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man pages section 5: File Formats

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Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2022

ldif (5oldap)


ldif - LDAP Data Interchange Format


Please see following description for synopsis


LDIF(5oldap)                                                      LDIF(5oldap)

       ldif - LDAP Data Interchange Format

       The  LDAP  Data  Interchange  Format  (LDIF)  is used to represent LDAP
       entries and change records in text form. LDAP tools, such as ldapadd(1)
       and  ldapsearch(1),  read  and write LDIF entry records.  ldapmodify(1)
       reads LDIF change records.

       This manual page provides a basic description of LDIF.  A formal speci-
       fication of LDIF is published in RFC 2849.

       LDIF  entry records are used to represent directory entries.  The basic
       form of an entry record is:

            dn: <distinguished name>
            <attrdesc>: <attrvalue>
            <attrdesc>: <attrvalue>
            <attrdesc>:: <base64-encoded-value>
            <attrdesc>:< <URL>

       The value may be specified as UTF-8 text or as base64 encoded data,  or
       a URI may be provided to the location of the attribute value.

       A  line  may be continued by starting the next line with a single space
       or tab, e.g.,

            dn: cn=Barbara J Jensen,dc=exam

       Lines beginning with a sharp sign ('#') are ignored.

       Multiple attribute values are specified on separate lines, e.g.,

            cn: Barbara J Jensen
            cn: Babs Jensen

       If an value contains a non-printing character, or begins with  a  space
       or  a  colon  ':', the <attrtype> is followed by a double colon and the
       value is encoded in base 64 notation. e.g., the value " begins  with  a
       space" would be encoded like this:

            cn:: IGJlZ2lucyB3aXRoIGEgc3BhY2U=

       If the attribute value is located in a file, the <attrtype> is followed
       by a ':<' and a file: URI.  e.g.,  the  value  contained  in  the  file
       /tmp/value would be listed like this:

            cn:< file:///tmp/value
       Other URI schemes (ftp,http) may be supported as well.

       Multiple  entries  within  the  same  LDIF  file are separated by blank

       Here is an example of an LDIF file containing three entries.

            dn: cn=Barbara J Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
            cn: Barbara J Jensen
            cn: Babs Jensen
            objectclass: person
            description:< file:///tmp/babs
            sn: Jensen

            dn: cn=Bjorn J Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
            cn: Bjorn J Jensen
            cn: Bjorn Jensen
            objectclass: person
            sn: Jensen

            dn: cn=Jennifer J Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
            cn: Jennifer J Jensen
            cn: Jennifer Jensen
            objectclass: person
            sn: Jensen
            jpegPhoto:: /9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAAAAAQABAAD/2wBDABALD

       Note that the description  in  Barbara  Jensen's  entry  is  read  from
       file:///tmp/babs  and  the  jpegPhoto  in  Jennifer  Jensen's  entry is
       encoded using base 64.

       LDIF change records are used to represent  directory  change  requests.
       Each  change  record starts with line indicating the distinguished name
       of the entry being changed:

            dn: <distinguishedname>

            changetype: <[modify|add|delete|modrdn]>

       Finally, the change information itself is given, the  format  of  which
       depends  on  what kind of change was specified above.  For a changetype
       of modify, the format is one or more of the following:

            add: <attributetype>
            <attrdesc>: <value1>
            <attrdesc>: <value2>

       Or, for a replace modification:

            replace: <attributetype>
            <attrdesc>: <value1>
            <attrdesc>: <value2>

       If no attributetype lines are given to replace, the entire attribute is
       to be deleted (if present).

       Or, for a delete modification:

            delete: <attributetype>
            <attrdesc>: <value1>
            <attrdesc>: <value2>

       If  no attributetype lines are given to delete, the entire attribute is
       to be deleted.

       For a changetype of add, the format is:

            <attrdesc1>: <value1>
            <attrdesc1>: <value2>
            <attrdescN>: <value1>
            <attrdescN>: <value2>

       For a changetype of modrdn or moddn, the format is:

            newrdn: <newrdn>
            deleteoldrdn: 0 | 1
            newsuperior: <DN>

       where a value of 1 for deleteoldrdn means to delete the values  forming
       the  old rdn from the entry, and a value of 0 means to leave the values
       as non-distinguished attributes in the entry.  The newsuperior line  is
       optional  and, if present, specifies the new superior to move the entry

       For a changetype of delete, no additional information is needed in  the

       Note that attribute values may be presented using base64 or in files as
       described for entry records.  Lines in change records may be  continued
       in the manner described for entry records as well.

       The following sample LDIF file contains a change record of each type of

            dn: cn=Babs Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
            changetype: add
            objectclass: person
            objectclass: extensibleObject
            cn: babs
            cn: babs jensen
            sn: jensen

            dn: cn=Babs Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
            changetype: modify
            add: givenName
            givenName: Barbara
            givenName: babs
            replace: description
            description: the fabulous babs
            delete: sn
            sn: jensen

            dn: cn=Babs Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
            changetype: modrdn
            newrdn: cn=Barbara J Jensen
            deleteoldrdn: 0
            newsuperior: ou=People,dc=example,dc=com

            dn: cn=Barbara J Jensen,ou=People,dc=example,dc=com
            changetype: delete

       The LDIF parser has been extended to support an include  statement  for
       referencing  other LDIF files.  The include statement must be separated
       from other records by a blank line.  The referenced file  is  specified
       using  a  file: URI and all of its contents are incorporated as if they
       were part of the original LDIF file. As above, other URI schemes may be
       supported. For example:

            dn: dc=example,dc=com
            objectclass: domain
            dc: example

            include: file:///tmp/example.com.ldif

            dn: dc=example,dc=org
            objectclass: domain
            dc: example
       This  feature  is not part of the LDIF specification in RFC 2849 but is
       expected to appear in a future revision of this spec. It  is  supported
       by the ldapadd(1), ldapmodify(1), and slapadd(8) commands.

       See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       |ATTRIBUTE TYPE |       ATTRIBUTE VALUE        |
       |Availability   | system/network/ldap/openldap |
       |Stability      | Pass-through uncommitted     |

       ldap(3),  ldapsearch(1),  ldapadd(1),  ldapmodify(1), slapadd(8), slap-
       cat(8), slapd-ldif(5).

       "LDAP Data Interchange Format," Good, G., RFC 2849.

       OpenLDAP Software is developed and maintained by The  OpenLDAP  Project
       <http://www.openldap.org/>.  OpenLDAP Software is derived from the Uni-
       versity of Michigan LDAP 3.3 Release.

       Source code for open source software components in Oracle  Solaris  can
       be found at https://www.oracle.com/downloads/opensource/solaris-source-

       This    software    was    built    from    source     available     at
       https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.    The  original  community
       source was downloaded from   ftp://ftp.openldap.org/pub/OpenLDAP/openl-

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at http://www.openldap.org/.

OpenLDAP 2.4.59                   2021/06/03                      LDIF(5oldap)