Solid WebID Profile

Version 1.0.0, Editor’s Draft, 2022-06-22

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Virginia Balseiro
Timea Turdean
Jeff Zucker
Sarven Capadisli
Tim Berners-Lee
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Editor’s Draft
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W3C Solid Community Group


A city has public places where I can do all kinds of things, and also a private house with a private room which may be just mine. In that house there are spaces where I do things with family, friends, colleagues. The web must, like a well-designed building, provide a gradient of intimacy between the private and the public, so I can easily recognize the difference, easily know which I am in, and easily welcome people to come into the more intimate parts, as I want to.

If the web is like a well-designed building, the Solid Profile is its lobby - the place the public can discover which parts of the interior the building's owner has given consent for them to see, where the owner can hide or put on display parts of their identity as they see fit.

Status of This Document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication.

This document was published by the Solid Community Group as an Editor’s Draft. The sections that have been incorporated have been reviewed following the Solid process. However, the information in this document is still subject to change. You are invited to contribute any feedback, comments, or questions you might have.

Publication as an Editor’s Draft does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress.

This document was produced by a group operating under the W3C Community Contributor License Agreement (CLA). A human-readable summary is available.


This section is non-normative.

A social agent - a person or organization - can establish an identity in the Solid ecosystem by obtaining a unique identifier called a WebID and by describing themselves in a set of documents associated with the WebID. These documents, referred to here collectively as a Solid Profile, both describe the social agent and provide links to their resources.

A Solid profile, like most Solid resources, can include a combination of publicly readable data, data restricted to named audiences, and data meant only for the social agent themselves. For example, Keisha's Solid profile might list her name publicly, her phone number only for friends, and the configuration settings for her "notes to self" only for apps operating on her own behalf. Solid supports these options by splitting the profile into documents with separate access restrictions. So the first task of an application may be to load all of the profile documents it has access to or load them on a need to basis.

Profiles can contain, and apps are free to follow, any kind of links to related documents. In order to promote interoperability and limit the burden on apps, this specification recommends a limited number of related documents which a profile ought to contain so that apps can discover them.

The discovery process starts with the WebID, a URI that points to exactly one document, referred to here as a WebID Profile Document. This document can be expected to contain pointers to a Preferences File Document containing settings & resources meant only for the WebID owner, Type Index Documents containing links to specific types of resources, and might also contain Extended Profile Documents containing additional information about the WebID owner. The documents which make up a Solid Profile are illustrated below and described in more detail in Discovering a complete Solid profile.

Solid Profile Discovery Overview

Once an application has loaded all of the needed profile documents, it can then look for a fixed set of predicates holding information about the structure and location of the WebID owner's resources. The predicates listed below are used throughout this document.

Predicate Information conveyed
solid:oidcIssuer location(s) where the WebID owner logs in
pim:storage location(s) of the WebID owner's storage space(s)
solid:instance, solid:instanceContainer locations of specific types of resources
ldp:inbox location of the WebID owner's Solid inbox

This specification is for:

This document does not cover the WebID authentication process (see Solid Protocol's Authentication [SOLID-PROTOCOL]) or data specific to a given type of social agent (see forthcoming [Creating Personal Profiles]TBD and [Creating Organizational Profiles]TBD)). Alternate discovery processes (for example [proposed Interoperability-Spec]TBD) are also out of scope for this document although they will be mentioned where relevant.


This section is non-normative.

This document uses terminology from the Solid Protocol [SOLID-PROTOCOL] and Web Access Control [WAC] specifications.

The Solid WebID Profile specification defines the following terms. These terms are referenced throughout this specification.

Solid Profile
A Solid Profile is...
Solid Profile
An extended profile is...


Prefixes and Namespaces
Prefix Namespace Description
rdf [rdf-schema]
rdfs [rdf-schema]
ldp [LDP]
solid Solid Terms
pim Workspace Ontology
acl ACL Ontology
dcterms [DC-TERMS]


All assertions, diagrams, examples, and notes are non-normative, as are all sections explicitly marked non-normative. Everything else is normative.

