Apache Directory Studio (Softerra Alternative)

I was looking for an alternative to the Windows software ‘Softerra LDAP Browser’  and I stumbled upon Apache Directory Studio. Apache Directory Studio is based on Eclipse and allows browsing to LDAP directories, searching and editing. I tested it with connections to Active Directory, Novell eDirectory and another lesser known LDAP directory.

Install Apache Directory Studio on Linux

Ensure you have a Java runtime installed (if you are unsure of doing this use your distribution package manager to install it and/or Eclipse).
Visit the download page and download the tarball to your /opt directory e.g.

cd /opt
wget http://mirrors.enquira.co.uk/apache/directory/studio/dist/2.0.0.v20130628/ApacheDirectoryStudio-linux-x86-2.0.0.v20130628.tar.gz

Extract the tarball:

tar xzf ApacheDirectoryStudio-*.tar.gz
mv ./ApacheDirectoryStudio-* ./ApacheDirectoryStudio

Run the program with: /opt/ApacheDirectoryStudio/ApacheDirectoryStudio

or create a menu item e.g.
#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open
[Desktop Entry]
Name[en_GB]=Apache Directory Studio
Name=Apache Directory Studio

Creating LDAP Connections in Apache Directory Studio

After creating connections they will be visible in the ‘Connections’ tab (see below).


To create a new ‘Connection’ click the ‘LDAP’ icon in the ‘Connections’ tab or from the main menu choose LDAP > New Connection…


In the screenshots below I show a simple (no encryption) connection to Active Directory: 2-NewLDAPConnection

Click the ‘Check Network Parameter’ to test the hostname and port combination. Then proceed to the next step to specify the user to bind to the directory as (if necessary):


On the next step you can specify the ‘Base DN’. You may click the ‘Fetch Base DNs’ to retrieve a list to get you started.


Click ‘Finish’ to save the connection and use the ‘LDAP Browser’ tab to have a look around.

Selection_148 Selection_153

To search the LDAP directory click the search icon on the main toolbar or choose LDAP > New Search… from the menubar. In the search dialogue enter your ‘Filter’ – to get started search Active Directory try (sAMAccountName=yourusername)Selection_149

To search Novell eDirectory try workforceID=yourusername :


The search results below are from a search of a Novell eDirectory:


Clicking on the DN in the search results shows all the attributes of the record:


Thus far for me Apache Directory Studio is a useful tool for browsing LDAP directories using a GUI.


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