LDAP Support


RabbitMQ can use LDAP to perform authentication and authorisation by deferring to external LDAP servers. This functionality is provided by a built-in plugin that has to be enabled.

Authentication and authorisation operations are translated into LDAP queries using templates configured by the RabbitMQ operator.

LDAP queries can be cached for a period of time for efficiency and reduced load on LDAP servers.

LDAP Operation Flow section provides a more detailed overview of how the plugin works.

The plugin primarily targets OpenLDAP and Microsoft Active Directory. Other LDAP v3 implementations should work reasonably well.

This guide provides a very brief overview of LDAP terms but generally assumes basic familiarity with LDAP. Several beginner-oriented LDAP primers are available elsewhere on the Web, for example, one, two, and the LDAP glossary.

This guide covers the LDAP operation flow used by RabbitMQ, how the LDAP model maps to the RabbitMQ permission model, how to use TLS to connect to LDAP servers, and what tools are available for troubleshooting and proxying of LDAP requests.


RabbitMQ LDAP plugin depends on an LDAP client called eldap. The library ships with Erlang/OTP. On some operating systems, Erlang is provided as a group of packages instead of one monolithic package, so components such as eldap must be installed separately from the main runtime.

On Debian and Ubuntu, eldap is provided by the erlang-eldap package:

sudo apt-get install -y erlang-eldap

LDAP support cannot be used on Erlang installations where the library is not available.

Please see the Erlang compatibility guide to learn more.

Enabling the Plugin

The LDAP plugin ships with RabbitMQ. To enable it, use rabbitmq-plugins:

rabbitmq-plugins enable rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap

Enabling LDAP AuthN and AuthZ backends

After enabling the plugin it is necessary to configure the node to use it.

This involves

The following example will configure RabbitMQ to only use LDAP for authentication and authorisation, and ignore the internal database:

# use LDAP exclusively for authentication and authorisation
auth_backends.1 = ldap

In advanced.config file, the same settings would look like this:

{rabbit, [
  {auth_backends, [rabbit_auth_backend_ldap]}

The following example will instruct the node to try LDAP first and then fall back to the internal database if the user cannot be authenticated through LDAP:

# try LDAP first
auth_backends.1 = ldap
# fall back to the internal database
auth_backends.2 = internal

Same example in the advanced.config format:

  {auth_backends, [rabbit_auth_backend_ldap, rabbit_auth_backend_internal]}

In the following example, LDAP will be used for authentication first. If the user is found in LDAP then the password will be checked against LDAP and subsequent authorisation checks will be performed against the internal database (therefore users in LDAP must exist in the internal database as well, optionally with a blank password). If the user is not found in LDAP then a second attempt is made using only the internal database.

# use LDAP for authentication first
auth_backends.1.authn = ldap
# use internal database for authorisation
auth_backends.1.authz = internal
# fall back to the internal database
auth_backends.2 = internal

In the advanced config format:

{rabbit,[{auth_backends, [{rabbit_auth_backend_ldap, rabbit_auth_backend_internal},


Once the plugin is enabled and its backends are wired in, a number of LDAP-specific settings must be configured. They include a list of LDAP servers, authentication and authorisation settings, and more.

The default configuration allows all users to access all objects in all vhosts, but does not make them administrators. Restricting access is possible by configuring LDAP queries.

LDAP Servers

For the plugin to be able to connect to a LDAP server, at least one server hostname or IP address must be configured using the auth_ldap.servers key. If multiple values are provided, List values can be hostnames or IP addresses. This value must be configured. The following example configures the plugin to use two LDAP servers. They will be tried in order until connection to one of them succeeds:

auth_ldap.servers.1 = ldap.eng.megacorp.local
auth_ldap.servers.2 =

The same examples using the classic config format:

  {rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap, [
    {servers, ["ldap.eng.megacorp.local", ""]}

LDAP servers typically use port 389 and that's the port the LDAP plugin will use by default. auth_ldap.port can be used to override this:

auth_ldap.servers.1 = ldap.eng.megacorp.local
auth_ldap.servers.2 =

auth_ldap.port      = 6389

The same examples using the classic config format:

  {rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap, [
    {servers, ["ldap.eng.megacorp.local", ""]},
    {port,    6389}

TCP connections to LDAP servers can be given a timeout using the auth_ldap.timeout configuration key:

auth_ldap.servers.1 = ldap.eng.megacorp.local
auth_ldap.servers.2 =

# 15 seconds in milliseconds
auth_ldap.timeout   = 15000

The default is infinity, or no timeout.

