When installing LDAP in Ubuntu Server 10.04, you have to do a laundry list of items, that all seem so redundant and time consuming... https://help.ubuntu.com/10.04/serverguide/C/openldap-server.html

Assuming that I am using Linux (Ubuntu Server 10.04), what is the easiest way to setup an LDAP server (with SSL)?

I am thinking about creating a Python script to do all the boring stuff for me, but an existing solution w/ a web gui would be best...

EDIT: I want to setup an LDAP server to provide central authentication to a network of Linux workstations. What's the easiest way to do that?


There are projects such as FreeIPA that abstract away (most of) the directory backend (LDAP) from the sysadmin for specific use cases such as "centralized authentication service". FreeIPA is easy to install and you basically don't have to know anything about LDAP to manage users from the CLI or WebUI once installed. Of course, knowing the core technologies is of great importance to supporting such an environment but with that I digress.

What is important to note is that LDAP a generic directory service protocol, it does not define HOW or WHAT you will be storing, you must do this yourself with schemas. Historically, there have been differences among platforms with regards to accepted schemas for any particular purpose (storing users, storing automount info, storing sudoers contents, etc.). Such differences and the generic nature of directory services make it difficult for configuration tools to prescribe one-size-fits-all auto installation.

FreeIPA does this by placing a control/abstraction framework around LDAP, Kerberos and other services and ensuring tight client support with a customized agent (sssd). Less tightly integrated clients can be setup with existing cross-platform legacy agents (krb, pam_ldap).

If you just want a GUI tool to configure the OpenLDAP server with mouse clicks rather than commands, try webmin.

  • Is there anything as good as FreeIPA for Debian based servers? – Soviero Oct 12 '11 at 16:43
  • He stated he was working on Ubuntu. FreeeIPA is Redhat/Fedora only. And the backend administration is more difficult then you think when you have to add more servers. – Squidly Oct 12 '11 at 17:04
  • 3
    For a Debian/Ubuntu compatible FreeIPA alternative, try Zivios. I have no experience with it beside installing a fairly old version only to determine it wasn't suitable for my needs at the time. Regarding FreeIPA, what backend administration is more difficult than I think (and how do you know how difficult I think it is?). – rthomson Oct 14 '11 at 1:55

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