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Here in this cookbook, you’ll find some recipes for various use case of ldap2pg.

If you struggle to find a way to setup ldap2pg for your needs, please file an issue so that we can update Cookbook with new recipes! Your contribution is welcome!

Configure pg_hba.conf with LDAP

ldap2pg does NOT configure PostgreSQL for you. You should carefully read PostgreSQL LDAP documentation for this point. Having PostgreSQL properly configured before writing ldap2pg.yaml is a good start. Here is the steps to setup PostgreSQL with LDAP in the best order:

  • Write the LDAP search and test it with ldapsearch(1). This way, you can also check how you connect to your LDAP directory.
  • In PostgreSQL cluster, manually create a single role having its password in LDAP directory.
  • Edit pg_hba.conf following PostgreSQL LDAP documentation until you can effectively login with the single role and the password from LDAP.

Once you have LDAP authentication configured in PostgreSQL cluster, you can move to automate role creation from the LDAP directory using ldap2pg:

  • Write a simple ldap2pg.yaml with only one LDAP search just to setup ldap2pg connection parameters for PostgreSQL and LDAP connection. ldap2pg always run in dry mode by default, so you can safely loop ldap2pg execution until you get it right.
  • Then, complete ldap2pg.yaml to fit your needs following ldap2pg documentation. Run ldap2pg for real and check that ldap2pg maintain your single test role, and that you can still connect to the cluster with it.
  • Finally, you must decide when and how you want to trigger synchronization: a regular cron tab ? An ansible task ? Manually ? Other ? Ensure ldap2pg execution is frequent, on purpose and notified.

Configure Postgres Connection

The simplest case is to save the connection settings in ldap2pg.yaml, section postgres:

  dsn: postgres://user:password@host:port/

ldap2pg checks for file mode and refuse to read password in world readable files. Ensure it is not world readable by setting a proper file mode:

$ chmod 0600 ldap2pg.yml

ldap2pg will warn about Empty synchronization map and ends with Comparison complete. ldap2pg suggests to drop everything. Go on and write the synchronization map to tell ldap2pg the required roles for the cluster.

Search LDAP Directory

The first step is to search your LDAP server with ldapsearch(1), the CLI tool from OpenLDAP. Like this:

$ ldapsearch -H ldaps://ldap.ldap2pg.docker -U testsasl -W -b dc=ldap,dc=ldap2pg,dc=docker
Enter LDAP Password:
SASL/DIGEST-MD5 authentication started
SASL username: testsasl
SASL data security layer installed.
# extended LDIF
# LDAPv3
# search result
search: 4
result: 0 Success

# numResponses: 16
# numEntries: 15

Now save the settings in ldaprc:

LDAPURI ldaps://ldap.ldap2pg.docker
LDAPUSER testsasl

And in environment: LDAPPASSWORD=secret

Next, update your ldapsearch(1) to properly match role entries in LDAP server:

$ ldapsearch -H ldaps://ldap.ldap2pg.docker -U testsasl -W -b cn=dba,ou=groups,dc=ldap,dc=ldap2pg,dc=docker '' member
# dba, groups, ldap.ldap2pg.docker
dn: cn=dba,ou=groups,dc=ldap,dc=ldap2pg,dc=docker
member: cn=Alan,ou=people,dc=ldap,dc=ldap2pg,dc=docker
member: cn=albert,ou=people,dc=ldap,dc=ldap2pg,dc=docker
member: cn=ALICE,ou=people,dc=ldap,dc=ldap2pg,dc=docker

# search result
search: 4
result: 0 Success


Now translate the query in ldap2pg.yaml and associate a role mapping to produce roles from each values of each entries returned by the LDAP search:

- ldapsearch:
    base: cn=dba,ou=groups,dc=ldap,dc=ldap2pg,dc=docker
    name: '{}'
    options: LOGIN SUPERUSER

Test it:

$ ldap2pg
Querying LDAP cn=dba,ou=groups,dc=ldap,dc=ldap2pg,dc=docker...
Would create alan.
Would create albert.
Would update options of alice.
Comparison complete.

Read further on how to control role creation from LDAP entry in Configuration. Once you’re satisfied with the comparison output, go real with --real.

