Since version 1.4 SabreDAV comes with some support for ACL (rfc3744). At the moment it is possible for nodes (files, directories) to define their own ACL, so SabreDAV will automatically enforce it.

What the SabreDAV ACL plugin provides

What ACL is not:

What it does do:

Setting up

To add ACL support, you can do so by adding the ACL plugin to your server:

$aclPlugin = new \Sabre\DAVACL\Plugin();


'Principals' are users or groups in WebDAV terminilogy. Privileges (permissions) are assigned to principals.

A principal must exist in the directory tree. The easiest way to do this, is to add a top-level 'principals' collection to your tree.


// Assuming we have a database connection
$principalBackend = new DAVACL\PrincipalBackend\PDO($pdo);

$tree = array(
    new DAVACL\PrincipalCollection($principalBackend),
    new My_Own_Collection_Class(),

$server = new DAV\Server($tree);

$aclPlugin = new DAVACL\Plugin();


For much more information about principals, read the principals documentation.

Advanced settings

The ACL plugin has a couple of public properties that can alter its behaviour.


Since version 1.6, SabreDAV now has an 'adminPrincipals' property. When a principal url is added to this property, these urls will automatically be injected in every single ACL rule with '{DAV:}all' privileges.

This implies that these principals get permission to do anything they want.

$aclPlugin = new \Sabre\DAVACL\Plugin();
$aclPlugin->adminPrincipals[] = 'principals/adminuser1';

Locking down nodes without ACL information

By default the ACL plugin will grant access to any node that does not implement Sabre\DAVACL\IACL. If you want to lock down access to any node that does not have an explicit ACL list defined you can do this like so:

$aclPlugin = new \Sabre\DAVACL\Plugin();
$aclPlugin->allowAccessToNodesWithoutACL = false;

Hiding nodes that the user does not have access to

By default inaccessible nodes will show up in directory listings, but any attempts to read data or properties from them will result in a permission denied error. Sometimes it's desirable to hide nodes from directory listings altogether. You can do this like so:

$aclPlugin = new \Sabre\DAVACL\Plugin();
$aclPlugin->hideNodesFromListings = true;

Determining the users principal url, based on their username

By default the ACL Plugin will try to find the Authentication plugin to determine who's currently logged in. After that it will prepend the username with 'principals/' to determine the correct principal path. If your users are in for example principals/users you can change this as follows:

$aclPlugin = new \Sabre\DAVACL\Plugin();
$aclPlugin->defaultUsernamePath = 'principals/users';

Note that this path must not begin or end with a slash.

This property is only used in the getCurrentUserPrincipal method.

Searching on principal properties

By default, the ACL plugin allows for searching for principals based on two properties:

To expand this to allow searching other (custom or not) properties, you can add these in the following manner:

$aclPlugin = new \Sabre\DAVACL\Plugin();
$aclPlugin->principalSearchPropertySet[] = '{}my-prop';