29 Managing Administrative Users

This chapter describes how to manage multiple root users and the privilege subsystem. It also provides instructions for configuring and maintaining the various user accounts required to administer your server securely.

This chapter contains the following sections:

29.1 Before You Begin

Oracle Unified Directory provides a flexible Privilege Subsystem that allows you to configure root users, Global Administrators, and administrators for your server. You can configure multiple root users and assign different root privileges to each administrator. For administrative domains, you can also configure multiple Global Administrators to manage administrative domains in your network or in a replicated environment.

Before you start using the procedures provided in this chapter, you must determine the following guidelines for your server:

  • Number of root users, their privileges, and resource limits, if any.

  • Number of administrators, their privileges, and resource limits, if any.

  • Guidelines for user accounts on your system.

  • Password policies for the server and for specific groups of users.

29.2 About Root Users

Oracle Unified Directory provides one default root DN or root user, "cn=Directory Manager". The default root DN is a user entry assigned with specialized privileges including full read and write access to all data in the server. Comparable to a UNIX root user or superuser, the root DN can bypass access controls to perform tasks on the server. The root user is defined below the "cn=Root DNs,cn=config" branch of the server at cn=Directory Manager,cn=Root DNs,cn=config.

Root users differ from regular user entries in the following ways:

  • Configuration. Root users are the only user accounts that can exist in the server configuration (cn=config).

  • Privilege inheritance. Root users automatically inherit the set of default root user privileges. Regular users do not automatically receive any privileges unless explicitly granted. You can grant privileges using real, virtual root-privilege-name attributes, or both in the entry.

  • Lockdown mode. Root users are the only users who can cause the server to enter or leave lockdown mode, and only over the loopback interface.

29.2.1 Working With Multiple Root Users

The server supports multiple root users who have their own entries and their own set of credentials on the server. This allows you to assign privileges to a user who might need root access for a particular task, but might not need the full set of root user privileges. With each entry, you can assign strong authentication such as the GSSAPI SASL mechanism, password policies, or add resource limits (if your schema allows it) to one root user while having a completely different configuration for another root user.

The Privilege Subsystem supports the configuration of multiple root users.

29.2.2 Root Users and the Privilege Subsystem

The Privilege Subsystem allows you to assign refined privileges to users who might require only a specific set of root user access privileges. Root users are automatically granted a set of privileges defined in the default-root-privilege-name attribute in the "cn=Root DNs,cn=config" subtree.

The Privilege Subsystem is independent from the Access Control Subsystem, but some operations might be subject to access controls.

The following set of privileges are automatically assigned to the root user.

Privilege Description
backend-backup Allows the user to request the back-end backup task.
backend-restore Allows the user to request the back-end restore task.
bypass-acl Allows the user to bypass access control evaluation.
bypass-lockdown Allows the associated user to bypass server lockdown mode.
cancel-request Allows the user to cancel arbitrary client requests.
config-read Allows the user to have read access to the server configuration.
config-write Allows the user to have write access to the server configuration.
disconnect-client Allows the user to terminate arbitrary client connections.
ldif-export Allows the user to request the LDIF export task.
ldif-import Allows the user to request the LDIF import task.
modify-acl Allows the user to make changes to access control instructions defined in the server.
password-reset Allows the user to reset the user passwords.
privilege-change Allows the user to change the set of privileges assigned to a user, or to change the set of default root privileges.
server-restart Allows the user to request the server restart task.
server-shutdown Allows the user to request the server shutdown task.
subentry-write Allows the associated user to perform LDAP subentry write operations.
unindexed-search Allows the user to request unindexed search operations.
update-schema Allows the user to update the server schema.

The following privileges can be assigned to the root user.

Privilege Description
jmx-notify Allows the user to subscribe to JMX notifications.
jmx-read Allows the user to read JMX attribute values.
jmx-write Allows the user to update JMX attribute values.
proxied-auth Allows the user to use the proxied authorization control or to request an alternate SASL authorization ID.

29.3 Managing Root Users With dsconfig

Use the dsconfig command to manage root users. For more information, see Section 17.1, "Managing the Server Configuration Using dsconfig."

29.3.1 Viewing the Default Root User Privileges

The default root user has various privileges, which are stored as values of the default-root-privilege-name property.

