and groups. There are two general kinds of things to which access can be managed: actions and objects.


Actions are all the things an Icinga Web 2 user can do, like changing a certain configuration, changing permissions or sending a command to an Icinga 2 instance. All actions must be be allowed explicitly using permissions.

A permission is a simple list of identifiers of actions a user is allowed to do. Permissions are described in greater detail in the section Permissions.


There are all kinds of different objects in Icinga Web 2: Hosts, Services, Notifications, Downtimes and Events.

By default, a user can see everything, but it is possible to explicitly restrict what each user can see using restrictions.

Restrictions are complex filter queries that describe what objects should be displayed to a user. Restrictions are described in greater detail in the section Restrictions.


Anyone who can login to Icinga Web 2 is considered a user and can be referenced to by the user name used during login. For example, there might be user called jdoe authenticated using Active Directory, and a user icingaadmin that is authenticated using a MySQL-Database as backend. In the configuration, both can be referenced to by using their user names icingaadmin or jdoe.

Icinga Web 2 users and groups are not configured by a configuration file, but provided by an authentication backend. For extended information on setting up authentication backends and managing users, please read the chapter Authentication.


Since Icinga Web 2, users in the Icinga configuration and the web authentication are separated, to allow use of external authentication providers. This means that users and groups defined in the Icinga configuration are not available to Icinga Web 2. Instead it uses its own authentication backend to fetch users and groups from, which must be configured separately.

Managing Users

When using a Database as authentication backend, it is possible to create, add and delete users directly in the frontend. This configuration can be found at Configuration > Authentication > Users .


If there is a big amount of users to manage, it would be tedious to specify each user separately when regularly referring to the same group of users. Because of that, it is possible to group users. A user can be member of multiple groups and will inherit all permissions and restrictions.

Like users, groups are identified solely by their name that is provided by a group backend. For extended information on setting up group backends, please read the chapter Authentication.

Managing Groups

When using a Database as an authentication backend, it is possible to manage groups and group memberships directly in the frontend. This configuration can be found at Configuration > Authentication > User Groups .


A role defines a set of permissions and restrictions and assigns those to users and groups. For example, a role admins could define that certain users have access to all configuration options, or another role support could define that a list of users or groups is restricted to see only hosts and services that match a specific query.

The actual permission of a certain user will be determined by merging the permissions and restrictions of the user itself and all the groups the user is member of. Permissions can be simply added up, while restrictions follow a slighty more complex pattern, that is described in the section Stacking Filters.


Roles can be changed either through the icingaweb2 interface, by navigation to the page Configuration > Authentication > Roles, or through editing the configuration file:

vim /etc/icingaweb2/roles.ini

Introducing Example

To get you a quick start, here is an example of what a role definition could look like:

users = "jdoe, janedoe"
groups = "admin"
permissions = "config/*, monitoring/commands/schedule-check"
monitoring/filter/objects = "host_name=*win*"

This example creates a role called winadmin, that grants all permissions in config/* and monitoring/commands/schedule-check and additionally only allows the hosts and services that match the filter host_name=*win* to be displayed. The users jdoe and janedoe and all members of the group admin will be affected by this role.


Each role is defined as a section, with the name of the role as section name. The following attributes can be defined for each role in a default Icinga Web 2 installation:

Name Description
users Comma-separated list of user user names that are affected by this role.
groups Comma-separated list of group names that are affected by this role.
permissions Comma-separated list of permissions granted by this role.
monitoring/filter/objects Filter expression that restricts the access to services and hosts.


Permissions can be used to allow users or groups certain actions. By default, all actions are prohibited and must be allowed explicitly by a role for any user.

Each action in Icinga Web 2 is denoted by a namespaced key, which is used to order and group those actions. All actions that affect the configuration of Icinga Web 2, are in a namespace called config, while all configurations that affect modules are in the namespace config/modules

Wildcards can be used to grant permission for all actions in a certain namespace. The permission config/* would grant permission to all configuration actions, while just specifying a wildcard * would give permission for all actions.

Access to modules is restricted to users who have the related module permission granted. Icinga Web 2 provides a module permission in the format module/<moduleName> for each installed module.

When multiple roles assign permissions to the same user (either directly or indirectly through a group) all permissions are added together to get the users actual permission set.

Global Permissions

Name Permits
* allow everything, including module-specific permissions
config/* allow all configuration actions
config/modules allow enabling or disabling modules
module/<moduleName> allow access to module <moduleName>

Monitoring Module Permissions

The built-in monitoring module defines an additional set of permissions, that is described in detail in the monitoring module documentation.


Restrictions can be used to define what a user or group can see by specifying a filter expression that applies to a defined set of data. By default, when no restrictions are defined, a user will be able to see every information that is available.

A restrictions is always specified for a certain filter directive, that defines what data the filter is applied to. The filter directive is a simple identifier, that was defined in an Icinga Web 2 module. The only filter directive that is available in a default installation, is the monitoring/filter/objects directive, defined by the monitoring module, that can be used to apply filter to hosts and services. This directive was previously mentioned in the section Syntax.

Filter Expressions

Filters operate on columns. A complete list of all available filter columns on hosts and services can be found in the monitoring module documentation.

Any filter expression that is allowed in the filtered view, is also an allowed filter expression. This means, that it is possible to define negations, wildcards, and even nested filter expressions containing AND and OR-Clauses.

The filter expression will be implicitly added as an AND-Clause to each query on the filtered data. The following shows the filter expression host_name=*win* being applied on monitoring/filter/objects.

Regular filter query:

AND-- service_problem = 1
 +--- service_handled = 0

With our restriction applied, any user affected by this restrictions will see the results of this query instead:

AND-- host_name = *win*
 +--AND-- service_problem = 1
     +--- service_handled = 0

Stacking Filters

When multiple roles assign restrictions to the same user, either directly or indirectly through a group, all filters will be combined using an OR-Clause, resulting in the final expression:

   AND-- OR-- $FILTER1
    |     |
    |     +-- $FILTER2
    |     |
    |     +-- $FILTER3
    +--AND-- service_problem = 1
        +--- service_handled = 0

As a result, a user is be able to see hosts that are matched by ANY of the filter expressions. The following examples will show the usefulness of this behavior:

Example 1: Negation

groups = "windows-admins"
monitoring/filter/objects = "host_name=*win*"

Will display only hosts and services whose host name contains win.

groups = "web-admins"
monitoring/filter/objects = "host_name!=*win*"

Will only match hosts and services whose host name does not contain win

Notice that because of the behavior of two stacking filters, a user that is member of windows-admins and web-admins, will now be able to see both, Windows and non-Windows hosts and services.

Example 2: Hostgroups

groups = "unix-admins"
monitoring/filter/objects = "(hostgroup_name=bsd-servers|hostgroup_name=linux-servers)"

This role allows all members of the group unix-admins to see hosts and services that are part of the host-group linux-servers or the host-group bsd-servers.