Guardrails supports multiple methods of authentication, including LDAP and local username/passwords.


A directory is a mechanism that allows users and groups to access Guardrails. In the simplest use case, a directory will allow a user to log into the Guardrails application, where they can then perform actions entitled to them via the permissions model.

Guardrails currently allows user/group access from 3 different sources:

Guardrails Local DirectoryGuardrails provides support for basic user and group management in an internal directory. Guardrails local directories are typically used for bootstrapping and break-glass access. An installation of Guardrails will contain an initial internal directory, with a break-glass/admin user. This user can then be used to create further break-glass users, or add and manage additional directories. DirectoryWhile named similarly, the directory is the connection of the user profile that exists on and workspaces. A directory can be created in a workspace, and when attempting to log in via this directory, the user will get redirected to and back to the workspace! A profile is created upon the first login and administrators can assign permissions once the user has done so.
GoogleGuardrails integrates with Google domains via a client ID/secret pair, allowing users within that domain to log into Guardrails. Group management can be done from within the Google Admin console.
SAMLWe have integrations with Identity Providers (IDPs) such as Okta, Ping, ADFS and in-house SAML solutions.

SAML is a popular choice, particularly with customers wishing to access Cloud Providers such as AWS, but without needing to provide direct access back to their on-site directory (e.g. Active Directory).

Guardrails also supports the sourcing of user groups in the SAML assertion
LDAP/ LDAPSGuardrails can use a LDAP/ LDAPS directory to sync groups and users and map them to existing profiles.

To setup a new directory or if there are questions regarding LDAP group sync, head on over to our Directories guide.

To get right in and assign grants to user profiles on existing directories, check out our Assigning Permissions in Guardrails documentation.


A profile is simply the Guardrails representation of a user from one or more directories. Every user that logs into Guardrails via a directory will be represented as a profile. All subsequent permissions, actions etc will be attributed to that profile.

By creating an abstraction of a directory user as a profile in Guardrails, this allows advanced techniques such as multiple directories mapping a user to a single profile in Guardrails. For example, you can configure a SAML directory used for user authentication, whilst adding an additional LDAP directory used to perform searches and other controls against the same user in your corporate directory.

Login names

While a user in a directory can only be represented by a single profile in Guardrails, that same user may require a different identity in all of the providers that Guardrails will interact with ( AWS, Azure, GCP, etc.). These mappings can be controlled using policies that target the profile.

Login name mappings for the Guardrails ProfileTurbot > Google @ > John Doe to login to AWS, Azure, and GCP are set via the policies Azure > IAM > Login Names, GCP > IAM > Login Names, and AWS > IAM > Login User Names

Typically, these use calculated policies to map users with a standard template.

Example: Azure > IAM > Login Names

For Acme corp, the Azure > IAM > Login Names is set using a calculated policy:

Input Query

profile {

Input Template

{% if $ %}
- {{$"@")[0]}}
{% endif %}

This results in user names such as ""