Before you keep reading, make sure you are familiar with the following Yii concepts:

Content and ContentActiveRecords

humhub\modules\content\models\Content entries are the base of HumHub content-types as Posts, Polls and Wiki Pages. Content entries reside in the content table and are always related to a specific \humhub\modules\content\components\ContentActiveRecord by a polymorphic relation defined in the object_model and object_id columns of the content table.

While the ContentActiveRecord holds the actual data as texts and content-type related settings, the underlying Content class provides:

  • Permission checks as canEdit(), canView()
  • ContentContainer access
  • Visibility settings public or private

Custom ContentActiveRecord classes can be implemented in case you need to embed a custom content-type to a Stream or in order to enable Likes and Comments on your content.

The following example shows the basic usage of a ContentActiveRecord:

// Post is a subclass of ContentActiveRecord and message is an attribute of the post table
$post = new Post($space, ['message' => 'This is an example post']);

// You can access the underlying content instance (which was automatically) created like this
$content = $post->content;

// You can access the related ContentContainerActiveRecord as follows
$space = $post->content->container;

// This will validate and save the post entry and the underlying content

In practice your model data is usually loaded into your model from a post request within your controller logic as in the following basic example:

public function actionEdit($id = null) {
    $news = empty($id) ? new News() :  News::findeOne(['id' => $id]);
    if(!$news->content->canEdit()) {
        throw new HttpException(403);
    if($news->load(Yii::$app->request->post() && $news->save()) {
        return $this->render('view', ['news' => $news]);
    return $this->render('edit', ['news' => $news]);

Just like other ActiveRecords ContentActiveRecord classes should be put under the models namespace of your module. Beside the basic ActiveRecord features as validation and attributeLabels your ContentContainerActiveRecord class should at least implement the following fields and methods:

  • moduleId - id of the related module
  • getContentName() - short name/type of content
  • getContentDescription() - returns a short description of the content instance used to preview the content for example in activities etc.
namespace mymodule\models;

use humhub\modules\content\components\ContentActiveRecord;

class MyModel extends ContentActiveRecord
    protected $moduleId = 'mymodule';
    protected $canMove = true;
    public static function tableName()
        return 'example_content';

    public function getContentName()
        return Yii::t('ExampleModule.models_Example', "Example");

    public function getContentDescription()
        return $this->question;

    public function rules()
        //return validation rules

Use of ContentContainerActiveRecords

You can instantiate your ContentContainerActiveRecord as follows:

// Only provide an array of attributes
$model = new MyModel(['some_field' => $field]);

// Instantiate my model by providing only content-container, the default visibility of the space will be used
$model = new MyModel($someSpace);

// Provide content-container and attribute options
$model = new MyModel($someSpace, ['some_field' => $field]);

// Instantiate my model by providing content-container and visibility
$model = new MyModel($someSpace, Content::VISIBILITY_PRIVATE);

// Provide content-container, visibility and options array
$model = new MyModel($someSpace, Content::VISIBILITY_PRIVATE, ['some_field' => $field]);

// Setting of container and visibility and fields manually
$model = new MyModel();
$model->content->container = $someSpace;
$model->content->visibility = Content::VISIBILITY_PRIVATE;
$model->some_field = $field;

// Save model and content

When given a Content instance, you can access the related model as follow:

$model = $content->getModel();

Note: You won't have to worry about instantiating or saving the underlying content record, since this is handled within the ContentContainerActiveRecord class automatically.

Use of ActiveQueryContent

The Content class furthermore provides some extended ActiveQuery capabilities. Calling \humhub\modules\content\components\ContentActiveRecord::find() will return a \humhub\modules\content\components\ActiveQueryContent instance with additional methods to filter specific content entries:

// Returns all MyModels related to the given $space
$models = MyModel::find()->contentContainer($space)->all();

// Returns all MyModels related to the given $space and readable by the current user
$models = MyModel::find()->contentContainer($space)->readable()->all();

// Loads all MyModels of the current users member spaces
$models = MyModel::find()->userRelated([ActiveQueryContent::USER_RELATED_SCOPE_SPACES])->all();

// Loads all readable MyModels of the current users spaces and also followed spaces
$models = MyModel::find()->userRelated([

There are the following user related scopes available:

  • USER_RELATED_SCOPE_OWN Content created by the given user itself (content.created_by)
  • USER_RELATED_SCOPE_SPACES Content related to the users member spaces
  • USER_RELATED_SCOPE_FOLLOWED_SPACES = Content related to the users followed spaces
  • USER_RELATED_SCOPE_FOLLOWED_USERS = Content related to the users followed user profiles
  • USER_RELATED_SCOPE_OWN_PROFILE = Content related to the users own profile

Move Content (since v1.3)

In case your content should be movable to other spaces you'll have to enable the \humhub\modules\content\components\ContentActiveRecord::canMove flag. For complex content-types you may want to overwrite the \humhub\modules\content\components\ContentActiveRecord::afterMove() function. This is required for example if your content is related to other sub content entries.

public function afterMove($container = null)
    foreach($this->subcontent as $subcontent)

Silent Content Creation

By default, the creation of a content entry triggers an activity and notifications for space subscribers. This behaviour can be deactivated by setting the \humhub\modules\content\components\ContentActiveRecord::silentContentCreation to true. This setting can for example be used for sub content-types which are not of high interest.

