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Users can be organized into groups. By default CloudShark is configured with a single Admin group containing a single user (the admin user, discussed in the previous section). CloudShark groups exist locally on the system. Group members can be a mix of local users, external users, and external groups. Specifying an external group implies that only external users that are members of that external group will have group level access.

Users can also belong to multiple groups. A user can assign a capture file to any one group they are a member of. The admin user and members of the Admin group can also assign any capture file to any group. In either case, the owner of the file will retain ownership and the group will inherit whichever permissions have been set by the owner or by any admin users.

Users within a group have either read-only or read-write permissions for capture files shared with that group. Non group members have no permissions and are not allowed to view the capture file unless guest access has been enabled and the file is made public. The admin user and members of the Admin group always have full access to all capture files, regardless of ownership.

To create a new Group, click the Add a New Group button. Local users can be added to a group when the group is initially created (if the user already exists) or after the fact from the Users page in the Administration menu. External users can only be added to the group from the Users page in the Administration menu.

Note that external users will not appear on the Users page until they have logged in to the system at least once or an Admin user creates them.


By default, a capture file in CloudShark can only be viewed by the owner and members of the Admin group. The owner and members of the Admin group always have read-write permissions. Capture files can be shared with other users one of two ways.

Group Access

Owners and admin users can share capture files with CloudShark groups. A capture file can be associated with at most one CloudShark group. The file owner can only share a capture files with groups to which they belong; admin users can share capture files with any group.

By default, shared capture files are read-only for group members. This means that annotations, tags, and comments are not editable by group members. Files can be made writable by group members by clicking the Info button on a capture file, accessing the Sharing tab, and changing the setting to Read/Write. This will allow group members to edit the file. Note that group members are still not allowed to delete the file. This permission is always reserved for the owner, the admin user, and members of the Admin group.

Users can share all of their capture files with a default group on the Uploads page in the Preferences menu in the top right corner.

Public Access

Capture files can be made “public” if the global guest access setting is enabled on the Settings page in the Administration menu. To make a capture file public, the owner or an admin can select the Share with Guests option in the File Info pop-up for a specific capture file. The URL for a public capture file can then be shared and will be viewable (read-only) by anyone without requiring authentication on the CloudShark system.

If an admin globally disables guest access, all public capture files will no longer be public and will require user authentication before they can be viewed. Public capture files will be shown in each users capture list when they log in. If users should not be able to view all of the public capture files on CloudShark this can be disabled on the Administrator Settings page.