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ldap.conf, .ldaprc - LDAP configuration file/environment variables
/etc/openldap/ldap.conf, ldaprc, .ldaprc, $LDAP<option-name>
If the environment variable LDAPNOINIT is defined, all defaulting is
The ldap.conf configuration file is used to set system-wide defaults to
be applied when running ldap clients.
Users may create an optional configuration file, ldaprc or .ldaprc, in
their home directory which will be used to override the system-wide
defaults file. The file ldaprc in the current working directory is
Additional configuration files can be specified using the LDAPCONF and
LDAPRC environment variables. LDAPCONF may be set to the path of a
configuration file. This path can be absolute or relative to the cur-
rent working directory. The LDAPRC, if defined, should be the basename
of a file in the current working directory or in the user's home direc-
Environmental variables may also be used to augment the file based
defaults. The name of the variable is the option name with an added
prefix of LDAP. For example, to define BASE via the environment, set
the variable LDAPBASE to the desired value.
Some options are user-only. Such options are ignored if present in the
ldap.conf (or file specified by LDAPCONF).
Thus the following files and variables are read, in order:
variable $LDAPNOINIT, and if that is not set:
system file /etc/openldap/ldap.conf,
user files $HOME/ldaprc, $HOME/.ldaprc, ./ldaprc,
system file $LDAPCONF,
user files $HOME/$LDAPRC, $HOME/.$LDAPRC, ./$LDAPRC,
variables $LDAP<uppercase option name>.
Settings late in the list override earlier ones.
The configuration options are case-insensitive; their value, on a case
by case basis, may be case-sensitive.
Blank lines are ignored.
Lines beginning with a hash mark (`#') are comments, and ignored.
Valid lines are made of an option's name (a sequence of non-blanks,
conventionally written in uppercase, although not required), followed
by a value. The value starts with the first non-blank character after
the option's name, and terminates at the end of the line, or at the
last sequence of blanks before the end of the line. The tokenization
of the value, if any, is delegated to the handler(s) for that option,
if any. Quoting values that contain blanks may be incorrect, as the
quotes would become part of the value. For example,
# Wrong - erroneous quotes:
URI "ldap:// ldaps://"
# Right - space-separated list of URIs, without quotes:
URI ldap:// ldaps://
# Right - DN syntax needs quoting for Example, Inc:
BASE ou=IT staff,o="Example, Inc",c=US
BASE ou=IT staff,o=Example\2C Inc,c=US
# Wrong - comment on same line as option:
DEREF never # Never follow aliases
A line cannot be longer than LINE_MAX, which should be more than 2000
bytes on all platforms. There is no mechanism to split a long line on
multiple lines, either for beautification or to overcome the above
The different configuration options are:
URI <ldap[si]://[name[:port]] ...>
Specifies the URI(s) of an LDAP server(s) to which the LDAP
library should connect. The URI scheme may be any of ldap,
ldaps or ldapi, which refer to LDAP over TCP, LDAP over SSL
(TLS) and LDAP over IPC (UNIX domain sockets), respectively.
Each server's name can be specified as a domain-style name or an
IP address literal. Optionally, the server's name can followed
by a ':' and the port number the LDAP server is listening on.
If no port number is provided, the default port for the scheme
is used (389 for ldap://, 636 for ldaps://). For LDAP over IPC,
name is the name of the socket, and no port is required, nor
allowed; note that directory separators must be URL-encoded,
like any other characters that are special to URLs; so the
must be specified as
A space separated list of URIs may be provided.
Specifies the default base DN to use when performing ldap opera-
tions. The base must be specified as a Distinguished Name in
Specifies the default bind DN to use when performing ldap opera-
tions. The bind DN must be specified as a Distinguished Name in
LDAP format. This is a user-only option.
Specifies how alias dereferencing is done when performing a
search. The <when> can be specified as one of the following key-
never Aliases are never dereferenced. This is the default.
Aliases are dereferenced in subordinates of the base
object, but not in locating the base object of the
Aliases are only dereferenced when locating the base
object of the search.
always Aliases are dereferenced both in searching and in locat-
ing the base object of the search.
