Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 / Debian 8

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In this guide, we will configure LDAP client to use LDAP authentication mechanism for login access. This guide has been tested on Ubuntu 16.04 and Debian 8 servers. Also, this guide should work on other Ubuntu and Debian distributions.

Assuming that you have a working LDAP server,

READ: Step by step guide to setup OpenLDAP Server on CentOS 7 / RHEL 7

READ: Step by step guide to setup OpenLDAP Server on Ubuntu 16.04 / Debian 8

Install LDAP Client:

Install the necessary LDAP client packages.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get -y install libnss-ldap libpam-ldap ldap-utils nscd

During the installation, the package installer will ask you a variety of questions. Enter the values according to your environment.

On the first screen, enter the LDAP server details. Replace “192.168.12.10” with your LDAP server’s IP address or hostname.

Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 - LDAP Server URI
Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 – LDAP Server URI

Now, enter the DN (Domain Name) of the LDAP search base. In my case, it is dc=itzgeek,dc=local.

Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 - DNS Search Base
Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 – DNS Search Base

Choose the LDAP version to use; your LDAP server should support this version. My LDAP server supports v3 protocol.

Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 - LDAP Version
Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 – LDAP Version

It is up to you to decide whether the LDAP administrative account can act as a local root. In my case, I have no issues to have LDAP admin become the root of a local machine.

Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 - Local Root
Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 – Local Root

Select No to the following prompt.

Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 - LDAP DB Login
Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 – LDAP DB Login

Enter the LDAP administrative account details.

Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 - LDAP Root Account
Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 – LDAP Root Account

Enter the password of LDAP administrative account.

Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 - LDAP Root Account Password
Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 – LDAP Root Account Password

Configure authentication:

The installer does the most of the configurations based on our inputs given in the previous section. But, there are still some changes required for LDAP authentication to work.

Configure nsswitch.conf to work with LDAP.

$ sudo vi /etc/nsswitch.conf

Update the below lines shown like below.

passwd:         compat ldap
group:          compat ldap
shadow:         compat ldap

Optional: If you want the home directory of the user to be created automatically, then do as follow.

$ sudo vi /etc/pam.d/common-session

Add below line in the above file.

session required        pam_mkhomedir.so skel=/etc/skel umask=077

Restart the nscd service.

$ sudo service nscd restart

Verify LDAP Login:

Use the getent command to get the LDAP entries from the LDAP server.

$ getent passwd ldapuser

ldapuser:x:9999:100:Test LdapUser:/home/ldapuser:/bin/bash

Screenshot:

Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 - Verify LDAP Login
Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 – Verify LDAP Login

To verify the LDAP, log in using the LDAP user “ldapuser” on the client machine.

Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 - Verify LDAP
Configure LDAP Client on Ubuntu 16.04 – Verify LDAP

That’s All.

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