Sharing your system with others

By default, when a new system is added to Beaker only the owner has access to use it. You can use loans to temporarily grant another user exclusive access to a system, or set access policy rules for fine-grained control over which Beaker users can use or administer the system.


Loaning a system to another user gives them exclusive access to reserve the system. While the system is loaned, no other users are permitted to reserve the system, even if they would normally have access to reserve it.

When loaning a system, you can optionally add a comment to record the reason for the loan. When the loan is returned, the comment is automatically cleared.

To loan your system, go to the system page and click the Loan Settings button in the Loaned to field.

Access policies

You can apply an access policy to your system, in order to grant other Beaker users limited access to use it.

Access policies are represented as a set of rules. Each rule grants a particular permission to a particular user or group. The effective permissions for a user is the union of the permissions granted to them directly and to all of the groups they are a member of.

To apply an access policy to your system, go to the system page and click the Access Policy tab, or use the bkr policy-grant client command.

In Beaker’s web UI access policies are displayed as a table of checkboxes, where each column is a permission and each row is a user or group covered by the policy. When a checkbox is selected it represents a rule granting the permission in the column to the user or group in the row.

The following permissions can be granted in an access policy:

Name Label Description
view View The user can view the system and find it in search results. If the system is loaned to a user, they are permitted to view it for the duration of the loan. If a user is not permitted to view the system, they cannot interact with it in any way and any other permissions granted to them have no effect.
view_power View power settings The user can view the system’s power settings. This is a separate permission, and is not granted to all users by default, so that system owners can avoid disclosing the power password for their system.
edit_policy Edit this policy The user can edit the access policy to grant or revoke permissions, including adding new users and groups to the policy. Users with permission to edit the policy can grant themselves any of the other permissions and also change the owner of the system.
edit_system Edit system details The user can edit system details and configuration, however they cannot take ownership of it or grant new permissions to themselves or any other user.
loan_any Loan to anyone The user can lend the system to any Beaker user, including themselves. Users with this permission can also return and update any existing loan, as well as return other user’s manual reservations.
loan_self Loan to self The user can borrow the system by loaning it to themselves.
control_system Control power The user can run power commands and netboot commands for the system even when they have not reserved it.
reserve Reserve The user can reserve the system, either through the scheduler (if the system is Automated) or manually through the web UI (if the system is Manual).

In Beaker’s web UI, the human-friendly label is used to identify permissions. In the command-line client, the symbolic name is used.

The owner of the system is implicitly granted all of the above permissions, and also has the ability to change the system owner.

Administrators of the Beaker instance are implicitly granted all of the same permissions as the system owner except the ability to reserve the system (this ensures admins don’t accidentally run automated jobs on arbitrary systems). If an administrator needs to reserve a system and do not already have access to do so, they must first loan it to themselves or grant themselves the relevant permission.

System reservations made through the automated scheduler can only be terminated by cancelling the relevant job rather than by returning the system directly through the web UI or command-line client.

Shared access policies

In addition to setting the access policy on a system directly, you can share the same policy across many systems by using a pool access policy.

Start by creating a new system pool, or pick an existing one. Add all the systems as members of the pool. You can then configure each system to use the pool’s access policy.

You can add systems to a pool on the pool page or by using bkr pool-add.

You can set a system to use a pool policy on the Access Policy tab of the system page or by specifying the --pool-policy option to bkr system-modify.

You can update a pool’s access policy on the pool page or by specifying the --pool option to bkr policy-grant and bkr-policy-revoke.

Notify CC list

Beaker sends e-mail notifications to the system owner when it detects a problem with the system (see Broken system detection) or when a user reports a problem or requests a loan.

You can add one or more e-mail addresses to the notify CC list for your system. Any Beaker notifications about the system will also be sent to those addresses.

The notify CC list does not itself grant any extra permissions over a system. If someone else is helping maintain your system, you may also want to grant them edit_system or loan_any permissions so that they can update your system as needed.