LDAPSEARCH(1)              General Commands Manual             LDAPSEARCH(1)

NAME         top

       ldapsearch - LDAP search tool

SYNOPSIS         top

       ldapsearch [-V[V]] [-d debuglevel] [-n] [-v] [-c] [-u] [-t[t]]
       [-T path] [-F prefix] [-A] [-L[L[L]]] [-S attribute] [-b searchbase]
       [-s {base|one|sub|children}] [-a {never|always|search|find}]
       [-l timelimit] [-z sizelimit] [-f file] [-M[M]] [-x] [-D binddn] [-W]
       [-w passwd] [-y passwdfile] [-H ldapuri] [-h ldaphost] [-p ldapport]
       [-P {2|3}] [-e [!]ext[=extparam]] [-E [!]ext[=extparam]]
       [-o opt[=optparam]] [-O security-properties] [-I] [-Q] [-N]
       [-U authcid] [-R realm] [-X authzid] [-Y mech] [-Z[Z]] filter

DESCRIPTION         top

       ldapsearch is a shell-accessible interface to the ldap_search_ext(3)
       library call.

       ldapsearch opens a connection to an LDAP server, binds, and performs
       a search using specified parameters.   The filter should conform to
       the string representation for search filters as defined in RFC 4515.
       If not provided, the default filter, (objectClass=*), is used.

       If ldapsearch finds one or more entries, the attributes specified by
       attrs are returned.  If * is listed, all user attributes are
       returned.  If + is listed, all operational attributes are returned.
       If no attrs are listed, all user attributes are returned.  If only
       1.1 is listed, no attributes will be returned.

       The search results are displayed using an extended version of LDIF.
       Option -L controls the format of the output.

OPTIONS         top

       -V[V]  Print version info.  If -VV is given, only the version
              information is printed.

       -d debuglevel
              Set the LDAP debugging level to debuglevel.  ldapsearch must
              be compiled with LDAP_DEBUG defined for this option to have
              any effect.

       -n     Show what would be done, but don't actually perform the
              search.  Useful for debugging in conjunction with -v.

       -v     Run in verbose mode, with many diagnostics written to standard

       -c     Continuous operation mode. Errors are reported, but ldapsearch
              will continue with searches. The default is to exit after
              reporting an error.  Only useful in conjunction with -f.

       -u     Include the User Friendly Name form of the Distinguished Name
              (DN) in the output.

       -t[t]  A single -t writes retrieved non-printable values to a set of
              temporary files.  This is useful for dealing with values
              containing non-character data such as jpegPhoto or audio. A
              second -t writes all retrieved values to files.

       -T path
              Write temporary files to directory specified by path (default:

       -F prefix
              URL prefix for temporary files.  Default is file://path where
              path is /var/tmp/ or specified with -T.

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

       -L     Search results are display in LDAP Data Interchange Format
              detailed in ldif(5).  A single -L restricts the output to
               A second -L disables comments.  A third -L disables printing
              of the LDIF version.  The default is to use an extended
              version of LDIF.

       -S attribute
              Sort the entries returned based on attribute. The default is
              not to sort entries returned.  If attribute is a zero-length
              string (""), the entries are sorted by the components of their
              Distinguished Name.  See ldap_sort(3) for more details. Note
              that ldapsearch normally prints out entries as it receives
              them. The use of the -S option defeats this behavior, causing
              all entries to be retrieved, then sorted, then printed.

       -b searchbase
              Use searchbase as the starting point for the search instead of
              the default.

       -s {base|one|sub|children}
              Specify the scope of the search to be one of base, one, sub,
              or children to specify a base object, one-level, subtree, or
              children search.  The default is sub.  Note: children scope
              requires LDAPv3 subordinate feature extension.

       -a {never|always|search|find}
              Specify how aliases dereferencing is done.  Should be one of
              never, always, search, or find to specify that aliases are
              never dereferenced, always dereferenced, dereferenced when
              searching, or dereferenced only when locating the base object
              for the search.  The default is to never dereference aliases.

