From NURDspace
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Participants Fwd
Skills Linux, OpenLDAP, FreeRadius
Status Finished
Niche Software
Purpose Infrastructure
Tool Yes
Tool category

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Adding a new member

There's a guide here explaining the steps for adding a new member to the LDAP.

Connected machines and services


The workstations listed above are set up as follows:

  • Homedirs mounted over NFS from dumpster-a (except user 'printer' on PrinterPC)
  • Users in the LDAP 'sudo' group can sudo.
  • Homedirs are created on the NFS-export when adding a user to LDAP (like this)

Setting up other workstations in this way

To get this to work you need to:

  • create all local users in LDAP and then delete local users (else UIDs/GIDs get confusing)
  • move homedirs to nurdservices (fix ownership because LDAP-users have a different UID) then delete local homedirs
  • put https://www.sslcertificaten.nl/files/PositiveSSLCA2.crt in /etc/ssl/certs/ with permissions 644
  • insert into /etc/fstab:

dumpster-a.nurdspace.lan:/vol/home /home nfs rw,auto,exec,vers=3 0 0

  • install nfs client stuff:

apt-get install rpcbind nfs-common

  • install libnss-ldapd (see below for settings asked during installation, in the selection list check passwd, group and shadow)
  • install nslcd and libpam-ldapd (see below for settings asked during installation)
  • /etc/nslcd.conf should mention at least the following:
uri ldaps://ldap.nurdspace.nl/
base dc=nurdspace,dc=lan
binddn cn=read-user,ou=systems,dc=nurdspace,dc=lan
bindpw (obtain from other machine)
ssl on
tls_reqcert demand
tls_cacertfile /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt
  • configure /etc/nsswitch.conf:
passwd:    files ldap
group:    files ldap
shadow:    files ldap
  • restart nslcd
  • restart nscd

  • check if ldap users are listed when you run "getent passwd"
  • sudo might not work until you type 'id' which is kind of a mystery

Useful reading: http://www.debian-administration.org/article/OpenLDAP_installation_on_Debian

In certain cases sudo can break. This can be fixed with a patch while it's not fixed properly.


  • NURDServices (only users in group "admins" can log in)
  • Egg (a VM for all members to irssi or other processes)


Slapd and FusionDirectory are running on NURDServices. FusionDirectory's web interface can be accessed on https://ldap.nurdspace.nl.


Authentication on this wiki is done via SAML. Zarya needs to document this.


  • The mediawiki login system converts the first character of usernames to uppercase due to restrictions on usernames. To get around this we've enabled $wgLDAPLowercaseUsernameScheme. This requires usernames to be all lowercase in the LDAP.
  • Users are maintained through the LDAP, so creating a user on the Wiki is no longer possible. It could be enabled, but that would require adding a user with write-access in the LDAP. That seems a little scary for now. It would however offer the possibility of changing your LDAP password through the Wiki.

Wifi (Spacenet)

The LDAP serves as a userdb for Spacenet, which is connected via FreeRADIUS. For full details see the Spacenet-page. Only users in group "spacenet" can log in.


See the network page.

Future plans

The most important machines and services are now hooked up to the LDAP. However, there's always room for more.

More groups for different purposes

We should create more groups for specific purposes, such as:

  • Workstation users (now only sudo'ers are treated separately)
  • Separate group per workstation? Or some sort of hierarchy of groups, so members need only be in 1 group?
  • Spacenet users done

(Un)locking the front door

See Spacelock.

Member registration

Currently the users in group "members" are maintained by hand. A little more automation would be appropriate. Hooking it up to actual money transactions might be far-fetched, but maybe something else is possible.

E-mail and contacts services

We could install Zimbra or Zarafa, or maybe some smaller services to provide e-mail accounts, mailinglist functionality and maybe a CardDAV services for members.

Make use of more of FusionDirectory's features

FusionDirectory has features/plugins for applications, mime-types, workstations, object groups, public key authentication. Maybe some of these could be useful?

  • Systems plugin installed and working, so we can now list all systems (workstations, servers) in the LDAP
  • Wake-on-lan not working yet, probably due to a bug in Argonaut. The server- and client-services see eachother but wake-on-lan commands don't come through and you get an error in the web interface:
Communication failure with the infrastructure service: 
Error: Request error: No client module can handle action Deployment.wake for target 00:0d:56:06:b6:26 
  • Maybe maintain the internal DNS with this plugin?
  • The DHCP feature sucks, so it's been rolled back.


  • Members page filled based on LDAP group 'members'.


  • Investigate possibility of moving to a different database back-end (back-sql)
  • Exclude weak ciphers from olcTLSCipherSuite in cn=config
  • Setting "change password on first login" in FusionDirectory doesn't get enforced through PAM
  • Upgrade FusionDirectory from 1.0.5 to 1.0.6
  • Maintain Members page from LDAP (Like so, but this only displays 1 entry. Could be fixed like so.)
  • Check if the passwordmailer on FusionDirectory works
  • Check out ldapvi