Anecdotes from a Linux Systems Administrator. /root

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28 March 2021

Deploying a 389 Directory Server

by Alpha01

So it’s been roughly nine months since I created a useful technical post on this site. So what better way to than to post the information about the newly deployed LDAP 389 Directory Server I just did on my homelab.

Ever since Red Hat announced that RHEL was going to be of no cost for developer and testing personal use (with limits, of course). This was perfect occasion for me to start using RHEL 8.


1). Disable SELinux (yes, I know. I should do better..)

sudo setenforce 0

2). Update firewall

firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port={389/tcp,636/tcp,9830/tcp}
firewall-cmd --reload
firewall-cmd --list-all 

3). Install epel repo

yum install
yum module install 389-directory-server:stable/default

4). Create LDAP instance

config_version = 2


sample_entries = yes
suffix = dc=rubyninja,dc=org

5). Create 389 DS instance

dscreate from-file nstance.inf

6). Create ~/.dsrc config

# Note that '/' is replaced to '%%2f'.
uri = ldapi://%%2fvar%%2frun%%2fslapd-localhost.socket
basedn = dc=rubyninja,dc=org
binddn = cn=Directory Manager

7). Afterwards, I’m able to verify my installation

[root@ldap ldap]# dsctl localhost status
Instance "localhost" is running

8). Since, I kept the default settings when I created the Create 389 DS instance, my server received the name “localhost”. Hence why my ~/.dsrc config also has the instance configured as “localhost”. The corresponding systemd service and dirsrv@localhost and with the config files stored in /etc/dirsrv/slapd-localhost

systemctl status dirsrv@localhost

ls -l /etc/dirsrv/slapd-localhost/

SSL Configuration

By default the ds-389 setup is using self-sign certificates. The following was used to install my self-sign cert for

1). Create private root CA key ssh signed cert

openssl genrsa -out rootCA.key 4096
openssl req -x509 -new -nodes -key rootCA.key -sha256 -days 4096 -out rootCA.pem

2). I created the following script to easily generate a certificate key-pair signed by my custom local CA.


[[ ! -d "./certs" ]] && mkdir certs

cat \
/etc/pki/tls/openssl.cnf \
- \
<<-CONFIG > certs/ca-selfsign-ssl.cnf

[ san ]

# generate client key
openssl genrsa -out certs/ssl.key 4096

# generate csr
openssl req \
-sha256 \
-new \
-key certs/ssl.key \
-reqexts san \
-extensions san \
-subj "/" \
-config certs/ca-selfsign-ssl.cnf \
-out certs/ssl.csr

# sign cert
openssl x509 -req -in certs/ssl.csr -CA rootCA.pem -CAkey rootCA.key -CAcreateserial -days 2048 -sha256 -extensions san -extfile certs/ca-selfsign-ssl.cnf -out certs/ssl.crt

3). Then I had to certutil utility to view the names and attributes the default SSL certs had.

[root@ldap]# certutil -L -d /etc/dirsrv/slapd-localhost/ -f /etc/dirsrv/slapd-localhost/pwdfile.txt

Certificate Nickname                                         Trust Attributes

ca_cert                                                      CT,,
Server-Cert                                                  u,u,u

4). Once I made note of the name and attributes of the SSL certificates, we will first need to delete them before replacing them with my custom SSL certs. Deletion:

certutil -d /etc/dirsrv/slapd-localhost/ -n Server-Cert -f /etc/dirsrv/slapd-localhost/pwdfile.txt -D Server-Cert.crt
certutil -d /etc/dirsrv/slapd-localhost/ -n Self-Signed-CA -f /etc/dirsrv/slapd-localhost/pwdfile.txt -D Self-Signed-CA.pem

5). Adding new SSL certs:

certutil -A -d /etc/dirsrv/slapd-localhost/ -n "ca_cert" -t "CT,," -i rootCA.pem -f /etc/dirsrv/slapd-localhost/pwdfile.txt
certutil -A -d /etc/dirsrv/slapd-localhost/ -n "Server-Cert" -t ",," -i ssl/ssl.crt -f /etc/dirsrv/slapd-localhost/pwdfile.txt

6). While the certutil utility manages signed public and CA certificates. Private SSL certificates are managed by the pk12util utility. However, before we use this tool, we must covert the X.509 private ssl certificate to a pkcs12 format.

openssl pkcs12 -export -out certs/ssl.pfx -inkey certs/ssl.key -in certs/ssl.crt -certfile /root/ssl/rootCA.pem

7). Afterwards, we can added it to our LDAP SSL database.

pk12util -d /etc/dirsrv/slapd-localhost/ -i certs/ssl.pfx

8). Lastly, restart the service

systemctl restart dirsrv@localhost


Tags: [ 389-directoryserver rhel ldap ]