[Samba] Attributes are base64 encoded

Tetra terjet-list at funcom.com
Tue Mar 3 04:59:06 MST 2015

On 02.03.2015 19:20, Jean-François Morcillo wrote:
 > – lots of attributes are base64 encode (ex: memberOf::
 > Could anyone explain me what's gooing on ?

It is the ldapsearch utility that by design shows output that contains 
special characters (like binary data) in base64 format. (So it does not 
mean it is stored in the database as base64.)

In general this is a good thing, so it doesn't mess up your terminal 
output. (Try 'cat <any jpeg file>' to understand what I mean).

However, I often think it would have been nice to have had an option to 
print at least what the terminal actually could show, like unicode on a 
unicode capable terminal, safely (and the rest as dots or questionmarks 
or whatever).  You don't say what version of ldapsearch this is, but if 
it is the one from OpenLDAP I believe they are not much interested in 
adding options that are not in the standard, and that the ldif standard 
says that special characters should be base64 coded since it is supposed 
to be "ASCII-clean". (See e.g. 

So ldapsearch is not the tool you are looking for here. The solution is 
probably to use a (graphical) LDAP browser that is more versatile. LDAP 
Explorer, JXplorer, LDAP Account Manager, or (like I do) Apache 
Directory Studio.

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