LDAP server connections are pooled to avoid excessive connection churn and LDAP server load. By default the pool has up to 64 connections. This can be controlled using the auth_ldap.connection_pool_size setting:

auth_ldap.servers.1 = ldap.eng.megacorp.local
auth_ldap.servers.2 =

auth_ldap.connection_pool_size = 256

Pooled connections without activity are closed after a period of time configurable via auth_ldap.idle_timeout, in milliseconds or infinity:

auth_ldap.servers.1 = ldap.eng.megacorp.local
auth_ldap.servers.2 =

auth_ldap.connection_pool_size = 256
# 300 seconds in milliseconds
auth_ldap.idle_timeout = 300000

Values between 120 and 300 seconds are recommended.

Using TLS for LDAP Connections

It is possible to connect to LDAP servers using TLS. To instruct the plugin to do so, set the auth_ldap.use_ssl setting to true. If StartTLS is used by the LDAP server, use auth_ldap.use_starttls instead. Note that those settings are mutually exclusive (cannot be combined). Both values default to false.

Client side TLS settings are configured using ssl_options, which are very similar to TLS settings elsewhere in RabbitMQ. TLS settings for LDAP connections can only be configured via the advanced config file:

auth_ldap.servers.1 = ldap.eng.megacorp.local
auth_ldap.servers.2 =

# enables TLS for connections to the LDAP server
auth_ldap.use_ssl   = true

The plugin can also connect using StartTLS. This less older and secure option is not recommended but may be necessary with older LDAP servers:

auth_ldap.servers.1 = ldap.eng.megacorp.local
auth_ldap.servers.2 =

# Enables StartTLS for connections to the LDAP server.
# Prefer auth_ldap.use_ssl with reasonably modern LDAP servers!
auth_ldap.use_starttls   = true

Client TLS Options Available for LDAP

There are multiple TLS client options available:

CA Certificate(s), Clint Certificate and Private Key

# local filesystem path to a CA certificate bundle file
auth_ldap.ssl_options.cacertfile = /path/to/ca_certificate.pem

# local filesystem path to a client certificate file
auth_ldap.ssl_options.certfile = /path/to/client_certfile.pem

# local filesystem path to a client private key file
auth_ldap.ssl_options.keyfile = /path/to/client_key.pem

SNI (Server Name Indication)

Server Name Indication (SNI) can be configured for outgoing TLS connections to LDAP servers. When not set, the default will be the hostname used for connection (see auth_ldap.servers.* above).

# Sets Server Name Indication for LDAP connections.
# If an LDAP server host is availble via multiple domain names, set this value
# to the preferred domain name target LDAP server
auth_ldap.ssl_options.sni = ldap.identity.eng.megacorp.local

Hostname Verification

Hostname verification should not be confused with peer certificate chain verification. These settings are orthogonal and can be combined.

# take wildcards into account when performing hostname verification
auth_ldap.ssl_options.hostname_verification = wildcard
# disables hostname verification
auth_ldap.ssl_options.hostname_verification = none

Peer Verification

Peer certificate chain verification should not be confused with hostname match verification. These settings are orthogonal and can be combined.

# enables peer certificate chain verification
auth_ldap.ssl_options.verify = verify_peer
# disables peer certificate chain verification
auth_ldap.ssl_options.verify = verify_none
# if target LDAP server does not present a certificate, should the connection be aborted?
auth_ldap.ssl_options.fail_if_no_peer_cert = true

Peer Chain Verification Depth

Certificate chain verification depth can be increased for servers that use multiple intermediary certificates:

auth_ldap.ssl_options.depth = 5

TLS Versions Enabled

# use TLSv1.2 only
ssl_options.versions.1 = tlsv1.2

TLS Options in advanced.config

The below example uses an advanced.config format:

  {rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap, [
     {servers, ["ldap1.eng.megacorp.local", "ldap2.eng.megacorp.local"]},

     {use_ssl,     true},
     {ssl_options, [{cacertfile, "/path/to/ca_certificate.pem"},
                    {certfile,   "/path/to/server_certificate.pem"},
                    {keyfile,    "/path/to/server_key.pem"},
                    {verify,               verify_peer},
                    {fail_if_no_peer_cert, true}]},
                    {server_name_indication, "ldap.identity.eng.megacorp.local"},
                    {ssl_hostname_verification, wildcard}

LDAP Query Caching for Efficiency and Reduced Load

A special cache backend can be used in combination with other backends to significantly reduce the load they generate on LDAP servers.