  1. View the default root user privileges by running the following dsconfig command:

    $ dsconfig -h localhost -p 4444 -D "cn=directory manager" -j pwd-file -n \
    Property                    : Value(s)
    default-root-privilege-name : backend-backup, backend-restore, bypass-acl, 
                                : cancel-request, config-read, config-write,
                                : disconnect-client, ldif-export, ldif-import, 
                                : modify-acl, password-reset, privilege-change,
                                : server-restart, server-shutdown,
                                : unindexed-search, update-schema

29.3.2 Editing the Default Root User Privileges

The easiest way to manage root user privileges is to use dsconfig in interactive mode. Interactive mode walks you through the root user configuration, and is therefore not documented here.

To add or remove privileges for the default root user, add or remove the values of the default-root-privilege-name property. This property can hold the following values:

  • backend-backup

  • backend-restore

  • bypass-acl

  • cancel-request

  • config-read

  • config-write

  • disconnect-client

  • jmx-notify

  • jmx-read

  • jmx-write

  • ldif-export

  • ldif-import

  • modify-acl

  • password-reset

  • privilege-change

  • proxied-auth

  • server-restart

  • server-shutdown

  • unindexed-search

  • update-schema

The following example adds the jmx-notify privilege to the default root user, by using dsconfig in non-interactive mode.

Run the dsconfig command as follows:

$ dsconfig -h localhost -p 4444 -D "cn=directory manager" -j pwd-file -n \
  set-root-dn-prop --add default-root-privilege-name:jmx-notify

29.3.3 Creating a Root User

Root users are stored below the entry cn=Root DNs,cn=config. To create a new root user, create the entry in LDIF and add it by using the ldapmodify command.


The cn=config suffix is available only through the administration connector, and must therefore be accessed over SSL, through the administration port.

Root users automatically inherit the set of default root user privileges on the server. For information about adding or removing privileges for a specific root user, see Section 29.3.5, "Changing a Root User's Privileges."

To create a root user:

  1. Create the root user entry below the cn=Root DNs,cn=config entry.

    The following LDIF file represents a new root user named "Administration Manager". The entry is saved in a file named add-root-user.ldif.

    dn: cn=MyRootUser,cn=Root DNs,cn=config
    objectClass: inetOrgPerson
    objectClass: person
    objectClass: top
    objectClass: ds-cfg-root-dn-user
    objectClass: organizationalPerson
    userPassword: password
    cn: MyRootUser
    sn: MyRootUser
    ds-cfg-alternate-bind-dn: cn=MyRootUser
    givenName: Directory
  2. Use the ldapmodify command to add the entry.

    $ ldapmodify -h localhost -p 4444 -D "cn=Directory Manager" -j pwd-file \
      --useSSL --defaultAdd --filename "add-root-user.ldif"
    Processing ADD request for cn=MyRootUser,cn=Root DNs,cn=config
    ADD operation successful for DN cn=MyRootUser,cn=Root DNs,cn=config
  3. Use the ldapsearch command to display all the root users defined in the server.

    $ ldapsearch -p 4444 -b "cn=root DNs,cn=config" -D "cn=directory manager" -j pwd-file \
    --useSSL "objectclass=*" dn
    dn: cn=Root DNs,cn=config
    dn: cn=MyRootUser,cn=Root DNs,cn=config
    dn: cn=Directory Manager,cn=Root DNs,cn=config

29.3.4 Changing a Root User's Password

  1. Create a password in a secure file.

  2. Use ldappasswordmodify to change the password.

    $ ldappasswordmodify -h localhost -p 4444 -D "cn=MyRootUser" -j pwd-file \
      --useSSL --newPasswordFile rootuser_pwd.txt
    The LDAP password modify operation was successful

29.3.5 Changing a Root User's Privileges

If you want to have a different set of privileges for a specific root user, add the ds-privilege-name attribute to that root user's entry.

The following example gives the root user "cn=MyRootUser,cn=Root DNs,cn=config" the ability to use proxied authorization. The example removes the ability to change user privileges or access the configuration. The minus sign before the privilege indicates that the privilege is being removed rather than granted.

  1. Apply the following LDIF statement to the root user's entry:

    dn: cn=MyRootUser,cn=Root DNs,cn=config
    changetype: modify
    add: ds-privilege-name
    ds-privilege-name: proxied-auth
    ds-privilege-name: -config-read
    ds-privilege-name: -config-write 

    In this example, the root user "cn=MyRootUser,cn=Root DNs,cn=config" would inherit all privileges automatically granted to root users with the exception of the config-read and config-write privileges. The user would also be given the proxied-auth privilege.

