Postfix can use an LDAP directory as a source for any of its lookups: aliases(5), virtual(5), canonical(5), etc. This allows you to keep information for your mail service in a replicated network database with fine-grained access controls. By not storing it locally on the mail server, the administrators can maintain it from anywhere, and the users can control whatever bits of it you think appropriate. You can have multiple mail servers using the same information, without the hassle and delay of having to copy it to each.
Topics covered in this document:
These instructions assume that you build Postfix from source code as described in the INSTALL document. Some modification may be required if you build Postfix from a vendor-specific source package.
Note 1: Postfix no longer supports the LDAP version 1 interface.
Note 2: to use LDAP with Debian GNU/Linux's Postfix, all you need is to install the postfix-ldap package and you're done. There is no need to recompile Postfix.
You need to have LDAP libraries and include files installed somewhere on your system, and you need to configure the Postfix Makefiles accordingly.
For example, to build the OpenLDAP libraries for use with Postfix (i.e. LDAP client code only), you could use the following command:
% ./configure --without-kerberos --without-cyrus-sasl --without-tls \ --without-threads --disable-slapd --disable-slurpd \ --disable-debug --disable-shared
If you're using the libraries from the UM distribution (http://www.umich.edu/~dirsvcs/ldap/ldap.html) or OpenLDAP (http://www.openldap.org), something like this in the top level of your Postfix source tree should work:
% make tidy % make makefiles CCARGS="-I/usr/local/include -DHAS_LDAP" \ AUXLIBS_LDAP="-L/usr/local/lib -lldap -L/usr/local/lib -llber"
If your LDAP shared library is in a directory that the RUN-TIME linker does not know about, add a "-Wl,-R,/path/to/directory" option after "-lldap".
Postfix versions before 3.0 use AUXLIBS instead of AUXLIBS_LDAP. With Postfix 3.0 and later, the old AUXLIBS variable still supports building a statically-loaded LDAP database client, but only the new AUXLIBS_LDAP variable supports building a dynamically-loaded or statically-loaded LDAP database client.
Failure to use the AUXLIBS_LDAP variable will defeat the purpose of dynamic database client loading. Every Postfix executable file will have LDAP database library dependencies. And that was exactly what dynamic database client loading was meant to avoid.
On Solaris 2.x you may have to specify run-time link information, otherwise ld.so will not find some of the shared libraries:
% make tidy % make makefiles CCARGS="-I/usr/local/include -DHAS_LDAP" \ AUXLIBS_LDAP="-L/usr/local/lib -R/usr/local/lib -lldap \ -L/usr/local/lib -R/usr/local/lib -llber"
The 'make tidy' command is needed only if you have previously built Postfix without LDAP support.
Instead of '/usr/local' specify the actual locations of your LDAP include files and libraries. Be sure to not mix LDAP include files and LDAP libraries of different versions!!
If your LDAP libraries were built with Kerberos support, you'll also need to include your Kerberos libraries in this line. Note that the KTH Kerberos IV libraries might conflict with Postfix's lib/libdns.a, which defines dns_lookup. If that happens, you'll probably want to link with LDAP libraries that lack Kerberos support just to build Postfix, as it doesn't support Kerberos binds to the LDAP server anyway. Sorry about the bother.
If you're using one of the Netscape LDAP SDKs, you'll need to change the AUXLIBS line to point to libldap10.so or libldapssl30.so or whatever you have, and you may need to use the appropriate linker option (e.g. '-R') so the executables can find it at runtime.
If you are using OpenLDAP, and the libraries were built with SASL support, you can add -DUSE_LDAP_SASL to the CCARGS to enable SASL support. For example:
CCARGS="-I/usr/local/include -DHAS_LDAP -DUSE_LDAP_SASL"
In order to use LDAP lookups, define an LDAP source as a table lookup in main.cf, for example:
alias_maps = hash:/etc/aliases, ldap:/etc/postfix/ldap-aliases.cf
The file /etc/postfix/ldap-aliases.cf can specify a great number of parameters, including parameters that enable LDAP SSL or STARTTLS, and LDAP SASL. For a complete description, see the ldap_table(5) manual page.
Here's a basic example for using LDAP to look up local(8) aliases. Assume that in main.cf, you have:
alias_maps = hash:/etc/aliases, ldap:/etc/postfix/ldap-aliases.cf
and in ldap:/etc/postfix/ldap-aliases.cf you have:
server_host = ldap.example.com search_base = dc=example, dc=com
Upon receiving mail for a local address "ldapuser" that isn't found in the /etc/aliases database, Postfix will search the LDAP server listening at port 389 on ldap.example.com. It will bind anonymously, search for any directory entries whose mailacceptinggeneralid attribute is "ldapuser", read the "maildrop" attributes of those found, and build a list of their maildrops, which will be treated as RFC822 addresses to which the message will be delivered.
If you want to keep information for virtual lookups in your directory, it's only a little more complicated. First, you need to make sure Postfix knows about the virtual domain. An easy way to do that is to add the domain to the mailacceptinggeneralid attribute of some entry in the directory. Next, you'll want to make sure all of your virtual recipient's mailacceptinggeneralid attributes are fully qualified with their virtual domains. Finally, if you want to designate a directory entry as the default user for a virtual domain, just give it an additional mailacceptinggeneralid (or the equivalent in your directory) of "@fake.dom". That's right, no user part. If you don't want a catchall user, omit this step and mail to unknown users in the domain will simply bounce.
In summary, you might have a catchall user for a virtual domain that looks like this:
dn: cn=defaultrecipient, dc=fake, dc=dom objectclass: top objectclass: virtualaccount cn: defaultrecipient owner: uid=root, dc=someserver, dc=isp, dc=dom 1 -> mailacceptinggeneralid: fake.dom 2 -> mailacceptinggeneralid: @fake.dom 3 -> maildrop: email@example.com
1: Postfix knows fake.dom is a valid virtual domain when it looks for this and gets something (the maildrop) back.
2: This causes any mail for unknown users in fake.dom to go to this entry ...
3: ... and then to its maildrop.
Normal users might simply have one mailacceptinggeneralid and maildrop, e.g. "firstname.lastname@example.org" and "email@example.com".
LDAP is frequently used to store group member information. There are a number of ways of handling LDAP groups. We will show a few examples in order of increasing complexity, but owing to the number of independent variables, we can only present a tiny portion of the solution space. We show how to:
query groups as lists of addresses;
query groups as lists of user objects containing addresses;
forward special lists unexpanded to a separate list server, for moderation or other processing;
handle complex schemas by controlling expansion and by treating leaf nodes specially, using features that are new in Postfix 2.4.
The example LDAP entries and implied schema below show two group entries ("agroup" and "bgroup") and four user entries ("auser", "buser", "cuser" and "duser"). The group "agroup" has the users "auser" (1) and "buser" (2) as members via DN references in the multi-valued attribute "memberdn", and direct email addresses of two external users "firstname.lastname@example.org" (3) and "email@example.com" (4) stored in the multi-valued attribute "memberaddr". The same is true of "bgroup" and "cuser"/"duser" (6)/(7)/(8)/(9), but "bgroup" also has a "maildrop" attribute of "firstname.lastname@example.org" (5):
dn: cn=agroup, dc=example, dc=com objectclass: top objectclass: ldapgroup cn: agroup mail: email@example.com 1 -> memberdn: uid=auser, dc=example, dc=com 2 -> memberdn: uid=buser, dc=example, dc=com 3 -> memberaddr: firstname.lastname@example.org 4 -> memberaddr: email@example.com
dn: cn=bgroup, dc=example, dc=com objectclass: top objectclass: ldapgroup cn: bgroup mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 5 -> maildrop: email@example.com 6 -> memberdn: uid=cuser, dc=example, dc=com 7 -> memberdn: uid=duser, dc=example, dc=com 8 -> memberaddr: firstname.lastname@example.org 9 -> memberaddr: email@example.com
dn: uid=auser, dc=example, dc=com objectclass: top objectclass: ldapuser uid: auser 10 -> mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 11 -> maildrop: email@example.com
dn: uid=buser, dc=example, dc=com objectclass: top objectclass: ldapuser uid: buser 12 -> mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 13 -> maildrop: email@example.com
dn: uid=cuser, dc=example, dc=com objectclass: top objectclass: ldapuser uid: cuser 14 -> mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
dn: uid=duser, dc=example, dc=com objectclass: top objectclass: ldapuser uid: duser 15 -> mail: email@example.com
Our first use case ignores the "memberdn" attributes, and assumes that groups hold only direct "memberaddr" strings as in (3), (4), (8) and (9). The goal is to map the group address to the list of constituent "memberaddr" values. This is simple, ignoring the various connection related settings (hosts, ports, bind settings, timeouts, ...) we have:
simple.cf: ... search_base = dc=example, dc=com query_filter = mail=%s result_attribute = memberaddr $ postmap -q firstname.lastname@example.org ldap:/etc/postfix/simple.cf \ email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org
We search "dc=example, dc=com". The "mail" attribute is used in the query_filter to locate the right group, the "result_attribute" setting described in ldap_table(5) is used to specify that "memberaddr" values from the matching group are to be returned as a comma separated list. Always check tables using postmap(1) with the "-q" option, before deploying them into production use in main.cf.
Our second use case instead expands "memberdn" attributes (1), (2), (6) and (7), follows the DN references and returns the "maildrop" of the referenced user entries. Here we use the "special_result_attribute" setting from ldap_table(5) to designate the "memberdn" attribute as holding DNs of the desired member entries. The "result_attribute" setting selects which attributes are returned from the selected DNs. It is important to choose a result attribute that is not also present in the group object, because result attributes are collected from both the group and the member DNs. In this case we choose "maildrop" and assume for the moment that groups never have a "maildrop" (the "bgroup" "maildrop" attribute is for a different use case). The returned data for "auser" and "buser" is from items (11) and (13) in the example data.
special.cf: ... search_base = dc=example, dc=com query_filter = mail=%s result_attribute = maildrop special_result_attribute = memberdn $ postmap -q email@example.com ldap:/etc/postfix/special.cf \ firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com
Note: if the desired member object result attribute is always also present in the group, you get surprising results: the expansion also returns the address of the group. This is a known limitation of Postfix releases prior to 2.4, and is addressed in the new with Postfix 2.4 "leaf_result_attribute" feature described in ldap_table(5).
Our third use case has some groups that are expanded immediately, and other groups that are forwarded to a dedicated mailing list manager host for delayed expansion. This uses two LDAP tables, one for users and forwarded groups and a second for groups that can be expanded immediately. It is assumed that groups that require forwarding are never nested members of groups that are directly expanded.
no_expand.cf: ... search_base = dc=example, dc=com query_filter = mail=%s result_attribute = maildrop expand.cf ... search_base = dc=example, dc=com query_filter = mail=%s result_attribute = maildrop special_result_attribute = memberdn $ postmap -q firstname.lastname@example.org \ ldap:/etc/postfix/no_expand.cf ldap:/etc/postfix/expand.cf \ email@example.com $ postmap -q firstname.lastname@example.org \ ldap:/etc/postfix/no_expand.cf ldap:/etc/postfix/expand.cf \ email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org $ postmap -q email@example.com \ ldap:/etc/postfix/no_expand.cf ldap:/etc/postfix/expand.cf \ firstname.lastname@example.org
Non-group objects and groups with delayed expansion (those that have a maildrop attribute) are rewritten to a single maildrop value. Groups that don't have a maildrop are expanded as the second use case. This admits a more elegant solution with Postfix 2.4 and later.
Our final use case is the same as the third, but this time uses new features in Postfix 2.4. We now are able to use just one LDAP table and no longer need to assume that forwarded groups are never nested inside expanded groups.
fancy.cf: ... search_base = dc=example, dc=com query_filter = mail=%s result_attribute = memberaddr special_result_attribute = memberdn terminal_result_attribute = maildrop leaf_result_attribute = mail $ postmap -q email@example.com ldap:/etc/postfix/fancy.cf \ firstname.lastname@example.org $ postmap -q email@example.com ldap:/etc/postfix/fancy.cf \ firstname.lastname@example.org $ postmap -q email@example.com ldap:/etc/postfix/fancy.cf \ firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com $ postmap -q firstname.lastname@example.org ldap:/etc/postfix/fancy.cf \ email@example.com
Above, delayed expansion is enabled via "terminal_result_attribute", which, if present, is used as the sole result and all other expansion is suppressed. Otherwise, the "leaf_result_attribute" is only returned for leaf objects that don't have a "special_result_attribute" (non-groups), while the "result_attribute" (direct member address of groups) is returned at every level of recursive expansion, not just the leaf nodes. This fancy example illustrates all the features of Postfix 2.4 group expansion.
The bits of schema and attribute names used in this document are just examples. There's nothing special about them, other than that some are the defaults in the LDAP configuration parameters. You can use whatever schema you like, and configure Postfix accordingly.
You probably want to make sure that mailacceptinggeneralids are unique, and that not just anyone can specify theirs as postmaster or root, say.
An entry can have an arbitrary number of mailacceptinggeneralids or maildrops. Maildrops can also be comma-separated lists of addresses. They will all be found and returned by the lookups. For example, you could define an entry intended for use as a mailing list that looks like this (Warning! Schema made up just for this example):
dn: cn=Accounting Staff List, dc=example, dc=com cn: Accounting Staff List o: example.com objectclass: maillist mailacceptinggeneralid: accountingstaff mailacceptinggeneralid: accounting-staff maildrop: mylist-owner maildrop: an-accountant maildrop: some-other-accountant maildrop: this, that, theother
If you use an LDAP map for lookups other than aliases, you may have to make sure the lookup makes sense. In the case of virtual lookups, maildrops other than mail addresses are pretty useless, because Postfix can't know how to set the ownership for program or file delivery. Your query_filter should probably look something like this:
query_filter = (&(mailacceptinggeneralid=%s)(!(|(maildrop="*|*")(maildrop="*:*")(maildrop="*/*"))))
And for that matter, even for aliases, you may not want users to be able to specify their maildrops as programs, includes, etc. This might be particularly pertinent on a "sealed" server where they don't have local UNIX accounts, but exist only in LDAP and Cyrus. You might allow the fun stuff only for directory entries owned by an administrative account, so that if the object had a program as its maildrop and weren't owned by "cn=root" it wouldn't be returned as a valid local user. This will require some thought on your part to implement safely, considering the ramifications of this type of delivery. You may decide it's not worth the bother to allow any of that nonsense in LDAP lookups, ban it in the query_filter, and keep things like majordomo lists in local alias databases.
query_filter = (&(mailacceptinggeneralid=%s)(!(|(maildrop="*|*")(maildrop="*:*")(maildrop="*/*"))(owner=cn=root, dc=your, dc=com)))
LDAP lookups are slower than local DB or DBM lookups. For most sites they won't be a bottleneck, but it's a good idea to know how to tune your directory service.
Multiple LDAP maps share the same LDAP connection if they differ only in their query related parameters: base, scope, query_filter, and so on. To take advantage of this, avoid spurious differences in the definitions of LDAP maps: host selection order, version, bind, tls parameters, ... should be the same for multiple maps whenever possible.
If you have questions, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include relevant information about your Postfix setup: LDAP-related output from postconf, which LDAP libraries you built with, and which directory server you're using. If your question involves your directory contents, please include the applicable bits of some directory entries.