       -l timelimit
              wait at most timelimit seconds for a search to complete.  A
              timelimit of 0 (zero) or none means no limit.  A timelimit of
              max means the maximum integer allowable by the protocol.  A
              server may impose a maximal timelimit which only the root user
              may override.

       -z sizelimit
              retrieve at most sizelimit entries for a search.  A sizelimit
              of 0 (zero) or none means no limit.  A sizelimit of max means
              the maximum integer allowable by the protocol.  A server may
              impose a maximal sizelimit which only the root user may

       -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 and only
              occurrence of %s is replaced with a line from file.  Any other
              occurrence of the the % character in the pattern will be
              regarded as an error.  Where it is desired that the search
              filter include a % character, the character should be encoded
              as \25 (see RFC 4515).  If file is a single - character, then
              the lines are read from standard input.  ldapsearch will exit
              when the first non-successful search result is returned,
              unless -c is used.

       -M[M]  Enable manage DSA IT control.  -MM makes control critical.

       -x     Use simple authentication instead of SASL.

       -D binddn
              Use the Distinguished Name binddn to bind to the LDAP
              directory.  For SASL binds, the server is expected to ignore
              this value.

       -W     Prompt for simple authentication.  This is used instead of
              specifying the password on the command line.

       -w passwd
              Use passwd as the password for simple authentication.

       -y passwdfile
              Use complete contents of passwdfile as the password for simple

       -H ldapuri
              Specify URI(s) referring to the ldap server(s); a list of URI,
              separated by whitespace or commas is expected; only the
              protocol/host/port fields are allowed.  As an exception, if no
              host/port is specified, but a DN is, the DN is used to look up
              the corresponding host(s) using the DNS SRV records, according
              to RFC 2782.  The DN must be a non-empty sequence of AVAs
              whose attribute type is "dc" (domain component), and must be
              escaped according to RFC 2396.

       -h ldaphost
              Specify an alternate host on which the ldap server is running.
              Deprecated in favor of -H.

       -p ldapport
              Specify an alternate TCP port where the ldap server is
              listening.  Deprecated in favor of -H.

       -P {2|3}
              Specify the LDAP protocol version to use.

       -e [!]ext[=extparam]

       -E [!]ext[=extparam]

              Specify general extensions with -e and search extensions with
              -E.  ´!´ indicates criticality.

              General extensions:
                [!]assert=<filter>    (an RFC 4515 Filter)
                !authzid=<authzid>    ("dn:<dn>" or "u:<user>")
                [!]bauthzid           (RFC 3829 authzid control)
                [!]postread[=<attrs>] (a comma-separated attribute list)
                [!]preread[=<attrs>]  (a comma-separated attribute list)
                abandon,cancel,ignore (SIGINT sends abandon/cancel,
                or ignores response; if critical, doesn't wait for SIGINT.
                not really controls)

              Search extensions:
                [!]domainScope                       (domain scope)
                [!]mv=<filter>                       (matched values filter)
                [!]pr=<size>[/prompt|noprompt]       (paged results/prompt)
                [!]sss=[-]<attr[:OID]>[/[-]<attr[:OID]>...]  (server side sorting)
                [!]subentries[=true|false]           (subentries)
                [!]sync=ro[/<cookie>]                (LDAP Sync refreshOnly)
                        rp[/<cookie>][/<slimit>]     (LDAP Sync refreshAndPersist)
                [!]vlv=<before>/<after>(/<offset>/<count>|:<value>)  (virtual list view)

       -o opt[=optparam]

              Specify general options.

              General options:
                nettimeout=<timeout>  (in seconds, or "none" or "max")
                ldif-wrap=<width>     (in columns, or "no" for no wrapping)

       -O security-properties
              Specify SASL security properties.

       -I     Enable SASL Interactive mode.  Always prompt.  Default is to
              prompt only as needed.

       -Q     Enable SASL Quiet mode.  Never prompt.

       -N     Do not use reverse DNS to canonicalize SASL host name.

       -U authcid
              Specify the authentication ID for SASL bind. The form of the
              ID depends on the actual SASL mechanism used.

