2. A Quick-Start Guide

The following is a quick start guide to OpenLDAP Software 2.4, including the Standalone LDAP Daemon, slapd(8).

It is meant to walk you through the basic steps needed to install and configure OpenLDAP Software. It should be used in conjunction with the other chapters of this document, manual pages, and other materials provided with the distribution (e.g. the INSTALL document) or on the OpenLDAP web site (http://www.OpenLDAP.org), in particular the OpenLDAP Software FAQ(http://www.OpenLDAP.org/faq/?file=2).

If you intend to run OpenLDAP Software seriously, you should review all of this document before attempting to install the software.

Note: This quick start guide does not use strong authentication nor any integrity or confidential protection services. These services are described in other chapters of the OpenLDAP Administrator’s Guide.


  1. Get the software
    You can obtain a copy of the software by following the instructions on the OpenLDAP Software download page (http://www.openldap.org/software/download/). It is recommended that new users start with the latest release.
  2. Unpack the distribution
    Pick a directory for the source to live under, change directory to there, and unpack the distribution using the following commands:gunzip -c openldap-VERSION.tgz | tar xvfB -
    then relocate yourself into the distribution directory:cd openldap-VERSION
    You’ll have to replace VERSION with the version name of the release.
  3. Review documentation
    You should now review the COPYRIGHTLICENSEREADME and INSTALL documents provided with the distribution. The COPYRIGHT and LICENSE provide information on acceptable use, copying, and limitation of warranty of OpenLDAP Software.You should also review other chapters of this document. In particular, the Building and Installing OpenLDAP Software chapter of this document provides detailed information on prerequisite software and installation procedures.
  4. Run configure
    You will need to run the provided configure script to configure the distribution for building on your system. The configure script accepts many command line options that enable or disable optional software features. Usually the defaults are okay, but you may want to change them. To get a complete list of options that configure accepts, use the --help option:./configure --help
    However, given that you are using this guide, we’ll assume you are brave enough to just let configure determine what’s best:./configure
    Assuming configure doesn’t dislike your system, you can proceed with building the software. If configure did complain, well, you’ll likely need to go to the Software FAQ Installation section (http://www.openldap.org/faq/?file=8) and/or actually read the Building and Installing OpenLDAP Software chapter of this document.
  5. Build the software.
    The next step is to build the software. This step has two parts, first we construct dependencies and then we compile the software:make dependmake
    Both makes should complete without error.
  6. Test the build.
    To ensure a correct build, you should run the test suite (it only takes a few minutes):make test
    Tests which apply to your configuration will run and they should pass. Some tests, such as the replication test, may be skipped.
  7. Install the software.
    You are now ready to install the software; this usually requires super-user privileges:su root -c 'make install'
    Everything should now be installed under /usr/local (or whatever installation prefix was used by configure).
  8. Edit the configuration file.
    Use your favorite editor to edit the provided slapd.conf(5) example (usually installed as /usr/local/etc/openldap/slapd.conf) to contain a BDB database definition of the form:database bdbsuffix "dc=<MY-DOMAIN>,dc=<COM>"

    rootdn "cn=Manager,dc=<MY-DOMAIN>,dc=<COM>"

    rootpw secret

    directory /usr/local/var/openldap-data
    Be sure to replace <MY-DOMAIN> and <COM> with the appropriate domain components of your domain name. For example, for example.com, use:database bdb

    suffix "dc=example,dc=com"

    rootdn "cn=Manager,dc=example,dc=com"

    rootpw secret

    directory /usr/local/var/openldap-data
    If your domain contains additional components, such as eng.uni.edu.eu, use:database bdb

    suffix "dc=eng,dc=uni,dc=edu,dc=eu"

    rootdn "cn=Manager,dc=eng,dc=uni,dc=edu,dc=eu"

    rootpw secret

    directory /usr/local/var/openldap-data
    Details regarding configuring slapd(8) can be found in the slapd.conf(5) manual page and the The slapd Configuration File chapter of this document. Note that the specified directory must exist prior to starting slapd(8).

  9. Start SLAPD.
    You are now ready to start the Standalone LDAP Daemon, slapd(8), by running the command:su root -c /usr/local/libexec/slapd
    To check to see if the server is running and configured correctly, you can run a search against it with ldapsearch(1). By default, ldapsearch is installed as /usr/local/bin/ldapsearch:ldapsearch -x -b '' -s base '(objectclass=*)' namingContexts
    Note the use of single quotes around command parameters to prevent special characters from being interpreted by the shell. This should return:dn:namingContexts: dc=example,dc=com
    Details regarding running slapd(8) can be found in the slapd(8) manual page and the Running slapd chapter of this document.
  10. Add initial entries to your directory.
    You can use ldapadd(1) to add entries to your LDAP directory. ldapadd expects input in LDIF form. We’ll do it in two steps:

    1. create an LDIF file
    2. run ldapadd

    Use your favorite editor and create an LDIF file that contains:dn: dc=<MY-DOMAIN>,dc=<COM>

    objectclass: dcObject

    objectclass: organization


    dc: <MY-DOMAIN>

    dn: cn=Manager,dc=<MY-DOMAIN>,dc=<COM>

    objectclass: organizationalRole

    cn: Manager
    Be sure to replace <MY-DOMAIN> and <COM> with the appropriate domain components of your domain name. <MY ORGANIZATION> should be replaced with the name of your organization. When you cut and paste, be sure to trim any leading and trailing whitespace from the example.dn: dc=example,dc=com

    objectclass: dcObject

    objectclass: organization

    o: Example Company

    dc: example

    dn: cn=Manager,dc=example,dc=com

    objectclass: organizationalRole

    cn: Manager
    Now, you may run ldapadd(1) to insert these entries into your directory.ldapadd -x -D "cn=Manager,dc=<MY-DOMAIN>,dc=<COM>" -W -f example.ldif
    Be sure to replace <MY-DOMAIN> and <COM> with the appropriate domain components of your domain name. You will be prompted for the «secret» specified in slapd.conf. For example, forexample.com, use:ldapadd -x -D "cn=Manager,dc=example,dc=com" -W -f example.ldif
    where example.ldif is the file you created above.
    Additional information regarding directory creation can be found in the Database Creation and Maintenance Tools chapter of this document.

  11. See if it works.
    Now we’re ready to verify the added entries are in your directory. You can use any LDAP client to do this, but our example uses the ldapsearch(1) tool. Remember to replace dc=example,dc=comwith the correct values for your site:ldapsearch -x -b 'dc=example,dc=com' '(objectclass=*)'
    This command will search for and retrieve every entry in the database.

You are now ready to add more entries using ldapadd(1) or another LDAP client, experiment with various configuration options, backend arrangements, etc..

Note that by default, the slapd(8) database grants read access to everybody excepting the super-user (as specified by the rootdn configuration directive). It is highly recommended that you establish controls to restrict access to authorized users. Access controls are discussed in the Access Control chapter. You are also encouraged to read the Security ConsiderationsUsing SASL and Using TLSsections.

The following chapters provide more detailed information on making, installing, and running slapd(8).