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Linux in a Windows World by Roderick W Smith

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Creating a User Directory

Once the server is running, you must populate the directory with information about your network’s users. To do this, you must understand distinguished name notation. Understanding at least the basics of LDIF files, which can be used to enter information into the directory, is also a necessity. With these pieces of information, you can actually begin populating the directory with user accounts.

Distinguished Names

Distinguished Names (DNs) are the pointers to data in a directory. They’re similar in many ways to filenames in hard-disk filesystems. For example, the Linux filename /etc/X11/xdm/Xaccess refers to the Xaccess file in the /etc/X11/xdm directory, which in turn can be broken down into a series of subdirectories leading to the root directory of the Linux directory tree. Similarly, DNs are typically composed of multiple elements that enable an LDAP implementation to quickly locate the data. In the case of DNs, though, these elements are labeled according to type. Common types in an LDAP directory used for authentication include Domain Class (DC), Common Name (CN), User ID (UID, which is equivalent to a username rather than a numeric UID), and sometimes Organizational Unit (OU). Each abbreviation is converted to lowercase and separated from its value by an equal sign; these are then strung together with commas and identified as a DN by using the dn code and a colon:

dn: cn=Carl Linnaeus,dc=pangaea,dc=edu

This example refers to an entry for the common ...

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