Skip to content


django-ldapdb Latest Version Supported Python versions Wheel status License

django-ldapdb is an LDAP database backend for Django, allowing to manipulate LDAP entries through Django models.

It supports most of the same APIs as a Django model:

  • MyModel.objects.create()
  • MyModel.objects.filter(x=1, y__contains=2)
  • Full admin support and browsing

django-ldapdb supports every upstream-supported Django version, based on the Django support policy.

For the current version, the following versions are supported:

  • Django 2.2 (LTS), under Python 3.6 - 3.8 (Python 3.5 has reached its end of life);
  • Django 3.0, under Python 3.6 - 3.8;
  • Django 3.1, under Python 3.6 - 3.8.

Installing django-ldapdb


Use pip: pip install django-ldapdb

You might also need the usual LDAP packages from your distribution, usually named openldap or ldap-utils.


django-ldapdb depends on the python-ldap <> project. Either follow its Windows installation guide, or install a pre-built version from (choose the .whl file matching your Python/Windows combination, and install it with pip install python-ldap-3...whl).

You may then install django-ldapdb with

pip install django-ldapdb

Using django-ldapdb

Add the following to your

    'ldap': {
        'ENGINE': 'ldapdb.backends.ldap',
        'NAME': 'ldap://',
        'USER': 'cn=admin,dc=nodomain,dc=org',
        'PASSWORD': 'some_secret_password',
    'default': {
        'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.sqlite3',
        'NAME': os.path.join(BASE_DIR, 'db.sqlite3'),
DATABASE_ROUTERS = ['ldapdb.router.Router']

If you want to access posixGroup entries in your application, you can add something like this to your

from ldapdb.models.fields import CharField, IntegerField, ListField
import ldapdb.models

class LdapGroup(ldapdb.models.Model):
    Class for representing an LDAP group entry.
    # LDAP meta-data
    base_dn = "ou=groups,dc=nodomain,dc=org"
    object_classes = ['posixGroup']

    # posixGroup attributes
    gid = IntegerField(db_column='gidNumber', unique=True)
    name = CharField(db_column='cn', max_length=200, primary_key=True)
    members = ListField(db_column='memberUid')

    def __str__(self):

    def __unicode__(self):

and add this to your

from django.contrib import admin
from . import models

class LDAPGroupAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    exclude = ['dn', 'objectClass']
    list_display = ['gid', 'name'], LDAPGroupAdmin)
Important note:

You must declare an attribute to be used as the primary key. This attribute will play a special role, as it will be used to build the Relative Distinguished Name of the entry.

For instance in the example above, a group whose cn is foo will have the DN cn=foo,ou=groups,dc=nodomain,dc=org.

Supported fields

djanglo-ldapdb provides the following fields, all imported from ldapdb.models.fields:

Similar to Django:

  • IntegerField
  • FloatField
  • BooleanField
  • CharField
  • ImageField
  • DateTimeField
Specific to a LDAP server:
  • ListField (holds a list of text values)
  • TimestampField (Stores a datetime as a posix timestamp, typically for posixAccount)
  • DateField (Stores a date in an arbitrary format. A LDAP server has no notion of Date).

Tuning django-ldapdb

It is possible to adjust django-ldapdb's behavior by defining a few parameters in the DATABASE section:

PAGE_SIZE (default: 1000)
Define the maximum size of a results page to be returned by the server
QUERY_TIMEOUT (default: no limit)

Define the maximum time in seconds we'll wait to get a reply from the server (on a per-query basis).


This setting applies on individual requests; if a high-level operation requires many queries (for instance a paginated search yielding thousands of entries), the timeout will be used on each individual request; the overall processing time might be much higher.

Developing with a LDAP server

When developing against a LDAP server, having access to a development LDAP server often proves useful.

django-ldapdb uses the volatildap project for this purpose:

  • A LDAP server is instantiated for each TestClass;
  • Its content is reset at the start of each test function;
  • It can be customized to embark any schemas required by the application;
  • Starting with volatildap 1.4.0, the volatildap server can be controlled remotely, avoiding the need to install a LDAP server on the host.

Applications using django-ldapdb may use the following code snippet when setting up their tests:

# This snippet is released in the Public Domain

from django.conf import settings
from django.test import TestCase

import volatildap

class LdapEnabledTestCase(TestCase):
    def setUpClass(cls):
        cls.ldap = volatildap.LdapServer(
            # Load some initial data
            initial={'ou=people': {
                'ou': ['people'],
                'objectClass': ['organizationalUnit'],
            # Enable more LDAP schemas
            schemas=['core.schema', 'cosine.schema', 'inetorgperson.schema', 'nis.schema'],
        # The volatildap server uses specific defaults, and listens on an arbitrary port.
        # Copy the server-side values to Django settings
        settings.DATABASES['ldap']['USER'] = cls.ldap.rootdn
        settings.DATABASES['ldap']['PASSWORD'] = cls.ldap.rootpw
        settings.DATABASES['ldap']['NAME'] = cls.ldap.uri

    def setUp(self):
        # Starting an already-started volatildap server performs a data reset

    def tearDownClass(cls):
        # Free up resources on teardown.