HOST <name[:port] ...>
Specifies the name(s) of an LDAP server(s) to which the
LDAP library should connect. Each server's name can be
specified as a domain-style name or an IP address and
optionally followed by a ':' and the port number the ldap
server is listening on. A space separated list of hosts
may be provided. HOST is deprecated in favor of URI.
Specifies the timeout (in seconds) after which the
poll(2)/select(2) following a connect(2) returns in case
of no activity.
Specifies the default port used when connecting to LDAP
servers(s). The port may be specified as a number. PORT
is deprecated in favor of URI.
Specifies if the client should automatically follow
referrals returned by LDAP servers. The default is on.
Note that the command line tools ldapsearch(1) &co always
override this option.
Specifies a size limit (number of entries) to use when
performing searches. The number should be a non-negative
integer. SIZELIMIT of zero (0) specifies a request for
unlimited search size. Please note that the server may
still apply any server-side limit on the amount of
entries that can be returned by a search operation.
Specifies a time limit (in seconds) to use when perform-
ing searches. The number should be a non-negative inte-
ger. TIMELIMIT of zero (0) specifies unlimited search
time to be used. Please note that the server may still
apply any server-side limit on the duration of a search
Specifies what version of the LDAP protocol should be
Specifies a timeout (in seconds) after which calls to
synchronous LDAP APIs will abort if no response is
received. Also used for any ldap_result(3) calls where a
NULL timeout parameter is supplied.
If OpenLDAP is built with Simple Authentication and Security
Layer support, there are more options you can specify.
Specifies the SASL mechanism to use.
Specifies the SASL realm.
Specifies the authentication identity. This is a user-
Specifies the proxy authorization identity. This is a
Specifies Cyrus SASL security properties. The <proper-
ties> can be specified as a comma-separated list of the
none (without any other properties) causes the proper-
ties defaults ("noanonymous,noplain") to be
disables mechanisms susceptible to simple passive
disables mechanisms susceptible to active attacks.
nodict disables mechanisms susceptible to passive dictio-
disables mechanisms which support anonymous login.
requires forward secrecy between sessions.
requires mechanisms which pass client credentials
(and allows mechanisms which can pass credentials
to do so).
specifies the minimum acceptable security strength
factor as an integer approximating the effective
key length used for encryption. 0 (zero) implies
no protection, 1 implies integrity protection
only, 56 allows DES or other weak ciphers, 112
allows triple DES and other strong ciphers, 128
allows RC4, Blowfish and other modern strong
ciphers. The default is 0.
specifies the maximum acceptable security strength
factor as an integer (see minssf description).
The default is INT_MAX.
specifies the maximum security layer receive
buffer size allowed. 0 disables security layers.
The default is 65536.
Do not perform reverse DNS lookups to canonicalize SASL
host names. The default is off.
If OpenLDAP is built with Generic Security Services Application
Programming Interface support, there are more options you can
Specifies if GSSAPI signing (GSS_C_INTEG_FLAG) should be
used. The default is off.
Specifies if GSSAPI encryption (GSS_C_INTEG_FLAG and
GSS_C_CONF_FLAG) should be used. The default is off.
Specifies if GSSAPI based authentication should try to
form the target principal name out of the ldapServiceName
or dnsHostName attribute of the targets RootDSE entry.
The default is off.
If OpenLDAP is built with Transport Layer Security support,
there are more options you can specify. These options are used
when an ldaps:// URI is selected (by default or otherwise) or
when the application negotiates TLS by issuing the LDAP StartTLS
Specifies the file that contains certificates for all of
the Certificate Authorities the client will recognize.
Specifies the path of a directory that contains Certifi-
cate Authority certificates in separate individual files.
The TLS_CACERT is always used before TLS_CACERTDIR. This
parameter is ignored with GnuTLS.
When using Mozilla NSS, <path> may contain a Mozilla NSS
cert/key database. If <path> contains a Mozilla NSS
cert/key database and CA cert files, OpenLDAP will use
the cert/key database and will ignore the CA cert files.
Specifies the file that contains the client certificate.
This is a user-only option.