It is recommended that production clusters that rely on LDAP for authentication and authorization use it in combination with the caching backend. Caching intervals in the range of 15 to 60 seconds strike a good security and efficiency balance for most systems.

LDAP Essentials and Terminology

This section covers some basic LDAP terminology used in this document. For an LDAP primer, please refer to this overview by Digital Ocean and the LDAP glossary from ldap.com.

Term Description
Bind LDAP speak for "authentication request".
Distinguished Name (DN) A distinguished name is a unique key in an LDAP directory (tree) that identifies an object (like a user or a group). The plugin will translate a client-provided username into a distinguished name during the authentication stage (see below). One way to think of a DN is an absolute file path in a filesystem.
Common Name (CN) A short identifier of an object in the tree. This identifier will vary between object classes (types) in the LDAP database. For example, a person's common name will be the full name. A group's common name would be the name of that group. One way to think of a CN is a file name in a filesystem.
Attribute A property of an object (a key-value pair). Think of it as a field of an object in an object-oriented programming language.
Object Class A set of predefined attributes. Think of it as a type (class) in an object-oriented language.
Entry An LDAP database entity, for example, a person or a group. It has an object class associated with it and one or more attributes, including a common name. Since the entity is located somewhere in the LDAP database tree it also must have a distinguished name which uniquely identifies it. Entries is what LDAP plugin queries use (look up, check for membership, compare attributes of and so on). An LDAP database must have some entries (typically users, groups) in order to be practically useful for RabbitMQ authentication and authorisation.

LDAP Operation Flow

In order to execute an LDAP query the plugin will open a connection to the first LDAP server on the list which is reachable. Then, depending on the credential configuration it will perform an anonymous bind or a "simple bind" (authenticate the user with the LDAP server using a username/password pair). The credentials used to perform the bind can be derived from the client-provided username as explained in the following section.

If vhost access query is configured it will be executed next, otherwise vhost access is granted unconditionally.

At this point the connection can be considered successfully negotiated and established. It should be possible to open a channel on it, for example. All further operations performed on the connection will execute one of the authorisation queries. For example, declaring a queue will execute a resource access query (covered below). Publishing a message to a topic exchange will additionally execute a topic access query. Please refer to the Access Control guide to learn more.

Usernames and Distinguished Names

During the simple bind phase, the user_dn_pattern pattern is used to translate the provided username into a value to be used for the bind. By default, the pattern passes the provided value as-is (i.e. the pattern is ${username}). If user_bind_pattern is specified, it takes precedence over user_dn_pattern. This can be handy if a different user_dn_pattern needs to be used during the distinguished name lookup phase. Note that the above does not apply to anonymous binds, nor when dn_lookup_bind is not set to as_user.

Client connections provide usernames which are translated into Distinguished Names (DNs) in LDAP. There are two ways to do that. The simplest way is via string substitution with user_dn_pattern. To use this option, set user_dn_pattern to a string containing exactly one instance of ${username}, a variable that will be substituted for the username value provided by the client.

For example, setting user_dn_pattern to "cn=${username},ou=People,dc=example,dc=com" would cause the username simon to be converted to the DN cn=simon,ou=People,dc=example,dc=com. Default value is "${username}", in other words, the username is used verbatim.

The other way to convert a username to a Distinguished Name is via an LDAP lookup. To do this, set auth_ldap.dn_lookup_attribute to the name of the attribute that represents the user name, and auth_ldap.dn_lookup_base to the base DN for the query. The lookup can be done at one of two times, either before attempting to bind as the user in question, or afterwards.

