Defining an LDAP scheme

Configure an external LDAP server for authentication and/or role management.

DataStax Enterprise supports LDAP for:
  • Authentication: DSE passes through the credentials to the configured LDAP.
  • Role management: DSE looks up the authenticated user and retrieves a list of LDAP groups and then matches LDAP group names to DSE role names.
Tip: DataStax Enterprise allows you to adjust the LDAP connection using the LDAP tuning switches. To debug LDAP connections enable logging, see Enabling authentication debug.


The location of the dse.yaml file depends on the type of installation:

Package installations
Installer-Services installations


Tarball installations
Installer-No Services installations



Complete Enabling DSE Unified Authentication with the following options:

  • For authentication, ensure that authentication_options.scheme:ldap or authentication_options.other_scheme:ldap is set in the dse.yaml:
       scheme: ldap
  • For role management, ensure that role_management_options.mode: ldap is set in the dse.yaml:
       mode: ldap
Ensure that a supported LDAP v3 server is available. DataStax Enterprise supports:
  • Microsoft Active Directory:
    • Windows 2008
    • Windows 2012
  • OpenLDAP 2.4.x
  • Oracle Directory Server Enterprise Edition


On every node configure the LDAP options in the dse.yaml.
Note: For multi-datacenter support, use the nearest available LDAP host.
  1. Configure the following options when using an LDAP scheme for authentication or role management:
    Example of AD authentication minimum settings:
        server_host: win2012ad_server.mycompany.lan
        server_port: 389   
        search_dn: cn=lookup_user,cn=users,dc=win2012domain,dc=mycompany,dc=lan
        search_password: lookup_user_password
        use_ssl: false
        use_tls: false
        hostname_verification: false 
        truststore_path: path/to/truststore
        truststore_password: passwordToTruststore
        truststore_type: jks
        user_search_base: cn=users,dc=win2012domain,dc=mycompany,dc=lan
        user_search_filter: (sAMAccountName={0})
        credentials_validity_in_ms: 0
        search_validity_in_seconds: 0
            max_active: 8
            max_idle: 8
    1. Configure all required settings:
      Option Description
      server_host Host name of the LDAP server.
      server_port Port on which the LDAP server listens. The default port for unencrypted connections is 389.

      The default SSL port for LDAP is 636.

      search_dn Distinguished name (DN) of an account with read access to the user_search_base and group_search_base. Comment out to use an anonymous bind.
      search_password Password of the search_dn user.
      user_search_base Distinguished name (DN) of the object to start the recursive search for user entries for authentication and role management memberof searches. For example to search all users in, ou=users,dc=example,dc=com.

      Active Directory uses a different search base, typically CN=search,CN=Users,DC=ActDir_domname,DC=internal. For example, CN=search,CN=Users,DC=example,DC=internal.

      user_search_filter Attribute that identifies the user. The default setting is (uid={0}).

      When using Active Directory set the filter to (sAMAccountName={0}).

    2. Configure optional settings:
      Option Description
      use_ssl Set to true to enable SSL connections to the LDAP server. If set to true, you might need to change server_port to the SSL port of the LDAP server. The default value is false.
      use_tls Set to true to enable TLS connections to the LDAP server. If set to true, change the server_port to the TLS port of the LDAP server. The default value is false.
      hostname_verification Sets whether hostname verification occurs for SSL/TLS connections. Enabling the hostname verification check requires the following conditions:
      1. Set use_ssl or use_tls to true.
      2. Set truststore_path so that it points to a valid truststore; meaning, the truststore has a certificate entry (trustedCertEntry) that specifies a SAN DNSName entry matching the hostname of the LDAP server.
      3. Set this hostname_verification property to true
      DSE throws a configuration exception if hostname_verification is true but the related conditions are not met.

      Default: false

      truststore_path The path to the truststore for SSL certificates.
      truststore_password The password to access the trust store.
      truststore_type The type of truststore. The default value is jks.
      credentials_validity_in_ms The duration period in milliseconds for the credential cache. To disable the cache, set it to 0. The cache is disabled by default.

      With the cache enabled, DataStax Enterprise stores the user credentials locally during the specified time. Binding to a remote LDAP server takes time and resources, so enabling a credential cache usually results in faster performance following the initial authentication phase. Changes in user credentials on the LDAP server are not reflected in DataStax Enterprise during the cache period.

      search_validity_in_seconds The duration period in seconds for the search cache. To disable the cache, set it to 0. The cache is disabled by default.

      Enabling a search cache improves performance by reducing the number of requests that are sent to the LDAP server. Changes in user data on the LDAP server are not reflected during the cache period.

      connection_pool The configuration settings for the connection pool for making LDAP requests.
      max_active The maximum number of active connections to the LDAP server. The default value is 8.
      max_idle The maximum number of idle connections in the pool awaiting requests. The default value is 8.
  2. For Role Management mode ldap, choose one of the following:
    • Option 1. Configure DSE to get a list of groups from an attribute of the user entry:
          user_memberof_attribute: memberof
          group_search_type: memberof_search
      Note: memberof is the name of the attribute that contains a list of groups in the default Microsoft Active Directory LDAP scheme. OpenLDAP does not have a member of attribute by default.
      Table 1. Options for user attribute
      Option Setting Description
      user_memberof_attribute memberof Attribute that contains a list of group names; role manager assigns DSE roles that exactly match any in the list.
      Note: Unmatched groups are ignored.
      group_search_type memberof_search Recursively search for user entries using the user_search_base and user_search_filter.
    • Option 2. Configure DSE to search all group objects from the search base and return a list of groups that contain the user:
          group_search_type: directory_search
          group_search_base: DN 
          group_search_filter: (uniquemember={0})
          group_name_attribute: CN
      Note: uniquemember is the name of the attribute that contains a list of users in the default Microsoft Active Directory LDAP scheme for group.
      Table 2. Options for group objects
      Option Setting Description
      group_search_type directory_search Recursively search for group objects using the group_search_base.
      group_search_base DN Identifies the location that role manager starts the recursive check for groups that contain the user.

      For example to check all internal groups of cn=internal ou=group,dc=example,dc=com.

      group_search_filter (uniquemember={0}) Attribute that matches the user name. In most LDAP services the attribute is uniquemember.
      group_name_attribute cn Attribute that contains the group name that role manager matches to a configured DSE role. Group name must match the DSE role name exactly including case.
      Note: Unmatched groups are ignored.
  3. Perform a rolling restart to implement the changes.
    Tip: When adding LDAP to and authentication enabled DSE environment, DataStax recommends setting up roles for LDAP users and groups before restarting.

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