A cloud-native LDAP server backed by a Consul datastore
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gobottin is a LDAP server that uses Consul's key-value store as a storage backend, in order to provide a redundant (high-availability) LDAP server on a Nomad+Consul cluster. It is a reimplementation of superboum's Bottin using the Go programming language.


  • most LDAP operations implemented (add, modify, delete, compare, search with most basic filters)
  • TLS support with STARTTLS
  • Access control through an ACL (hardcoded in the configuration file)

Building gobottin can be done simply by running go build in this folder.

gobottin takes a single command line argument, -config <filename>, which is the path to its config file (defaults to ./config.json). The configuration file is a JSON file whose contents is described in the following section.

gobottin is licensed under the terms of the GPLv3.

Server initialization

When gobottin is launched on an empty database, it creates a special admin entity with the name cn=admin,your_suffix. It will have a randomly generated password that is printed out by the server. Check your logs to retrieve the password.

The admin entity has no powers other than those granted by the ACL rules, so unless you don't want to use it, make sure to keep rules that allow to bind to the admin entity and that allows the admin entity to do everything.

Configuration of gobottin

The LDAP suffix

gobottin only handles LDAP entries under a given path, which is typically of the form dn=sld,dn=tld, where sld.tld is your domain name. Specify this suffix in the suffix key of the json config file.

Connection to the Consul server

By default, gobottin connects to the Consul server on localhost. Change this by specifying the consul_host key in the json config file.

Bind address

By default, gobottin listens on all interfaces on port 389. Change this by setting the bind_address key in the json config file.


gobottin supports SSL connections using the STARTTLS LDAP functionnality. To use it, specify the following three keys in the json config file:

  • ssl_server_name: the host name that clients will use to reach your LDAP server
  • ssl_cert_file: path to your SSL certificate (a .pem file)
  • ssl_key_file: path to your SSL key (a .pem file)

Access control list

gobottin supports a flexible syntax to specify access rights to items in the database. The ACL is specified as a list of rules. A request will be allowed if there exists a rule that allows it. Otherwise an insufficient permission error will be returned.

The list of ACL rules are specified in the acl key of the json config file, as a list of strings whose structure is defined in the next paragraph.

Rule format

A rule is a string composed of five fields separated by :. The fields are the following:

  1. The name of the user that must be bound (logged in) for the rule to apply. May contain wildcards such as * (see the format used by Go's path.Match). The special name ANONYMOUS applies to clients before they bind to an LDAP entity.
  2. The groups that the user must be a part of, separated by spaces. Wildcards may also be used. If several groups (or wildcard group patterns) are specified, for each pattern the user must be part of a group that matches it.
  3. The action, a subset of read, add, delete, modify separated by spaces.
  4. The target entity of the action as a pattern that may contain wildcards. The special word SELF is replaced by the entity name of the bound user before trying to match.
  5. The allowed attributes for a read, add or modify operation. This is specified as a list of patterns to include and exclude attributes, separated by spaces. A pattern that starts by ! is an exclude pattern, otherwise it is an include pattern. To read/write an attribute, it has to match at least one include pattern and not match any exclude pattern. Delete operations do not check for any attribute, thus as soon as delete is included in the allowed actions, the right to delete entities is granted.

Rule examples

  • Anybody (before binding) can bind to an entity under ou=users,dc=gobottin,dc=eu: ANONYMOUS::bind:*,ou=users,dc=gobottin,dc=eu:

  • Anybody (before binding) can bind to the specific admin entity: ANONYMOUS::bind:cn=admin,dc=gobottin,dc=eu:

  • Anybody who is logged in can read anything that is not a userpassword attribute: *,dc=gobottin,dc=eu::read:*:* !userpassword

  • Anybody can read and modify anything from their own entry: *::read modify:SELF:*

  • The admin can read, add, modify, delete anything: cn=admin,dc=gobottin,dc=eu::read add modify delete:*:*

  • Members of the admin group can read, add, modify, delete anything: *:cn=admin,ou=groups,dc=gobottin,dc=eu:read add modify delete:*:*