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OpenLDAP for Developers


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 constitutes the first section. In it we look at general concepts of directory servers and LDAP, cover the history of LDAP and the lineage of the OpenLDAP server, and finish up with a technical overview of OpenLDAP. The second section (comprising Chapters 2-7) focuses on building directory services with OpenLDAP. In this section, we take a close look at the OpenLDAP server. We begin in Chapter 2 with the process of installing OpenLDAP on a GNU/Linux server. Once we have the server installed, we do the basic post-installation configuration necessary to have the server running. In Chapter 3, we cover basic use of the OpenLDAP server. We use the OpenLDAP command-line tools to add records to our new directory, search the directory, and modify records. This chapter introduces many of the key concepts involved in working with LDAP data. Chapter 4 covers security, including handling authentication to the directory, configuring Access Control Lists (ACLs), and securing network-based directory connections with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS). In Chapter 5, we look at advanced configuration of the OpenLDAP server. Here, we take a close look at the various back-end database options and also look at performance tuning settings, as well as the recently introduced technology of directory overlays. The focus of Chapter 6 is extending the directory structure by creating and implementing LDAP schemas. Schemas provide a procedure for defining new attributes and structures to extend the directory and provide records tailor-made to your needs. Chapter 7 focuses on directory replication and different ways of getting directory servers to interoperate over a network. OpenLDAP can replicate its directory contents from a master server to any number of subordinate servers. In this chapter, we set up a replication process between two servers. In the third section of the book, we look at how OpenLDAP is integrated with other applications and services on the network. In Chapter 8, we look at configuring other tools to interoperate with OpenLDAP. We begin with the Apache Web server, using LDAP as a source of authentication and authorization. Next, we install phpLDAPadmin, a web-based program for managing directory servers. Then we look at the main features, and do some custom tuning. The appendices include a step-by-step guide to building OpenLDAP from source (Appendix A), a guide to using LDAP URLs (Appendix B), and a compendium of useful LDAP client commands (Appendix C).

About the Author

Matt is a web developer and author. He has previously written five other books for Packt, including two others on Drupal. He is a senior developer for the New York Times Company, where he works on, one of the most traffic-heavy Drupal sites in the world. He is the maintainer of multiple Drupal modules and also heads QueryPath - a jQuery-like PHP library. He blogs occasionally at

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