Symas OpenLDAP Knowledge Base

Enable Linux Logins Using LDAP Credentials

These instructions apply to RedHat/CentOS, Debian/Ubuntu and SuSE.

Start by adding the following to /opt/symas/etc/openldap/ldap.conf located on the LDAP server

    sudo vi /opt/symas/etc/openldap/ldap.conf
    BASE dc=example,dc=com
    URI ldapi:///
    TLS_CACERT /opt/symas/ssl/CACert.pem

Note: The TLS_CACERT is unnecessary if not using SSL Certificate/Key pairs for encrypted connectivity.

The settings in the ldap.conf file are global for all connections to the LDAP server.

Configure nsswitch.conf

Next, update the /etc/nsswitch.conf file with the following:

    sudo vi /etc/nsswitch.conf
    passwd:          compat ldap 
    group:           compat ldap 
    shadow:          compat ldap 
    gshadow:         files
    hosts:           files dns hostname
    # mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns myhostname 
    networks:        files
    protocols:       db files
    services:        db files
    ethers:          db files
    rpc:             db files
    netgroup:        nis

If the user is not in the LDAP database, /etc/passwd will be used instead.

Install nslcd and nscd

Install Commands

Run the follow commands as sudo.

RedHat Linux and CentOS

    yum nss-pam-ldapd nscd -y

Debian and Ubuntu

    apt-get install nslcd nscd --y


    zypper nss-pam-ldapd nscd

Configure nscd and nslcd


The defaults in /etc/nscd.conf are acceptable. No changes are required


Configure /etc/nslcd.conf as follows:

    sudo vi /etc/nslcd.conf
    # The user and group nslcd should run as.
    uid nslcd
    gid nslcd
    # The location at which the LDAP server(s) should be reachable. If this is the local box
    # this can be the ldapi:///
    uri ldap://
    # The search base that will be used for all queries.
    base dc=example,dc=com
    # The LDAP protocol version to use.
    ldap_version 3
    # The DN to bind with for normal lookups. Do not binddn
    uid=system-authority,ou=applications,dc=example,dc=com bindpw <This
    password must be plain text. Protect this file.>
    # The DN used for password modifications by root. (Optional)
    #rootpwmoddn dc=example,dc=com
    #rootpwmodpw <This password must be plain text. Protect this file.>
    # SSL options (optional)
    #ssl off
    #tls_reqcert try
    tls_cacertfile /etc/ssl/certs/<ldap server CA>.crt
    # The search scope.
    scope sub
    nss_initgroups_ignoreusers ALLLOCAL

CA Certificate

Copy the CA.crt file from the LDAP server to /etc/ssl/certs/ on the local client.

Enable NSLCD Service

    update-rc.d nslcd enable

Restart NSCD & NSLCD Services

    /etc/init.d/nscd restart

    /etc/init.d/nslcd restart

Test Connectivity

Use the getent command to test local connectivity using ldap credentials:

    getent passwd | grep <ldap uid> 

You should get the result twice. If so the nsswitch works fine. See my responses below as an example:

    jtrupp:x:1000:1000:Jason Trupp,,,:/home/jtrupp:/bin/bash
    jtrupp:x:2029:2029:Jason Trupp:/home/jtrupp:/bin/bash