ldapdelete — LDAP delete entry tool


ldapdelete [-V[V]] [-d debuglevel] [-n] [-v] [-c] [-f file] [-r] [-z sizelimit] [-M[M]] [-x] [-D binddn] [-W] [-w passwd] [-y passwdfile] [-H ldapuri] [-h ldaphost] [-p ldapport] [-P {2|3}] [-e [!]ext[=extparam]] [-E [!]ext[=extparam]] [-o opt[=optparam]] [-O security-properties] [-I] [-Q] [-N] [-U authcid] [-R realm] [-X authzid] [-Y mech] [-Z[Z]] [DN [...]]


ldapdelete is a shell-accessible interface to the ldap_delete_ext(3) library call.

ldapdelete opens a connection to an LDAP server, binds, and deletes one or more entries.  If one or more DN arguments are provided, entries with those Distinguished Names are deleted.  Each DN should be provided using the LDAPv3 string representation as defined in RFC 4514. If no DN arguments are provided, a list of DNs is read from standard input (or from file if the -f flag is used).



Print version info. If -VV is given, only the version information is printed.

-d debuglevel

Set the LDAP debugging level to debuglevel. ldapdelete must be compiled with LDAP_DEBUG defined for this option to have any effect.


Show what would be done, but don't actually delete entries.  Useful for debugging in conjunction with -v.


Use verbose mode, with many diagnostics written to standard output.


Continuous operation mode.  Errors  are  reported,  but ldapdelete will  continue  with  deletions.   The default is to exit after reporting an error.

-f file

Read a series of DNs from file, one per line, performing an LDAP delete for each.


Do a recursive delete.  If the DN specified isn't a leaf, its children, and all their children are deleted down the tree.  No verification is done, so if you add this switch, ldapdelete will happily delete large portions of your tree.  Use with care.

-z sizelimit

Use sizelimit when searching for children DN to delete, to circumvent any server-side size limit.  Only useful in conjunction with -r.


Enable manage DSA IT control. -MM makes control critical.


Use simple authentication instead of SASL.

-D binddn

Use the Distinguished Name binddn to bind to the LDAP directory. For SASL binds, the server is expected to ignore this value.


Prompt for simple authentication. This is used instead of specifying the password on the command line.

-w passwd

Use passwd as the password for simple authentication.

-y passwdfile

Use complete contents of passwdfile as the password for simple authentication.

-H ldapuri

Specify URI(s) referring to the ldap server(s); only the protocol/host/port fields are allowed; a list of URI, separated by whitespace or commas is expected.

-h ldaphost

Specify an alternate host on which the ldap server is running. Deprecated in favor of -H.

-p ldapport

Specify an alternate TCP port where the ldap server is listening. Deprecated in favor of -H.

-P {2|3}

Specify the LDAP protocol version to use.

-e [!]ext[=extparam]
-E [!]ext[=extparam]

Specify general extensions with -e and delete extensions with -E. ´!´ indicates criticality.

General extensions:

  [!]assert=<filter>    (an RFC 4515 Filter)
  !authzid=<authzid>    ("dn:<dn>" or "u:<user>")
  [!]bauthzid           (RFC 3829 authzid control)
  [!]postread[=<attrs>] (a comma-separated attribute list)
  [!]preread[=<attrs>]  (a comma-separated attribute list)
  abandon,cancel,ignore (SIGINT sends abandon/cancel,
  or ignores response; if critical, doesn't wait for SIGINT.
  not really controls)

Delete extensions:

-o opt[=optparam]

Specify general options.

General options:

  nettimeout=<timeout>  (in seconds, or "none" or "max")
  ldif-wrap=<width>     (in columns, or "no" for no wrapping)
-O security-properties

Specify SASL security properties.


Enable SASL Interactive mode.  Always prompt.  Default is to prompt only as needed.


Enable SASL Quiet mode.  Never prompt.


Do not use reverse DNS to canonicalize SASL host name.

-U authcid

Specify the authentication ID for SASL bind. The form of the identity depends on the actual SASL mechanism used.

-R realm

Specify the realm of authentication ID for SASL bind. The form of the realm depends on the actual SASL mechanism used.

-X authzid

Specify the requested authorization ID for SASL bind. authzid must be one of the following formats: dn:<distinguished name> or u:<username>

-Y mech

Specify the SASL mechanism to be used for authentication. If it's not specified, the program will choose the best mechanism the server knows.


Issue StartTLS (Transport Layer Security) extended operation. If you use -ZZ, the command will require the operation to be successful.


The following command:

    ldapdelete "cn=Delete Me,dc=example,dc=com"

will attempt to delete the entry named "cn=Delete Me,dc=example,dc=com". Of course it would probably be necessary to supply authentication credentials.


Exit status is 0 if no errors occur.  Errors result in a non-zero exit status and a diagnostic message being written to standard error.

See Also

ldap.conf(5), ldapadd(1), ldapmodify(1), ldapmodrdn(1), ldapsearch(1), ldap(3), ldap_delete_ext(3)


The OpenLDAP Project <http://www.openldap.org/>


OpenLDAP Software is developed and maintained by The OpenLDAP Project <http://www.openldap.org/>. OpenLDAP Software is derived from the University of Michigan LDAP 3.3 Release.  

Referenced By

ldapmodify(1), ldapmodrdn(1), ldapsearch(1).

2018/12/19 OpenLDAP 2.4.47