LDAP stands for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol and allows for the querying of a directory service over a network. With LDAP running, all machines on the network can access a distributed directory service, which provides a set of records that can be used for things like authentication. For example, you could have an LDAP server running on your network and then configure desktop clients to authenticate to that server. In other words, you have a single authentication source that would allow users to log into their accounts from any machine on the network.
LDAP is not limited only to authenticating desktops. You can even use such a server/service to validate usernames and passwords with Docker, Jenkins, Kubernetes, OpenVPN, and Samba.
In this article, from TechRepublic Premium, we’re going to walk through the process of installing OpenLDAP on Ubuntu Server 20.04, installing a web-based gui for user/group management, and then authenticating a Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 client to the newly deployed server.