Is the default Admin role inherently different than other roles? Does Drupal extend privileges to the Admin role that are not configurable/available to other roles?

To be clear, I am not referring to user/1 on the site, but rather the official Administrator role as has been assigned here: admin/config/people/accounts.


Here's why I'm asking:

I've been having trouble with a Data Export View where a non-Admin user runs the export and the resulting output is incomplete. When running the export logged in as an Admin, the resulting output is complete.

I spent some time futzing with the permissions of the non-Admin role with no good results. So, as an experiment, I made a new role and enabled every permission… which, presumable would make this role equivalent to the Admin role. I logged in as a user with that new role, ran the data export, and still got the same incomplete dataset. What gives?

As a bonus question: any idea why is my Data Export view outputting incomplete data for the non-Admin roles?

  • Are you only talking about user with uid=1, or are you talking about "some" userid who has been granted the rome "Admin"? Please edit your question to clarify that. PS: even though for user/1 permission checks don't seem to apply, you can still implement logic for such user also, such as what is explained in this answer ... Commented May 25, 2017 at 14:37
  • merci for clarifying ... Commented May 25, 2017 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


Yes, the user 1 is different in Drupal:

The Drupal account created during installation (i.e. with user ID or UID=1) behaves differently from others. Primarily, it can bypass all access callbacks: it has permission to do everything by default. Failing to secure this account could result in potential security risks. Treat the UID=1 account as you would with root on Linux systems.

Source: https://www.drupal.org/node/947312

  • Can you explain what "bypass all access callbacks" means? Is it possible to configure a non-Admin role to behave like an Admin? With regards to my situation above, why is only the Admin role able to export a complete dataset?
    – Sam
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 14:25
  • The question here is about "Admin role", which IMO is pretty close to "a user who has been granted the role "administrator". So if user with uid=123 has been granted the admin role, the question also applies for such user ... which is not the same as "user with uid=1" ... therefor IMO this answer is not correct ... Commented May 25, 2017 at 14:36
  • @Pierre.Vriens, I agree, but probably the question is about user 1, because the name of this user is "Admin" by default.
    – 4uk4
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 14:39
  • I think this question is probably about "a user with a role admin", as indicated also by "the admin role", or "a non-Admin user", the "non-admin role". Also note that there is nowhere a "1" in this question ... Commented May 25, 2017 at 14:43
  • @Pierre.Vriens, 100 % agree, let me rephrase, without mentioning user 1, probably the question was exactly about the difference of user 1 and all other users starting with 2.
    – 4uk4
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 14:51

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