Content-type: text/html Man page of ldapdelete


Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: 15 Jan 2004
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ldapdelete - ldap delete entry tool  


ldapdelete [-n] [-v] [-c] [-d debuglevel] [-f file] [-D bindDN] [-w passwd | -j file] [-J [:criticality]] [-?] [-H] [-h ldaphost] [-V version] [-i locale] [-k path] [-P path] [-N certificate] [-y proxyid] [-p ldapport] [-O hoplimit] [-o attributename=value] [-W password] [dn...]  


The ldapdelete utility opens a connection to an LDAP server, then binds and deletes one or more entries. If one or more dn arguments are provided, entries with those distinguished names are deleted. If no dn arguments are provided, a list of DNs is read from file, if the -f option is specified, or from standard input.  


The following options are supported:


Bypass confirmation question when deleting a branch.


Continuous operation mode. Errors are reported, but ldapdelete will continue with deletions. The default is to exit after reporting an error.

-d debuglevel

Sets the LDAP debugging level. Useful levels of debugging for ldapdelete are:

1 Trace

2 Packets

4 Arguments

32 Filters

128 Access control

To request more than one category of debugging information, add the masks. For example, to request trace and filter information, specify a debuglevel of 33.

-D bindDN

Uses the distinguished name bindDN to bind to the directory.


Ask server to expose (report) bind identity by means of authentication response control.

-f file

Reads the entry deletion information from file instead of from standard input.


Display the usage help text that briefly describes all options.


Display the usage help text that briefly describes all options.

-h ldaphost

Specifies an alternate host on which the LDAP server is running.

-i locale

Specify the character set to use for command-line input. The default is the character set specified in the LANG environment variable. You might want to use this option to perform the conversion from the specified character set to UTF8, thus overriding the LANG setting.

Using this argument, you can input the bind DN and the target DNs in the specified character set. The ldapdelete tool converts the input from these arguments before it processes the search request. For example, -i no indicates that the bind DN and target DNs are provided in Norwegian.

This option affects only the command-line input. That is, if you specify a file containing DNs (with the -f option), ldapdelete will not convert the data in the file.

-j filename

Specify a file containing the password for the bind DN or the password for the SSL client's key database. To protect the password, use this option in scripts and place the password in a secure file. This option is mutually exclusive of the -w and -W options. The -j option is the more secure alternative between -j and -w/-W.

-J [:criticality[:value|::b64value|b64value|:fileurl]]

Criticality is a boolean value (default is false).

-k path

Specify the path to a directory containing conversion routines. These routines are used if you want to specify a locale that is not supported by default by your directory server. This is for NLS support.


Manage smart referrals. When they are the target of the operation, delete the actual entry containing the referral instead of the entry obtained by following the referral.


Shows what would be done, but does not actually delete entries. Useful in conjunction with options -v and -d for debugging.

-N certificate

Specify the certificate name to use for certificate-based client authentication. For example: -N "Directory-Cert".

-o attributename=value

For SASL mechanisms and other options such as security properties, mode of operation, authorization ID, authentication ID, and so forth.

The different attribute names and their values are as follows:


For defining SASL security properties.


Specifies SASL realm (default is realm=none).


Specify the authorization ID name for SASL bind.


Specify the authentication ID for SASL bind.


Specifies the various SASL mechanisms.

-O hopLimit

Specify the maximum number of referral hops to follow while finding an entry to delete. By default, there is no limit.

-p ldapport

Specifies an alternate TCP port where the LDAP server is listening.

-P path

Specify the path and filename of the client's certificate database. For example:

-P /home/uid/.netscape/cert7.db

When using the command on the same host as the directory server, you can use the server's own certificate database. For example:

-P installDir/lapd-serverID/alias/cert7.db

Use the -P option alone to specify server authentication only.


Uses verbose mode, with diagnostics written to standard output.

-V version

Specify the LDAP protocol version number to be used for the delete operation, either 2 or 3. LDAP v3 is the default. Specify LDAP v2 when connecting to servers that do not support v3.

-W password

Specify the password for the client's key database given in the -P option. This option is required for certificate-based client authentication. Specifying password on the command line has security issues because the password can be seen by others on the system by means of the ps command. Use the -j instead to specify the password from the file. This option is mutually exclusive of -j.

-w passwd

Use passwd as the password for authentication to the directory. When you use -w passwd to specify the password to be used for authentication, the password is visible to other users of the system by means of the ps command, in script files or in shell history. If you use the ldapdelete command without this option, the command will prompt for the password and read it from standard in. When used without the -w option, the password will not be visible to other users.

-Y proxyid

Specify the proxy DN (proxied authorization id) to use for the delete operation, usually in double quotes ("") for the shell.


Specify that SSL be used to provide certificate-based client authentication. This option requires the -N and SSL password and any other of the SSL options needed to identify the certificate and the key database.



The following operand is supported:

dn Specifies one or several distinguished names of entries to delete.



Example 1: Deleting an Entry

To delete the entry named with commonName Delete Me directly below the XYZ Corporation organizational entry, use the following command:

example% ldapdelete -D "cn=Administrator, o=XYZ, c=US" \
  "cn=Delete Me, o=XYZ, c=US" 

Example 2: Deleting an Entry Using SASL Authentication

To delete the entry named with commonName "Delete Me" directly below the XYZ Corporation organizational entry, use the following command:

example% ldapdelete -o mech=DIGEST-MD5 -o secProp=noanonymous \
-o realm=none -o authid="dn:uid=foo,o=XYZ, c=US"  \
"cn=Delete Me, o=XYZ, c=US"



See attributes(5) for a description of the following attributes:

Stability LevelEvolving



The following exit values are returned:

0 Successful completion.

Non-zero An error occurred. A diagnostic message is written to standard error.



ldapadd(1), ldapmodify(1), ldapmodrdn(1), ldapsearch(1), ldap_get_option(3LDAP), ldap_set_option(3LDAP), attributes(5)  


The -M authentication option is obsolete.




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Time: 02:39:30 GMT, October 02, 2010