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Use LDAP permissions in PostgreSQL


LDAP is often used for a centralized user and role management in an enterprise environment. PostgreSQL offers different authentication methods, like LDAP, SSPI, GSSAPI or SSL. However, for any method the user must already exist in the database, before the authentication can be used. There is currently no direct authorization of database users on LDAP. So roles and memberships has to be administered twice.

This program helps to solve the issue by synchronizing users, groups and their memberships from LDAP to PostgreSQL. Access to LDAP is used read-only. pg_ldap_sync issues proper CREATE ROLE, DROP ROLE, GRANT and REVOKE commands to synchronize users and groups.

It is meant to be started as a cron job.


  • Configurable per YAML config file

  • Can use Active Directory as LDAP-Server

  • Nested groups/roles supported

  • Set scope of considered users/groups on LDAP and PG side

  • Runs with pg.gem (C-library) or postgres-pr.gem (pure Ruby)

  • Test mode which doesn't do any changes to the DBMS

  • Both LDAP and PG connections can be secured by SSL/TLS

  • Supports LDAP users and groups with the same names

  • Ability to have ldap groups and users with the same name merge into a single Postgres role


  • Ruby-1.8.7, Ruby-1.9.2, JRuby-1.2, Rubinius-1.2 or better

  • Rubygems-1.3.5+

  • LDAP-v3 server

  • PostgreSQL-server v9.0+


Install Ruby and rubygems:

Install pg-ldap-sync and a database connector for PostgreSQL:

gem install pg-ldap-sync pg

You may also use the pure ruby postgres-connector which is less mature, but doesn't need compilation:

gem install pg-ldap-sync postgres-pr

Install from Git:

git clone
cd pg-ldap-sync
gem install bundler
bundle install
bundle exec rake install


Create a config file based on config/sample-config.yaml or even better config/sample-config2.yaml

Run in test-mode:

pg_ldap_sync -c my_config.yaml -vv -t

Run in modify-mode:

pg_ldap_sync -c my_config.yaml -vv


There is a small test suite in the test directory that runs against an internal ruby-ldapserver and PostgreSQL server. Ensure gem ruby-ldapserver is installed and pg_ctl, initdb and psql commands are in the PATH. Then:

cd pg-ldap-sync
rake test


  • There is currently no way to set certain user attributes in PG based on individual attributes in LDAP (expiration date etc.)


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.


Use LDAP permissions in PostgreSQL



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