Kinto-Core provides a mechanism to handle authorization on the stored objects.

This section gives details about the behaviour of resources in regards to permissions.

User resource

This is the simplest one, as presented in the resource section.

When using a kinto.core.resource.UserResource, every authenticated user can manipulate and read their own records. There is no way to restrict this or allow sharing of records.

Method URL permission
GET / HEAD /{collection} Authenticated
POST /{collection} Authenticated
DELETE /{collection} Authenticated
GET / HEAD /{collection}/{id} Authenticated
PUT /{collection}/{id} Authenticated
PATCH /{collection}/{id} Authenticated
DELETE /{collection}/{id} Authenticated


When using only these resources, the permission backend remains unused. Its configuration is not necessary.

Public BasicAuth

If Basic Auth authentication is enabled, private user resources can become semi-private or public if the user:pass is publicly known and shared (for example public: is a valid user:pass combination). That’s how most simple demos of Kinto are built by the way!

Shareable resource


When using this kind of resource, the permission_backend setting must be set, as described in the configuration section.

To introduce more flexibility, the kinto.core.resource.ShareableResource can be used instead.

from kinto.core import resource

class Toadstool(resource.ShareableResource):
    schema = MushroomSchema

With this alternative resource class, Kinto-Core will register the endpoints with a specific route factory, that will take care of checking the appropriate permission for each action.

Method URL permission Comments
GET / HEAD /{collection} read If not allowed by setting kinto.{collection}_read_principals, will return list of records where user has read permission.
POST /{collection} create Allowed by setting kinto.{collection}_create_principals
DELETE /{collection} write If not allowed by setting kinto.{collection}_write_principals, will delete the list of records where user has write permission.
GET / HEAD /{collection}/{id} read If not allowed by setting kinto.{collection}_read_principals, will check record permissions
PUT /{collection}/{id} create if record doesn’t exist, write otherwise Allowed by setting kinto.{collection}_create_principals, or kinto.{collection}_create_principals or existing record permissions
PATCH /{collection}/{id} write If not allowed by setting kinto.{collection}_write_principals, will check record permissions
DELETE /{collection}/{id} write If not allowed by setting kinto.{collection}_write_principals, will check record permissions

The record permissions can be manipulated via the permissions attribute in the JSON payload, aside the data attribute. It allows to specify the list of principals allowed for each permission, as detailed in the API section.


When defining permissions, there are two specific principals:

  • system.Authenticated: any authenticated user
  • system.Everyone: any user

The write permission is required to be able to modify the permissions of an existing record.

When a record is created or modified, the current user is added to list of principals for the write permission on this object. That means that a user is always able to replace or delete the records she created.


Don’t hesitate to submit a contribution to introduce a way to control the current behaviour instead of always granting write on current user!

BasicAuth trickery

Like for user resources, if Basic Auth authentication is enabled, the predictable user id can be used to define semi-private or public if the user:pass is known and shared (for example public: is a valid user:pass combination).

For example, get the user id obtained in the hello root view with a user:pass combination and use it in the permissions JSON payloads, or settings:

kinto.{collection}_read_principals = basicauth:631c2d625ee5726172cf67c6750de10a3e1a04bcd603bc9ad6d6b196fa8257a6

Manipulate permissions

One way of achieving dynamic permissions is to manipulate the permission backend manually.

For example, in some imaginary admin view:

def admin_view(request):
    # Custom Pyramid view.
    permission = request.registry.permission

    # Give `create` permission to `user_id` in POST
    some_user_id = request.POST['user_id']
    permission_object_id = '/articles'
    permission = 'create'

Or during application init (or scripts):

def main(global_config, **settings):
    # ...
    kinto.core.initialize(config, __version__)
    # ...

    some_user_id = 'basicauth:ut082jghnrgnjnj'
    permission_object_id = '/articles'
    permission = 'create'

Since principals can be anything, it is also possible to use them to define groups:

def add_to_admins(request):
    # Custom Pyramid view.
    permission = request.registry.permission

    some_user_id = request.POST['user_id']
    group_name = 'group:admins'
    permission.add_user_principal(some_user_id, group_name)

And then refer as group:admins in the list of allowed principals.

