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LDAP Administration Guide
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8.3. The LDIF text entry format

The LDAP Data Interchange Format (LDIF) is used to represent LDAP entries in a simple text format. This section provides a brief description of the LDIF entry format which complements ldif(5) and the technical specification RFC2849.

The basic form of an entry is:

        # comment
        dn: <distinguished name>
        <attrdesc>: <attrvalue>
        <attrdesc>: <attrvalue>

        ...

Lines starting with a '#' character are comments. An attribute description may be a simple attribute type like cn or objectClass or 1.2.3 (an OID associated with an attribute type) or may include options such as cn;lang_en_US or userCertificate;binary.

A line may be continued by starting the next line with a single space or tab character. For example:

        dn: cn=Barbara J Jensen,dc=example,dc=
         com
        cn: Barbara J
          Jensen

is equivalent to:

        dn: cn=Barbara J Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
        cn: Barbara J Jensen

Multiple attribute values are specified on separate lines. e.g.,

        cn: Barbara J Jensen
        cn: Babs Jensen

If an <attrvalue> contains non-printing characters or begins with a space, a colon (':'), or a less than ('<'), the <attrdesc> is followed by a double colon and the base64 encoding of the value. For example, the value " begins with a space" would be encoded like this:

        cn:: IGJlZ2lucyB3aXRoIGEgc3BhY2U=

You can also specify a URL containing the attribute value. For example, the following specifies the jpegPhoto value should be obtained from the file /path/to/file.jpeg.

        cn:< file:///path/to/file.jpeg

Multiple entries within the same LDIF file are separated by blank lines. Here's an example of an LDIF file containing three entries.

        # Barbara's Entry
        dn: cn=Barbara J Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
        cn: Barbara J Jensen
        cn: Babs Jensen
        objectClass: person
        sn: Jensen

        # Bjorn's Entry
        dn: cn=Bjorn J Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
        cn: Bjorn J Jensen
        cn: Bjorn Jensen
        objectClass: person
        sn: Jensen
        # Base64 encoded JPEG photo
        jpegPhoto:: /9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAAAAAQABAAD/2wBDABALD
         A4MChAODQ4SERATGCgaGBYWGDEjJR0oOjM9PDkzODdASFxOQ
         ERXRTc4UG1RV19iZ2hnPk1xeXBkeFxlZ2P/2wBDARESEhgVG

        # Jennifer's Entry
        dn: cn=Jennifer J Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
        cn: Jennifer J Jensen
        cn: Jennifer Jensen
        objectClass: person
        sn: Jensen
        # JPEG photo from file
        jpegPhoto:< file:///path/to/file.jpeg

Notice that the jpegPhoto in Bjorn's entry is base 64 encoded and the jpegPhoto in Jennifer's entry is obtained from the location indicated by the URL.


Note: Trailing spaces are not trimmed from values in an LDIF file. Nor are multiple internal spaces compressed. If you don't want them in your data, don't put them there.

________________
© Copyright 2007, OpenLDAP Foundation, [email protected]
LDAP Administration Guide
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  Published under the terms of the OpenLDAP Public License Design by Interspire