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Oracle® Identity Management User Reference
10g Release 2 (10.1.2)
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A.1 General LDIF Formatting Rules

LDIF formats are defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in RFC 2849. Visit the IETF Web site at for more information about LDIF formatting rules. This section explains some general rules for formatting LDIF files.

A.1.1 Line Types and White Space

Each line in an LDIF file must be correctly formatted in order to be read by the Oracle Internet Directory command-line tools. White space and line breaks must be used carefully.

Each line in an LDIF file is terminated with a line feed, which is <LF> on UNIX or <CR><LF> on Windows. In LDIF you can have the following types of lines:

  • Directive Line - Any line that does not begin with either a SPACE or # (hash). A directive line specifies either some type of data in an entry or an operation to perform.

  • Continuation Line - A line that begins with a SPACE denotes that the characters following the space are part of the previous line.

  • Blank Line - Blank lines are used to separate entries and are typically created with the ENTER key.

  • Comment Line - A comment line begins with a # (hash). Comments are ignored by the Oracle Internet Directory command-line tools.

  • Separator Line - A line that starts with a - (dash) character is used to end an operation. It denotes that the next line begins a new operation directive.

Unnecessary space characters in the LDIF input file, such as a space at the end of an attribute value, will cause the LDAP operations to fail.

A.1.2 Sequencing of Entries

The sequence of entries in your LDIF file must follow the Directory Information Tree (DIT) from the top down. Parent entries should be listed before their children entries. Any attributes or object classes used in an entry must exist in the schema or be added to the schema before they can be used. Separate entries with a blank line.

A.1.3 Binary Files

Reference binary files, such as photographs, with the absolute address of the file proceeded by a \ (forward slash).

A.1.4 Non-Printing Characters in Attribute Values

Non-printing characters and tabs are represented in attribute values as base-64 encoding.