29.4 Setting Root User Resource Limits

You can set resource limits on the server for search operations by using the operational attributes on the client application that is binding to the server. The following resource limits are available:

  • Look-through limit. Specify the maximum number of entries that can be examined during a single search operation. Use the ds-rlim-lookthrough-limit operational attribute.

  • Size limit. Specify the maximum number of entries that can be returned in a single search operation. Use the ds-rlim-size-limit operational attribute.

  • Time limit. Specify the maximum length of time in seconds that the server can spend processing a search operation. Use the ds-rlim-time-limit operational attribute.

The following LDIF update statement sets resource limits for the new root user created in the previous section. This statement should be applied to the root user's entry.

dn: cn=MyRootUser,cn=Root DNs,cn=config
changetype: modify
add: ds-rlim-lookthrough-limit
ds-rlim-lookthrough-limit: 1000
add: ds-rlim-size-limit
ds-rlim-size-limit: 500
add: ds-rlim-time-limit
ds-rlim-time-limit: 300

To set a particular resource limit to unlimited, set the value of the corresponding attribute to 0 (zero).

29.5 Managing Administrators

An administrator generally has broader rights and permissions than most users. By default, administrators are not replicated because they are stored in the OUD configuration. You can create several administrators, each with different access controls and resource limits.

When you set up replication servers using the graphical installer or the dsreplication command, you are prompted to set a user name and password for the Global Administrator. The Global Administrator is responsible for managing and maintaining administrative server domains in replicated environments.


Only root users can bind to the administration port because administrative binds are resolved with root dns from cn=config.

29.5.1 Viewing the Global Administrator Entry

The Global Administrator created for the replication exists in the cn=Administrators,cn=admin data subtree, so it is replicated and can be used with every OUD instance of a replicated topology.

To view the Global Administrator entry, run the following ldapsearch command:

$ ldapsearch -h localhost -p 4444 -D "cn=Directory Manager" -j pwd-file \
  --useSSL -b "cn=Administrators,cn=admin data" -s sub "(objectclass=*)"
dn: cn=Administrators,cn=admin data
objectClass: top
objectClass: groupofurls
description: Group of identities which have full access.
cn: Administrators
memberURL: ldap:///cn=Administrators,cn=admin data??one?(objectclass=*)
dn: cn=admin,cn=Administrators,cn=admin data
objectClass: person
objectClass: top
userPassword: {SSHA}+ed1wbhcWjxtv2zJ6OHEA2TuE9n1qIJGnuR94w==
description: The Administrator that can manage all the OUD instances.
cn: admin 

29.5.2 Creating Administrators with Limited Privileges

The Global Administrator created for the replication has the full set of administrator privileges. In some situations, it might be useful to create additional administrators having only a subset of administrator rights. For example, a Monitor Administrator would have the privilege to read the OUD configuration, but would not be able to modify it. Custom administrators are stored in a replicated suffix cn=admin data. Like Global Administrators, custom administrators are replicated.

To create an administrator with limited privileges, create your own administrator container node in the cn=admin data suffix:

./ldapmodify -a -p 4444 -Z -X -D "cn=directory manager"  -w ****
dn: cn= my admins,cn=admin data
objectclass: top
objectClass: ds-cfg-branch
dn: cn=monitor,cn=my admins,cn=admin data
objectClass: person
cn: monitor
sn: monitor 
userpassword: ****

At this stage, it is possible to use these credentials (cn=monitor,cn=my admins,cn=admin data) with dsconfig. The dsconfig command can authenticate that user, however the administrator won't be able to read the configuration because the administration does not have the privilege to do so. The dsconfig command reports the following error during navigation in the configuration:

The Administration Connector could not be modified because you do not 
have the correct authorization

You must assign the appropriate privileges giving the administrator the right to perform the desired actions. In the previous example, the administrator must be assigned the config-read privilege. The bypass-acl privilege is also required so that the administrator can perform privileged actions on the configuration.

./ldapmodify -p 4444 -Z -X -D "cn=directory manager"  -w ****
dn: cn=monitor,cn=my admins,cn=admin data
changetype: modify
add: ds-privilege-name
ds-privilege-name: bypass-acl
ds-privilege-name: config-read

Now the administrator can read the configuration using dsconfig. However, any attempt to modify the configuration would result in the following error:

The Configuration could not be modified because you do not have 
the correct authorization.