Special Users

Because Zope is managed through the web, user names and passwords must be used to assure that only authorized people can make changes to a Zope installation.

Adding Managers

If you need to add a Manager to an existing Zope instance, you can do this using zopectl as follows:

zopectl adduser `name` `password`

The Initial User

An initial username and password is needed to “bootstrap” the creation of normal managers of your Zope site. This is accomplished through the use of the ‘inituser’ file in the directory specified as the instance home.

The first time Zope starts, it will detect that no users have been defined in the root user folder. It will search for the ‘inituser’ file and, if it exists, will add the user defined in the file to the root user folder.

Normally, ‘inituser’ is created by the Zope install scripts. Either the installer prompts for the password or a randomly generated password is created and displayed at the end of the build script.

You can use the ‘zpasswd.py’ script to create ‘inituser’ yourself. Execute ‘zpasswd.py’ like this:

python zpasswd.py inituser

The script will prompt you for the name, password, and allowed domains. The default is to encode the password with SHA, so please remember this password as there is no way to recover it (although ‘zpasswd.py’ lets you reset it.)

The Emergency User

In some situations you may need to bypass normal security controls because you have lost your password or because the security settings have been mixed up. Zope provides a facility called an “emergency user” so that you can reset passwords and correct security settings.

The emergency user password must be defined outside the application user interface. It is defined in the ‘access’ file located in the Zope directory. It should be readable only by the user as which your web server runs.

To create the emergency user, use ‘zpasswd.py’ to create the ‘access’ file like this:

python zpasswd.py access

In order to provide a somewhat higher level of security, various encoding schemes are supported which provide access to either SHA-1 encryption or the standard UNIX crypt facility if it has been compiled into Python. Unless you have some special requirements (see below), you should use the SHA-1 facility, which is the default.

Format of ‘inituser’ and ‘access’

A password file should consist of a single line of the form:


Note that you may also add an optional third component to the line in the access file to restrict access by domain. For example, the line:


in your ‘access’ file will only allow permit emergency user access from *.mydomain.com machines. Attempts to access the system from other domains will fail, even if the correct emergency user name and password are used.

Please note that if you use the ZServer monitor capability, you will need to run with a clear text password.