The Solaris LDAP naming service uses the LDAP repository as a source of both a naming service and as an authentication service. This section discusses the concepts of client identity, authentication methods, pam_ldap and pam_unix modules, and password management.
To access the information stored in the LDAP repository, clients can first establish identity with the directory server. This identity can be either anonymous or as an object recognized by the LDAP server. Based on the client's identity and the server's Access Control Information (ACI), the LDAP server will allow the client to read or write directory information. For more information on ACIs, consult the iPlanet Directory Server 5.1 Administrator's Guide.
If the client is connecting as anything other than anonymous for any given request, the client must prove its identity to the server using an authentication method supported by both the client and server. Once the client has established its identity, it can then make the various LDAP requests.
Keep in mind that there is a distinction between how the naming service and the authentication service (pam_ldap) authenticate to the directory. The naming service will read various entries and their attributes from the directory based on predefined identity. The authentication service (pam_ldap) which establishes whether the user has entered the correct password by using that user's name and password to authenticate to the LDAP server.