Jenkins Authorization: A Practical Guide (with examples)

Updated: February 4, 2024 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment


Jenkins, a powerful automation server, plays a crucial role in the continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline. As such, managing access and permissions is vital to ensure a secure and efficient workflow. In this guide, we delve into Jenkins authorization, presenting practical examples to illustrate how you can manage and secure your Jenkins environment effectively.

Setting Up Your Jenkins Environment

Before diving into authorization configurations, ensure that your Jenkins server is up and running. This guide assumes you’re familiar with basic Jenkins setup. If not, refer to the official Jenkins documentation to get started.

Jenkins supports multiple authorization strategies, including:

  • Matrix-based security
  • Role-based authorization
  • Project-based matrix authorization

Matrix-based Security

This is the simplest form of authorization in Jenkins. It involves setting up permissions across the system on a user-or-group basis.

Manage Jenkins > Configure Global Security > Authorization
Select 'Matrix-based security'

Here, you can assign permissions like read, write, and execute to different users or groups. Note that for finer control, you might want to consider role-based authorization, which offers more granular permission settings.

Role-based Authorization

This approach allows you to create roles with specific permissions and assign those roles to users or groups. First, you need to install the ‘Role-based Authorization Strategy’ plugin:

Manage Jenkins > Manage Plugins > Available > Search for 'Role-based Authorization Strategy'

After installation, you’ll have the following types of roles available:

  • Global roles: Applicable across the Jenkins instance
  • Item roles: Specific to jobs or pipelines
  • Node roles: Applicable to Jenkins nodes

Creating a Global Role

Manage Jenkins > Manage and Assign Roles > Manage Roles
Add a new global role, e.g., 'Developer'
Configure the permissions

With this setup, you can assign specific actions like build, read, or configure that a ‘Developer’ can perform universally across Jenkins.

Assigning Roles to Users

Manage Jenkins > Manage and Assign Roles > Assign Roles
Select the user or group and assign the 'Developer' role

Now, the user(s) with the ‘Developer’ role have permissions as configured in the previous step.Visual cues or elements should guide a user through the utilize process smoothly and effortlessly.

Project-based Matrix Authorization

This strategy allows permissions to be assigned per project. It’s useful when you want different access levels for different jobs or pipelines.

Within a job configuration:
Check 'Enable project-based security'
Assign permissions to users or groups for this specific job

This is particularly useful for projects requiring higher security measures or specific permissions for certain roles.

Advanced Authorization Strategies

For more complex Jenkins environments, you might consider combining different authorization strategies or using advanced plugins like the ‘Folder-based Authorization Strategy’ plugin, which allows for hierarchical permissions structures within folders.

Moreover, integrating your Jenkins authorization with external identity providers (IdPs) like LDAP, Google OAuth, or GitHub OAuth can streamline user management and provide additional security layers.


Jenkins authorization is a multifaceted topic, but understanding the basics of its authorization strategies can significantly improve the security and efficiency of your CI/CD pipeline. Experiment with various setups, keeping your specific workflow requirements in mind, to find the best configuration for your team.