Authentication, or “login”, is the process by which a user lets Fos know who they are.

Authentication isn’t just to do with access control. Fos uses authentication to keep track of who made changes, and manage a wide range of personal settings. With authentication enabled, users can personalize Fos and contribute as recognized individuals, instead of shadows.

Fos authentication is very flexible, and can either stand alone or integrate with existing authentication schemes. You can set up Fos to require authentication for every access, or only for changes. Authentication is also essential for access control.

Quick Authentication Test – Use the %USERINFO% macro to return your current identity:

You are guest, Guest,

Fos user authentication is split into four sections; password management, user mapping, user registration, and login management. Password management deals with how user’s personal data is stored. Registration deals with how new users are added to the . Login management deals with how users log in.

Once a user is logged on, they can be remembered using a Client Session stored in a cookie in the browser (or by other less elegant means if the user has disabled cookies). This avoids them having to log on again and again.

Fos user authentication is configured through the Security Settings pane in the configure interface.

Please note File Attachments are not protected by Fos User Authentication.

Password Management

As shipped, Fos supports the Apache ‘htpasswd’ password manager. This manager supports the use of .htpasswd files on the server. These files can be unique to Fos, or can be shared with other applications (such as an Apache web server). A variety of password encodings are supported for flexibility when re-using existing files. See the descriptive comments in the Security Settings section of the configure interface for more details.

You can easily plug in alternate password management modules to support interfaces to other third-party authentication databases.

User Mapping

Usually when you are using an external authentication method, you want to map from an unfriendly “login name” to a more friendly Name. Also, an external authentication database may well have user information you want to import to Fos, such as user groups.

By default, Fos supports mapping of usernames to names, and supports Fos groups internal to Fos. If you want, you can plug in an alternate user mapping module to support import of groups etc.

The user mapping manager is selected using the {UserMappingManager} setting in configure.

User Registration

New user registration uses the password manager to set and change passwords and store email addresses. It is also responsible for the new user verification process. the registration process supports single user registration via the User Registration page, and bulk user registration via the Bulk Registration page (for admins only).

The registration process is also responsible for creating user topics, and setting up the mapping information used by the User Mapping support.

See Custom registration page for changing the user registration page.

Login Management

Login management controls the way users have to log in. There are three basic options; no login, login via a Fos login page, and login using the web server authentication support. the login manager is selected using the {Login Manager} setting in configure.

No Login (select none)

Does exactly what it says on the tin. Forget about authentication to make your site completely public – anyone can browse and edit freely, in classic style. All visitors are given the Guest default identity, so you can’t track individual user activity.