The LDAP Data Interchange Format (LDIF) - Technical Specification (RFC2849)
Original Publication Date: 2000-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This document describes a file format suitable for describing directory information or modifications made to directory information. [STANDARDS-TRACK]
Network Working Group G. Good Request for Comments: 2849 iPlanet e-commerce Solutions Category: Standards Track June 2000
The LDAP Data Interchange Format (LDIF) - Technical Specification
Status of this Memo
This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000). All Rights Reserved.
This document describes a file format suitable for describing directory information or modifications made to directory information. The file format, known as LDIF, for LDAP Data Interchange Format, is typically used to import and export directory information between LDAP-based directory servers, or to describe a set of changes which are to be applied to a directory.
Background and Intended Usage
There are a number of situations where a common interchange format is desirable. For example, one might wish to export a copy of the contents of a directory server to a file, move that file to a different machine, and import the contents into a second directory server.
Additionally, by using a well-defined interchange format, development of data import tools from legacy systems is facilitated. A fairly simple set of tools written in awk or perl can, for example, convert a database of personnel information into an LDIF file. This file can then be imported into a directory server, regardless of the internal database representation the target directory server uses.
The LDIF format was originally developed and used in the University of Michigan LDAP implementation. The first use of LDIF was in describing directory entries. Later, the format was expanded to allow representation of changes to directory entries.
Good Standards Track [Page 1]
RFC 2849 LDAP Data Interchange Format June 2000
Relationship to the application/directory MIME content-type:
The application/directory MIME content-type  is a general framework and format for conveying directory information, and is independent of any particular directory service. The LDIF format is a simpler format which is perhaps easier to create, and may also be used, as noted, to describe a set of changes to be applied to a directory.
The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "MAY", "SHOULD", and "SHOULD NOT" used in this document are to be interpreted as described in .
Definition of the LDAP Data Interchange Format
The LDIF format is used to convey directory information, or a description of a set of changes made to directory entries. An LDIF file consists of a series of records separated by line separators. A record consists of a sequence of lines describing a directory entry, or a sequence of lines describing a set of changes to a directory entry. An LDIF file specifies a set of directory entrie...