To do the lookup after binding, leave auth_ldap.dn_lookup_bind set to its default of as_user. The LDAP plugin will then bind with the user's plain (unmodified) username to do the login, then look up its DN. In order for this to work the LDAP server needs to be configured to allow binding with the plain username (Microsoft Active Directory typically does this).

To do the lookup before binding, set dn_lookup_bind, dn_lookup_base and dn_lookup_attribute as follows. The LDAP plugin will then bind with these credentials first to do the lookup, then bind with the user's DN and password to do the login.

auth_ldap.dn_lookup_bind.user_dn = CN=myuser,OU=users,DC=gopivotal,DC=com
auth_ldap.dn_lookup_bind.password = test1234
auth_ldap.dn_lookup_attribute = userPrincipalName
auth_ldap.dn_lookup_base = DC=gopivotal,DC=com

Consider the following example:

auth_ldap.dn_lookup_attribute = userPrincipalName
auth_ldap.dn_lookup_base = DC=gopivotal,DC=com

With this configuration it is possible to authenticate using an email address (userPrincipalName values are typically email addresses) and have the local Active Directory server return an actual DN to do the login.

If both auth_ldap.dn_lookup_attribute and auth_ldap.user_dn_pattern are set then the approaches are combined: the plugin fills out the template and then searches for the DN.

auth_ldap.dn_lookup_bind's default value is as_user. For auth_ldap.dn_lookup_base and auth_ldap.dn_lookup_attribute it is none.

LDAP Activity Logging

The plugin makes it possible to control the verbosity of LDAP activity logging using the auth_ldap.log (rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap.log in the classic config format) setting. This is essential for troubleshooting.

Setting the value to true will enable verbose logging of the logic used by the LDAP plugin to make decisions. Credentials in bind request outcomes will be scrubbed in this mode. This mode is not recommended for production systems but occasionally can be useful.

The value of network works similarly to the above but additionally causes LDAP network traffic to be logged at a lower (LDAP client) level, with bind request credentials scrubbed. This setting can result in excessive logging and should be used with great care.

The value of network_unsafe causes LDAP network traffic to be logged at a lower (LDAP client) level, with bind request credentials such as passwords, written to the logs; this mode must not be used in production and will violate nearly every widely adopted security policy. It can, however, be very useful for troubleshooting in development and QA environments.

Lastly, the value of false (the default) deactivates LDAP traffic logging.

The following examples sets LDAP logging level to network:

auth_ldap.log = network

The same examples in the classic config format:

  {rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap, [
    %% ...
    {log, network}

Binding for Authorisation Queries

For authentication this plugin binds to the LDAP server as the user it is trying to authenticate. The other_bind setting controls how to bind for authorisation queries, and to retrieve the details of a user who is logging in without presenting a password (e.g. using the EXTERNAL authentication mechanism).

The accepted values are as_user (to bind as the authenticated user) or anon (to bind anonymously), or be presented by two options other_bind.user_dn and other_bind.password to bind with a specified username and password. For example:

auth_ldap.other_bind.user_dn = a-username
auth_ldap.other_bind.password = a-password

Using the classic config format:

  {rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap, [
    {other_bind, {"a-username", "a-password"}}

Note that it is not possible to use the default as_user configuration when users connect without providing a password. In that case, use auth_ldap.other_bind.user_dn and auth_ldap.other_bind.password or the anon option.

Default value of auth_ldap.other_bind is as_user.

Group Membership Lookup

The plugin supports several group membership lookup queries. The group_lookup_base setting controls what base DN will be used to search for nested groups. It is used by the {in_group_nested, ...} query only. For more info see the section on queries.

In the following example ou=groups,dc=example,dc=com is the directory that contains all groups. Note that it uses the classic config format:

  {rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap, [
    %% ...
    {group_lookup_base, "ou=groups,dc=example,dc=com"}

Default value is 'none'.

Configuring Authorisation

How RabbitMQ Permission Model Maps to LDAP

RabbitMQ permission model is different from that of LDAP. In addition, the way LDAP schemas are used will vary from company to company. Therefore a mechanism that defines what LDAP requests are used by the RabbitMQ authorisation functions is needed. Authorisation is controlled by four configurable queries:

  • rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap.vhost_access_query
  • rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap.resource_access_query
  • rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap.topic_access_query
  • rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap.tag_queries

Each defines a query that will determine whether a user has access to a vhost, whether they have access to a resource (e.g. exchange, queue, binding) and which tags they have.

