FeministWiki:LDAP Schema

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The member database of the FeministWiki is stored via LDAP. This page explains some details about the setup.


The basic structure looks like this:

    - cn=username
      objectClass: fwMember
      cn: username
      uid: username
      sn: Display name
      userPassword: {SSHA}saltedhash
      mail: username@feministwiki.org
      fwRecoveryMail: user@example.org
    - cn=username2
      objectClass: fwMembe
      cn: username2
      uid: username2
      sn: Display name
      userPassword: {SSHA}saltedhash2
      mail: username2@feministwiki.org
      manager: cn=username,ou=members,dc=feministwiki,dc=org
    - ...
    objectClass: groupOfNames
    cn: members
    member: username
    member: username2
    member: ...


  • The cn (common name) and uid (user ID) fields both contain the username. This is because some software is preconfigured to look at uid, while most look at cn.
  • The sn (surname) field is used to hold a display name that may be different from the username. The field is filled with the username by default.
  • The mail field holds the primary mail address for communication with the member. It's filled with the FeministWiki mail address of the member by default, but can be changed freely.
  • The fwRecoveryMail field may hold a mail address that will be used for password reset requests. It's different from the primary mail address because that one may be the member's FeministWiki address, which they can't access if they've lost their password.
  • The manager contains the DN (distinguished name) of the member who added the member. It may be empty for special member accounts like "Administrator" or the "Deleted" pseudo-account.

Read-only user

For security purposes, it's a good idea to have a "read-only" user for LDAP read operations, instead of using the admin for everything.

# Addition to be made via 'ldapadd'
dn: cn=readonly,dc=feministwiki,dc=org
objectClass: simpleSecurityObject
objectClass: organizationalRole
cn: readonly
description: Read-only user

No fiddling with access control is needed, since read-only access is the default.

Custom objectClass

The following LDIF statement may be passed to ldapadd to create the fwMember object class.

# Addition to be made via 'ldapadd'
dn: cn=feministwiki,cn=schema,cn=config
objectClass: olcSchemaConfig
cn: feministwiki
olcAttributeTypes: {0}(
   NAME 'fwRecoveryMail'
   DESC 'FeministWiki password recovery mail'
   EQUALITY caseIgnoreMatch
olcObjectClasses: {1}(
   NAME 'fwMember'
   DESC 'FeministWiki member'
   SUP inetOrgPerson
   MAY ( fwRecoveryMail ) )

Attribute permissions

We want to make the following changes to the default LDAP permissions:

  • Members should be able to change their own display name (sn) and e-mail address (mail).
  • The read-only user should be able to find users via the combination of their username and recovery mail address (fwRecoveryMail), but not actually see their recovery mail addresses. (The password reset mechanism uses this.)
  • Members should not be able to see who a member was added by (the manager field).

The following LDIF statement may be passed to 'ldapmodify' to make the necessary access control changes:

# Modification to be made via 'ldapmodify'
dn: olcDatabase={1}mdb,cn=config
changetype: modify
add: olcAccess
olcAccess: {2}to attrs=sn,mail by self write
olcAccess: {3}to attrs=fwRecoveryMail by self write by dn.exact="cn=readonly,dc=feministwiki,dc=org" search
olcAccess: {4}to attrs=manager by self read

Note that olcAccess entries are evaluated in order, and the first match takes effect. This can affect performance. In the statement above, we start inserting entries from index 2, because indexes 0 and 1 already have some meaningful default entries.

Password hashing

To make sure passwords are stored with the {SSHA} scheme rather than plain text, the ppolicy "password policy overlay" is used. ZYTRAX has a very nice book about LDAP which documents how to enable this: http://www.zytrax.com/books/ldap/ch6/ppolicy.html

In short, the steps go as follows (these commands should work verbatim):

# Add the ppolicy schema
ldapadd -Y external -H ldapi:// < /etc/ldap/schema/ppolicy.ldif

# Enable the ppolicy dynamic module
ldapmodify -Y external -H ldapi:// <<EOF
dn: cn=module{0},cn=config
changetype: modify
add: olcModuleLoad
olcModuleLoad: ppolicy

# Add the ppolicy overlay with olcPPolicyHashCleartext set to TRUE
ldapadd -Y external -H ldapi:// <<EOF
dn: olcOverlay=ppolicy,olcDatabase={1}mdb,cn=config
objectClass: olcPPolicyConfig
olcOverlay: ppolicy
olcPPolicyHashCleartext: TRUE

Time of last login

The lastbind module of OpenLDAP keeps track of when a user last logged in.

Load the module:

# Modification to be made via 'ldapmodify'
dn: cn=module{0},cn=config
changetype: modify
add: olcModuleLoad
olcModuleLoad: lastbind

And enable the overlay:

# Addition to be made via 'ldapadd'
dn: olcOverlay=lastbind,olcDatabase={1}mdb,cn=config
objectClass: olcLastBindConfig
olcOverlay: lastbind
olcLastBindPrecision: 60