Understanding Users

Every person who accesses a Liferay site is considered a User. Unauthenticated Users are considered Guest users. Liferay ships out-of-the-box with a default Admin user who has complete control of and access to the system. Roles and Permissions govern what users are able to see and do on a site.

Users break down into three general categories:


Default Access



Liferay Admin with full system access.

We strongly recommend that users change the password for this account promptly after installation.


View access to Public Pages and Sites. In most cases cannot create or add content unless explicitly permitted.

By default, Guest users can create an account on a Liferay Site to view and interact with Public Sites.


View access to Pages and Sites they are members of. Able to create content.

Users get defined default permissions and can be elevated to Organization or Site Administrators.

Managing Users

Users are managed in the Users section of the Control Panel.

Managing Users in the Users and Organizations section of the Control Panel.

Here, you can manage user metadata (name, department, etc.), permissions, and activation status.

Adding Users

Administrators can add Users through the Users and Organizations section of the Control Panel or through the API. New users can be created by administrators, can register themselves if open registration is configured, or can be synced from an LDAP server. See Adding and Managing Users to learn more.

Open Registration

By default, guest users can create User accounts.

See Configuring Authentication to learn more about configuring registration and authentication for users.

Configuring a User Directory

Organizations that manage users with LDAP can sync their LDAP server with Liferay to import users. See this article to learn more.

Managing User Access

User access is controlled by Roles and Permissions. Permissions define what a User can and cannot do. Roles are groupings of permissions. Permissions are configured by defining permissions for a Role and assigning Users to pre-set Roles. To learn more about managing access for Users, see Roles and Permissions.

Organizing Users

Liferay has several tools to help you organize and administer Users.

Organizations are an entity in Liferay that can group users in a distributed hierarchy. Practically, this means that large organizations can empower and delegate Users to administer their Organizations.

An example of how an organizational hierarchy can be created in Liferay.

User Groups are another way to group Users to simplify administration and assigning Roles. User Groups are simple lists of Users that can have Roles assigned to them.