Using LDAP High-Availability

ldap2pg supports LDAP HA out of the box just like any openldap client. Use a space separated list of URI to tells all servers.

$ LDAPURI="ldaps://ldap1 ldaps://ldap2" ldap2pg

See [ldap.conf(5)] for further details.

Running as non-superuser

Since Postgres provide a CREATEROLE role option, you can manage roles without superuser privileges. Security-wise, it’s a good idea to manage roles without super privileges.

ldap2pg supports this case. However, you must be careful about the limitations. Let’s call the non-super role creating other roles creator.

  • You can’t manage some roles options like SUPERUSER, BYPASSRLS and REPLICATION. Thus you wont be able to detect spurious superusers.
  • Ensure creator can revoke all grants of managed users.
  • creator should own database and other objects if you want creator to grant privileges on this. This include public schema.
  • Granting CREATE on schema requires to grant write access to pg_catalog. That’s tricky to give such privileges to creator.

Revoking privileges

There is no explicit revoke in ldap2pg. ldap2pg inspects SQL grants, ldap2pg.yml tells what privileges should be granted. Every unexpected grant is revoked. This is called implicit revoke.

ldap2pg don’t require any YAML grant to trigger inspection of Postgres for SQL GRANT, and thus revoke. You just declare a privilege with an inspect query. Of course, you’ll need a revoke query too.

The following YAML is enough to revoke CONNECT ON DATABASE from public role:

    type: datacl
    inspect: |
      SELECT NULL, 'public';
    revoke: |
      REVOKE CONNECT ON DATABASE {database} FROM {role};

The bug here, is that inspect does not truly inspect Postgres and always returns the same result. ldap2pg will always execute the revoke query, thinking mypriv is granted to public, whatever the actual state of the cluster. It’s up to you to dig in pg_catalog.pg_database.datacl to find SQL GRANT.

Inherit Unmanaged Role

You may want to have a local role, not managed by ldap2pg to have custom privileges and grant this role to managed users. This is tricky because ldap2pg can’t manage members of a role without managing its privileges and other options. The solution is to isolate managed membership in a preexisting sub-role.

Say you have a local_readers roles with custom privileges. Prior to running ldap2pg, create a local_readers_managed_members role, member of local_readers:

=# CREATE ROLE local_readers;
=# CREATE ROLE local_readers_managed_members;
=# GRANT local_readers TO local_readers_managed_members;

Now, in ldap2pg.yml, declare local_readers_managed_members and add members:

- role: local_readers_managed_members
- role:
    name: myuser
    parent: local_readers_managed_members

Ensure that local_readers is not returned by managed_roles_query to prevent any modifications. Now run ldap2pg as usual. You’ll see the message add missing local_readers_managed_members members. That’s it, ldap2pg will never touch local_readers privileges or direct members, but managed roles can inherit from it.

Removing All Roles

If ever you want to clean all roles in a PostgreSQL cluster, ldap2pg could be helpful. You must explicitly define an empty sync_map.

$ echo 'sync_map: []' | ldap2pg --config - --real
Empty synchronization map. All roles will be dropped!

In this example, default blacklist applies. ldap2pg never drop its connect role.

ldap2pg as Docker container

Already familiar with Docker and willing to save the setup time? You’re at the right place.

To run the container simply use the command:

$ docker run --rm dalibo/ldap2pg --help

The Docker image of ldap2pg use the same configuration options as explained in the cli and ldap2pg.yml sections. You can mount the ldap2pg.yml configuration file.

$ docker run --rm -v ${PWD}/ldap2pg.yml:/workspace/ldap2pg.yml dalibo/ldap2pg

You can also export some environmnent variables with the -e option:

$ docker run --rm -v ${PWD}/ldap2pg.yml:/workspace/ldap2pg.yml -e PGDSN=postgres://postgres@localhost:5432/ -e LDAPURI=ldaps://localhost -e LDAPBINDDN=cn=you,dc=entreprise,dc=fr -e LDAPPASSWORD=pasglop dalibo/ldap2pg

Make sure your container can resolve the hostname your pointing to. If you use some internal name resolution be sure to add the –dns= option to your command pointing to your internal DNS server. More info

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