Connecting to an LDAP directory

You can connect your JIRA application to an LDAP directory for authentication, user and group management. You will need to log in as a user with the 'JIRA System Administrators' global permission to access the Settings menu below.

An LDAP directory is a collection of data about users and groups. LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is an Internet protocol that web applications can use to look up information about those users and groups from the LDAP server.

We provide built-in connectors for the most popular LDAP directory servers:

  • Microsoft Active Directory
  • Apache Directory Server (ApacheDS)
  • Apple Open Directory
  • Fedora Directory Server
  • Novell eDirectory
  • OpenDS
  • OpenLDAP
  • OpenLDAP Using Posix Schema
  • Posix Schema for LDAP
  • Sun Directory Server Enterprise Edition (DSEE)
  • A generic LDAP directory server

When to use this option: Connecting to an LDAP directory server is useful if your users and groups are stored in a corporate directory. When configuring the directory, you can choose to make it read only, read only with local groups, or read/write. If you choose read/write, any changes made to user and group information in the application will also update the LDAP directory.

On this page:

Connecting to an LDAP Directory in JIRA

  1. Choose > User Management
  2. Choose User Directories.
  3. Add a directory and select one of these types:
    • 'Microsoft Active Directory' – This option provides a quick way to select AD, because it is the most popular LDAP directory type.
    • 'LDAP' – You will be able to choose a specific LDAP directory type on the next screen.
  4. Enter the values for the settings, as described below.
  5. Save the directory settings.
  6. Define the directory order by clicking the blue up- and down-arrows next to each directory on the 'User Directories' screen. Here is a summary of how the directory order affects the processing:
    • The order of the directories is the order in which they will be searched for users and groups.
    • Changes to users and groups will be made only in the first directory where the application has permission to make changes.
    For details, see Managing multiple directories.

Notes:

  • For this configuration, every time user logs in (i.e. first and subsequent times), the user's data in JIRA will be updated from the user's data in LDAP. This includes username, display name, email and group memberships. However for group memberships, only the following applies:
    • direct groups only (i.e. not nested groups) are synchronized from LDAP.
    • only groups that are already present in JIRA are synchronized, i.e. groups are not added/removed, and group hierarchies are not synchronized.

Server settings

Setting

Description

Name

Enter a meaningful name to help you identify the LDAP directory server. Examples:

  • Example Company Staff Directory
  • Example Company Corporate LDAP

Directory Type

Select the type of LDAP directory that you will connect to. If you are adding a new LDAP connection, the value you select here will determine the default values for many of the options on the rest of screen. Examples:

  • Microsoft Active Directory
  • OpenDS
  • And more.

Hostname

The host name of your directory server. Examples:

  • ad.example.com
  • ldap.example.com
  • opends.example.com

Port

The port on which your directory server is listening. Examples:

  • 389
  • 10389
  • 636 (for example, for SSL)

Use SSL

Check this if the connection to the directory server is an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) connection. Note that you will need to configure an SSL certificate in order to use this setting.

Username

The distinguished name of the user that the application will use when connecting to the directory server. Examples:

  • cn=administrator,cn=users,dc=ad,dc=example,dc=com
  • cn=user,dc=domain,dc=name
  • user@domain.name

Ensure that this is an administrator user for the LDAP engine. For example, in Active Directory the user will need to be a member of the built-in Administrators group. The specific privileges for the LDAP user that is used to connect to LDAP are 'bind' and 'read' (user info, group info, group membership, update sequence number, deleted objects). Admin privileges are required because a normal user can't access the uSNChanged attribute and deleted objects container, causing incremental sync to fail silently. This has been reported as CWD-3093.

Password

The password of the user specified above.

Note: Connecting to an LDAP server requires that this application log in to the server with the username and password configured here. As a result, this password cannot be one-way hashed - it must be recoverable in the context of this application. The password is currently stored in the database in plain text without obfuscation. To guarantee its security, you need to ensure that other processes do not have OS-level read permissions for this application's database or configuration files.

Schema settings

Setting

Description

Base DN

The root distinguished name (DN) to use when running queries against the directory server. Examples:

  • o=example,c=com
  • cn=users,dc=ad,dc=example,dc=com
  • For Microsoft Active Directory, specify the base DN in the following format: dc=domain1,dc=local. You will need to replace the domain1 and local for your specific configuration. Microsoft Server provides a tool called ldp.exe which is useful for finding out and configuring the the LDAP structure of your server.

