Database creation tools

10. Database Creation and Maintenance Tools
December 10, 2021 – 08:35 am

This section tells you how to create a slapd database from scratch, and how to do trouble shooting if you run into problems. There are two ways to create a database. First, you can create the database on-line using LDAP. With this method, you simply start up slapd and add entries using the LDAP client of your choice. This method is fine for relatively small databases (a few hundred or thousand entries, depending on your requirements). This method works for database types which support updates.

The second method of database creation is to do it off-line using special utilities provided with slapd(8). This method is best if you have many thousands of entries to create, which would take an unacceptably long time using the LDAP method, or if you want to ensure the database is not accessed while it is being created. Note that not all database types support these utilities.

With this method, you use the LDAP client of your choice (e.g., the ldapadd(1)) to add entries, just like you would once the database is created. You should be sure to set the following options in the configuration file before starting slapd(8).


As described in the General Database Directives section, this option defines which entries are to be held by this database. You should set this to the DN of the root of the subtree you are trying to create. For example:

suffix "dc=example, dc=com"

You should be sure to specify a directory where the index files should be created:


For example:

directory /usr/local/var/openldap-data

You need to create this directory with appropriate permissions such that slapd can write to it.

You need to configure slapd so that you can connect to it as a directory user with permission to add entries. You can configure the directory to support a special super-user or root user just for this purpose. This is done through the following two options in the database definition:

rootdn rootpw

rootdn "cn=Manager, dc=example, dc=com" rootpw secret

These options specify a DN and password that can be used to authenticate as the super-user entry of the database (i.e., the entry allowed to do anything). The DN and password specified here will always work, regardless of whether the entry named actually exists or has the password given. This solves the chicken-and-egg problem of how to authenticate and add entries before any entries yet exist.

Finally, you should make sure that the database definition contains the index definitions you want:

index { | default} [pres, eq, approx, sub, none]

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