Is it possible to add permissions to a Ctools content type plugin, similar to a node entity? I want to be able to check if a user has permission to add a certain content pane to a panels page through the IPE.

1 Answer 1


It should be possible using a ctools access plugin. From the linked site:

Firstly, just like during work with Сtools content type, for the web developer it is necessary to call hook_ctools_plugin_directory() to indicate that we have ctools plugins of specific type in our module:

 * Implements hook_ctools_plugin_directory().
function access_example_ctools_plugin_directory($owner, $plugin_type) {
  if ($owner == 'ctools' && !empty($plugin_type)) {
   return "plugins/{$plugin_type}";

Then in module folder we need to create "plugins" folder and "access" folder inside of “plugins” folder. Create plugin file with the name "access_example_plugin.inc" inside of "access" folder. Write the access rule by array in this file:

 * Plugins are described by creating a $plugin array which will be used
 * by the system that includes this file.
$plugin = array(
  // Plugin user-friendly name.
  'title' => t('Eldership rule'),
  // Plugin description.
  'description' => t('Controls access depends on eldership'),
  // Without required context plugin will now be shown in Panels UI.
  'required context' => array(new ctools_context_required(t('User'), 'user')),
  // Function which will allow or restrict access.
  'callback' => 'access_example_who_elder_access',
  // Plugin settings form.
  'settings form' => 'access_example_who_elder_access_settings_form',
  // Provides a summary descriptions depends on settings selected.
  'summary' => 'access_example_who_elder_access_summary',

It goes on to explain how to create the various callbacks but that's beyond the scope of this question I think.

  • So a ctools access plugin controls the access to a ctools content type plugin?
    – pi_ron
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 4:34
  • They appear to control access to just about every aspect of page manager/panels.
    – Darvanen
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 6:01
  • Ctools Access plugins provide options for selection rules in variants. They don't govern whether or not a single content type plugin is available to a user. I'm also looking for a solution to this issue, however, so if I come up with something I will post an answer. Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 16:45

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