LDAP Authentication RPI Tutorial (Part 2)

Last time I spoke of how to setup ldap with PHP and briefly touched on using the “ldapsearch” command. I would like to go more in-depth on “ldapsearch”, and show you how you can use it to craft searches for your PHP application. Specifically for RPI, if the user has a RCS account, they can ssh into “rcs-ibm.rpi.edu” and run the following commands. (RCS-IBM puts you on either clark.server.rpi.edu or lewis.server.rpi.edu, these two have the commands you need on them and run AIX) To briefly review the command:

  • First we add the command, then enter the host you are searching, tell the server to try simple anonymous authentication. Next give the server a base to start the search (I am using RPI specific domain components), finally we have to give the heart of our search. I am looking for any Unique ID (username) that starts with “berk”, and ends with anything “*”.
  • ldapsearch -h ‘ldap.rpi.edu’ -x -b ‘dc=rpi, dc=edu’ ‘uid=berk*’”

The main part of the search we will be editing is the ending. Here we specify a filter to find the information we are attempting to access. Each LDAP server has different attributes it can give about each object. For example, the ldap.rpi.edu server gives out “givenName, objectClass, cn(full concatenated name, or common name), sn (surname), loginShell,” and many others; while at the same time “ldap1.server.rpi.edu” returns a much different lists of results.

Finding Which Attributes Will be Returned

The best way to find which fields are available is by doing a search without a filter. Just running the search below will return an unfiltered list of everything in the directory, up till you hit the individual servers limit. I am purposefully not publishing results from these searches for privacy reasons; here is some results for me with some data omitted.

  • “ldapsearch -h ‘ldap.rpi.edu’ -x -b ‘dc=rpi, dc=edu’”
  • # berkod2, accounts, rpi, edu
    dn: uid=berkod2,ou=accounts,dc=rpi,dc=edu
    sn: Berkowitz
    cn: Berkowitz, Daniel
    objectClass: top
    objectClass: posixAccount
    objectClass: inetOrgPerson
    objectClass: eduPerson
    objectClass: rpiDirent
    objectClass: mailRecipient
    objectClass: organizationalPerson
    objectClass: person
    uid: berkod2
    loginShell: /bin/bash
    uidNumber: #####
    mailAlternateAddress: berkod2@rpi.edu
    givenName: Daniel
    gecos: Daniel  Berkowitz
    rpiclusterhomedir: /home/berkod2
    description: PRIMARY-STU
    homeDirectory: /home/06/berkod2
    gidNumber: ###

Now that we have an idea about the data structure and what this server has on it we can reverse the lookup and tweak it. I know ‘uid’ will be the username, and I can get the users name from that! So using CAS I can log a user in and get their username, then I can lookup there LDAP information. (EXAMPLE 1) If a user enters a name, then a user can search for their UID doing the reverse. (EXAMPLE 2) The wild card can also be used if the full name is not known. (EXAMPLE 3) Last we can use multiple fields, combining these ideas to narrow down the result. (Example 4)

  • Example 1
    • “ldapsearch -h ‘ldap.rpi.edu’ -x -b ‘dc=rpi, dc=edu’ ‘uid=berkod2’”
  • Example 2
    • “ldapsearch -h ‘ldap.rpi.edu’ -x -b ‘dc=rpi, dc=edu’ ‘sn=Berkowitz’”
  • Example 3
    • “ldapsearch -h ‘ldap.rpi.edu’ -x -b ‘dc=rpi, dc=edu’ ‘sn=Berko*’”
  • Example 4
    • “ldapsearch -h ‘ldap.rpi.edu’ -x -b ‘dc=rpi, dc=edu’ ‘sn=Berko*’ ‘uid=berkod*'”

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