ldapsearch - ldap search tool


ldapsearch [-n] [-u] [-v] [-t] [-A] [-B] [-L] [-R] [-H]
[-?] [-t] [-T] [-B] [-E] [-J] [-e] [-l] [-Z] [-r]
[-M] [-d debuglevel] [-F sep] [-f file] [-D bindDN]
[-j filename] [-V version] [-Y proxyDN] [-O hopLimit]
[-i locale] [-k path] [-S [-] attribute] [-C pattern]
[-c authzid] [-P path] [-N certificate] [-w passwd]
[-h ldaphost] [-p ldapport] [-o attributename=value]
[-b searchbase] [-s scope] [-a deref] [-l timelimit]
[-z sizelimit] filter [attrs]...


The ldapsearch utility opens a connection to an LDAP server, binds, and
performs a search using the filter filter.

If ldapsearch finds one or more entries, the attributes specified by
attrs are retrieved and the entries and values are printed to standard
output. If no attrs are listed, all attributes are returned.

Output Format

If one or more entries are found, each entry is written to standard
output in the form:

dn: Distinguished Name (DN)
attributename: value
attributename: value
attributename: value

Multiple entries are separated with a single blank line. If the -F option
is used to specify a different separator character, this character is
used instead of the : character. If the -t option is used, the name of a
temporary file is returned in place of the actual value. If the -A option
is given, only the "attributename" is returned and not the attribute


The following options are supported:


Retrieve attributes only (no values). This is useful when you just
want to see whether an attribute is present in an entry and are not
interested in the specific value.

-a deref

Specify how aliases dereferencing is done. The possible values for
deref are never, always, search, or find to specify respectively that
aliases are never dereferenced, always dereferenced, dereferenced
when searching, or dereferenced only when finding the base object for
the search. The default is to never dereference aliases.


Display non-ASCII values and use the old non-LDIF format. This option
disables the default -L option.

-b searchbase

Use searchbase as the starting point for the search instead of the

-C pattern

Persistent search. Perform a search that keeps the connection open
and displays results whenever entries matching the scope and filter
of the search are added, modified, or removed. With this option, the
ldapsearch tool runs indefinitely; you must type Control-c to stop
it. The pattern has the following format:


-c authzid

Specifies the getEffectiveRights control authzid. For example:


-D bindDN

Use the distinguished name bindDN to bind to the directory.

-d debuglevel

Set the LDAP debugging level. Useful levels of debugging for
ldapsearch are:





Access control

To request more than one category of debugging information, add the
masks. For example, to request trace and filter information, specify
a debuglevel of 33.


Ask server to expose (report) bind identity by means of
authentication response control.


Minimize base-64 encoding of values.

-F sep

Use sep as the field separator between attribute names and values. If
this option has been specified, the -L option is ignored.

-f file

Read a series of lines from file, performing one LDAP search for each
line. In this case, the filter given on the command line is treated
as a pattern where the first occurrence of %s is replaced with a line
from file. If file is a single - character, then the lines are read
from standard input.

-G pattern

Virtual list view. Retrieve only a portion of all results, as
determined by the index or value of the search target and the number
of entries to be returned before and after the target. This option
always requires the -S and -x options to specify the sorting order on
the server.


Display the usage help text that briefly describes all options.


Display the usage help text that briefly describes all options.

-h ldaphost

Specify an alternate host on which the secure LDAP server is running.

-i locale

Specify the character set to use for command-line input. The default
is the character set specified in the LANG environment variable. You
might want to use this option to perform the conversion from the
specified character set to UTF8, thus overriding the LANG setting.
Using this argument, you can input the bind DN, base DN, and the
search filter pattern in the specified character set. The ldapsearch
tool converts the input from these arguments before it processes the
search request. For example, -i no indicates that the bind DN, base
DN, and search filter are provided in Norwegian. This argument only
affects the command-line input. If you specify a file containing a
search filter (with the -f option), ldapsearch does not convert the
data in the file.

-j filename

Specify a file containing the password for the bind DN or the
password for the SSL client's key database. To protect the password,
use this option in scripts and place the password in a secure file.
This option is mutually exclusive of the -w and -W options.

-J [:criticality[:value|::b64value|b64value|:fileurl]]

Criticality is a boolean value (default is false).

-k path

Specify the path to a directory containing conversion routines. These
routines are used if you want to specify a locale that is not
supported by default by your directory server. This is for NLS


Display search results in LDIF format. This option also turns on the
-B option. This behavior is the default.

-l timelimit

Wait at most timelimit seconds for a search to complete.


Manage smart referrals. When they are the target of the operation,
search the entry containing the referral instead of the entry
obtained by following the referral.

-N certificate

Specify the certificate name to use for certificate-based client
authentication. For example: -N "Directory-Cert".


Show what would be done, but do not actually perform the search.
Useful in conjunction with -v and -d for debugging.

-O hopLimit

Specify the maximum number of referral hops to follow while finding
an entry to modify. By default, there is no limit.

-o attributename=value

For SASL mechanisms and other options such as security properties,
mode of operation, authorization ID, authentication ID, and so forth.

The different attribute names and their values are as follows:

For defining SASL security properties.

Specifies SASL realm (default is realm=none).

Specify the authorization ID name for SASL bind.

Specify the authentication ID for SASL bind.

Specifies the various SASL mechanisms.

