Manage Users

A Confluence user is a person who can read or update a Confluence site. You can choose whether your Confluence site is accessible to anonymous users (people who have not logged in) or only to logged-in users. See Setting Up Public Access.

Confluence user management

You can add users to Confluence, and then assign them permissions that determine their access to the content and administrative functions in your Confluence site. You can also collect users into groups, and assign the permissions to groups for easier management. See the following topics:

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Related pages:

By default, Confluence stores its users and groups in the Confluence database. This is called the internal directory. You can choose to connect Confluence to an external userbase instead, such as Microsoft Active Directory or another LDAP server.  You can also use Atlassian Crowd and JIRA applications as directory managers. When you add a user or group to Confluence, it will be added to the external directory too, based on your configuration options. See Configuring User Directories.



Almost all authentication in Confluence (and JIRA applications) is performed through Seraph, Atlassian's open source web authentication framework. The goal of Seraph is to provide a simple, extensible authentication system that we can use on any application server.

Seraph is implemented as a servlet filter. Its sole job is, given a web request, to associate that request with a particular user (or no user if the request is anonymous). It supports several methods of authentication, including HTTP Basic Authentication, form-based authentication, and looking up credentials already stored in the user's session.

Seraph itself performs no user management functions. It merely checks the credentials of the incoming request and delegates any user management functions (looking up a user, checking a user's password) to Confluence's user management system.

If you want to integrate Confluence with your own single sign-on (SSO) infrastructure, you would do so by installing Atlassian Crowd or by writing a custom Seraph authenticator. See our developer documentation on HTTP authentication with Seraph.

XML-RPC and SOAP authentication

Normally, requests for Confluence's remote API will include an authentication token as the first argument. With this method of authentication, XML-RPC and SOAP authentication requests are checked directly against the user management framework, and tokens are assigned directly by the remote API subsystem. These requests do not pass through Seraph authenticators.

However, if the token argument is blank, Seraph will be used as a fallback authentication method for remote API requests. So, to use a custom Seraph authenticator with XML-RPC or SOAP requests, ensure that you pass an empty string as the authentication token to remote API methods.

Password authentication

By default, password authentication is delegated from Seraph to the user management system. This is not necessary, however. Single sign-on systems may have no password authentication at all, and get all the necessary credentials from the SSO provider.

Earlier user management frameworks

  • Atlassian-User – now behind the scenes. Atlassian-User is a user and group management framework developed by Atlassian. It provides user, group and profile management services to Confluence. In earlier versions of Confluence, you needed to configure your user directories by editing the atlassian-user.xml file directly. In Confluence 3.5 and later this is no longer necessary, nor is it possible. Please refer to the documentation for Confluence 3.4 or earlier, if you need details of this framework. Refer to the Confluence 3.5 Upgrade Notes for details of the automatic migration that will occur during the upgrade process. Not applicable to Confluence Cloud.
  • OSUser – obsolete. OpenSymphony User was Confluence's core user management framework before Atlassian-User. Please refer to the documentation for Confluence 3.4 or earlier, if you need details of this framework.
Last modified on Dec 2, 2015

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