Additional User DN

This value is used in addition to the base DN when searching and loading users. If no value is supplied, the subtree search will start from the base DN. Example:

  • ou=Users

Additional Group DN

This value is used in addition to the base DN when searching and loading groups. If no value is supplied, the subtree search will start from the base DN. Example:

  • ou=Groups

If no value is supplied for Additional User DN or Additional Group DN this will cause the subtree search to start from the base DN and, in case of huge directory structure, could cause performance issues for login and operations that rely on login to be performed.

Permission settings

Note: You can only assign LDAP users to local groups when 'External User Management' is not selected.

Setting

Description

Read Only

LDAP users, groups and memberships are retrieved from your directory server and can only be modified via your directory server. You cannot modify LDAP users, groups or memberships via the application administration screens.

Read Only, with Local Groups

LDAP users, groups and memberships are retrieved from your directory server and can only be modified via your directory server. You cannot modify LDAP users, groups or memberships via the application administration screens. However, you can add groups to the internal directory and add LDAP users to those groups.

(info) Note for Confluence users: Users from LDAP are added to groups maintained in Confluence's internal directory the first time they log in. This is only done once per user. There is a known issue with Read Only, with Local Groups in Confluence that may apply to you. See CONF-28621 - User Loses all Local Group Memberships If LDAP Sync is Unable to find the User, but the User appears again in subsequent syncs Open

Read/Write

LDAP users, groups and memberships are retrieved from your directory server. When you modify a user, group or membership via the application administration screens, the changes will be applied directly to your LDAP directory server. Please ensure that the LDAP user specified for the application has modification permissions on your LDAP directory server.

Adding user to groups automatically

Setting

Description

Default Group Memberships

Option available in Confluence 3.5 and later, and JIRA 4.3.3 and later. This field appears if you select the 'Read Only, with Local Groups' permission. If you would like users to be automatically added to a group or groups, enter the group name(s) here. To specify more than one group, separate the group names with commas.
In Confluence 3.5 to Confluence 3.5.1: Each time a user logs in, their group memberships will be checked. If the user does not belong to the specified group(s), their username will be added to the group(s). If a group does not yet exist, it will be added locally.
In Confluence 3.5.2 and later, and JIRA 4.3.3 and later: The first time a user logs in, their group memberships will be checked. If the user does not belong to the specified group(s), their username will be added to the group(s). If a group does not yet exist, it will be added locally. On subsequent logins, the username will not be added automatically to any groups. This change in behavior allows users to be removed from automatically-added groups. In Confluence 3.5 and 3.5.1, they would be re-added upon next login.

Please note that there is no validation of the group names. If you mis-type the group name, authorization failures will result – users will not be able to access the applications or functionality based on the intended group name.

Examples:

  • confluence-users
  • confluence-users,jira-administrators,jira-core-users

Advanced settings

Setting

Description

Enable Nested Groups

Enable or disable support for nested groups. Some directory servers allow you to define a group as a member of another group. Groups in such a structure are called 'nested groups'. If you are using groups to manage permissions, you can create nested groups to allow inheritance of permissions from one group to its sub-groups.

Manage User Status Locally If true, you can activate and deactivate users in Crowd independent of their status in the directory server.
Filter out expired users If true, user accounts marked as expired in ActiveDirectory will be automatically removed. For cached directories, the removal of a user will occur during the first synchronization after the account's expiration date.

Use Paged Results

Enable or disable the use of the LDAP control extension for simple paging of search results. If paging is enabled, the search will retrieve sets of data rather than all of the search results at once. Enter the desired page size – that is, the maximum number of search results to be returned per page when paged results are enabled. The default is 1000 results.

Follow Referrals

Choose whether to allow the directory server to redirect requests to other servers. This option uses the node referral (JNDI lookup java.naming.referral) configuration setting. It is generally needed for Active Directory servers configured without proper DNS, to prevent a 'javax.naming.PartialResultException: Unprocessed Continuation Reference(s)' error.

Naive DN Matching

If your directory server will always return a consistent string representation of a DN, you can enable naive DN matching. Using naive DN matching will result in a significant performance improvement, so we recommend enabling it where possible.

This setting determines how your application will compare DNs to determine if they are equal.

  • If this checkbox is selected, the application will do a direct, case-insensitive, string comparison. This is the default and recommended setting for Active Directory, because Active Directory guarantees the format of DNs.
  • If this checkbox is not selected, the application will parse the DN and then check the parsed version.
Enable Incremental Synchronization

Enable incremental synchronization if you only want changes since the last synchronization to be queried when synchronizing a directory.

(warning) Please be aware that when using this option, the user account configured for synchronization must have read access to:

  • The uSNChanged attribute of all users and groups in the directory that need to be synchronized.
  • The objects and attributes in the Active Directory deleted objects container (see Microsoft's Knowledge Base Article No. 892806 for details).

