The LDAP Data Interchange Format (LDIF) is used to represent LDAP entries and change records in text form. LDAP tools, such as ldapadd(1) and ldapsearch(1), read and write LDIF entry records. ldapmodify(1) reads LDIF change records.
This manual page provides a basic description of LDIF. A formal specification of LDIF is published in RFC 2849.
LDIF entry records are used to represent directory entries. The basic form of an entry record is:
dn: <distinguished name> <attrdesc>: <attrvalue> <attrdesc>: <attrvalue> <attrdesc>:: <base64-encoded-value> <attrdesc>:< <URL> ...
The value may be specified as UTF-8 text or as base64 encoded data, or a URI may be provided to the location of the attribute value.
A line may be continued by starting the next line with a single space or tab, e.g.,
dn: cn=Barbara J Jensen,dc=exam ple,dc=com
Lines beginning with a sharp sign ('#') are ignored.
Multiple attribute values are specified on separate lines, e.g.,
cn: Barbara J Jensen cn: Babs Jensen
If an value contains a non-printing character, or begins with a space or a colon ':', the <attrtype> is followed by a double colon and the value is encoded in base 64 notation. e.g., the value " begins with a space" would be encoded like this:
If the attribute value is located in a file, the <attrtype> is followed by a ':<' and a file: URI. e.g., the value contained in the file /tmp/value would be listed like this:
Other URI schemes (ftp,http) may be supported as well.
Multiple entries within the same LDIF file are separated by blank lines.
Entry Record Example
Here is an example of an LDIF file containing three entries.
dn: cn=Barbara J Jensen,dc=example,dc=com cn: Barbara J Jensen cn: Babs Jensen objectclass: person description:< file:///tmp/babs sn: Jensen dn: cn=Bjorn J Jensen,dc=example,dc=com cn: Bjorn J Jensen cn: Bjorn Jensen objectclass: person sn: Jensen dn: cn=Jennifer J Jensen,dc=example,dc=com cn: Jennifer J Jensen cn: Jennifer Jensen objectclass: person sn: Jensen jpegPhoto:: /9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAAAAAQABAAD/2wBDABALD A4MChAODQ4SERATGCgaGBYWGDEjJR0oOjM9PDkzODdASFxOQ ERXRTc4UG1RV19iZ2hnPk1xeXBkeFxlZ2P/2wBDARESEhgVG ...
Note that the description in Barbara Jensen's entry is read from file:///tmp/babs and the jpegPhoto in Jennifer Jensen's entry is encoded using base 64.
LDIF change records are used to represent directory change requests. Each change record starts with line indicating the distinguished name of the entry being changed:
Finally, the change information itself is given, the format of which depends on what kind of change was specified above. For a changetype of modify, the format is one or more of the following:
add: <attributetype> <attrdesc>: <value1> <attrdesc>: <value2> ... -
Or, for a replace modification:
replace: <attributetype> <attrdesc>: <value1> <attrdesc>: <value2> ... -
If no attributetype lines are given to replace, the entire attribute is to be deleted (if present).
Or, for a delete modification:
delete: <attributetype> <attrdesc>: <value1> <attrdesc>: <value2> ... -
If no attributetype lines are given to delete, the entire attribute is to be deleted.
For a changetype of add, the format is:
<attrdesc1>: <value1> <attrdesc1>: <value2> ... <attrdescN>: <value1> <attrdescN>: <value2>
For a changetype of modrdn or moddn, the format is:
newrdn: <newrdn> deleteoldrdn: 0 | 1 newsuperior: <DN>
where a value of 1 for deleteoldrdn means to delete the values forming the old rdn from the entry, and a value of 0 means to leave the values as non-distinguished attributes in the entry. The newsuperior line is optional and, if present, specifies the new superior to move the entry to.
For a changetype of delete, no additional information is needed in the record.
Note that attribute values may be presented using base64 or in files as described for entry records. Lines in change records may be continued in the manner described for entry records as well.
Change Record Example
The following sample LDIF file contains a change record of each type of change.
dn: cn=Babs Jensen,dc=example,dc=com changetype: add objectclass: person objectclass: extensibleObject cn: babs cn: babs jensen sn: jensen dn: cn=Babs Jensen,dc=example,dc=com changetype: modify add: givenName givenName: Barbara givenName: babs - replace: description description: the fabulous babs - delete: sn sn: jensen - dn: cn=Babs Jensen,dc=example,dc=com changetype: modrdn newrdn: cn=Barbara J Jensen deleteoldrdn: 0 newsuperior: ou=People,dc=example,dc=com dn: cn=Barbara J Jensen,ou=People,dc=example,dc=com changetype: delete
The LDIF parser has been extended to support an include statement for referencing other LDIF files. The include statement must be separated from other records by a blank line. The referenced file is specified using a file: URI and all of its contents are incorporated as if they were part of the original LDIF file. As above, other URI schemes may be supported. For example:
dn: dc=example,dc=com objectclass: domain dc: example include: file:///tmp/example.com.ldif dn: dc=example,dc=org objectclass: domain dc: example
This feature is not part of the LDIF specification in RFC 2849 but is expected to appear in a future revision of this spec. It is supported by the ldapadd(1), ldapmodify(1), and slapadd(8) commands.
ldap(3), ldapsearch(1), ldapadd(1), ldapmodify(1), slapadd(8), slapcat(8), slapd-ldif(5).
"LDAP Data Interchange Format," Good, G., RFC 2849.
OpenLDAP Software is developed and maintained by The OpenLDAP Project <http://www.openldap.org/>. OpenLDAP Software is derived from the University of Michigan LDAP 3.3 Release.
ldapcompare(1), ldapmodify(1), ldapsearch(1), ldbadd(1), ldbdel(1), ldbedit(1), ldbrename(1), oLschema2ldif(1), slapadd(8), slapcat(8), slapd-config(5), slapd-ldif(5), slapindex(8), slapmodify(8), slapschema(8).