The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all capitals, as shown here.

Discovering a complete Solid profile

It is possible to have all profile information in a single WebID Profile Document, but a more likely situation is that some information is in that document and some is in extended profile documents. With a couple of exceptions noted below, there is no guarantee that any specific piece of data is located in a given document. Therefore it is almost always best to load all profile documents, to do so in a recommended order, and to treat the Solid Profile as a graph assembled by loading documents rather than as a set of documents.

When an application wants to retrieve a complete profile, it SHOULD

  1. Load the WebID Profile Document reachable at the WebID URI.
  2. If the application is operating on behalf of the WebID owner, find a triple in that document with the WebID as subject and pim:preferencesFile as predicate, then load the object of that triple.

Once all of the accessible extended profile documents have been loaded, the profile will consist of all statements with the WebID as subject, regardless of which document the statements occurred in. An application with only public permissions will see only statements from publicly accessible extended profile documents while other apps will see statements from public and also private extended profile documents they have access to.

Private Preferences

The Preferences Document is a resource intended to hold information only accessible to an application that is logged in and authenticated as the WebID owner or as an agent delegated by the WebID owner to act in their behalf. The preference Document can include settings and preferences, and pointers to the owner's personal, private data, be it contacts, pictures or health data. An application operating on behalf of the owner can gather configuration settings from the owner, store them in the Preferences Document, and then read them there on subsequent visits. Such an application might also record private information (for example, a driver's license number) and later, at the direction of the owner, retrieve the information to fill out a form. A Solid WebID Profile Document MUST have exactly one triple with the WebID as subject, pim:preferencesFile as predicate, and the location of the Preferences Document as object. For example:

<?WebID> <> <?PreferencesDocument> .

When an application operating on behalf of the WebID owner cannot discover a pim:preferencesFile triple, and has write and control access, and wishes to write preference data, it could create a document accessible only to the WebID owner. An application that creates a Preference Document can insert a triple in the WebID Profile Document with the WebID as subject, pim:preferencesFile as predicate, and the URL of the created document as object.

Extended Profile Documents

Solid Profile owners may use the rdfs:seeAlso predicate to link to extended profile documents which contain information that they do not want in the WebID Profile Document or in the Preferences Document. This can be done to help organize information - for example to keep all friends (objects of foaf:knows predicates) in a separate rdfs:seeAlso document. It can also be done to limit access to the data - for example to store a phone number where only trusted friends can view it.

Reading Extended Profile Documents

An application wanting to load a complete Solid Profile MUST examine statements in the WebID Profile Document and the Preferences Document that have the WebID as subject, rdfs:seeAlso as predicate and the URL of an Extended Profile Document as object. When the application has loaded those two documents, it SHOULD load the documents specified in the URLs of all rdfs:seeAlso triples found and SHOULD treat all statements in the linked documents that have the WebID as subject as part of the Solid Profile. An application may but can not be expected to load the objects of rdfs:seeAlso triples found in documents that are themselves the object of an rdfs:seeAlso triple. In other words, look in the WebID Profile Document and in the Preferences Document for rdfs:seeAlso triples but don't necessarily follow any additional rdfs:seeAlso triples found in those documents. An application can examine any statement found in the linked documents for other purpose, which are not described by this specification.

Writing Extended Profile Documents

When an application wants to write data in an Extended Profile Document, it SHOULD give the document appropriate permissions depending on the needs of the WebID owner. If the document is meant only for the WebID owner, the app SHOULD create an rdfs:seeAlso triple pointing to it in the Preferences File. If the document is meant for the public or for a restricted audience, the triple SHOULD be created in the WebID Profile Document.

Source: pull/2

Identity Provider

The solid:oidcIssuer predicate denotes a Solid OIDC Identity Provider capable of authenticating the WebID owner. Applications can use the value of solid:oidcIssuer to initiate the login process.


