We expose some (readonly) information about our users via LDAP. This information is meant to be used by other CdE-brewed and third-party-tools living in the CdE ecosystem to

  • authenticate and

  • authorize users

To achieve the latter, we heavily build upon ldap groups to determine the access level of a given user. For the sake of simplicity, the information provided by LDAP is read-only. To modify user attributes or group membership, the CdEDB shall be used directly.


Our LDAP Tree looks as follows:

├── ou=duas
│   ├── cn=test
│   └── ...
├── ou=groups
│   ├── ou=assembly-presiders
│   │   ├── cn=presiders-1
│   │   └── ...
│   ├── ou=event-orgas
│   │   ├── cn=orgas-1
│   │   └── ...
│   ├── ou=ml-moderators
│   │   ├── cn=42-owner@lists.cde-ev.de
│   │   └── ...
│   ├── ou=ml-subscribers
│   │   ├── cn=42@lists.cde-ev.de
│   │   └── ...
│   └── ou=status
│       ├── cn=is_active
│       ├── cn=is_assembly_admin
│       ├── cn=is_assembly_realm
│       ├── cn=is_cde_admin
│       ├── cn=is_cde_realm
│       ├── cn=is_cdelokal_admin
│       ├── cn=is_core_admin
│       ├── cn=is_event_admin
│       ├── cn=is_event_realm
│       ├── cn=is_finance_admin
│       ├── cn=is_member
│       ├── cn=is_ml_admin
│       ├── cn=is_ml_realm
│       └── cn=is_searchable
└── ou=users
    ├── uid=1
    └── ...

LDAP Entities


A group represent a collection of users. They are used to represent some attributes (status attributes like is_active, mailinglist subscriptions etc) of users in an LDAP-fashion.

Each group implements the groupOfUniqueNames objectclass and has the following attributes:

  • cn ID for events and assemblies; list address for mailinglists; some bools of core.personas

  • description follows the pattern “title (shortname)” for events, assemblies and mailinglist.

  • uniqueMember the DN of one group member


An LDAP user represents an user account of the CdEDB. Each user implements the inetOrgPerson objectclass and has the following attributes:

  • cn their full name: “given_names family_name

  • displayName the full name which should be used to address this user, constructed via the same logic used in the CdEDB, including a family name.

  • givenName the first name of the user (CdEDBs given_names).

  • sn the last name of the user (CdEDBs family_name).

  • mail the users mail address. This may also be used as login username, since the CdEDB enforces uniqueness here.

  • uid the CdEDB-ID without letters or checksum.

  • userPassword the password this user has set in the CdEDB.

  • memberOf listing all dns of the groups this user is a member of.


To access the LDAP with a third-party tool, the tool needs to authenticate itself against the LDAP.

Sadly, there are great differences: Some tools use a static user from within the LDAP to retrieve their data, others use the credentials of the user they are currently serving, some do a mixture of both. In general, we advise to use the second method (use the user credentials) to retrieve data from LDAP.

However, to grant compatibility, each tool which requires an own LDAP user get an own entry inside ou=duas. Sadly, there is no common specification of duas with a common accepted objectclass. Therefore, we (ab)use the person objectclass for them, containing the following attributes:

  • cn a name which must be unique for each dua

  • userPassword the password they use to bind against LDAP

Security Restrictions

The following restrictions were applied to protect the data inside the LDAP against unprivileged access:

  • Users may only access exactly their own data.

  • Duas can access every user data, exept for their group memberships. Group access is only provided to some duas manually.

  • Password hashes can not be retrieved from LDAP, only authentication inside LDAP is allowed.