Juju users

There are 3 kinds of Juju users: controller administrators, model owners, and regular users. Each user, no matter the kind, is associated with a controller. In particular, the namespace for users are controller-centric; names can be duplicated across controllers.

Juju users are not related in any way to the localhost system users; they are purely Juju constructs.

A controller administrator is a user who has access to the controller model. This Juju user is called 'admin' and is set up as part of the controller creation step. Practically, this set of users is comprised of the controller creator and any user the creator/initial_admin has granted write access to the 'controller' model. There is no overarching "Juju administrator" since multiple controllers, and therefore multiple administrators, are possible.

A model owner is the model creator or a user who has been designated as such during the model creation process.

A regular user is one who is neither an administrator nor a model owner. Such a user requires access to a model in order to do anything at the Juju level. Note that although deemed "regular", such a user is far from ordinary since they can marshal the vast resources of the backing cloud and deploy complex applications.

User abilities

The different Juju user types have different abilities based on permissions. They are outlined below. For completeness, the abilities of system (localhost) users are also included.

Actions available to a system user:

  • Access general help (juju help)
  • List supported cloud types (juju clouds)
  • Show details on each cloud type (juju show-cloud)
  • Register with a controller (juju register)
  • Add credentials (juju add-credential and juju autoload-credentials)
  • List cloud credentials (juju credentials)
  • Create controllers (juju bootstrap)

Once a system user has created a controller they are provided automatically, at the Juju level, with an administrator of that controller and inherit all the privileges of that user type (see below).

Since any system user can add credentials and create controllers, it is conceivable that multiple controllers exist that use the same cloud resource (public cloud account). Although this will work with Juju, it is a policy decision on the part of those who use Juju as to whether this should be allowed.

See Controllers for information on controllers.


Only an administrator has the power to perform these actions (in the context of their controller):

  • Add users (juju add-user)
  • Disable users (juju disable-user)
  • Enable previously disabled users (juju enable-user)
  • Create models (juju create-model)
  • Grant user access to models (juju grant)
  • Revoke user access from models (juju revoke)
  • Remove models (juju destroy-model)
  • Remove the controller (juju destroy-controller)
  • Upgrade any model (juju upgrade-juju)
  • Maintenance operations (e.g.: backups)

Model owners

A model owner has the power to list users who have access to the model they own (juju users mymodel) as well as upgrade their model (juju upgrade-juju).

Regular users

The ability of a regular user depends on the model access rights (read-only or write) they have been given.

For read-only access, the user can do the following:

  • List models (juju models)
  • List machines (juju machines)
  • Show the status (juju status)

For write access, the user can begin with the following major commands:

  • Deploy applications (juju deploy)
  • Scale out applications (juju add-unit)

Further reading:

© 2018 Canonical Ltd. Ubuntu and Canonical are registered trademarks of Canonical Ltd.