CentOS Directory Server

The CentOS team has been repackaging Red Hat’s Directory Server for some time now. The packages, rebranded as the “CentOS Directory Server”, can be found over in the Testing repository for the latest (CentOS 5) version under the RPMS directory for the target architecture (for example, x86_64 packages would be found here.

There’s a How To for DirectoryServerSetup on the CentOS Wiki.

If you’re going to try setting this up, I’d highly recommend following the How To’s advice and use yum to install it. There are several base package to the system, and a number of dependencies that are most efficiently resolved using yum — especially since the software is still in testing downstream (the latest Red Hat Directory SRPMS are available here).

With a number of important bug fixes and some significant refactoring (including relocating various components so they fit within the FHS (Filesystem Hierarchy Standard), I’m now strongly recommending people start working with the latest version of Directory Server, either from CentOS, Red Hat or the Fedora Directory Project (FDS, Fedora Directory Server, is the test bed for Red Hat development and packaged by them for Fedora Linux).

While it will probably not replace OpenLDAP in the base distribution any time soon, Directory Server is well on it’s way to becoming a standard part of Enterprise Linux and should be considered for new identity management deployments due to its rich set of enterprise-friendly features.

Apart from the software itself, the documentation and community resources available through the Fedora Directory Project really seal the deal for me. As someone actively engaged in managing a number of instances of the related Sun Directory product (both RHDS/FDS and Sun DS come from a common ancestor, the Netscape/iPlanet Directory), I’ve found those resources often more helpful than anything available from Sun.

As I’ve mentioned before, Directory Server is a key component of Red Hat’s next generation IDM (IDentity Management) solution, FreeIPA. RHEL 5 SRPMS for FreeIPA are also available here. I’ve read on the Fedora Directory website that the admin apps in FreeIPA will eventually replace the extra apps now shipping with FDS (these came with the original acquisition of the Netscape Directory from AOL), so it might be a good idea to become familiar with them now.