Differences between revisions 77 and 78
Revision 77 as of 2011-12-19 04:23:32
Size: 8712
Editor: ?RobFantini
Revision 78 as of 2012-02-21 09:10:32
Size: 8792
Editor: ?EricDeplagne
Deletions are marked like this. Additions are marked like this.
Line 86: Line 86:
(does this apply to slapd of Squeeze? I do not think so. rf) (does this apply to slapd of Squeeze? I do not think so. rf) (slapd of squeeze won't reed slapd.conf whatsoever, only slapd.d aka cn=config)

Setting up an LDAP server with OpenLDAP

==TO DO== most of this page does not easily apply to ldap in squeeze. as of slapd 2.4.23 things changed a lot. I've found that most of the docs available in searches for ldap setup are for an older set up.

so this page and others need to be updated for Squeeze , Wheezy and the future.

Install the OpenLDAP package slapd

Install the package with:

  # apt-get install slapd

answering the prompts as follows:

Note: if you don't get these options use dpkg-reconfigure -plow slapd after installation. With the latest version, it only asks you for admin user password and none of the rest, because the DNS domain name is taken from configured machine FQDN name.

  • For the DNS domain name, enter your domain name. This will be translated to an LDAP DN (for example, 'example.com' would become 'dc=example, dc=com'). This becomes what is known as your BaseDN, the root of your database.

  • For your organization you can enter any string; this becomes associated to the 'o' field of your BaseDN record.

  • Next enter your LDAP administrator password twice. This will set the password for 'cn=admin, BaseDN' and give 'cn=admin, BaseDN' write access to everything in your LDAP tree.

  • Accept the default of No to the question Allow LDAPv2 protocol.

  • Use the default database backend.

For querying the LDAP server utilities like ldapsearch are available. See the LDAP/LDAPUtils topic for more details.

Missing slapd.conf?

Since version 2.4.23-3 the configuration of OpenLDAP has been changed to /etc/ldap/slapd.d by default. The OpenLDAP packages in Debian provide an automatic migration to the new configuration style. With the new configuration style it is possible to change values on the fly without restarting slapd. Changes are made through the use of ldif files and ldap{add,modify}. In Debian you can use the following command to search the configuration:

  • ldapsearch -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -b "cn=config"
  • To modify configuration use the command:
    • ldapmodify -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -f <file.ldif>

For configuration options see the several manpages that exist or the documentation provided upstream.

The use of slapd.conf remains possible (optional).

For better performance do more indexing than the default.

Modify /etc/ldap/slapd.conf to contain the following:

index   objectClass             eq
index   cn                      pres,sub,eq
index   sn                      pres,sub,eq
index   uid                     pres,sub,eq
index   displayName             pres,sub,eq
index   default                 sub
index   uidNumber               eq
index   gidNumber               eq
index   mail,givenName          eq,subinitial
index   dc                      eq

After any new indexes have been defined or other major database changes have been made (e.g. slapadd was used) it is best to recreate the indexes. Note that you should stop slapd before recreating the indexes and should fix the permissions afterward.

  # /etc/init.d/slapd stop
  # slapindex
  # chown -R openldap:openldap /var/lib/ldap
  # /etc/init.d/slapd start

Configuring 'chsh' and 'chfn' to work with LDAP

Edit '/etc/ldap/slapd.conf' to allow access for users to update their loginShell and gecos entries by adding the following before the 'access to *' entry:

access to attrs=loginShell,gecos
      by dn="cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com" write
      by self write
      by * read

For SAMBA LDAP support

For Samba LDAP, slapd needs the Samba schema. The Debian package seems to have a samba.schema file which is old and out of date, and a samba.schema.gz file which is actually the correct one. Do the following (as root):

 # this package contains samba.schema.gz :
 aptitude install samba-doc

 zcat /usr/share/doc/samba-doc/examples/LDAP/samba.schema.gz > /etc/ldap/schema/samba.schema

Now add the following line to /etc/ldap/slapd.conf after the other includes. (does this apply to slapd of Squeeze? I do not think so. rf) (slapd of squeeze won't reed slapd.conf whatsoever, only slapd.d aka cn=config)

include /etc/ldap/schema/samba.schema

And restart slapd:

  # /etc/init.d/slapd restart

Access controls for subtree-specific LDAP Admins

If you choose to use LDAP for many functions, such as having a single server for DNS, Authentication, and networking flat file database replacement, you may wish to have LDAP administrative users for each subtree in addition to the global admin (dn="cn=admin, dc=example, dc=com). The following example is useful when using a separate authentication tree which includes Samba.