Content Visibility

The content visibility specifies who is be allowed to view the content. When instantiating a new ContentActiveRecord without a predefined visibility the underlying content will adapt the default content visibility of its ContentContainerActiveRecord.

  • Private content will only be visible for Space Members (Space) and Friend Users (Profile).
  • Public content will be visible for everyone including guests if the guest mode is active.

The content visibility can be checked by calling isPublic() and isPrivate() on the Content instance.



// Set visibility
$model->content->container = Content::VISIBILITY_PRIVATE;

The visibility of a content for a user can be validated by the Content::canView() method and behaves by default as follows:

  • Guests can only access public content of visible spaces/users
  • Other users can access all public content within the network
  • System admins can access all content if the adminCanViewAllContent setting of the content modules is enabled (default)
  • All space members can read private space content
  • Non space members can only access public space content
  • Only friend users can access private profile content of a user.
if(!$model->content->canView()) {
 throw new HttpException(403);

Note: Many content-types provide a private/public flag within the create/edit form.

Info: Private spaces can not create public content.

Content Write Permission

By default users can edit a content if one of the following conditions defined in Content::canEdit() are met:

  • User is the owner of the content
  • User is system administrator and the content module setting adminCanEditAllContent is set to true (default)
  • The user is granted the space ManagePermission set by the model record class. Since v1.2.1 a ContentContainerActiveRecord can define an own $managePermission which will be described later.
  • The user meets the additional condition, which is defined in the ContentContainerActiveRecords canEdit() function.

You can check the edit permission of a user by means of the Content::canEdit() function as

// Check edit permission for current logged user
if($model->content->canEdit()) {

// Check edit permission for a given user
if($model->content->canEdit($someUserIdentity)) {

// Check other permission for the current logged user on the contents contentContainer
if($model->content->can(new MyCustomPermission()) {

You can overwrite the default ManageContent permission as follows:

class Example extends ContentContainerActiveRecord
    $managePermission = MyCustomManagePermission::class;
    // ...

Info: For more information about permissions, please see the Permission Section.

Other content features

Content Url

By default the url returned by Content::getUrl() links to the space or profile stream with active contentId filter. If you want to change this behaviour and for example rather link to a content-type specific detail view of your content, you can implement a ContentActiveRecord::getUrl() method.

public function getUrl()
    return $this->content->container->createUrl('/mymodule/detail', ['id' => $this->id]);

Retrieve the content url:

$url = $model->content->getUrl();

Pin content

The default space stream supports the pinning of content, which will load the pinned entries at the top of the stream. Normally you won't need to call the pin/unpin methods by yourself, since this is part of the default stream entry logic. In case your content is not part of the default stream, you may use these functions for your own module logic.





Archive content

Archived content is by default excluded from the streams. As with the pin logic, you won't have to handle this by yourself.





ContentContainer and ContentContainerActiveRecords

humhub\modules\content\models\ContentContainer in HumHub are used to assign Content entries to a specific container like a User Account or Space. Similar to Content and ContentActiveRecords, ContentContainer entries can be seen as an abstraction of ContentContainerActiveRecords. Each Content entry (except global content) is related to one ContentContainer which again is related to one ContentContainerActiveRecord (Space or User). In practice you'll usually directly work with ContentActiveRecords instances.

Each container is assigned with an unique guid, which beside others is used in controllers to identify the context of its actions.

The ContentContainerActiveRecord can be accessed as follows:

$news = News::findOne(['id' => $id]);
$container = $news->content->container; 

There are two types of ContentContainerActiveRecords:

  • humhub\modules\user\models\User
  • humhub\modules\space\models\Space

Application Layers

Note: HumHub does not support custom container types.


When working with Content or other ContentContainer related data, your controller should extend the humhub\modules\content\components\ContentContainerController class. A ContentContainerController will automatically search and instantiate a ContentContainerActiveRecord related to a cguid request parameter and provide additional features as:

  • Additional access checks
  • Default layout selection based on container type (User or Space)
  • Create container URL's for the given container

By default a ContentContainerController will block requests without a given cguid request parameter. If you need to implement a controller which should be able to handle container related as well as global requests you'll have to set the ContentContainerController::requireContainer field to false.

In your controller logic you can access the ContentContainerActiveRecord within your controller by means of $this->contentContainer.

You can even restrict the allowed ContentContainerActiveRecord types by setting the ContentContainerController::validContentContainerClasses array. This can be useful for example if your controller should only handle space related requests.

use humhub\modules\content\components\ContentContainerController;
use humhub\modules\space\models\Space;

class ExampleController extends ContentContainerController

    public $validContentContainerClasses = [Space::class];

Urls pointing to a ContentContainerController action should be created by using the ContentContainerActiveRecord::createUrl() function. This will add the required cguid parameter to your request.

 // Direct ContentContainer call
 // Or by means of a ContentActiveRecord

 // Within a ContentContainerController:


See the Use of ContentContainerModule section.

Content addons


  • Always linked to particual Content, inherits access rules from it
  • Examples: Like, File, Comment
  • Can be nested (e.g. Container -> Content -> Addon (Comment) -> Addon (Like)

Content Streams

See the Stream section