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Django LDAP authentication backend

Project description

This is a Django authentication backend that authenticates against an LDAP service. Configuration can be as simple as a single distinguished name template, but there are many rich configuration options for working with users, groups, and permissions.

This version is supported on Python 2.7 and 3.4+; and Django 1.11+. It requires python-ldap >= 3.0.


Install the package with pip:

$ pip install django-auth-ldap

It requires python-ldap >= 3.0. You’ll need the OpenLDAP libraries and headers available on your system.

To use the auth backend in a Django project, add 'django_auth_ldap.backend.LDAPBackend' to AUTHENTICATION_BACKENDS. Do not add anything to INSTALLED_APPS.


LDAPBackend should work with custom user models, but it does assume that a database is present.


LDAPBackend does not inherit from ModelBackend. It is possible to use LDAPBackend exclusively by configuring it to draw group membership from the LDAP server. However, if you would like to assign permissions to individual users or add users to groups within Django, you’ll need to have both backends installed:


Example Configuration

Here is a complete example configuration from that exercises nearly all of the features. In this example, we’re authenticating against a global pool of users in the directory, but we have a special area set aside for Django groups (ou=django,ou=groups,dc=example,dc=com). Remember that most of this is optional if you just need simple authentication. Some default settings and arguments are included for completeness.

import ldap
from django_auth_ldap.config import LDAPSearch, GroupOfNamesType

# Baseline configuration.

AUTH_LDAP_BIND_DN = 'cn=django-agent,dc=example,dc=com'
# Or:
# AUTH_LDAP_USER_DN_TEMPLATE = 'uid=%(user)s,ou=users,dc=example,dc=com'

# Set up the basic group parameters.
AUTH_LDAP_GROUP_TYPE = GroupOfNamesType(name_attr='cn')

# Simple group restrictions
AUTH_LDAP_REQUIRE_GROUP = 'cn=enabled,ou=django,ou=groups,dc=example,dc=com'
AUTH_LDAP_DENY_GROUP = 'cn=disabled,ou=django,ou=groups,dc=example,dc=com'

# Populate the Django user from the LDAP directory.
    'first_name': 'givenName',
    'last_name': 'sn',
    'email': 'mail',

    'is_active': 'cn=active,ou=django,ou=groups,dc=example,dc=com',
    'is_staff': 'cn=staff,ou=django,ou=groups,dc=example,dc=com',
    'is_superuser': 'cn=superuser,ou=django,ou=groups,dc=example,dc=com',

# This is the default, but I like to be explicit.

# Use LDAP group membership to calculate group permissions.

# Cache distinguised names and group memberships for an hour to minimize
# LDAP traffic.

# Keep ModelBackend around for per-user permissions and maybe a local
# superuser.


If you’d like to contribute, the best approach is to send a well-formed pull request, complete with tests and documentation. Pull requests should be focused: trying to do more than one thing in a single request will make it more difficult to process.

If you have a bug or feature request you can try logging an issue.

There’s no harm in creating an issue and then submitting a pull request to resolve it. This can be a good way to start a conversation and can serve as an anchor point.

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