 # The manager dn has full write access to the auth subtree
 # Everyone else has read access to not otherwise protected fields and entries
 access to dn.sub="ou=auth,dc=example,dc=com"
         by dn="cn=Manager,ou=auth,dc=example,dc=com" write
         by * read

Configuring LDAPS

Configuring the certificate (and possibly the CA used) in /etc/ldap/slapd.conf:

TLSCACertificateFile    /etc/ssl/certs/whaterver_ca_you_use.pem
TLSCertificateKeyFile   /etc/ssl/private/example.com.pem.pem
TLSCertificateFile      /etc/ssl/certs/example.com.pem

By default, slapd runs as user/group openldap, so it can't read the key file. On Debian Lenny, the preferred solution to this dilemma seems to be to chown the key to root:ssl-cert, set permissions to 640 and add the user openldap to group ssl-cert.


In slapd debug output:

[...] TLS: could not set cipher list HIGH:MEDIUM:-SSLv2.  (or similar)

In /var/log/syslog:

[...] main: TLS init def ctx failed: -1


If you try to install the OpenLDAP server (slapd) with Debian Lenny, it comes compiled against the GnuTLS library. It means you cannot use an OpenSSL style directive like TLSCipherSuite HIGH:MEDIUM:-SSLv2 in slapd.conf.


In squeeze we had the same error , and it was solved by adding openldap to the ssl-cert group.

usermod -a -G ssl-cert openldap

In /etc/ldap/slapd.conf, either comment out TLSCipherSuite option to let gnutls choose rather sane default for you, or use something like:


To get all the supported GnuTLS cipher suite names:

# aptitude install gnutls-bin
# man gnutls-cli

And skip to TLS/SSL control options section of man page.

To use only 256 bit cyphers, use this (paranoiac?) setting:


Another useful tool to test server-supported TLS options is to use gnutls-cli-debug. First add ldaps:/// string to the SLAPD_SERVICES option in /etc/default/slapd, restart slapd and then run

gnutls-cli-debug -p 636 <fqdn_of_you_ldap_host>

That will show you cryptographic suits your LDAP server supports.

Symptoms (round 2)

If you are getting messages such as

slapd TLS: can't connect: A TLS packet with unexpected length was received..


Could not negotiate a supported cipher suite.

take a wander by this.


How did you generate your certificates? If you generated them using OpenSSL, you're going to run into problems. Debian switched over to using gnutls a while ago, and it doesn't play nice with OpenSSL certificates. So, to fix this, check out the next section.

NOTE: On Debian Squeeze openldap is linked with gnutls as well, but works just fine with certificate generated by openssl.


You're going to need the gnutls certificate generator: certtool.

Run these two commands to generate a new self-signed key (into the current working directory):

certtool --generate-privkey --outfile ca-key.pem
certtool --generate-self-signed --load-privkey ca-key.pem --outfile ca-cert.pem

Then, update your certificate locations in /etc/ldap/slapd.conf (TLSCertificateFile points to ca-cert.pem and TLSCertificateKeyFile points to ca-key.pem), comment out TLSCACertificateFile, and change TLSVerifyClient to never.

In /etc/ldap/ldap.conf, comment out TLS_CACERT and change TLS_REQCERT to never.

Since the certificate is self-signed, we can't have gnutls trying to verify it (hence the never), otherwise it will never run.

Then restart your services, and you're good (assuming all your links point properly to ldaps://url/).