slapcat — SLAPD database to LDIF utility


SBINDIR/slapcat [ −a filter ] [ −b suffix ] [−c] [ −d debug−level ] [ −f slapd.conf ] [ −F confdir ] [−g] [ −H URI ] [ −l ldif−file ] [ −n dbnum ] [ −o option[= value] ] [ −s subtree−dn ] [−v]


Slapcat is used to generate an LDAP Directory Interchange Format (LDIF) output based upon the contents of a slapd(8) database. It opens the given database determined by the database number or suffix and writes the corresponding LDIF to standard output or the specified file. Databases configured as subordinate of this one are also output, unless −g is specified.

The entry records are presented in database order, not superior first order. The entry records will include all (user and operational) attributes stored in the database. The entry records will not include dynamically generated attributes (such as subschemaSubentry).

The output of slapcat is intended to be used as input to slapadd(8). The output of slapcat cannot generally be used as input to ldapadd(1) or other LDAP clients without first editing the output. This editing would normally include reordering the records into superior first order and removing no-user-modification operational attributes.


−a filter

Only dump entries matching the asserted filter. For example

slapcat −a \ "(!(entryDN:dnSubtreeMatch:=ou=People,dc=example,dc=com))"

will dump all but the "ou=People,dc=example,dc=com" subtree of the "dc=example,dc=com" database. Deprecated; use −H ldap:///???(filter) instead.

−b suffix

Use the specified suffix to determine which database to generate output for. The −b cannot be used in conjunction with the −n option.


Enable continue (ignore errors) mode. Multiple occorrences of −c make slapcat(8) try harder.

−d debug−level

Enable debugging messages as defined by the specified debug-level; see slapd(8) for details.

−f slapd.conf

Specify an alternative slapd.conf(5) file.

−F confdir

specify a config directory. If both −f and −F are specified, the config file will be read and converted to config directory format and written to the specified directory. If neither option is specified, an attempt to read the default config directory will be made before trying to use the default config file. If a valid config directory exists then the default config file is ignored.


disable subordinate gluing. Only the specified database will be processed, and not its glued subordinates (if any).


use dn, scope and filter from URI to only handle matching entries.

−l ldif−file

Write LDIF to specified file instead of standard output.

−n dbnum

Generate output for the dbnum-th database listed in the configuration file. The config database slapd-config(5), is always the first database, so use −n 0 to select it.

The −n cannot be used in conjunction with the −b option.

−o option[=value]

Specify an option with a(n optional) value. Possible generic options/values are:

              syslog=<subsystems>  (see `−s' in slapd(8))
              syslog−level=<level> (see `−S' in slapd(8))
              syslog−user=<user>   (see `−l' in slapd(8))


n is the number of columns allowed for the LDIF output (n equal to 0 uses the default, corresponding to 78). The minimum is 2, leaving space for one character and one continuation character. Use no for no wrap.

−s subtree−dn

Only dump entries in the subtree specified by this DN. Implies −b subtree-dn if no −b or −n option is given. Deprecated; use −H ldap:///subtree-dn instead.


Enable verbose mode.


For some backend types, your slapd(8) should not be running (at least, not in read-write mode) when you do this to ensure consistency of the database. It is always safe to run slapcat with the slapd-bdb(5), slapd-hdb(5), and slapd-null(5) backends.


To make a text backup of your SLAPD database and put it in a file called ldif, give the command:

        SBINDIR/slapcat −l ldif


ldap(3), ldif(5), slapadd(8), ldapadd(1), slapd(8)

"OpenLDAP Administrator's Guide" (


OpenLDAP Software is developed and maintained by The OpenLDAP Project <>. OpenLDAP Software is derived from University of Michigan LDAP 3.3 Release.

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