Adding a role to a user programmatically in Drupal 8

Since a quick Google search didn't bring up how to do this in Drupal 8 (there are dozens of posts on how to do it in Drupal 7), I thought I'd post a quick blog post on how you can modify a user's roles in Drupal 8. Hint: It's a lot easier than you'd think!

In Drupal 7, $user was an object... but it was more like an object that acted like a dumb storage container. You couldn't really do anything with it directly—instead, you had to stick it in functions (like user_multiple_role_edit()) to do things like add or remove roles or modify account information.

In Drupal 8, $user is a real, useful object. Want to modify the account name and save the change?

<?php
$user
->setUsername('new-username');
$user->save();
?>

There are now dozens of simple methods you can call on a user object to get and set information on a $user object, and what used to be a little annoying in Drupal 7 (modifying a user's roles) is now very straightforward. Let's say I want to add the 'administrator' role to a user account:

<?php
$user
->addRole('administrator');
$user->save();
?>

Done!

Want to remove the role?

<?php
$user
->removeRole('administrator');
$user->save();
?>

Added bonus—you no longer need to retrieve a role ID using user_role_load_by_name(), because in Drupal 8 role IDs are now machine readable strings!

I often need to add a drush command that can be run in non-production environments that will make certain users administrators (e.g. developers who need full access in non-prod, but shouldn't have full access on production), and using this new logic, it's extremely easy to build a drush command to do this.

First, create a drush command file (I generally create them in the drush folder in the site's docroot, titled [command].drush.inc). In my case, I created npadmin.drush.inc (for "Non-Prod Admin"), with the following contents:

<?php

/**
 * @file
 * Non-production admins drush command.
 */

/**
 * Implements hook_drush_command().
 */
function npadmin_drush_command() {
 
$items = [];

 
$items['non-prod-admins'] = [
   
'description' => "Makes certain users administrators in non-prod environments.",
   
'examples' => [
     
'drush npadmin' => 'Make certain users admins in non-prod environments.',
    ],
   
'aliases' => ['npadmin'],
  ];

  return
$items;
}

/**
 * Implements drush_hook_COMMAND().
 */
function drush_npadmin_non_prod_admins() {
 
$users_changed = 0;

 
// List of users who should be made administrators in non-prod environments.
 
$users_to_make_admin = [
   
'jeff.geerling',
   
'etc...',
  ];

  foreach (
$users_to_make_admin as $name) {
   
$user = user_load_by_name($name);
    if (
$user) {
     
$user->addRole('administrator');
     
$user->save();
     
$users_changed++;
    }
  }

 
drush_log(dt('Assigned the administrator role to !count users.', ['!count' => $users_changed]), 'ok');
}
?>

After creating the Drush command file, clear Drush's cache (drush cc drush), and then run drush npadmin in whichever environments should have these users become administrators.

Going further, you could turn $users_to_make_admin into a configuration item, so you could change it without changing code (in Drupal 7, I often used a variable for this purpose).

Programmatically managing a user's roles is a great example of OOP code in Drupal 8 making programming more simple and logical. Check out UserInterface for many more methods you can call on a user object!

Comments

Sorry, I'm new and i really need this for my website, Where should i put the code

<?php
$user
->addRole('administrator');
$user->save();
?>

to create a new role ?

How create Role from my Custom module while installing Custom module?