I need to get permissions for all user roles, which are used. The code looks something like this:

$anonymous = Role::load('anonymous');
$anonymousPermissions = $anonymous->getPermissions();

The code for anonymous (and also for authenticated) returns an array of permissions, but the same code for administrator returns null:

$administrator = Role::load('administrator');

How can I get permissions for the role Administrator? (The machine name of role Administrator is administrator and also in the database is nothing suspicious.)

I have tried also:

$administratorPermissions = user_role_permissions(['administrator']);

It returns:

array(1) {
    ["administrator"] =>
        array(0) {

If I try:

$roles = Role::loadMultiple();
foreach ($roles as $role => $rolesObj) {
    $role_list[$role] = $rolesObj->get('label');

Then I get:

    [anonymous] => Anonymous user
    [authenticated] => Authenticated user

1 Answer 1


See the Role::getPermissions() method code:

   * Returns a list of permissions assigned to the role.
   * @return array
   *   The permissions assigned to the role.
  public function getPermissions() {
    if ($this->isAdmin()) {
      return [];
    return $this->permissions;

So, if the user has all permissions the returned value is an empty array.

Why? I really don't know and I can't find the answer, maybe other user knows Why Role::getPermissions() method return an empty array for admin users?.

The good news is that you can get all the Administrator permission with this code:


Test this code (You'll need the Devel module to use dpm()):

$administrator = Role::load('administrator');
if($administrator->isAdmin()) {
  • Thank you! It is a good solution and it works perfectly. Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 7:49
  • @AntonínSlejška you're welcome, and good luck with your project ;-) Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 13:25

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