389-DS Setup

January 3 2016

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389-DS is a LDAP service bundled with a web API based GUI Java commandline console. This makes it one of the more heavier LDAP solutions, as it requires a host of various tools and dependencies to make it work.

The tradeoff comes via an entreprise level hardened LDAP tool which is GUI managable and also allow for easy control for access and authorisation.

We are setting this up on a Fedora 23 Server install, and as a result, there would a lot of installation to be done before we get into the nitty gritty details of 389-ds itself.


You would need to install the 389-ds package from the fedora repositories.

dnf install -y 389-ds

And that is that.

To setup your 389-console you might need to install the xauth package.

dnf install -y xauth

If you are behind a proxy, first set the env variables for them before running yum

export {http,https,ftp,rsync,socks}_proxy='http://proxy.example.com:8080'
export no_proxy='comma, separated, hosts, for, which, no, proxy, need, be, applied'


Pre Setup the required 'ldapuser' or leave it to the default nobody user.

Set the max file open limits in /etc/security/limits.d/389-ds_file_limits.conf

 *   -   nofile  8192

Also set the TCP Timeouts in /etc/sysctl.d/389-ds_network_tweak.conf

net.ipv4.tcp_keepalive_time = 300
net.core.somaxconn = 1024

And now to set it up, the 389-ds comes with a handy script.


Just enter your details there, and you are good to go.

Setting up SSL/TLS

The most interesting part of the setup, and also the most frustrating. Intersting because the method of generating certificates is quite different from other methods that you would have known of.

Unlike in other places, simply using easy-rsa would not work, as you need to generate a CSR and make a valid certificate for yourself.

In addition, the certificate must be authorized to perform the actions. You cannot just assign any arbitrary certificate for this. Doing that breaks 389-ds.

So, first, you need to gernerate a CSR from 389-ds console. Just log in to the console, and navigate to Servername - Directory Server - Manager Certificates.

The first time you do this, you will be asked for a secure pin code. The is what 389-ds calls pin for theInternal (Software). Enter it twice, and then click on Request Certificate. Enter all details including the certificate password.

Save this CSR somewhere safe, and send it to be further signed by your CA. If you do no have a CA, you can create one for yourself, and get it selfsigned. Skip to section.

Once your have your signed Certificate, all navigate to the same Manage Certificates, and go to install CA Cert. Install your CA's public Certificate here. Then install your Server Certificate in same way. Be sure to put in the correct key that you put while generating the CSR.

Navigate to Directory Server-Encryption and check Enable SSL for this server. Check RSA option and in cipher settings, disable weak certificates.


Before restarting your server, create this file.

vim /etc/dirsrv/slapd-<instance>/pin.txt

Enter the password for the Internal (Software) as follows

Internal (Software) Token:<passoword>

Set permissions on this file

chmod 400 /etc/dirsrv/slapd-<instance>/pin.txt

You can now restart the server and ensure that the password is not asked.

You can test this via

ldapsearch -x -b <base> -H <host> -ZZ

You can replicate this for the admin-server as well. Just be sure to set the trusts in your OS

Java, because Java, has it's own keytool for doing this.

keytool -import -v -trustcacerts -alias server-alias -file server.cer -keystore cacerts.jks -keypass <super secure password for key> -storepass <super secure password for keystore>

Setting up TLS/SSL via Command Line

If you already have your own wildcard certificate, to import it, you can use the following to import them directly into 389-ds

Export the cert and key into a pkcs12 format.

openssl pkcs12 -export -inkey iiit.ac.in.key -in iiit.ac.in.crt -out /tmp/crt.pk12 -nodes -name 'Server-Cert'

Import this pkcs12 certificate into 389-ds

pk12util -i /tmp/crt.pk12 -d /etc/dirsrv/slapd-<instance>/

Import your root CA certificate

certutil -d /etc/dirsrv/slapd-<instance>/ -A -n "My Local CA" -t CT,, -a -i /path/to/root/certificate.pem

Enable the options from the 389-console

Self-Signed CA

If you do not want to have a proper authenticated CA, and are happy with a self-signed CA certificate, you will have to do the follows.

The dir for that is /etc/pki/CA so without further ado, let us get right to it.

cd /etc/pki/CA
touch index.txt
echo '01' > serial
echo '01' > crlnumber

This sets up the environment for generating a CA certificate. Now we generate a CA for generating our Server Certificate

openssl req -new -x509 -extensions v3_ca -keyout /etc/pki/CA/private/ca-cert.key -out /etc/pki/CA/certs/ca-cert.crt -days 3650

Note that we are creating a valid time for 10 years. Also not the key and cert dirs. Enter your proper details here and proceed.

chmod 400 /etc/pki/CA/private/ca-cert.key

Now we need to disable the verification of certificate matching in openssl. Because the names might conflict.

vim /etc/pki/tls/openssl.cnf

And change the lines 85-88 to as follows

85 countryName              = optional
86 stateOrProvinceName      = optional
87 organizationName         = optional
88 organizationalUnitName   = optional

To sign the CSR, you need to run the command given below. Change the paths if you have changed it.

openssl ca -in <request>.csr -out /etc/pki/CA/newcerts/<request>.crt  -keyfile /etc/pki/CA/private/ca-cert.key -cert /etc/pki/CA/certs/ca-cert.crt 

This should spit out your certificate into the request.crt.

Adding a Custom Schema

Drop in your custom schemas on /etc/dirsrv/slapd-<instance>/schema. Restart the server.

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