When using Mozilla NSS, if using a cert/key database
(specified with TLS_CACERTDIR), TLS_CERT specifies the
name of the certificate to use:
TLS_CERT Certificate for Sam Carter
If using a token other than the internal built in token,
specify the token name first, followed by a colon:
TLS_CERT my hardware device:Certificate for Sam Carter
Use certutil -L to list the certificates by name:
certutil -d /path/to/certdbdir -L
Specifies the file that contains the private key that
matches the certificate stored in the TLS_CERT file. Cur-
rently, the private key must not be protected with a
password, so it is of critical importance that the key
file is protected carefully. This is a user-only option.
When using Mozilla NSS, TLS_KEY specifies the name of a
file that contains the password for the key for the cer-
tificate specified with TLS_CERT. The modutil command
can be used to turn off password protection for the
cert/key database. For example, if TLS_CACERTDIR speci-
fies /home/scarter/.moznss as the location of the
cert/key database, use modutil to change the password to
the empty string:
modutil -dbdir ~/.moznss -changepw 'NSS Certificate DB'
You must have the old password, if any. Ignore the WARN-
ING about the running browser. Press 'Enter' for the new
Specifies acceptable cipher suite and preference order.
<cipher-suite-spec> should be a cipher specification for
the TLS library in use (OpenSSL, GnuTLS, or Mozilla NSS).
To check what ciphers a given spec selects in OpenSSL,
openssl ciphers -v <cipher-suite-spec>
With GnuTLS the available specs can be found in the man-
ual page of gnutls-cli(1) (see the description of the
In older versions of GnuTLS, where gnutls-cli does not
support the option --priority, you can obtain the -- more
limited -- list of ciphers by calling:
When using Mozilla NSS, the OpenSSL cipher suite specifi-
cations are used and translated into the format used
internally by Mozilla NSS. There isn't an easy way to
list the cipher suites from the command line. The
authoritative list is in the source code for Mozilla NSS
in the file sslinfo.c in the structure
static const SSLCipherSuiteInfo suiteInfo
Specifies minimum SSL/TLS protocol version that will be
negotiated. If the server doesn't support at least that
version, the SSL handshake will fail. To require TLS 1.x
or higher, set this option to 3.(x+1), e.g.,
would require TLS 1.1. Specifying a minimum that is
higher than that supported by the OpenLDAP implementation
will result in it requiring the highest level that it
does support. This parameter is ignored with GnuTLS.
Specifies the file to obtain random bits from when
/dev/[u]random is not available. Generally set to the
name of the EGD/PRNGD socket. The environment variable
RANDFILE can also be used to specify the filename. This
parameter is ignored with GnuTLS and Mozilla NSS.
Specifies what checks to perform on server certificates
in a TLS session, if any. The <level> can be specified as
one of the following keywords:
never The client will not request or check any server
allow The server certificate is requested. If no cer-
tificate is provided, the session proceeds nor-
mally. If a bad certificate is provided, it will
be ignored and the session proceeds normally.
try The server certificate is requested. If no cer-
tificate is provided, the session proceeds nor-
mally. If a bad certificate is provided, the ses-
sion is immediately terminated.
demand | hard
These keywords are equivalent. The server certifi-
cate is requested. If no certificate is provided,
or a bad certificate is provided, the session is
immediately terminated. This is the default set-
Specifies if the Certificate Revocation List (CRL) of the
CA should be used to verify if the server certificates
have not been revoked. This requires TLS_CACERTDIR param-
eter to be set. This parameter is ignored with GnuTLS and
Mozilla NSS. <level> can be specified as one of the fol-
none No CRL checks are performed
peer Check the CRL of the peer certificate
all Check the CRL for a whole certificate chain
Specifies the file containing a Certificate Revocation
List to be used to verify if the server certificates have
not been revoked. This parameter is only supported with
GnuTLS and Mozilla NSS.
disable all defaulting
path of a configuration file
LDAPRC basename of ldaprc file in $HOME or $CWD
Set <option-name> as from ldap.conf
system-wide ldap configuration file
user ldap configuration file
local ldap configuration file
ldap(3), ldap_set_option(3), ldap_result(3), openssl(1), sasl(3)
Kurt Zeilenga, The OpenLDAP Project
OpenLDAP Software is developed and maintained by The OpenLDAP
Project <http://www.openldap.org/>. OpenLDAP Software is
derived from the University of Michigan LDAP 3.3 Release.
OpenLDAP 2.4.50 2020/04/28 LDAP.CONF(5)