-P path

Specify the path and filename of the client's certificate database.
For example:

-P /home/uid/.netscape/cert7.db

When using the command on the same host as the directory server, you
can use the server's own certificate database. For example:

-P installDir/lapd-serverID/alias/cert7.db

Use the -P option alone to specify server authentication only.

-p ldapport

Specify an alternate TCP port where the secure LAPD server is


Do not automatically follow referrals returned while searching.


Display the output of the ldapsearch command in the old format.

-S [-]attribute

Specify an attribute for sorting the entries returned by the search.
The sort criteria is alphabetical on the attribute's value or reverse
alphabetical with the form -attribute. You can give multiple -S
options to refine the sorting, For example:

-S sn -S givenname

By default, the entries are not sorted. Use the -x option to perform
server-side sorting.

-s scope

Specify the scope of the search. The possible values of scope are
base, one, or sub to specify respectively a base object, one-level,
or subtree search. The default is sub.


Format the output of search results so that no line breaks are used
within individual attribute values.


Write retrieved values to a set of temporary files. This is useful
for dealing with non-ASCII values such as jpegPhoto or audio.


URL format (valid only with the -t option). When using temporary file
output, the standard output of the tool includes the URL of the file
instead of the attributes value. For example:

jpegPhoto:< file:/tmp/ldapsearch-jpegPhoto-YzaOMh


Include the user-friendly form of the Distinguished Name (DN) in the

-V version

Specify the LDAP protocol version number to be used for the delete
operation, either 2 or 3. LDAP v3 is the default. Specify LDAP v2
when connecting to servers that do not support v3.


Run in verbose mode, with diagnostics written to standard output.

-W password

Specify the password for the client's key database given in the -P
option. This option is required for certificate-based client
authentication. Specifying password on the command line has security
issues because the password can be seen by others on the system by
means of the ps command. Use the -j instead to specify the password
from the file. This option is mutually exclusive of -j.

-w passwd

Use passwd as the password for authentication to the directory. When
you use -w passwd to specify the password to be used for
authentication, the password is visible to other users of the system
by means of the ps command, in script files or in shell history. If
you use the ldapsearch command without this option, the command
prompts for the password and read it from standard in. When used
without the -w option, the password is not visible to other users.


Use with the -S option to specify that search results be sorted on
the server rather than by the ldapsearch command running on the
client. This is useful if you want to sort according to a matching
rule, as with an international search. It is usually faster to sort
on the server, if that is supported, rather than on the client.

-Y proxyDN

Specify the proxy DN (proxied authorization id) to use for the modify
operation, usually in double quotes (" ") for the shell.


Specify that SSL be used to provide certificate-based client
authentication. This option requires the -N and SSL password and any
other of the SSL options needed to identify the certificate and the
key database.

-z sizelimit

Retrieve at most sizelimit entries for a search to complete.


Example 1: Performing a Subtree Search

The following command performs a subtree search (using the default search
base) for entries with a commonName of "mark smith". The commonName and
telephoneNumber values is retrieved and printed to standard output. Use
the -r option to display this output in the old format.

example% ldapsearch "cn=mark smith" cn telephoneNumber

The output looks something like this:

dn: Mark D Smith, ou=Sales, ou=Atlanta, ou=People, o=XYZ, c=US
cn: Mark Smith
cn: Mark David Smith
cn: Mark D Smith 1
cn: Mark D Smith
telephoneNumber: +1 123 456-7890

dn: Mark C Smith, ou=Distribution, ou=Atlanta, ou=People, o=XYZ, c=US
cn: Mark Smith
cn: Mark C Smith 1
cn: Mark C Smith
telephoneNumber: +1 123 456-9999

Example 2: Performing a Subtree Search Using the Default Search Base

The following command performs a subtree search using the -r option to
display in old style format with a default search base for entries with
user id of mcs. The user-friendly form of the entry's DN is output after
the line that contains the DN itself, and the jpegPhoto and audio values
are retrieved and written to temporary files.

ldapsearch -r -u -t "uid=mcs" -r jpegPhoto audio

The output might look like this if one entry with one value for each of
the requested attributes is found:

cn=Mark C Smith, ou=Distribution, ou=Atlanta, ou=People, o=XYZ, c=US
Mark C Smith, Distribution, Atlanta, People, XYZ, US

Example 3: Performing a One-Level Search

The following command performs a one-level search at the c=US level for
all organizations whose organizationName begins with XY.

example% ldapsearch -s one -b "c=US" "o=XY*" o description

The organizationName and description attribute values are retrieved and
printed to standard output, resulting in output similar to this:

dn: o=XYZ c=US
o: XYZ
description: XYZ Corporation

dn: o="XY Trading Company", c=US
o: XY Trading Company
description: Import and export specialists

dn: o=XYInternational, c=US
o: XYInternational
o: XYI
o: XY International

Example 4: Performing a Subtree Search on an IPv6 Server

The following command performs a subtree search using the default search
base for entries with a user id of mcs on an IPv6 (that is, -h) server:

example% ldapsearch -u -h '['fec0::111:a00:20ff:fea3:edcf']' \
-t "uid=mcs" jpegPhoto audio


The following exit values are returned:

Successful completion.

An error occurred. A diagnostic message is written to standard


See attributes(7) for a description of the following attributes:

|Stability Level | Evolving |


ldapadd(1), ldapdelete(1), ldapmodify(1), ldapmodrdn(1), attributes(7)

January 6, 2006 LDAPSEARCH(1)