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How to manage users and groups in Django Admin

Khizar Hayat Saani

Modern websites often implement web-based authentication at the back-end. Such authentications are managed through the administrative interfaceadmin which is run by trusted administrators.

Django comes with a built-in admin interface that can be used for user and group management.

Creating superusers

A superuser is the admin user. Through the superuser, we can manage the entire website or application. Running the following command from inside your virtual environment creates a superuser:

python app.py createsuperuser

Following this command, you will be prompted to enter a username and password for the superuser. After confirming your password, the superuser will be created.

Output

Superuser created successfully!

Managing users

Users represent the different types of people that interact with your site.

These users might not have the same privileges as the admin, who has complete access to the website.

Through the admin/superuser, we can achieve the following:

  • Add or delete users
  • Edit users’ status
  • Edit existing users
  • Create user groups
  • Add users to groups
  • Add or remove user permissions
  • Reset passwords

Creating users

We can create users by using the create_user() helper function, as follows:

from django.contrib.auth.models import User

user = User.objects.create_user('Tony', 'ironman@theavengers.com', 'iamironman')

# The user has been successfully created
# We can change its attributes

user.last_name = 'Stark'
user.save()

We can also add users interactively using the admin index page. Simply click the green + sign next to the Users entry, enter a username and password, and save.

User permissions and status

We can also use the admin index page to edit user status. For a normalnon-admin user, check the boxes that indicate Active and Staff. Do not check the box Superuser if you wish to restrict access of the user.

When a user is created, they have no permissions. These permissions are granted by the superuser and are user-specific.

These permissions can be added using the helper functions:

  1. user_permissions.set([permission_list])

  2. user_permissions.add(permission, permission, ...)

  3. user_permissions.remove(permission, permission, ...)

We can also add user permissions using the admin index. Simply click on a user, look for the User Permissions option, and use the drop-down list to add/remove permissions.

Managing groups

Groups are a means of categorizing users. This allows for granting permissions to a specific group. It also saves a lot of time, as compared to granting permissions to each individual user.

A user may belong to any number of groups and automatically has all the permissions granted to that group.

Creating groups

We create groups in a similar manner to users. Simply navigate to the Add button next to the Groups, enter the credentials, and save.

We can also add users to the Group using the admin index.

Group permissions

Think of group permissions as a way of assigning user permissions in bulk.

We assign permissions to a specific group, for example, by allowing Editors to edit the home screen and then adding users to the Editors group. This is a much more efficient and practical way of assigning user permissions.

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Khizar Hayat Saani
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