An Approach for Using LDAP as a Network Information Service (RFC2307)
Original Publication Date: 1998-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This document describes an experimental mechanism for mapping entities related to TCP/IP and the UNIX system into X.500 [X500] entries so that they may be resolved with the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol [RFC2251]. A set of attribute types and object classes are proposed, along with specific guidelines for interpreting them.
Network Working Group L. Howard
Request for Comments: 2307 Independent Consultant
Category: Experimental March 1998
An Approach for Using LDAP as a Network Information Service
Status of this Memo
This memo defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet
community. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.
Discussion and suggestions for improvement are requested.
Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998). All Rights Reserved.
This document describes an experimental mechanism for mapping
entities related to TCP/IP and the UNIX system into X.500 [X500]
entries so that they may be resolved with the Lightweight Directory
Access Protocol [RFC2251]. A set of attribute types and object
classes are proposed, along with specific guidelines for interpreting
The intention is to assist the deployment of LDAP as an
organizational nameservice. No proposed solutions are intended as
standards for the Internet. Rather, it is hoped that a general
consensus will emerge as to the appropriate solution to such
problems, leading eventually to the adoption of standards. The
proposed mechanism has already been implemented with some success.
1. Background and Motivation
The UNIX (R) operating system, and its derivatives (specifically,
those which support TCP/IP and conform to the X/Open Single UNIX
specification [XOPEN]) require a means of looking up entities, by
matching them against search criteria or by enumeration. (Other
operating systems that support TCP/IP may provide some means of
resolving some of these entities. This schema is applicable to those
These entities include users, groups, IP services (which map names to
IP ports and protocols, and vice versa), IP protocols (which map
names to IP protocol numbers and vice versa), RPCs (which map names
to ONC Remote Procedure Call [RFC1057] numbers and vice versa), NIS
netgroups, booting information (boot parameters and MAC address
mappings), filesystem mounts, IP hosts and networks, and RFC822 mail
Resolution requests are made through a set of C functions, provided
in the UNIX system's C library. For example, the UNIX system utility
"ls", which enumerates the contents of a filesystem directory, uses
the C library function getpwuid() in order to map user IDs to login
names. Once the request is made, it is resolved using a "nameservice"
which is supported by the client library. The nameservice may be, at
its simplest, a collection of files in the local filesystem which are
opened and searched by the C library. Other common nameservices
include the Network Information Service (NIS) and the Domain Name
System (DNS). (The latter is typically used for resolving hosts,
services and networks.) Both these nameservices have the adv...