Introduction to User Group Settings

An introduction to using the j2-5 and j3-2 series User Group Settings

One of the major enhancements of the j2-5 and j3-2 series over the j1-9 series is the integration of the Joomla Permissions and Access Levels into jDownloads. Another article, Controlled Access to Categories and Downloads (Permissions & Access Levels) showed the Permissions settings and how they are applied to categories and downloads for each group. These Joomla Permission and Access Level settings cascade through the Joomla User Groups as usual.

It is important to note, as described below , that each user group is treated independently in User Group Settings.  Where a user belongs to multiple user groups jDownloads uses the Ranking values to determine which one should be used. Note that users automatically belong to the parent group, the grand parent group, and so on.

But by design the attributes set up in the jDownloads User Group Settings do not cascade. This allows each group to be customised individually. The notice opposite appears at the top of the User-Group Settings page to remind people.


These notes concentrate on the facilities available in the User-Group settings.  Further aspects on which user-group settings will be applied by jDownloads are dealt with in an additional article - Which User-Group is Used? - that discusses how jDownloads handles the situation when a user belongs to multiple user-groups.

User Group Settings is accessed through the jD Control Panel.  There are three parts to User Group Settings

  1. Setting user group Download Limits and Ranking Value
  2. Group Settings, which have some general settings
  3. Group Creation/Editing Setting which controls the questions asked when creating or editting a Download from the Front End

DownLoad Limits and Ranking

Clicking on User Group Settings gives a screen like the one below.  Note the important Ranking valueuser group settings 14

This view is in effect a summary report showing most of the current Download limits for each Joomla User Group.

To change the setup for a Joomla User Group then first select which user group you wish to modify by ‘ticking’ in the appropriate checkbox. In this example we are going to set up the Registered group. All user groups will be listed so if you have many groups then the list will be much longer.
Remember that setting up jDownloads limits for one group has no effect on other groups! Each one has to be done individually. (NB at a future release a ‘copy’ function may be implemented where you can select a ‘source’ and copy the jDownloads User Group settings to one or more ‘target’ groups.)

To activate the editing for the selected group, just click on the Group Title.  Alternatively put a tick against the User Group you wish to edit click on the Change Settings button. The position of the toolbar is template dependent, so the buttons maybe on either the left or the right!

CreateUploads03A   CreateUploads03B

This will then bring up a picture such as below.


Before discussing these settings in more detail note the Information text at the start.  In particular the part about activating the jDownloads logging option. CreateUploads07

For reference the jDownloads logging option is in the Downloads tab of the Configuration.


To find the option to turn logging on, which is like that shown below, scroll down about three quarters of the page.


Broadly the User Group Settings are arranged into three sections:

  1. Limits such as how many downloads in a period.
  2. Group settings such as use of Captcha and similar.
  3. Specifying what is requested for an upload.

Each of these sections is dealt with below. Remember that these jDownloads User Group Settings do
not propagated onwards like Joomla ACL permissions, each Joomla Group needs individual setting up.
This is to maintain maximum flexibility.
Tool-tips are used throughout to give additional explanations.

The first type of limit is the ‘Group Limits’.

These are summarised under the yellow limits banner in the initial view.CreateUploads08A

The Group Title, which is not editable, shows the current Joomla User Group.

In general if a particular limit is set to zero then that limit does not apply.


These limits are concerned with

  • how many downloads in a given epoch ,for example the number of downloads per day
  • the maximum combined  total size in Mbytes over an epoch, for example the total volume in Mbytes in a month.

 These limits are specific to each Joomla User Group so there might be a need to consider making more groups.
There are two special cases.

  1. One of these, which is probably most useful for sites where there are many downloads, allows specifying the maximum transfer rate so that bandwidth is shared.
  2. The other one is a limit on the Group for the maximum number of ‘uploads’ or creation of new downloads to create new downloads.  Note that this one is also subject to the Joomla ACL 'Create' permission for that group.
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Group Settings


These are summarised in the initial view under the orange settings banner:CreateUploads09A



Each setting has an explanatory ‘tool tip’.


See below for more details.



Item Description
Use a Private Files Area
(not implemented yet
May 2014)
View Captcha CreateUploads11B
Show ‘Report Download’ link CreateUploads11C
Activate Waiting Time This is part of controlling multiple downloads CreateUploads11D
View User Limits CreateUploads11E

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Group Creation/Editing Settings

Actually this section itself could be considered in three parts:

  • one part which controls the general part of the Create a Download page;
  • a second part which deals with which standard questions such as licence, version and so on are to be asked when creating or editting a Download;
  • and a third part which is defining which, if any, of the custom questions are to be asked.

The general part allows the following fields to be shown on the Front End ‘Create a Download’ menu page.

Item Description

Display add/upload icon

(from jD 3.2.32)

May Select a Different Category  CreateUploads12A
Publish new Downloads  CreateUploads12B
Use Editor for Text Fields  CreateUploads12C
Allowed File Types  CreateUploads12D
Allowed Preview File Types  CreateUploads12E
Maximum File Size in KB  CreateUploads12F
How many Images  CreateUploads12G
Text above the form  CreateUploads12H

The standard questions part allows complete control over the information asked by the Create/Edit Download form. There is a main part of the form and then up to six tab selections for a total of up to approximately three dozen questions. The minimum number of questions is two, the download title and its storage category. Further most questions may be made mandatory if desired.
The sections are arranged on the form seen by the user as below, but the User Group Seetting just has a simple list.

Main Create Upload Page
• Title*, Alias, Version, Mark Download as Updated, File System, License, Confirm License
Descriptions Tab
• Short Description, Long Description
Publishing Options Tab
• Category*, Access, Language, Published, Created Date, Modified Date, Publishing Timeframe, Views, Downloaded, Ordering
Additional Data Tab
• Password, Price, Website, Author Name, Author URL or Email, Symbol
File Data Tab
• Main File Select, File Size, File Date, Select Preview File, External File Link, Mirror Link-1, Mirror Link-2
Image Tab
• Add an Image (actually up to three images per download)
Meta Data Tab
• Meta Description, Meta Keywords, Robots

The list of 'questions' to be asked is a simple list. There are almost 40 different question, only a few of which are shown below.  Note that ticking the second box makes the question mandatory.

user group settings 15

Custom Field Selection

The final part is selecting which, if any, of the 14 custom fields are to be shown for this user group. Note that the custom fields themselves are defined in the Custom Fields Tab in Configuration.

Note that these fields can be made Mandatory by ticking both check-boxes


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Colin Mercer, May 2012.-updated May 2015

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