CGI::Builder::Auth::UserAdmin - Management of HTTP server user databases


    use CGI::Builder::Auth::UserAdmin ();


Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain! Move along, nothing to see here!

This module was originally part of the HTTPD-User-Manage collection, which is available on CPAN. If you want to use it, go download that package. This module is used as part of the internal implementation of CGI::Builder::Auth. The original documentation is preserved here in this release for historical purposes. The software has been hacked and this documentation is not guaranteed to be correct. The module may disappear from the CGI::Builder::Auth distribution in a future release. Do not use it directly or rely on it.

This software is meant to provide a generic interface that hides the inconsistencies across HTTP server implementations of user and group databases.


new ()

Here's where we find out what's different about your server.

Some examples:

    @DBM = (DBType => 'DBM',
            DB     => '.htpasswd',
            Server => 'apache');

    $user = new CGI::Builder::Auth::UserAdmin @DBM;

This creates an object who's database is a DBM file named '.htpasswd', in a format that the Apache server understands.

    @Text = (DBType => 'Text',
             DB     => '.htpasswd',
             Server => 'ncsa');

    $user = new CGI::Builder::Auth::UserAdmin @Text;

This creates an object whose database is a plain text file named '.htpasswd', in a format that the NCSA server understands.

    @SQL =  (DBType =>    "SQL",          
             Host =>      "",             #server hostname 
             Port =>      "",             #server port
             DB =>        "www",          #database name
             User =>      "",             #database login name      
             Auth =>      "",             #database login password
             Encrypt =>   "crypt",        #encryption method
             Driver =>    "mSQL",         #driver for DBI
             Server =>    "apache",       #HTTP server type, not required
             UserTable => "www-users",    #table with field names below
             NameField => "user",         #field for the name
             PasswordField => "password", #field for the password

    $user = new CGI::Builder::Auth::UserAdmin @SQL;

This creates an object who's mSQL database is named 'www', with a schema that the Apache server (extention) understands.

Full list of constructor attributes:

Note: Attribute names are case-insensitive

DBType - The type of database, one of 'DBM', 'Text', or 'SQL' (Default is 'DBM')

DB - The database name (Default is '.htpasswd' for DBM & Text databases)

Server - HTTP server name (Default is the generic class, that works with NCSA, Apache and possibly others)

Note: run 'perl t/support.t matrix' to see what support is currently availible

Encrypt - One of 'crypt', 'MD5', or 'none' (no encryption. Defaults to 'crypt'

Locking - Boolean, Lock Text and DBM files (Default is true)

Path - Relative DB files are resolved to this value (Default is '.')

Debug - Boolean, Turn on debug mode

Flags - The read, write and create flags. There are four modes: rwc - the default, open for reading, writing and creating. rw - open for reading and writing. r - open for reading only. w - open for writing only.

Specific to DBM files:

DBMF - The DBM file implementation to use (Default is 'NDBM')

Mode - The file creation mode, defaults to '0644'

Specific to DBI: We talk to an SQL server via Tim Bunce's DBI interface. For more info see:

Host - Server hostname

Port - Server port

User - Database login name

Auth - Database login password

Driver - Driver for DBI (Default is 'mSQL')

UserTable - Table with field names below

NameField - Field for the name (Default is 'user')

PasswordField - Field for the password (Default is 'password')

From here on out, things should look the same for everyone.


Add a user.

Fails if $username exists in the database

    if($user->add('dougm', 'secret')) {
        print "You have the power!\n";

You may need to pass additional fields, such as the user's real name. This depends on your server of course.

    $user->add('JoeUser', 'try2guess', '', 'Joseph A. User');

You can also pass a set of field name/value pairs in the form of a hash ref. Example

                        {'Name'=>'Joseph A. User','Credit_limit'=>2000});

Delete a user

    if($user->delete('dougm')) {
        print "He's gone\n";

Suspend a user

    if($user->suspend('dougm')) {
        print "Account suspended\n";

Unsuspend a suspended user

    if($user->unsuspend('dougm')) {
        print "Account restored to normal\n";

True if $username is found in the database

    if($user->exists('dougm')) {
        die "oh no!";

Returns the encrypted password for a user

    $passwd = $user->password("dougm");

Useful for copying users to another database.

    Fetch a list of field values from the indicated user.  Field names may
    be provided as a list or as an array reference.  The return value is a
    reference to a hash containing the field/value pairs.

Returns a list of usernames in the current database

    @users = $user->list
update($username,$password,\%fields) SQL only

Update $username with a new $password

    if($user->update('dougm', 'idunno')) {
        print "Updated\n";

With SQL servers, you can update other fields in the table by passing a hash reference:


An undefined value in the password field will leave the field unchanged.


Short cut for creating an CGI::Builder::Auth::GroupAdmin object. All applicable attributes are inherited, but can be overridden.

    $group = $user->group(NAME => 'www-group');

(See CGI::Builder::Auth::GroupAdmin)


Convert a database.

    $dbmuser = $user->convert(@Apache);

These methods give you control of the locking mechanism.

    $user = new CGI::Builder::Auth::UserAdmin (Locking => 0); #turn off auto-locking
    $user->lock; #lock the object's database
    $user->add($username,$passwd); #write while file is locked
    $user->unlock; release the lock

Select a different database.

    $olddb = $user->db($newdb);
    print "Now we're reading and writing '$newdb', done with '$olddb'n\";

Get or set read, write, create flags.


Commit changes to disk (for Text files).

Message Digest User Databases

Currently, you can store user info in a format for servers who support Message Digest Authentication. Here's an example:

  $user = new CGI::Builder::Auth::UserAdmin (DB => '.htdigest', Encrypt => 'MD5');
  ($username,$realm,$password) = ('JoeUser', 'SomePlace', '14me');

  #The checksum contains more info that just a password
  $user->add($username, "$username:$realm:$password");
  $user->update($username, "$username:$realm:newone");

  $info = $user->password($username);
  ($realm, $checksum) = split(":", $info);


See <URL:> for NCSA's implementation.

So, it's a little more work, but don't worry, a nicer interface is on the way.


CGI::Builder::Auth::GroupAdmin(3), CGI::Builder::Auth::Authen(3)


Doug MacEachern <>

Copyright (c) 1996, Doug MacEachern

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.