Global Permissions define user authorization outside the scope of any particular cluster. Out-of-the-box, there are two default global permissions: Administrator and Standard User.

  • Administrator:

    These users have full control over the entire Rancher system and all clusters within it.

  • Standard User:

    These users can create new clusters and use them. Standard users can also assign other users permissions to their clusters.

Note: You cannot create, update, or delete Global Permissions.

Global Permission Assignment

Assignment of global permissions to a user depends on their authentication source: external or local.

  • External Authentication

    When a user logs into Rancher using an external authentication provider for the first time, they are automatically assigned the Standard User global permission.

  • Local Authentication

    When you create a new local user, you assign them a global permission as you complete the Add User form.

Custom Global Permissions

Rather than assigning users the default global permissions of Administrator or Standard User, you can assign them a custom set of permissions.

Permissions are individual access rights that you can assign when selecting a custom permission for a user.

Using custom permissions is convenient for providing users with narrow or specialized access to Rancher. See the table below for a list of individual permissions available.

Global Permissions Reference

The following table lists each custom global permission available and whether it is assigned to the default global permissions, Administrator and Standard User.

Custom Global Permission Administrator Standard User
Manage Authentication
Manage Catalogs
Manage Cluster Drivers
Manage Node Drivers
Manage PodSecurityPolicy Templates
Manage Roles
Manage Users
Create Clusters
Create RKE Templates
Use Catalog Templates
Login Access


  • Each permission listed above is comprised of multiple individual permissions not listed in the Rancher UI. For a full list of these permissions and the rules they are comprised of, access through the API at /v3/globalRoles.
  • When viewing the resources associated with default roles created by Rancher, if there are multiple Kuberenetes API resources on one line item, the resource will have (Custom) appended to it. These are not custom resources but just an indication that there are multiple Kubernetes API resources as one resource.

When a user from an external authentication source signs into Rancher for the first time, they’re automatically assigned a set of global permissions (hereafter, permissions). By default, new users are assigned the user permissions. However, in some organizations, these permissions may extend too much access. In this use case, you can change the default permissions to something more restrictive, such as a set of individual permissions.

You can assign one or more default permissions. For example, the user permission assigns new users a set of individual global permissions. If you want to restrict the default permissions for new users, you can remove the user permission as default role and then assign multiple individual permissions as default instead. Conversely, you can also add administrative permissions on top of a set of other standard permissions.

Note: Default roles are only assigned to users added from an external authentication provider. For local users, you must explicitly assign global permissions when adding a user to Rancher. You can customize these global permissions when adding the user.

Configuring Default Global Permissions

You can change the default global permissions that are assigned to external users upon their first log in.

  1. From the Global view, select Security > Roles from the main menu. Make sure the Global tab is selected.

  2. Find the permissions set that you want to use as default. Then edit the permission by selecting Ellipsis > Edit.

  3. Select Yes: Default role for new users and then click Save.

  4. If you want to remove a default permission, edit the permission and select No from New User Default.

Result: The default global permissions are configured based on your changes. Permissions assigned to new users display a check in the New User Default column.