       -R realm
              Specify the realm of authentication ID for SASL bind. The form
              of the realm depends on the actual SASL mechanism used.

       -X authzid
              Specify the requested authorization ID for SASL bind.  authzid
              must be one of the following formats: dn:<distinguished name>
              or u:<username>

       -Y mech
              Specify the SASL mechanism to be used for authentication. If
              it's not specified, the program will choose the best mechanism
              the server knows.

       -Z[Z]  Issue StartTLS (Transport Layer Security) extended operation.
              If you use -ZZ, the command will require the operation to be

OUTPUT FORMAT         top

       If one or more entries are found, each entry is written to standard
       output in LDAP Data Interchange Format or ldif(5):

           version: 1

           # bjensen, example, net
           dn: uid=bjensen,dc=example,dc=net
           objectClass: person
           objectClass: dcObject
           uid: bjensen
           cn: Barbara Jensen
           sn: Jensen

       If the -t option is used, the URI of a temporary file is used in
       place of the actual value.  If the -A option is given, only the
       "attributename" part is written.

EXAMPLE         top

       The following command:

           ldapsearch -LLL "(sn=smith)" cn sn telephoneNumber

       will perform a subtree search (using the default search base and
       other parameters defined in ldap.conf(5)) for entries with a surname
       (sn) of smith.  The common name (cn), surname (sn) and
       telephoneNumber values will be retrieved and printed to standard
       output.  The output might look something like this if two entries are

           dn: uid=jts,dc=example,dc=com
           cn: John Smith
           cn: John T. Smith
           sn: Smith
           sn;lang-en: Smith
           sn;lang-de: Schmidt
           telephoneNumber: 1 555 123-4567

           dn: uid=sss,dc=example,dc=com
           cn: Steve Smith
           cn: Steve S. Smith
           sn: Smith
           sn;lang-en: Smith
           sn;lang-de: Schmidt
           telephoneNumber: 1 555 765-4321

       The command:

           ldapsearch -LLL -u -t "(uid=xyz)" jpegPhoto audio

       will perform a subtree search using the default search base for
       entries with user id of "xyz".  The user friendly form of the entry's
       DN will be output after the line that contains the DN itself, and the
       jpegPhoto and audio values will be retrieved and written to temporary
       files.  The output might look like this if one entry with one value
       for each of the requested attributes is found:

           dn: uid=xyz,dc=example,dc=com
           ufn: xyz, example, com
           audio:< file:///tmp/ldapsearch-audio-a19924
           jpegPhoto:< file:///tmp/ldapsearch-jpegPhoto-a19924

       This command:

           ldapsearch -LLL -s one -b "c=US" "(o=University*)" o description

       will perform a one-level search at the c=US level for all entries
       whose organization name (o) begins with University.  The organization
       name and description attribute values will be retrieved and printed
       to standard output, resulting in output similar to this:

           dn: o=University of Alaska Fairbanks,c=US
           o: University of Alaska Fairbanks
           description: Preparing Alaska for a brave new yesterday
           description: leaf node only

           dn: o=University of Colorado at Boulder,c=US
           o: University of Colorado at Boulder
           description: No personnel information
           description: Institution of education and research

           dn: o=University of Colorado at Denver,c=US
           o: University of Colorado at Denver
           o: UCD
           o: CU/Denver
           o: CU-Denver
           description: Institute for Higher Learning and Research

           dn: o=University of Florida,c=US
           o: University of Florida
           o: UFl
           description: Warper of young minds


DIAGNOSTICS         top

       Exit status is zero if no errors occur.  Errors result in a non-zero
       exit status and a diagnostic message being written to standard error.

SEE ALSO         top

       ldapadd(1), ldapdelete(1), ldapmodify(1), ldapmodrdn(1),
       ldap.conf(5), ldif(5), ldap(3), ldap_search_ext(3), ldap_sort(3)

AUTHOR         top

       The OpenLDAP Project <>


       OpenLDAP Software is developed and maintained by The OpenLDAP Project
       <>.  OpenLDAP Software is derived from the
       University of Michigan LDAP 3.3 Release.

COLOPHON         top

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