ldapcompare - LDAP compare tool


ldapcompare [ -n] [ -v] [ -z] [ -M[M]] [ -d debuglevel] [ -D binddn] [ -W] [ -w passwd] [ -y passwdfile] [ -H ldapuri] [ -h ldaphost] [ -p ldapport] [ -P {2|3}] [ -e [!]ext[=extparam]] [ -E [!]ext[=extparam]] [ -O security-properties] [ -I] [ -Q] [ -U authcid] [ -R realm] [ -x] [ -X authzid] [ -Y mech] [ -Z[Z]] DN { attr:value | attr::b64value}


ldapcompare is a shell-accessible interface to the ldap_compare_ext(3) library call.

ldapcompare opens a connection to an LDAP server, binds, and performs a compare using specified parameters. The DN should be a distinguished name in the directory. Attr should be a known attribute. If followed by one colon, the assertion value should be provided as a string. If followed by two colons, the base64 encoding of the value is provided. The result code of the compare is provided as the exit code and, unless ran with -z, the program prints TRUE, FALSE, or UNDEFINED on standard output.


-n Show what would be done, but don’t actually perform the compare. Useful for debugging in conjunction with -v.
-v Run in verbose mode, with many diagnostics written to standard output.
-z Run in quiet mode, no output is written. You must check the return status. Useful in shell scripts.
-M[M] Enable manage DSA IT control. -MM makes control critical.
-d debuglevel
 Set the LDAP debugging level to debuglevel. ldapcompare must be compiled with LDAP_DEBUG defined for this option to have any effect.
-x Use simple authentication instead of SASL.
-D binddn Use the Distinguished Name binddn to bind to the LDAP directory. For SASL binds, the server is expected to ignore this value.
-W Prompt for simple authentication. This is used instead of specifying the password on the command line.
-w passwd Use passwd as the password for simple authentication.
-y passwdfile
 Use complete contents of passwdfile as the password for simple authentication. Note that complete means that any leading or trailing whitespaces, including newlines, will be considered part of the password and, unlike other software, they will not be stripped. As a consequence, passwords stored in files by commands like echo(1) will not behave as expected, since echo(1) by default appends a trailing newline to the echoed string. The recommended portable way to store a cleartext password in a file for use with this option is to use slappasswd(8) with {CLEARTEXT} as hash and the option -n.
-H ldapuri
 Specify URI(s) referring to the ldap server(s); only the protocol/host/port fields are allowed; a list of URI, separated by whitespace or commas is expected.
-h ldaphost
 Specify an alternate host on which the ldap server is running. Deprecated in favor of -H.
-p ldapport
 Specify an alternate TCP port where the ldap server is listening. Deprecated in favor of -H.
-P {2|3} Specify the LDAP protocol version to use.
-e [!]ext[=extparam]
-E [!]ext[=extparam]

Specify general extensions with -e and search extensions with -E. '!' indicates criticality.

General extensions: [!]assert=<filter> (an RFC 4515 Filter) [!]authzid=<authzid> ("dn:<dn>" or "u:<user>") [!]manageDSAit [!]noop ppolicy [!]postread[=<attrs>] (a comma-separated attribute list) [!]preread[=<attrs>] (a comma-separated attribute list) abandon, cancel (SIGINT sends abandon/cancel; not really controls)

Search extensions: [!]domainScope (domain scope) [!]mv=<filter> (matched values filter) [!]pr=<size>[/prompt|noprompt] (paged results/prompt) [!]sss=[-]<attr[:OID]>[/[-]<attr[:OID]>...] (server side sorting) [!]subentries[=true|false] (subentries) [!]sync=ro[/<cookie>] (LDAP Sync refreshOnly) rp[/<cookie>][/<slimit>] (LDAP Sync refreshAndPersist)

-O security-properties
 Specify SASL security properties.
-I Enable SASL Interactive mode. Always prompt. Default is to prompt only as needed.
-Q Enable SASL Quiet mode. Never prompt.
-U authcid
 Specify the authentication ID for SASL bind. The form of the ID depends on the actual SASL mechanism used.
-R realm Specify the realm of authentication ID for SASL bind. The form of the realm depends on the actual SASL mechanism used.
-X authzid
 Specify the requested authorization ID for SASL bind. authzid must be one of the following formats: dn:<distinguished name> or u:<username>
-Y mech Specify the SASL mechanism to be used for authentication. If it’s not specified, the program will choose the best mechanism the server knows.
-Z[Z] Issue StartTLS (Transport Layer Security) extended operation. If you use -ZZ, the command will require the operation to be successful.


ldapcompare "uid=babs,dc=example,dc=com" sn:Jensen ldapcompare "uid=babs,dc=example,dc=com" sn::SmVuc2Vu are all equivalent.


Requiring the value be passed on the command line is limiting and introduces some security concerns. The command should support a mechanism to specify the location (file name or URL) to read the value from.


ldap.conf(5), ldif(5), ldap(3), ldap_compare_ext(3)


The OpenLDAP Project <>


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

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