Chapter 22. Setting Up an LDAP Address Book Server

In This Chapter

  • Understanding LDAP

  • Using OpenLDAP

  • Configuring an LDAP server

  • Creating an LDAP address book

  • Using Thunderbird to access the address book

Sometimes an organization needs a convenient way to gather, store, and distribute information for access by the applications that need it. The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) simplifies the process of creating and using directories of information by network-ready applications.

The intention of LDAP is to simplify the overhead needed to provide directory services described in the X.500 specification. LDAP is a subset of X.500 features. By standardizing the structure of database information, LDAP can get around proprietary storage formats to allow many different applications to share the same data.


X.500 is a CCITT specification that has become part of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) standards that define a layered framework for interconnecting networks and related services. With the dominance of TCP/IP networks (such as the Internet) in the world, OSI never became the predominent network framework that some expected it to be. Despite that, the seven-layer OSI reference model is often used in classrooms to teach networking theory. Likewise, some of these specifications, such as X.500, have been adopted (and sometimes adapted) where standard, cross-platform features are required.

Fedora and RHEL systems include OpenLDAP software packages to implement LDAP server and client ...

Get Fedora™ 7 and Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® Bible now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.