Custom permission checking

The permissions verification in Kinto-Core is done with usual Pyramid authorization abstractions. Most notably using an implementation of a RootFactory in conjonction with an Authorization policy.

In order to completely override (or mimic) the defaults, a custom RootFactory and a custom Authorization policy can be plugged on the resource during registration.

from kinto.core import resource

class MyViewSet(resource.ViewSet):

    def get_view_arguments(self, endpoint_type, resource_cls, method):
        args = super().get_view_arguments(endpoint_type,
        if method.lower() not in ('get', 'head'):
            args['permission'] = 'publish'
        return args

    def get_service_arguments(self):
        args = super().get_service_arguments()
        args['factory'] = myapp.MyRootFactory
        return args

class Resource(resource.UserResource):
    schema = BookmarkSchema

See more details about available customization in the viewset section.

A custom RootFactory and AuthorizationPolicy should implement the permission checking using Pyramid mecanisms.

For example, a simplistic example with the previous resource viewset:

from import IAuthorizationPolicy

class MyRootFactory:
    def __init__(self, request):
        self.current_resource = None
        service = request.current_service
        if service and hasattr(service, 'resource'):
            self.current_resource = service.resource

class AuthorizationPolicy:
    def permits(self, context, principals, permission):
        if context.current_resource == BlogArticle:
            if permission == 'publish':
                return ('group:publishers' in principals)
        return False
class kinto.core.authorization.AuthorizationPolicy

Default authorization class, that leverages the permission backend for shareable resources.

get_bound_permissions = None

Callable that takes an object id and a permission and returns a list of tuples (<object id>, <permission>). Useful when objects permission depend on others.


The ACLs are stored in a permission backend. Like for Storage and Cache, it is pluggable from configuration.


class kinto.core.permission.postgresql.Permission(client, *args, **kwargs)

Permission backend using PostgreSQL.

Enable in configuration:

kinto.permission_backend = kinto.core.permission.postgresql

Database location URI can be customized:

kinto.permission_url = postgres://user:pass@db.server.lan:5432/dbname

Alternatively, username and password could also rely on system user ident or even specified in ~/.pgpass (see PostgreSQL documentation).


Some tables and indices are created when kinto migrate is run. This requires some privileges on the database, or some error will be raised.

Alternatively, the schema can be initialized outside the python application, using the SQL file located in kinto/core/permission/postgresql/schema.sql. This allows to distinguish schema manipulation privileges from schema usage.

A connection pool is enabled by default:

kinto.permission_pool_size = 10
kinto.permission_maxoverflow = 10
kinto.permission_max_backlog = -1
kinto.permission_pool_recycle = -1
kinto.permission_pool_timeout = 30
kinto.cache_poolclass =

The max_backlog limits the number of threads that can be in the queue waiting for a connection. Once this limit has been reached, any further attempts to acquire a connection will be rejected immediately, instead of locking up all threads by keeping them waiting in the queue.

See dedicated section in SQLAlchemy documentation for default values and behaviour.


Using a dedicated connection pool is still recommended to allow load balancing, replication or limit the number of connections used in a multi-process deployment.



class kinto_redis.permission.Permission(client, *args, **kwargs)

Permission backend implementation using Redis.

Enable in configuration:

kinto.permission_backend = kinto_redis.permission

(Optional) Instance location URI can be customized:

kinto.permission_url = redis://localhost:6379/2

A threaded connection pool is enabled by default:

kinto.permission_pool_size = 50


class kinto.core.permission.memory.Permission(*args, **kwargs)

Permission backend implementation in local process memory.

Enable in configuration:

kinto.permission_backend = kinto.core.permission.memory


Implementing a custom permission backend consists in implementating the following interface: