LDAP Authentication

The LDAP Authentication allows users to have the same credentials as in LDAP, effectively centralizing authentication. Enabling it will let any correctly authenticated LDAP user use OpenNebula.


You need to have your own LDAP server in the infrastructure. OpenNebula doesn’t contain or configure any LDAP server, it only connects to an existing one. Also, it doesn’t create, delete or modify any entry in the LDAP server it connects to. The only requirement is the ability to connect to an already running LDAP server, perform a successful ldapbind operation, and have a user able to perform searches of users. Therefore no special attributes or values are required in the LDIF entry of the authenticating user.


This authentication mechanism is enabled by default. If it doesn’t work, make sure you have the authentication method ldap enabled in the AUTH_MAD section of your /etc/one/oned.conf. For example:

    EXECUTABLE = "one_auth_mad",
    AUTHN = "ssh,x509,ldap,server_cipher,server_x509"

Authentication driver ldap can be customized in /etc/one/auth/ldap_auth.conf. This is the default configuration:

server 1:
    # Ldap user able to query, if not set connects as anonymous. For
    # Active Directory append the domain name. Example:
    # Administrator@my.domain.com
    #:user: 'admin'
    #:password: 'password'

    # Ldap authentication method
    :auth_method: :simple

    # Ldap server
    :host: localhost
    :port: 389

    # Connection and authentication timeout
    #:timeout: 15

    # Uncomment this line for tls connections, use :simple_tls or :start_tls
    #:encryption: :simple_tls

    # base hierarchy where to search for users and groups
    :base: 'dc=domain'

    # group the users need to belong to. If not set any user will do
    #:group: 'cn=cloud,ou=groups,dc=domain'

    # field that holds the user name, if not set 'cn' will be used
    :user_field: 'cn'

    # for Active Directory use this user_field instead
    #:user_field: 'sAMAccountName'

    # field name for group membership, by default it is 'member'
    #:group_field: 'member'

    # user field that is in the group group_field, if not set 'dn' will be used
    #:user_group_field: 'dn'

    # Generate mapping file from group template info
    :mapping_generate: true

    # Seconds a mapping file remains untouched until the next regeneration
    :mapping_timeout: 300

    # Name of the mapping file in OpenNebula var directory
    :mapping_filename: server1.yaml

    # Key from the OpenNebula template to map to an AD group
    :mapping_key: GROUP_DN

    # Default group ID used for users in an AD group not mapped
    :mapping_default: 1

    # use RFC2307bis for groups
    # if false, depending on your LDAP server configuration,
    # set user_field and user_group_field 'uid' and group_field 'memberUid'
    :rfc2307bis: true

    # DN of a group, if user is member of that group in LDAP, this user
    # will be group admin of all mapped LDAP groups in OpenNebula.
    #:group_admin_group_dn: 'cn=admins,ou=groups,dc=domain'

# this example server wont be called as it is not in the :order list
server 2:
    :auth_method: :simple
    :host: localhost
    :port: 389
    :base: 'dc=domain'
    #:group: 'cn=cloud,ou=groups,dc=domain'
    :user_field: 'cn'

    - server 1
    #- server 2

The structure is a hash where any key different to :order will contain the configuration of one LDAP server we want to query. The special key :order holds an array with the order in which we want to query the configured servers.


Items of the :order are the server names, or nested arrays of server names, representing the availability group. The items in the :order are processed one by one until the user is successfully authenticated, or the end of the list is reached. Inside the availability group, only the very first server which can be successfully connected to is queried. Any server not listed in :order won’t be queried.




Name of the user that can query LDAP. Do not set it if you can perform queries anonymously


Password for the user defined in :user. Do not set if anonymous access is enabled


Only :simple is supported


Can be set to :simple_tls if SSL connection is needed


Host name of the LDAP server


Port of the LDAP server


Connection and authentication timeout


Base leaf from which to perform user searches


Alternative base leaf from which to perform group searches instead of in :base


If set, the users need to belong to this group


Field in LDAP that holds the username


Field name for group membership, by default it is member’. It’s possilbe to add a matching rule to the group_filed. Such as member:1.2.840.113556.1.4.1941, this will allow authentization by the group membership (:group) to work for nested groups.


Automatically generate a mapping file. It can be disabled in case it needs to be done manually


Number of seconds between automatic mapping file generation


Name of the mapping file. It should be different for each server


Key in the group template used to generate the mapping file. It should hold the DN of the mapped group


Default group used when no mapped group is found. Set to false in case you don’t want the user to be authorized if they do not belong to a mapped group


Set to true when using Active Directory, false when using LDAP. Make sure you configure user_group_field and group_field


Extension for group mapping. DN of a group. If a user is a member of that group in LDAP, this user will be a group admin of all mapped LDAP groups in ONE.

Automatic assignment of group admins can be disabled by changing DRIVER_MANAGED_GROUP_ADMIN to NO in the ldap AUTH_MAD_CONF section in oned.conf. User then needs to maintain group admins manually.

To enable ldap authentication the described parameters should be configured. OpenNebula can be also configured to enable external LDAP authentication for all new users by adding this line in /etc/one/oned.conf:


User Management

Using the LDAP authentication module, the administrator doesn’t need to create users with the oneuser command, as this will be done automatically.

Users can store their credentials into a file referenced by environment variable $ONE_AUTH (usually $HOME/.one/one_auth) in this fashion:



  • <user_dn> the DN of the user in the LDAP service

  • ldap_password is the password of the user in the LDAP service

Alternatively a user can generate an authentication token using the oneuser login command, so there is no need to keep the LDAP password in a plain file. Simply input the LDAP password when requested. More information on the management of login tokens and the $ONE_AUTH file can be found in the Managing Users Guide.

Update Existing Users to LDAP

Change the authentication method of an existing user to LDAP with the following command:

oneuser chauth <id|name> ldap

DNs With Special Characters

When the user DN or password contains blank spaces, the LDAP driver will escape them so they can be used to create OpenNebula users. Therefore, users need to set up their $ONE_AUTH file accordingly.

Users can easily create escaped $ONE_AUTH tokens with the command oneuser encode <user> [<password>]. As an example:

oneuser encode 'cn=First Name,dc=institution,dc=country' 'pass word'

The output of this command should be put in the $ONE_AUTH file.

Active Directory

LDAP Auth drivers are able to connect to Active Directory. You will need:

  • An Active Directory server with support for simple user/password authentication.

  • A user with read permissions in the Active Directory users tree.

You will need to change the following values in the configuration file (/etc/one/auth/ldap_auth.conf):

  • :user: the Active Directory user with read permissions in the users tree plus the domain. For example for user Administrator at domain win.opennebula.org you specify it as Administrator@win.opennebula.org. Usually it’s a userPrincipalName: field of the user entry.

  • :password: password of this user

  • :host: hostname or IP of the Domain Controller

  • :base: base DN to search for users. You need to decompose the full domain name and use each part as a DN component. For example, for win.opennebula.org you will get the base DN: DN=win,DN=opennebula,DN=org

  • :user_field: set it to sAMAccountName

Group Mapping

You can make new users belong to a specific group or groups. To do this a mapping is generated from the LDAP group to an existing OpenNebula group. This system uses a mapping file specified by the :mapping_file parameter and resides in the OpenNebula var directory. The mapping file can be generated automatically using data in the group template that defines which LDAP group maps to that specific group. For example we can add in the group template this line:


and in the LDAP configuration file we set the :mapping_key to GROUP_DN. This tells the driver to look for the group DN in that template parameter. This mapping expires after the number of seconds specified by :mapping_timeout. This is done so the authentication is not continually querying OpenNebula.

You can also disable the automatic generation of this file and do the mapping manually. The mapping file is in YAML format and contains a hash where the key is the LDAP’s group DN and the value is the ID of the OpenNebula group. For example:

CN=technicians,CN=Groups,DC=example,DC=com: '100'
CN=Domain Admins,CN=Users,DC=example,DC=com: '101'

When several servers are configured, you should have different :mapping_key and :mapping_file values for each one so they don’t collide. For example:

    :mapping_file: internal.yaml
    :mapping_key: INTERNAL_GROUP_DN

    :mapping_file: external.yaml
    :mapping_key: EXTERNAL_GROUP_DN

and in the OpenNebula group template you can define two mappings, one for each server:



If the map is updated (e.g. you change the LDAP DB) the user groups will be updated the next time the user is authenticated. Also note that a user may be using a login token that needs to expire for this change to take effect. The maximum lifetime of a token can be set in oned.conf for each driver. If you want the OpenNebula core not to update user groups (and control group assignment from OpenNebula) update DRIVER_MANAGED_GROUPS in the ldap AUTH_MAD_CONF configuration attribute.

Group Admin. Mapping

Each group in OpenNebula can have its admins that have administrative privileges for the group. Also this attribute could be controlled by the LDAP driver. For this purpose there is an option: :group_admin_group_dn:. This needs to be set to a LDAP DN of a group. If a user is a member of that group in LDAP, this user will be a group admin of all mapped LDAP groups in ONE.

Enabling LDAP auth in Sunstone

Update the /etc/one/sunstone-server.conf :auth parameter to use opennebula:

:auth: opennebula

Using this method, the credentials provided in the login screen will be sent to the OpenNebula core, and the authentication will be delegated to the OpenNebula auth system using the specified driver for that user. Therefore any OpenNebula auth driver can be used through this method to authenticate the user (e.g. LDAP).

To automatically encode credentials as explained in the DN’s with special characters section, also add this parameter to the sunstone configuration:

:encode_user_password: true

Multiple LDAP servers: Order vs. Regex Match

Before we explained how a user can be searched within the multiple LDAP servers that are given in the :order section in the config file.

There is another, mutually exclusive, option for searching users in multiple LDAP servers. This option tries to match the login with the regular expression which corresponds to the LDAP server.


Let’s say that there are two sub-organizations, A and B, within your company Example, each using its own LDAP server:

  • Organization A, using LDAP server: ldap-a.example.com and logins look like joe@a.example.com

  • Organization B, using LDAP server: ldap-b.example.com and logins look like carl@b.example.com

And you want users whose login ends with a.example.com to be searched in ldap-a.example.com and the same for users from sub-org B. What you need to do is to replace the :order section in the ldap config with the following setup:

  "^(.*)@a.example.com$": ldap-a.example.com
  "^(.*)@b.example.com$": ldap-b.example.com