Section: File Formats (5)
Updated: 20 August 2000
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ldapsearchprefs.conf - configuration file for LDAP search preference routines  




The file /etc/ldap/ldapsearchprefs.conf contains information used by the LDAP search preference routines (see ldap-searchpref(3)). Blank lines and lines that have a first character of `#' are treated as comments and ignored. Non-comment lines contain one or more tokens. Tokens are separated by white space, and double quotes `"' can be used to include white space inside a token.

Search preferences are typically used by LDAP-based client programs to specify what a user may search for, which attributes are searched, and which options are available to the user.

The first non-commment line specifies the version of the template information and must contain the token Version followed by an integer version number. E.g.,

    Version 1
The current version is 1, so the above example is always the correct opening line.

The remainder of the file consists of one or more search preference configurations. The first line of a search preference is a human-readable name for the type of object being searched for, e.g. "People" or "Organizations". This name is stored in the so_objtypeprompt member of the ldap_searchobj structure. E.g.,

specifies a label for a search preference designed to find X.500 entries for People.

The next line specifies a list of options for this search object. The only option currently allowed is "internal" which means that this search object should not be presented directly to a user. Options are placed in the so_options member of the ldap_searchobj structure and can be tested using the LDAP_IS_SEARCHOBJ_OPTION_SET() macro. Use "" if no special options are desired.

The next line specifes a label to use for "Fewer Choices" (for lack of a better term) searches. "Fewer Choices" searches are those where the user's input is fed to the ldap_filter routines to determine an appropriate filter to use. This contrasts with explicitly-constructed LDAP filters, or "More Choices" searches, where the user can explicitly construct an LDAP filter. The "Fewer" and "More Choices" terms derive from the maX.500, waX.500 and xax500 directory user agents, which offer two configurations of their "Find Entry" dialogs - one where the user types a search string, and the client code attempts to find reasonable filter(s) to use in searching ("Fewer Choices"), and one where the user can select from several pop-up menus which allow complete specification of the search to be performed ("More Choices").

For example:

    "Search For:"
can be used by LDAP client programs to label the field into which the user can type a "Fewer Choices" search. This information is stored in the so_prompt member of the ldap_searchobj structure.

The next line specifies an LDAP filter prefix to append to all "More Choices" searched. This is typically used to limit the types of entries returned to those containing a specific object class. For example:

would cause only entries containing the object class "person" to be returned by a search. Note that parentheses may be unbalanced here, since this is a filter prefix, not an entire filter. This information is stored in the so_filterprefix member of the ldap_searchobj structure.

The next line is an LDAP filter tag (see ldap-filter(3)) which specifies the set of LDAP filters to be applied for "Fewer Choices" searching. The line

would tell the client program to use the set of LDAP filters from the ldap filter configuration file tagged "xax500-People". This information is stored in the so_filtertag member of the ldap_searchobj structure.

The next line specifies an LDAP attribute to retrieve to help the user choose when several entries match the search terms specified. For example:

specifies that if more than one entry matches the search criteria, the client program should retrieve the "title" attribute that and present that to the user to allow them to select the appropriate entry. The next line specifies a label for the above attribute, e.g.
The above information is stored in the so_defaultselectattr and so_defaultselecttext members of the ldap_searchobj structure. Note that these are defaults, and are intended to be overridden by the sa_selectattr and sa_selecttext fields of the ldap_searchattr data structure (see below).

The next line specifies the scope of the LDAP search to be performed. Acceptable values are subtree, onelevel, and base. See ldap(3) for more information.

The next section is a list of "More Choices" search options, terminated by a line containing only the string "END". Example:

  "Common Name" cn      11111   ""      ""
  "Surname"     sn      11111   ""      ""
  "Business Phone"      "telephoneNumber"       11101   ""      ""

Each line represents one method of searching. In this example, there are three ways of searching - by Common Name, by Surname, and by Business Phone number. The first field is the text which should be displayed to user. The second field is the attribute which will be searched. The third field is a bitmap which specifies which of the match types (discussed below) are permitted for this search type. A "1" value in a given bit position indicates that a particular match type is valid, and a "0" indicates that is it not valid. The fourth and fifth fields are, respectively, the select attribute name (corresponding to the sa_selectattr field of the ldap_searchattr data structure) and on-screen name for the select attribute (corresponding to the sa_selecttext field). These values are intended to override the so_defaultselectattr and so_defaultselecttext values, described above. If blank, the client software should use the default values above.

The next section is a list of search match options, terminated by a a line containing only the string "END". Example:

  "exactly matches"     "(%a=%v))"
  "approximately matches"       "(%a~=%v))"
  "starts with" "(%a=%v*))"
  "ends with"   "(%a=*%v))"
  "contains"    "(%a=*%v*))"
In this example, there are five ways of refining the search. For each method, there is an LDAP filter suffix which is appended to the ldap filter thus far constructed. The routine ldap_build_filter() may be used to construct the whole filter. It substitutes the appropriate attribute for "%a" in the filter, and a value (generally, something the user types) for "%v".



The following example illustrates one possible configuration of search preferences for "people".

# Version number
Version 1
# Name for this search object
# Label to place before text box user types in
"Search For:"
# Filter prefix to append to all "More Choices" searches
# Tag to use for "Fewer Choices" searches - from ldapfilter.conf file
# If a search results in > 1 match, retrieve this attribute to help
# user disambiguate the entries...
# ...and label it with this string:
# Search scope to use when searching
# Follows a list of "More Choices" search options.  Format is:
# Label, attribute, select-bitmap, extra attr display name, extra attr ldap name
# If last two are null, "Fewer Choices" name/attributes used
"Common Name"                   cn                 11111  ""  ""
"Surname"                       sn                 11111  ""  ""
"Business Phone"                "telephoneNumber"  11101  ""  ""
"E-Mail Address"                "mail"             11111  ""  ""
"Uniqname"                      "uid"              11111  ""  ""
# Match types
"exactly matches"               "(%a=%v))"
"approximately matches"         "(%a~=%v))"
"starts with"                   "(%a=%v*))"
"ends with"                     "(%a=*%v))"
"contains"                      "(%a=*%v*))"

In this example, the user may search for People. For "fewer choices" searching, the tag for the ldap filter config file is "xax500-People".  




ldap(3). ldap-searchprefs(3)  


is developed and maintained by The OpenLDAP Project ( is derived from University of Michigan LDAP 3.3 Release.




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