Access / Servers / LDAP

LDAP is the lightweight directory access protocol used by Microsoft Active Directory (AD), OpenLDAP and Novell eDirectory, to name a few.

OPNsense can use an LDAP server for authentication purposes and for authorization to access (parts) of the graphical user interface (web configurator). When using LDAP for the GUI the privileges have to be defined with the local user manager, to do so an (automated) import of the users from the LDAP source is required.

In this how-to we will show you how to configure both using Microsoft Active Directory Server. If you only need LDAP for services like VPN, then you can skip steps 3-5.


LDAP can also be combined with Two-factor authentication


A functional LDAP server (example is based on MS AD) is required. Your OPNsense firewall needs to be fully configured and able to access the LDAP server.

Step 1 - Add New LDAP server

To add a new LDAP server as authentication source, go to System ‣ Access ‣ Servers and click on Add server in the top right corner, just above the form.

Enter the following information:

Descriptive name


Enter a descriptive name



Select LDAP

Hostname or IP address

Enter the IP address of you LDAP Server

Port value


Enter the port number, 389 is default


TCP - Standard

Select Standard or Encrypted

Protocol version


Select protocol version

Bind credentials

User DN:

cn=testusr,CN=Users, DC=opnsense,DC=local

Enter your credentials



alway use a strong password

Search scope

Entire Subtree

Select Entire Subtree to retrieve all

Base DN:


Enter the Base DN

Authentication containers


Click & Select the containers from the list

Extended Query


Extend query, e.g. limit results to Persons

Initial Template


Select your LDAP Server Type

User naming attribute


Auto filled in based upon Initial Template

Read properties

Fetch account details after successful login

Synchronize groups

Enable to Synchronize groups, requires the option above

Constraint groups

Only consider groups inside the Authentication containers

Limit groups

Select list of groups that may be considered during sync*

Automatic user creation

When groups are automatically synchronized, this offers the ability to automatically create the user when it doesn’t exist.

Match case insensitive

Allow mixed case input when gathering local user settings.


When clicking on the Select button right next to Authentication containers, something similar to the following will show up:



When using SSL/TLS, make sure the certificate authority of the remote server is configured in the System -> Trust section.


The Extended Query can be used to select users who are member of a specific group (only relevant for external services, when not using the local user database). One can use something like this: &(memberOf=CN=myGroup,CN=Users,DC=opnsense,DC=local) to select only members of the group “myGroup”. To add a user to a specific group under Windows just edit the groups properties and select Add… to add the user under the tab Members.



In some cases local naming doesn’t match server naming when it comes to users, the case insensitive option can be used in that case to ignore case on login. Microsoft Access Directory for example doesn’t match case sensitive, in which case UsEr equals user (our system is case sensitive)

Step 1.1 (optional) Synchronize groups.

When using the local database to import users, you can also synchronize configured LDAP groups when the remote server supports this. To use this feature, enable Read properties and Synchronize groups.


This feature needs the remote LDAP server to respond with memberOf when queried, how to enable this on various LDAP providers lies outside the scope of this manual.


Groups will be extracted from the first CN= section and will only be considered when already existing in OPNsense. Group memberships will be persisted in OPNsense (you can always check which rights the user had the last time he or she successfully logged in).

Step 2 - Test

To test if the server is configured correctly, go to System ‣ Access ‣ Tester and select your LDAP server and enter a valid username + password. Click on Test and if everything is set up correctly it will show:



When limited to just one group, the group name will not be shown in the listing.

If not (or your entered invalid credentials) it shows:



When Read properties is enabled, you should also see all properties returned by the server in the tester. This helps to identify if your server support group sync support (find memberOf in the list).

Step 3 - Enable the authentication server

Go to System ‣ Settings ‣ Administration and under the Authentication section at the bottom, change the Server dropdown to your newly added LDAP server and save.


Before changing the gui access to require LDAP, make sure at least one user is allowed to access the firewall with remote credentials. This can be achieved either by adding the All pages privilege to the user or making sure the user is member of a group with that privilege.

To prevent being locked out, you can add “Local Database” as secondary option during your test.

Step 4 - Import Users

If you would like to give LDAP/Active Directory users access to the GUI, you need to import the users into the local user manager. Go to System ‣ Access ‣ Users you will see a cloud import icon at the lower right corner of the form.


Click on the cloud import icon to start importing users.

A new form will be show with the individual users, select the ones you like to import.


The Automatic user creation option replaces manual imports in cases where account details can be retrieved from the remote LDAP server. Users created with this option should be removed manually from the firewall when they are removed from (one of) the LDAP server(s), which is the same as they would be maintained locally on manual imports.

As of version business edition 21.10, the system will automatically query the LDAP servers and remove non-existing users. (not available in the community version of OPNsense)

Step 4a - Update LDAP user privileges

Now if you go to System ‣ Access ‣ Users you will see all users including the newly imported LDAP users. You can create a specific group for these users to easily manage the privileges or use one of your earlier created groups.

When opening a LDAP user (edit) via the pencil icon right next to the name, you will notice the difference as the User Distinguished name will be shown from the LDAP server, just like this:



See Users & Groups for more information on User, Groups and privileges.