The pim:storage predicate denotes a storage available to the agent to use.

A Solid Profile SHOULD contain at least one triple with the WebID as subject, pim:storage as predicate, and the storage as the object.


A Solid WebID Profile can advertise an inbox with the ldp:inbox property [LDN] to allow applications to send and discover notifications about activities, interactions, and new information for the attention of the owner of the WebID. It is discouraged for Solid WebID Profiles to advertise more than one inbox.

Applications can create an inbox (see resource containment) as needed with desired permissions and policies, and then associate the inbox to a WebID by updating the WebID Profile Document.

Other predicates

A user, a server or an application with appropriate permissions can add triples to profiles using any predicates. This specification covers only those predicates related to resource infrastructure that are in common use at the time of this writing and which we recommend as a standard. Some of the other predicates you might encounter include acl:trustedApp and cert:key. The Interoperability panel is also working on proposals which will add additional infrastructure related predicates to Solid profiles.


Normative References

Dublin Core Metadata Terms, version 1.1. DCMI Usage Board. DCMI. 11 October 2010. DCMI Recommendation. URL:
Fetch Standard. Anne van Kesteren. WHATWG. Living Standard. URL:
Media Types. IANA. URL:
Linked Data Notifications. Sarven Capadisli; Amy Guy. W3C. 2 May 2017. W3C Recommendation. URL:
Linked Data Platform 1.0. Steve Speicher; John Arwe; Ashok Malhotra. W3C. 26 February 2015. W3C Recommendation. URL:
RDF Schema 1.1. Dan Brickley; Ramanathan Guha. W3C. 25 February 2014. W3C Recommendation. URL:
RDF 1.1 Concepts and Abstract Syntax. Richard Cyganiak; David Wood; Markus Lanthaler. W3C. 25 February 2014. W3C Recommendation. URL:
Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels. S. Bradner. IETF. March 1997. Best Current Practice. URL:
Uniform Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax. T. Berners-Lee; R. Fielding; L. Masinter. IETF. January 2005. Internet Standard. URL:
The Web Origin Concept. A. Barth. IETF. December 2011. Proposed Standard. URL:
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Message Syntax and Routing. R. Fielding, Ed.; J. Reschke, Ed.. IETF. June 2014. Proposed Standard. URL:
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Semantics and Content. R. Fielding, Ed.; J. Reschke, Ed.. IETF. June 2014. Proposed Standard. URL:
Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119 Key Words. B. Leiba. IETF. May 2017. Best Current Practice. URL:
SOLID-OIDC. Aaron Coburn; elf Pavlik; Dmitri Zagidulin. W3C Solid Community Group. 28 March 2022. Version 0.1.0. URL:
Solid Protocol. Sarven Capadisli; Tim Berners-Lee; Ruben Verborgh; Kjetil Kjernsmo. W3C Solid Community Group. 17 December 2021. Version 0.9.0. URL:
Web Access Control. Sarven Capadisli. W3C Solid Community Group. 11 July 2021. Draft. URL:
Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One. Ian Jacobs; Norman Walsh. W3C. 15 December 2004. W3C Recommendation. URL:
WebID 1.0. Andrei Sambra; Stéphane Corlosquet. W3C WebID Community Group. 5 March 2014. W3C Editor’s Draft. URL:

Informative References

Making content usable for people with cognitive and learning disabilities. Lisa Seeman-Horwitz; Rachael Bradley Montgomery; Steve Lee; Ruoxi Ran. W3C. 11 December 2020. W3C Working Draft. URL:
Privacy Principles. Robin Berjon; Jeffrey Yasskin. W3C. 12 May 2022. W3C Group Draft Note. URL:
Self-Review Questionnaire: Security and Privacy. Theresa O'Connor; Peter Snyder. W3C. 23 March 2021. W3C Note. URL:
W3C Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 3.0. Jeanne F Spellman; Rachael Bradley Montgomery; Shawn Lauriat; Michael Cooper. W3C. 21 January 2021. W3C Working Draft. URL: