16.14. Policies

16.14.1. How to disable policies?

I create an evil admin policy and locked myself out. How can I disable a policy?

You can use the pi-manage command line tool to list, enable and disable policies. See

pi-manage policy -h

16.14.2. How do policies work anyway?

Policies are just a set of definitions. These definitions are meant to modify the way privacyIDEA reacts on requests. Different policies have different scopes where they act.

admin policies define, what an administrator is allowed to do. These policies influence endpoints like /token, /realm and all other endpoints, which are used to configure the system. (see Admin policies)

user policies define, how the system reacts if a user is managing his own tokens. (see User Policies)

authentication and authorization policies influence the /validate/ endpoint (Validate endpoints).

The Authentication policies define if an authentication request would be successful at all. So it defines how to really check the authentication request. E.g. this is done by defining if the user has to add a specific OTP PIN or his LDAP password (see otppin).

The Authorization policies decide, if a user, who would authentication successfully is allowed to issue this request. I.e. a user may present the right credentials, but he is not allowed to login from a specific IP address or with a not secure token type (see tokentype). How is this technically achieved?

At the beginning of a request the complete policy set is read from the database into a policy object, which is a singleton of PolicyClass (see Policy Module).

The logical part is performed by policy decorators. The decorators modify the behaviour of the above mentioned endpoints.

Each policy has its own decorator. The decorator can be used on different functions, methods, endpoints. The decorators are implemented in api/lib/prepolicy.py and api/lib/postpolicy.py.

PrePolicy decorators are executed at the beginning of a request, PostPolicy decorators at the end of the request.

A policy decorator uses one of the methods get_action_value or get_policies.

get_policies is used to determine boolean actions like passOnNoToken.

get_action_value is used to get the defined value of non-boolean policies like otppin.

All policies can depend on IP address, user and time. So these values are taken into account by the decorator when determining the defined policy.


Each decorator represents one policy and defines its own logic i.e. checking filtering for IP address and fetching the necessary policy sets from the policy object.