User Authentication Instance Settings

The User Authentication settings define how Users can authenticate, the various authentication methods that are required for them, and the screen names and email addresses that are reserved and can’t be registered by Users.

Access the User Authentication settings in the Control Panel’s ConfigurationInstance Settings section, and select the User Authentication category under the PLATFORM section.

User Authentication contains two entries:

  • General
  • Reserved Credentials

Each configuration entry is described in the corresponding section below.

Figure 1: Configure general authentication behavior and settings for external authentication systems.

Figure 1: Configure general authentication behavior and settings for external authentication systems.


The General configuration entry contains several general authentication settings:

  • Authenticate by email address (default), screen name, or User ID (a numerical ID auto-generated in the database—not recommended).

  • Enable/Disable automatic log in. If enabled, a User can check a box which will cause the Site to “remember” the login information by placing a cookie on the browser. If disabled, Users must always log in manually.

  • Enable/Disable forgotten password functionality.

  • Enable/Disable request password reset links.

  • Enable/Disable account creation by strangers. If running an Internet site, leave this enabled so visitors can create accounts on your Site.

  • Enable/Disable account creation by those using an email address in the domain of the company running the Site (which is set on the General page of Instance Settings). This is handy if you’re using Liferay to host both internal and external web sites. Make sure all internal IDs are created by administrators but external Users can register for IDs themselves.

  • Enable/Disable email address verification. If enabled, Users receive a verification email with a link back to the virtual instance, verifying that the email address they entered is valid.

By default, all settings except for the last are enabled. User authentication by email address is an important default for the following reasons:

  1. An email address is unique to the User who owns it.

  2. People remember their email addresses. A Users who hasn’t logged in for a while could forget their screen name.

  3. If email address isn’t used to authenticate, a User might change her email address then forget to update the email address in her profile. If this occurs, no notifications sent by the virtual instance will reach the User. Keeping the email address at the forefront of a User’s mind when she logs in helps ensure the User keeps it current.

Reserved Credentials

The Reserved Credentials configuration entry specifies the screen names and email addresses Users aren’t allowed to use. This prevents Users from creating IDs that look like administrative IDs or that have reserved words in their names.

Learn to configure a third party authentication service or set up Single Sign On (SSO) in the security documentation.

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