Note the longer rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap prefix. Queries are expressed using a domain-specific language expressed in Erlang terms (data structures), so they can be defined only using the classic config format. Starting with RabbitMQ 3.7 query definitions are commonly placed into the advanced.config file.

Queries and Their Types

Each query mentioned above is used at a different authorisation stage and must evaluate to either true or false. Specific query types (expressions, e.g. value comparison or group membership check) are covered later in this guide.

A query can be of one of several types. Each type represents a boolean expression or function: a comparison, string match, object existence check, group membership check, and so on. Queries can be nested and combined using boolean operators.

The default values (expressions) can be found in the table below:

Query Purpose Default Expression
rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap.vhost_access_query Verifies that user is allowed to access a virtual host {constant, true}
rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap.resource_access_query Verifies that user is allowed to access a resource (queue, exchange, etc) {constant, true}
rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap.topic_access_query Verifies that user is allowed to publish to a topic {constant, true}
rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap.tag_queries Checks if a well-known tag is applicable to a user [{administrator, {constant, false}}]

This means that all users are granted access to all objects in all vhosts but they are not system administrators.

All of the query types which take strings for arguments support string substitution, where variables pertaining to the query being made can be substituted in. Each of the queries supports different variables.

The vhost_access_query supports:

  • ${username}: the user name provided at authentication
  • ${user_dn}: the distinguished name of the user
  • ${vhost}: the virtual host for which we are querying access

The resource_access_query supports:

  • ${username}: the user name provided at authentication
  • ${user_dn}: the distinguished name of the user
  • ${vhost}: the virtual host in which the resource resides
  • ${resource}: one of "exchange" or "queue" for the type of resource
  • ${name}: the name of the resource
  • ${permission}: one of "configure", "write" or "read" for the type of access being requested to the resource

The tag_queries supports:

  • ${username}: the user name provided at authentication
  • ${user_dn}: the distinguished name of the user
  • ${vhost}: virtual host information will not be available in every scenario. It can be used for additional context, e.g. to group applications or users

The topic_access_query supports:

  • ${username}: the user name provided at authentication
  • ${user_dn}: the distinguished name of the user
  • ${vhost}: the virtual host in which the resource resides
  • ${resource}: always "topic" in this case
  • ${name}: the name of the resource
  • ${permission}: one of "write" (publishing) or "read" (consuming, queue and exchange-to-exchange binding for topic exchanges)
  • ${routing_key}: the routing key of the published message ("write" permission) or routing key of the topic exchange to queue/exchange binding ("read" permission)

Finally, if the user name provided at authentication is in the form Domain\User (which is the case in some Active Directory environments), two additional variables will be made available for each of the above queries:

  • ${ad_domain} - the domain part of Domain\User
  • ${ad_user} - the user part of Domain\User

The terms configure, write and read for resource access have the same meanings that they do for the built-in RabbitMQ permissions system, see https://www.rabbitmq.com/access-control.html. See also topic authorisation for topic_access_query.

When first getting familiar with the query DSL, it can be helpful to switch on the log configuration parameter documented above. This will cause the LDAP plugin to write fairly verbose descriptions of the queries it executes and the decisions it therefore makes to the RabbitMQ log.

Virtual Host Access

rabbitmq_auth_backend_ldap.vhost_access_query is the query used to control virtual host access. If the query evaluates to true then access is granted.

Note that before a user can access a virtual host, the virtualhost must have been created within RabbitMQ; unlike users and permissions, virtual hosts cannot live entirely within LDAP.

User Tags

The tag_queries consists of a key-value map mapping the name of a tag to a query to perform to determine whether or not the user has that tag. It is necessary to list list queries for all tags that the users should to have.

Authorisation Query Reference

Constant Query

{constant, Bool}

This will always return either true or false, unconditionally granting or denying access. Example:

{tag_queries, [{administrator, {constant, false}},
 {management,    {constant, true}}]}

This grants all users the ability to use the management plugin, but makes none of them administrators.