If at least one of these conditions is not met, you may end up with users who are added to (or deleted from) the Active Directory not being respectively added (or deleted) in the application.

This setting is only available if the directory type is set to "Microsoft Active Directory".

Synchronization Interval (minutes)

Synchronization is the process by which the application updates its internal store of user data to agree with the data on the directory server. The application will send a request to your directory server every x minutes, where 'x' is the number specified here. The default value is 60 minutes.

Read Timeout (seconds)

The time, in seconds, to wait for a response to be received. If there is no response within the specified time period, the read attempt will be aborted. A value of 0 (zero) means there is no limit. The default value is 120 seconds.

Search Timeout (seconds)

The time, in seconds, to wait for a response from a search operation. A value of 0 (zero) means there is no limit. The default value is 60 seconds.

Connection Timeout (seconds)

This setting affects two actions. The default value is 0.

  • The time to wait when getting a connection from the connection pool. A value of 0 (zero) means there is no limit, so wait indefinitely.
  • The time, in seconds, to wait when opening new server connections. A value of 0 (zero) means that the TCP network timeout will be used, which may be several minutes.

User schema settings

Setting

Description

User Object Class

This is the name of the class used for the LDAP user object. Example:

  • user

User Object Filter

The filter to use when searching user objects. Example:

  • (&(objectCategory=Person)(sAMAccountName=*))

More examples can be found here and here.

User Name Attribute

The attribute field to use when loading the username. Examples:

  • cn
  • sAMAccountName

NB: In Active Directory, the 'sAMAccountName' is the 'User Logon Name (pre-Windows 2000)' field. The User Logon Name field is referenced by 'cn'.

User Name RDN Attribute

The RDN (relative distinguished name) to use when loading the username. The DN for each LDAP entry is composed of two parts: the RDN and the location within the LDAP directory where the record resides. The RDN is the portion of your DN that is not related to the directory tree structure. Example:

  • cn

User First Name Attribute

The attribute field to use when loading the user's first name. Example:

  • givenName

User Last Name Attribute

The attribute field to use when loading the user's last name. Example:

  • sn

User Display Name Attribute

The attribute field to use when loading the user's full name. Example:

  • displayName

User Email Attribute

The attribute field to use when loading the user's email address. Example:

  • mail

User Password Attribute

The attribute field to use when loading a user's password. Example:

  • unicodePwd
User Unique ID Attribute

The attribute used as a unique immutable identifier for user objects. This is used to track username changes and is optional. If this attribute is not set (or is set to an invalid value), user renames will not be detected — they will be interpreted as a user deletion then a new user addition.

This should normally point to a UUID value. Standards-compliant LDAP servers will implement this as 'entryUUID' according to RFC 4530. This setting exists because it is known under different names on some servers, e.g. 'objectGUID' in Microsoft Active Directory.

 

 

Group schema settings

Setting

Description

Group Object Class

This is the name of the class used for the LDAP group object. Examples:

  • groupOfUniqueNames
  • group

Group Object Filter

The filter to use when searching group objects. Example:

  • (&(objectClass=group)(cn=*))

Group Name Attribute

The attribute field to use when loading the group's name. Example:

  • cn

Group Description Attribute

The attribute field to use when loading the group's description. Example:

  • description

Membership schema settings

Setting

Description

Group Members Attribute

The attribute field to use when loading the group's members. Example:

  • member

User Membership Attribute

The attribute field to use when loading the user's groups. Example:

  • memberOf

Use the User Membership Attribute, when finding the user's group membership

Check this if your directory server supports the group membership attribute on the user. (By default, this is the 'memberOf' attribute.)

  • If this checkbox is selected, your application will use the group membership attribute on the user when retrieving the list of groups to which a given user belongs. This will result in a more efficient retrieval.
  • If this checkbox is not selected, your application will use the members attribute on the group ('member' by default) for the search.
  • If the Enable Nested Groups checkbox is seleced, your application will ignore the Use the User Membership Attribute option and will use the members attribute on the group for the search.

Use the User Membership Attribute, when finding the members of a group

Check this if your directory server supports the user membership attribute on the group. (By default, this is the 'member' attribute.)

  • If this checkbox is selected, your application will use the group membership attribute on the user when retrieving the members of a given group. This will result in a more efficient search.
  • If this checkbox is not selected, your application will use the members attribute on the group ('member' by default) for the search.

Diagrams of some possible configurations

Gliffy-JIRA-To-LDAP

Diagram above: JIRA connecting to an LDAP directory.

Gliffy-JIRA-To-LDAP-RO-Local-Groups

Diagram above: JIRA connecting to an LDAP directory with permissions set to read only and local groups.

Related topics

Configuring user directories

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