Using LDAP to set a User's Home Directory pointer

  • 7014774
  • 20-Mar-2014
  • 31-Mar-2014


Novell NetWare 5.1
Novell NetWare 6
Novell NetWare 6.5
NDS Import / Export


Using LDAP to set a User's Home Directory pointer
How do you change the home directory pointer on a user object (under the environment tab) with LDAP.
Search: environment tab export ldif.txt ldif ldap nldap home directory location change pointer ICE


This solution assumes LDAP is already running on the server.  If it is not, refer to KB 10017683 - NLDAP Configuration - (Quick Start) to help you get it up and running.

You must make a LDIF file with all your users in it and the home directory you wish to populate in it.   If you wish to change a users home directory from one place (server/volume:path) to another place (server2/volume2:path2) then you must first delete the current home directory pointer with one LDIF file, than add it back with another LDIF file.

CAUTIONARY NOTE:  It is always suggested that you get a backup of NDS before doing a mass change in eDirectory, in case something goes wrong.   You should also try the above procedure on a test server or on a few selected users in your production tree before trying it on a large number of users, as inadvertantly modifying objects or attributes incorrectly with LDAP may lead to unrecoverable lost user attributes (data).

To get all your user information exported and their respective home directory pointers (if they have one)  you can use  the NDS Import / Export wizard to do this.   The NDS Import / Export wizard can be launched from ConsoleOne on a WORKSTATION under the wizards tab.  

To export the objects, select export <next>

Enter the server's IP address and LDAP SSL port (typically 636), select authenticate connection and enter the admin object type full path comma deliminated with password <next>


Enter the top of the subtree you want to export your users from, and select subtree.

Select the Filter tab, under the search filter, enter objectclass=user

Select the Attributes tab, select attributes and click the list button and enter the attribute ndsHomeDirectory, then close the attribute to include list and select <next>


Enter the destination output file.  Any text file will do.

 Hit Finished to process the request

If it is able to login and export the information, you will see a screen similar to the one below.

 Note: if you get a simple bind failed error, you may have  a problem with the way you entered your username and password above, or the ip address or port on the server, or it could simply mean that LDAP is simply not working on your server.   You will need to try again and  potentially troubleshoot LDAP to get it working properly before attempting this procedure again.   Call Novell Support if you continue to get a simple bind failed error and cannot figure out what is causing it.   We will be able to assist you in getting LDAP up and running.

 It will create a file such as the following.  Note that in this example test2 user does not have a home directory and UserHD1 does have a home directory the SYS:Users\Userbob directory on the Ranger server.  In order to change the home directory on the users, you will first need to delete the home directories off the users that have one. 

 The below file is setup like you would have to have to delete the current home directory off a user.  You will need to create a LDIF file like this for your list of users in order to clear the home directory attribute if it is currently populated with an incorrect location.   If the user's home directory is currently blank, then you do not need to do this step.

The file below is a sample ldif file used to populate the home directory attribute. You will need to create a LDIF file like this for your list of users in order to re-populate the home directory attribute for your users.

 Now to import the above files you have modified and custom created for your environment, by first importing the file to clear the ndsHomeDirectory attribute (if needed), then importing the file to re-populate the ndsHomeDirectory attribute.   To do this, you simply restart the NDS Import / Export wizard, select import LDIF file <next>, enter the name of your LDIF file <next>, enter the server ip address, ssl port, and authenticate connection information <next>, then select finished to import the file and delete the home directorys or re-populate them, depending on which file you are processing.   Seeing how these screens are basically the same as seen above, a screen shot for them was not added to this document.

*** Note: Since the writing of this document the "replace" can be used instead of deleting and adding the ndsHomeDirectory attribute.  It may save some time and a possible error if a user does not have a home directory attribute. Following would be an example of the ldif file to perform a replace:

dn: uid=UserHD01,ou=Users,o=Mountain

changetype: modify

replace: ndsHomeDirectory

Additional Information

Deleting a server object and volumes out of the tree and reinstalling them, clears a user's home directory pointer.  
This is the field under the user's environment tab that is used to say where the user's home directory is located. 
It is used in a variable HOME_DIRECTORY which is commonly used in login scripts.  It is also used with NT roaming profiles and for ZENWORKS processes.
Formerly known as TID# 10096966