Sun Directory Server Enterprise Edition 7.0 Troubleshooting Guide

Collecting and Analyzing SSL Data

This section provides information about collecting and analyzing data to help you troubleshoot SSL problem, including problems replicating over SSL.

About the ssltap Tool

The Mozilla website provides NSS Security Tools that are helpful for debugging and troubleshooting SSL problems. You can obtain the source-code of the ssltap tools from

The ssltap tool can capture the SSL communications between two systems. You must place the ssltap program between the connection from a Directory Server and an LDAP client. The program behaves like a Directory Server when it communicates with the LDAP client and behaves like the LDAP client when communicating with the Directory Server.

Verifying the Certificates Using dsadm

The certificates database resides instance-path/alias directory. Get the contents of this directory for each server involved in the problem.

For example, to see a list of the certificates that can be used as ns-slapd certificates (certificates with a u,, trust flags) use the dsadm command as follows:

dsadm list-certs instance-path

The command lists the certificates, such as defaultCert, the date from which it is valid, the date it expires, whether it is self-signed, who issued it, and to whom it is issued.

To see information about valid and trusted CA certificates (certificates with CT,, trust flags) use the dsadm command as follows:

dsadm list-certs --ca instance-path

This command provides the certificate alias, its dates of validity and expiration, whether it is built in, who issued it, and to whom it was issued. Verify that the SSL server and client certificates are generated by a certificate authorities that appear in the output of this command.

For detailed information about a particular certificate, use the dsadm command as follows:

dsadm show-cert instance-path certificate-alias

For example, the output of this command appears as follows:

server1 [/var/dsee/instances]> dsadm show-cert ds1 defaultCert
        Version: 3 (0x2)
        Serial Number:
        Signature Algorithm: PKCS #1 MD5 With RSA Encryption
            "CN=server1,CN=Directory Server,"
            Not Before: Fri Mar 23 14:10:51 2007
            Not After : Sat Jun 23 14:10:51 2007
            "CN=server1,CN=Directory Server,"
        Subject Public Key Info:
            Public Key Algorithm: PKCS #1 RSA Encryption
            RSA Public Key:
                Exponent: 65537 (0x10001)
    Signature Algorithm: PKCS #1 MD5 With RSA Encryption
    Fingerprint (MD5):
    Fingerprint (SHA1):

    Certificate Trust Flags:
        SSL Flags:
            Valid CA
            Trusted CA
            Trusted Client CA
        Email Flags:
        Object Signing Flags:

Confirm the validity of the certificate. Also, confirm that the issuer of the certificate is a valid and trusted certificate authority.

Checking Client Authentication Settings

You can configure client authentication to be required or allowed. Verify the setting client authentication settings by using DSCC or by using the dsconf get-server-prop ssl-client-auth-mode command.

Note –

User's of migrated 5.2 instances of Directory Server can verify the client authentication settings by checking the nsSSLClientAuth property in the dse.ldif file.

ProcedureTo Verify Client Authentication Settings Using the DSCC

  1. Go to the Directory Servers tab in the DSCC, and select the server from the table.

  2. Click the Security tab and then the General tab.

  3. In the Client Authentication section, go to LDAP Settings.

    If you want only the SSL server to require the certificate, select Allow Certificate Based Client Authentication.

    If you want both the SSL server and the SSL client to require a certificate, select Require Certificate Based Client Authentication.

Checking the Libraries

Get a list of all the dynamically loaded libraries to see which NSS/SSL and NSPR libraries are being loaded. To get the list of dynamically loaded libraries on Solaris Intel or Linux, use the following command:

# cd install-path/lib; ldd ns-slapd

To get the list of dynamically loaded libraries on Solaris SPARC, Solaris AMD64 or HPUX, use the following command:

# cd install-path/lib/64;  ldd ns-slapd

The dynamically loaded libraries will be located in the following directory:


Verify SSL Communications Using the ssltap Tool

You can use the ssltap tool to check if the hand shake is working on your system. The tool works like an SSL proxy, showing the communications between the LDAP client and the Directory Server and the packages being exchanged. For example, using this tool you might see where the server asks for a certificate but the client does not send the certificate or where the client proposes a cipher suite that the server does not support.

Since the SSL port 636 is hard-coded on the client side, the ssltap tool run on the Directory Server, where it must list on port 636 for incoming client requests. The SSL port of the Directory Server needs to be changed to a number other than 636 while running the ssltap tool.

For example, run ssltap as follows:

ssltap -vhfsxl -p 636 localhost:637 > output.html

After running some simple LDAP request on the client, such as ldaplist, the tool should have captures some SSL packets. Stop the tool by pressing CTRL-C and view the output file in a browser window. The output data is color coded so that data sent by the client is marked in blue and data sent by the server is marked in red.