Exists Query

{exists, Pattern}

This will substitute variables into the pattern, and return true if there exists an object with the resulting DN. Example:

{vhost_access_query, {exists, "ou=${vhost},ou=vhosts,dc=example,dc=com"}}

This grants access to all virtual hosts which exist as organisational units within ou=vhosts,dc=example,dc=com to all users.

In Group Query

{in_group, Pattern}
{in_group, Pattern, AttributeName}

Like the Exists Query, substitutes arguments into a pattern to look for an object. However, this query returns true if the logged in user is a member; checking either against the member attribute, or any named attribute. Example:

{vhost_access_query, {in_group, "cn=${vhost}-users,ou=vhosts,dc=example,dc=com"}}

This grants access to virtual hosts when the user is listed as a member attribute of an appropriately named object (such as a groupOfNames) within ou=vhosts,dc=example,dc=com.

In Nested Group Query

{in_group_nested, Pattern}
{in_group_nested, Pattern, AttributeName}
{in_group_nested, Pattern, AttributeName, Scope}

Similar to the in_group query but also traverses group hierarchy, e.g. if the logged in user is a member of the group which is a member of another group. Membership is checked against the member attribute or any named attribute. Groups are searched in the DN defined by the group_lookup_base configuration key, or the dn_lookup_base variable if former is none. If both lookup base variables are set to none the query will always return false. Search scope can be set to either subtree or single_level.

  • subtree searches all objects contained under the lookup base
  • single_level searches for groups directly contained within the lookup base

Default value for scope is subtree The query is using in-depth search up from user to target group. Search process will detect and skip cyclic paths. This query can be time and memory consuming if users are members of many groups, which are members of many groups as well. Use this query when groups for a membership hierarchy. It is still recommended to use plain {in_group, ...} query when possible: nested groups can be challenging to reason about. Example:

  {group_lookup_base, "ou=groups,dc=example,dc=com"},
  {vhost_access_query, {in_group_nested, "cn=${vhost}-groups,ou=groups,dc=example,dc=com"}, "member", single_level}

This grants access to virtual hosts when the user a member in group hierarchy defined by the member attribute values and located in the ou=groups,dc=example,dc=com directory.

For Query

{for, [{Name, Value, SubQuery}, ...]}

This allows you to split up a query and handle different cases with different subqueries.

Options should be a list of three-tuples, with each tuple containing a name, value and subquery. The name is the name of a variable (i.e. something that would go into a ${} substitution). The value is a possible value for that variable.

Note that the values are of different Erlang types; resource and permission have atom values (e.g. resource could be exchange) while the other keys have binary values (e.g. name might be <<"amq.fanout">>).


 {for, [{resource, exchange, {for, [{permission, configure,
                                     {in_group, "cn=wheel,dc=example,dc=com"}
                                    {permission, write, {constant, true}},
                                    {permission, read,  {constant, true}}
                                   {resource, queue,    {constant, true}}]}}

This allows members of the wheel group to declare and delete exchanges, and allow all users to do everything else.

Boolean Queries

{'not', SubQuery}
{'and', [SubQuery1, SubQuery2, SubQuery3, ...]}
{'or', [SubQuery1, SubQuery2, SubQuery3, ...]}

These can be used to combine subqueries with boolean logic. The 'and' and 'or' queries each take an arbitrarily long list of subqueries, returning true if all or any subqueries evaluate to true respectively.

Note that 'and', 'or' and 'not' are reserved words in Erlang, therefore the keywords need to be quoted with single quotes in the configuration file, as above. Example:

    [{equals, "${name}", "test1"},
     {equals, "${username}", "user1"}]},
    [{equals, "${name}", "test2"},
     {'not', {equals, "${username}", "user1"}}]}

This example gives full access to objects called "test1" to "user1", and access to "test2" to everyone but "user1".

Equals Query

{equals, StringSubQuery1, StringSubQuery2}

Takes two strings, and checks that the one matches the other. Note that both strings are subqueries (of the string and attribute types below) in turn.

This can be useful in order to compare the value of one of the string substitution variables with a constant, or with an attribute value, etc. Example:

 {for, [{permission, configure, {equals, {attribute, "${user_dn}", "description"},
                                         {string, "can-declare-${resource}s"}
        {permission, write, {constant, true}},
        {permission, read,  {constant, true}}

This grants permissions to declare and delete exchanges and queues based on the presence of the strings "can-declare-exchanges" and "can-declare-queues" in the user's description field, and grants permission to write and read exchanges to everyone.

