The SuluSecurityBundle is responsible for protecting different data and areas of the application. Therefore it makes use and enhances the standard security mechanisms of Symfony.


Every Sulu user is linked to a specific Sulu contact from the SuluContactBundle. In addition to that a user can have some roles and groups assigned, whereby a group can consist of multiple other groups and roles.

Every role has to be part of a certain system. Different systems can be registered via the security contexts, which are explained later. These systems correspond to different applications handled by Sulu. So by default there is only the Sulu system. A user is only enabled to login into Sulu, if he has at least one role with the Sulu system assigned.

The users provide two different flags. The locked flag signalizes that a user has been locked by an administrator for some reason. As soon as this flag is set, the user can’t login to the system anymore. The second flag is called enabled, and will be set to true by default. This flag is only important if you have implemented your own registration process. In the case you want to use a double opt-in mechanism you can set this flag to false on the registration, and toggle it, e.g. when the user clicks on a link in an email. As long as the enabled flag is set to false, the Sulu-Admin offers you a button to enable the user.

Security contexts

Every application can define its own security contexts, which will then be available in the list of security contexts, on which access can be granted or denied. Have a look at Securing your application to see an example.

These contexts are used to control the access to different areas of the application, e.g. if the user is allowed to edit content at all.

The following permissions are distinguished:


Permission to see data the given context


Permission to add new data to the given context


Permission to edit already existing data in the given context


Permission to delete data in the given context


Permission to archive data in the given context


Permission to publish data in the given context


Permission to grant or deny access on data in the given context

All the permission values are encoded in a bitmask and saved in a permission object, which has a link to a role. This way it is easily possible to evaluate if a user has access to a security context by checking if one of his roles grants access.

Access Control Manager

The AccessControlManager is responsible to set permissions on specific objects. Since this is not totally decoupled from the entity being protected, there is the possibility to register multiple AccessControlProvider. This is simply a service implementing the AccessControlProviderInterface tagged with sulu.access_control.

The task of this class is to save the permission information into the correct database. This is important, because otherwise it would not be possible to paginate lists considering permissions of these entities in an easy and performant way. There are already two implementations of the AccessControlProviderInterface, the PhpcrAccessControlProvider handling the permission storing for PHPCR and therefore for our content section, and the DoctrineAccessControlProvider, which can be used in combination with any Doctrine entity. The entity only has to implement the SecuredEntityInterface to signalize that it can be used with the DoctrineAccessControlProvider.


The AccessControlManager is used by some other components, especially by the PermissionController, which handles the requests from the reusable permission tab, and the SecurityContextVoter from Sulu.

Checking security

Sulu offers a SecurityChecker enabling the developer to easily check if a given SecurityCondition is granted for the currently logged in user. The security condition consists of the already mentioned security context, an object type and id for decoupling from real objects for performance reasons, and the locale to check the permission in. The SecurityChecker uses the Symfony AccessDecisionManager, which calls all security voters including the SecurityContextVoter.

This voter will check if the user is allowed to perform the given action (the permissions already listed above) in the given context in the given locale. If the object type and id are also passed the permissions of the security contexts from the role might be overridden by the permissions from this specific object (which are handled by the previously mentioned AccessControlManager).

Single-Sign-On Authentication

Sulu supports authentication via Single-Sign-On (SSO). To enable it, the security configuration needs to be adjusted to allow SSO in the admin firewall. This can be configured in the config/packages/security.yaml:

     # ...

         # ...

             # ...
                 path: sulu_admin.logout
+            access_token:
+                token_handler: sulu_security.single_sign_on_token_handler
+                token_extractors: sulu_security.single_sign_on_token_extractor

 # ...
         enabled: true
         enabled: true
+    single_sign_on:
+        providers:
+            '':
+                dsn: 'openid://%env(resolve:SULU_OPEN_ID_CLIENT_ID)%:%env(resolve:SULU_OPEN_ID_CLIENT_SECRET)%@%env(resolve:SULU_OPEN_ID_ENDPOINT)%'
+                default_role_key: 'USER'

After adjusting the configuration and clearing the symfony cache, you only see the username or email field when you try to login to the administration interface. When the user email matches the configured domain, the user is then redirected to the SSO provider to authenticate. After successful authentication, the system redirects the user back to the administration interface. If the domain does not match the configured domain, the user is authenticated using the standard login form. On password reset, when the domain matches, the user is also redirected to the SSO provider.


At the moment, only the OpenID protocol is supported for Single-Sign-On authentication in Sulu.

Two-Factor Authentication

Sulu allows to use two-factor authentication over email via the scheb/2fa packages. To enable it, the packages need to be installed into the project via composer:

composer require scheb/2fa-bundle scheb/2fa-email scheb/2fa-trusted-device

The security configuration needs to be adjusted to allow two-factor authentication in the admin firewall. This is configured in the config/packages/security.yaml:

     # ...

         # ...
         - { path: ^/admin/login$, roles: PUBLIC_ACCESS }
+         - { path: ^/admin/2fa, role: PUBLIC_ACCESS }
         # ...
         # ...

             # ...
                 path: sulu_admin.logout
+             two_factor:
+                 prepare_on_login: true
+                 prepare_on_access_denied: true
+                 check_path: 2fa_login_check_admin
+                 authentication_required_handler: sulu_security.two_factor_authentication_required_handler
+                 success_handler: sulu_security.two_factor_authentication_success_handler
+                 failure_handler: sulu_security.two_factor_authentication_failure_handler

Afterwards, the scheb/2fa bundle needs to be configured to enable email and trusted devices in the config/packages/scheb_2fa.yaml file:

        enabled: true
        sender_email: "%env(SULU_ADMIN_EMAIL)%"
        enabled: true

Additionally, the routes of the scheb/2fa bundle must be added to the project in the config/routes/scheb_2fa.yaml file:

# For Admin:
    path: /admin/2fa_check

Finally, after adjusting the configuration and clearing the symfony cache, it is possible to enable two-factor authentication via the administration interface in the profile of the logged-in user.