Mastering OpenLDAP
Configuring, Securing and Integrating Directory Services
By Matt Butcher
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Final Release Date: August 2007
Pages: 484

In Detail

This book is the ideal introduction to using OpenLDAP for Application Developers and will also benefit System Administrators running OpenLDAP. It prepares the reader to build a directory using OpenLDAP, and then employ this directory in the context of the network, taking a practical approach that emphasizes how to get things done. On occasion, it delves into theoretical aspects of LDAP, but only where understanding the theory helps to answer practical questions. The reader requires no knowledge of OpenLDAP, but even readers already familiar with the technology will find new things and techniques.

This book is organized into three major sections: the first section covers the basics of LDAP directory services and the OpenLDAP server; the second focuses on building directory services with OpenLDAP; in the third section of the book, we look at how OpenLDAP is integrated with other applications and services on the network. This book not only demystifies OpenLDAP, but gives System Administrators and Application Developers a solid understanding of how to make use of OpenLDAP's directory services.

The OpenLDAP directory server is a mature product that has been around (in one form or another) since 1995. It is an open-source server that provides network clients with directory services. All major Linux distributions include the OpenLDAP server, and many major applications, both open-source and proprietary, are directory aware and can make use of the services provided by OpenLDAP.

The OpenLDAP directory server can be used to store organizational information in a centralized location, and make this information available to authorized applications. Client applications connect to OpenLDAP using the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and can then search the directory and (if they have appropriate access) modify and manipulate records.

LDAP servers are most frequently used to provide network-based authentication services for users; but there are many other uses for an LDAP server, including using the directory as an address book, a DNS database, an organizational tool, or even as a network object store for applications.


This book has been written from the application developer's perspective, tackling the topics that will be most important to helping the application developer understand OpenLDAP, and get it set up as securely and quickly as possible. It shows how OpenLDAP interoperates with other UNIX/Linux services (DNS, NIS, Samba, etc.).

Who this book is for

The target audience will require basic Linux system administration knowledge, but no prior knowledge of LDAP or OpenLDAP is assumed. If you are web savvy and are interested in using OpenLDAP for web applications and services like client interaction then this is the book for you

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oreillyMastering OpenLDAP

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Useful, good place to start.

By Dale

from Norman, OK

About Me Hobbyist, Sys Admin

Verified Buyer


  • Helpful examples
  • Informative
  • Useful


  • Not comprehensive enough

Best Uses

  • Novice

Comments about oreilly Mastering OpenLDAP:

I bought this book for four basic reasons: I work for an organization that uses OpenLDAP as a free alternative to active directory. I wanted to learn how to use and manage OpenLDAP. I had good luck with Packt's OpenVPN book several years ago. I also use use Debian Linux at home. Overall, there is a lot of good foundational knowledge to be gained as well as some reference value. My chief complaint is that the book did not have specific examples of how to configure a slapd-config ldap server using ldapmodify, but had sufficient pointers to man pages which enabled me to learn more quickly than without the book. I would suggest that each section dealing with configuring the server treat both slapd.conf as it currently does along with the slapd-config (slapd.d) method.

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