Match Query

{match, StringSubQuery, RESubQuery}

Takes a string and a regular expression, and checks that the one matches the other. Note that the string and the regular expression are both subqueries (of the string and attribute types below) in turn. Example:

{resource_access_query, {match, {string, "${name}"},
                      {string, "^${username}-"}}

This allows users to configure, read and write any object whose name begins with their own username followed by a hyphen.

String Sub-query

{string, Pattern}

Just substitutes arguments into a string. As this returns a string rather than a boolean it should be used within a match or equals query. See above for example. As a shorthand you can use a plain string instead of {string, Pattern}.

Attribute Sub-query

{attribute, DNPattern, AttributeName}

Returns the value of an attribute of an object retrieved from LDAP. As this returns a string rather than a boolean it should be used within a match or equals query. See above for example.

Example Configuration

Bringing it all together, here's a sample configuration. It uses both the standard config and advanced config files together. This makes all users able to access the management plugin, but makes none of them administrators. Access to virtual hosts is controlled by membership of a group per virtual host. Only members of admin can declare, delete or bind exchanges and queues, but all users can publish to exchanges and declare from queues. Publishing to topic-typed exchanges is restricted to messages with a routing key beginning with "a" and consuming from topics isn't restricted (topic authorisation).

The standard config (rabbitmq.conf) is used to configure authentication backends and several LDAP plugin parameters:

auth_backends.1 = ldap

auth_ldap.servers.1  = my-ldap-server
auth_ldap.user_dn_pattern = cn=${username},ou=People,dc=example,dc=com
auth_ldap.use_ssl    = false
auth_ldap.port       = 389
auth_ldap.log        = false

Advanced config is used to define LDAP queries:

    {vhost_access_query,    {in_group,
      {for, [{permission, configure, {in_group, "cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com"}},
             {permission, write,
              {for, [{resource, queue,    {in_group, "cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com"}},
                     {resource, exchange, {constant, true}}]}},
             {permission, read,
              {for, [{resource, exchange, {in_group, "cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com"}},
                     {resource, queue,    {constant, true}}]}}
      {for, [{permission, write, {match, {string, "${routing_key}"}, {string, "^a"}}},
             {permission, read,  {constant, true}}
     {tag_queries,           [{administrator, {constant, false}},
                              {management,    {constant, true}}]}

Alternatively, you can use the classic config format to configure everything in a single file:

  {rabbit, [{auth_backends, [rabbit_auth_backend_ldap]}]},
   [ {servers,               ["my-ldap-server"]},
     {user_dn_pattern,       "cn=${username},ou=People,dc=example,dc=com"},
     {use_ssl,               false},
     {port,                  389},
     {log,                   false},
     {vhost_access_query,    {in_group,
      {for, [{permission, configure, {in_group, "cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com"}},
             {permission, write,
              {for, [{resource, queue,    {in_group, "cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com"}},
                     {resource, exchange, {constant, true}}]}},
             {permission, read,
              {for, [{resource, exchange, {in_group, "cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com"}},
                     {resource, queue,    {constant, true}}]}}
      {for, [{permission, write, {match, {string, "${routing_key}"}, {string, "^a"}}},
             {permission, read,  {constant, true}}
     {tag_queries,           [{administrator, {constant, false}},
                              {management,    {constant, true}}]}


Using LDAP for authentication and/or authorisation introduces another moving part into the system. Since LDAP servers are accessed over the network, some topics covered in the Network Troubleshooting and TLS Troubleshooting guides apply to LDAP.

In order to troubleshoot LDAP operations performed during the authentication and authorisation stages, enabling LDAP traffic logging is highly recommended.

ldapsearch is a command line tool that ships with LDAP and makes it possible to execute arbitrary LDAP queries against an OpenLDAP installation. This can be useful when troubleshooting complex authorisation queries. ldp.exe is the Active Directory counterpart.

LDAP Proxies

An LDAP proxy can be used to modify LDAP requests performed by this plugin. ldaptor is a library that can be used to build custom logic into the proxy.

Operators should recognise that using a proxy will make troubleshooting of LDAP requests more difficult.

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