»OpenLDAP Secrets Engine

The OpenLDAP secret engine allows management of LDAP entry passwords. At this time only existing LDAP entries are supported by this plugin.

This plugin currently supports LDAP v3.

»Quick Setup

  1. Enable the OpenLDAP secret engine:

    $ vault secrets enable openldap

    By default, the secrets engine will mount at the name of the engine. To enable the secrets engine at a different path, use the -path argument.

  2. Configure the credentials that Vault uses to communicate with OpenLDAP to generate passwords:

    $ vault write openldap/config \
        binddn=$USERNAME \
        bindpass=$PASSWORD \

    Note: it's recommended a dedicated entry management account be created specfically for Vault.

  3. Rotate the root password so only Vault knows the credentials:

    $ vault write -f openldap/rotate-root

    Note: it's not possible to retrieve the generated password once rotated by Vault. It's recommended a dedicated entry management account be created specfically for Vault.

  4. Configure a static role that maps a name in Vault to an entry in OpenLDAP. Password rotation settings will be managed by this role.

    $ vault write openldap/static-role/hashicorp \
        dn='uid=hashicorp,ou=users,dc=hashicorp,dc=com' \
        username='hashicorp' \
  5. Request credentials for the "hashicorp" role:

    $ vault read openldap/static-role/hashicorp

»LDAP Password Policy

The OpenLDAP secret engine does not hash or encrypt passwords prior to modifying values in LDAP. This behavior can cause plaintext passwords to be stored in LDAP.

To avoid having plaintext passwords stored, the LDAP server should be configured with an LDAP password policy (ppolicy, not to be confused with a Vault password policy). A ppolicy can enforce rules such as hashing plaintext passwords by default.

The following is an example of an LDAP password policy to enforce hashing on the data information tree (DIT) dc=hashicorp,dc=com:

dn: cn=module{0},cn=config
changetype: modify
add: olcModuleLoad
olcModuleLoad: ppolicy

dn: olcOverlay={2}ppolicy,olcDatabase={1}mdb,cn=config
changetype: add
objectClass: olcPPolicyConfig
objectClass: olcOverlayConfig
olcOverlay: {2}ppolicy
olcPPolicyDefault: cn=default,ou=pwpolicies,dc=hashicorp,dc=com
olcPPolicyForwardUpdates: FALSE
olcPPolicyHashCleartext: TRUE
olcPPolicyUseLockout: TRUE


The OpenLDAP Secret Engine supports three different schemas: openldap (default), racf and ad.


By default the OpenLDAP Secret Engine assumes the entry password is stored in userPassword. The following object classes provide userPassword:

»Resource Access Control Facility (RACF)

For managing IBM's Resource Access Control Facility (RACF) security system, the secret engine must be configured to use the schema racf.

Generated passwords must be 8 characters or less to support RACF. The length of the password can be configured using a password policy:

vault write openldap/config \
    binddn=$USERNAME \
    bindpass=$PASSWORD \
    url=ldaps:// \
    schema=racf \

»Active Directory (AD)

For managing Active Directory instances, the secret engine must be configured to use the schema ad.

vault write openldap/config \
    binddn=$USERNAME \
    bindpass=$PASSWORD \
    url=ldaps:// \

»Password Generation

This engine previously allowed configuration of the length of the password that is generated when rotating credentials. This mechanism has been deprecated in favor of password policies. This means the length field should no longer be used. The following password policy can be used to mirror the same behavior that the length field provides:

rule "charset" {
  charset = "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0123456789"

»Password Rotation

Passwords can be managed in two ways:

  • automatic time based rotation, and
  • manual rotation.

»Auto Password Rotation

Passwords will automatically be rotated based on the rotation_period configured in the static role (minimum of 5 seconds). When requesting credentials for a static role, the response will include the time before the next rotation (ttl).

Auto-rotation is currently only supported for static roles. The binddn account used by Vault should be rotated using the rotate-root endpoint to generate a password only Vault will know.

»Manual Rotation

Static roles can be manually rotated using the rotate-role endpoint. When manually rotated the rotation period will start over.

»Deleting Static Roles

Passwords are not rotated upon deletion of a static role. The password should be manually rotated prior to deleting the role or revoking access to the static role.


The OpenLDAP secrets engine has a full HTTP API. Please see the OpenLDAP secrets engine API docs for more details.