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openLDAP and authenticating Ubuntu 13.04 clients

By November 18, 2013September 12th, 2022No Comments

Having set up the openLDAP server and we have seen how to do this  on Raspberry Pi, SUSE and Ubuntu. We now turn our attention to authenticating Ubuntu Linux clients to the central directory. These clients could be Linux desktops or servers. In the video we use a Raspberry Pi openLDAP server and a Ubuntu 13.04 ldap client.

Create Posix Users and Groups

We must first make sure that we have Posix users and groups in the Directory. We can add users and groups using the ldapadd command and ldif files.

Creating a group

The LDIF file to create a group will be normally be quite small, it does not have many attributes.

dn: cn=ldapusers,ou=groups,dc=tup,dc=com
objectClass: posixGroup
cn: ldapusers
gidNumber: 4000

Here we create the ldapusers group in the group OU.

Creating posix users

POSIX users are users that authenticate to Linux and have the required attributes. A sample account can be seen below where we create the Mike account to belong to the ldapusers group we created before:

dn: uid=mike,ou=people,dc=tup,dc=com
objectClass: inetOrgPerson
objectClass: posixAccount
objectClass: shadowAccount
uid: mike
sn: smith
givenName: mike
cn: mike
uidNumber: 4000
gidNumber: 4000
userPassword: Password1
loginShell: /bin/bash
homeDirectory: /home/mike

With the file or files created we can add the users with

ldapadd -W -D cn=admin,dc=tup,dc=com -f users.ldif

If we are on the ldap server we can omit the -H for the host.

Ubuntu Client

If we now want to log in as the user Mike from the Ubuntu client we need to configure LDAP authentication from Ubuntu 13.04

sudo apt-get install ldap-auth-client nscd

The install will start and run through the basic configuration wizard. We can always run trough the wizard later if we need to make changes. To run the wizard again if changes need to be made later the wizard is accessed as:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure ldap-auth-config

With the wizard complete it will have written to /etc/ldap.conf. We now need to configure the name service file, /etc/nsswitch.conf. This we do by running the following command:

sudo auth-client-config -t nss -p lac_ldap

This will setup the nss profile to search for local users then ldap users. See the file /etc/auth-client-config/profile.d/ldap-auth-config for more details

If we do not have a central file server for home directories we will need to create users’ home directories locally when they log in. PAM, the plugable authentication modules can do this. Create a configuration file in /usr/share/pam-configs/ . It should read similar to the following

Name: activate mkhomedir
Default: yes
Priority: 900
Session-Type: Additional
  required umask=0022 skel=/etc/skel

We are now ready to update pam:

sudo pam-auth-update

This will start a little wizard, make sure your configuration shows, along with LDAP and anything else that you need. They normally will be selected.

Finally we just need to restart the name cache daemon:

sudo /etc/init.d/nscd restart

We can test the results by running

getent passwd

We should see the ldap users and groups listed. We can now login as Mike, in my case, from the command line using a full login from a TTY or using su. The login from the GUI display manager we need to make another adjustment and this will be in another tutorial.