Server object

The Server object specifies the DSA (Directory Server Agent) LDAP server that will be used by the connection. To create a new Server object the following parameters are available:

  • host: name or ip or the complete url in the scheme://hostname:hostport format of the server (required) - port and scheme (ldap or ldaps) defined here have precedence over the parameters port and use_ssl

  • port: the port where the DSA server is listening (defaults to 389, for a cleartext connection, 636 for a secured connection)

  • use_ssl: specifies if the connection is on a secure port (defaults to False). When True the secure port is usually set to 636.

  • allowed_referral_hosts: specifies which servers are considered reliable as referrals (defaults to None)

    • Format is a list of tuples; [(server, allow_auth), (server, allow_auth), …]
    • server is an IP address or DNS name. Specify an asterisk (*) to accept any server.
    • allow_auth is a boolean to indicate if authentication to that server is allowed; if False only anonymous bind will be used.
  • get_info: specifies if the server schema and server specific info must be read (defaults to SCHEMA). Possible values are:

    • NONE: no information is gathered from the server
    • DSA: server information is stored in
    • SCHEMA: schema information is stored in server.schema
    • ALL: server and schema information are gathered and stored in and server.schema
    • OFFLINE_EDIR_8_8_8: pre-built schema and info for NetIQ eDirectory 8.8.8
    • OFFLINE_EDIR_9_1_4: pre-built schema and info for NetIQ eDirectory 9.1.4
    • OFFLINE_AD_2012_R2: pre-built schema and info for Microsoft Active Directory from Windows Server 2012 R2
    • OFFLINE_SLAPD_2_4: pre-built schema and info for Openldap 2.4
    • OFFLINE_DS389_1_3_3: pre-built schema and info for DS389 1.3.3
  • mode: specifies dual IP stack behaviour for resolving LDAP server names in DNS: Possible values are:

    • IP_SYSTEM_DEFAULT: disable dual stack feature. Use system default
    • IP_V4_ONLY: use only IPV4 names
    • IP_V6_ONLY: use only IPV6 names
    • IP_V4_PREFERRED: tries IPV4 names and if connection fails tries IPV6
    • IP_V6_PREFERRED: tries IPV6 names and if connection fails tries IPV4
  • tls: Tls object that contains information about the certificates and the trusted roots needed to establish a secure connection (defaults to None). If None any server certificate will be accepted.

  • formatter: a dictionary of custom formatter for attributes returned in search

  • connect_timeout: timeout in seconds for the connect operation


server = Server('server1', port=636, use_ssl=True, allowed_referral_hosts=[('server2', True), ('server3', False)])

A server can be implicitly defined with default directly in the Connection definition:

connection = Connection('server1', user='cn=user1,o=test', password='password')

Server Pool


Active strategies

Active strategies check if the server is listening on the specified port. When the ‘active’ attribute is set to True the strategy tries to open and close a socket on the port. If your LDAP server has problems with the opening and closing of sockets you can set ‘active’ to False..

Different Server objects can be grouped in a ServerPool object. A ServerPool object can be specified in the Connection object to obtain an high availability (HA) connection. This is useful for long standing connections (for example an LDAP authenticator module in an application server) or when you have a multi replica LDAP server infrastructure. The active and exhaust parameter accept either a boolean or a number: if you set active=True while defining the ServerPool the strategy will check for server availability, you can also set this attribute to the maximum number of cycles to try before giving up with an LDAPServerPoolExhaustedError exception. With exhaust=True if a server is not active it will be removed by the pool, if you set it to a number this will be the number of seconds an unreachable server is considered offline. When this timout expires the server is reinserted in the pool and checked again for availability. The pool keeps a single state for all connections that use it. If you want a different state for each connection you must set single=False while defining the ServerPool.

When all servers in a pool are not available the strategy will wait for the number of seconds specified in ldap3.get_config_parameter("POOLING_LOOP_TIMEOUT") before starting a new cycle. This defaults to 10 seconds.

The pool can have different HA strategies:

  • FIRST: gets the first server in the pool, if ‘active’ is set to True gets the first available server
  • ROUND_ROBIN: each time the connection is open the subsequent server in the pool is used. If active is set to True unavailable servers will be discarded
  • RANDOM: each time the connection is open a random server is chosen in the pool. If active is set to True unavailable servers will be discarded

A server pool can be defined in different ways:

server1 = Server('server1')
server2 = Server('server2')
server3 = Server('server1', port=636, use_ssl=True)
  • explicitly with Server objects in the init:

    server_pool = ServerPool([server1, server2, server3], ROUND_ROBIN, active=True, exhaust=True)
  • explicitly with an add operation in the pool object:

    server_pool = ServerPool(None, ROUND_ROBIN)
  • implicitly directly in the Connection object init (passing a list of servers):

    conn = Connection([server1, server2, server3])  # the ServerPool object is defined with the default pooling strategy

Pools can be dynamically changed. You can add and remove Server objects from pools even if they are already used in Connection:

server4 = Server('server2', port=636, use_ssl=True)

Connections are notified of the change and can reopen the socket to the new server at next open() operation.

Custom formatters can be used to specify how an attribute value must be returned in the ‘attributes’ attribute of the search entry object. A formatter must be a callable that receives a bytes value and return an object. The object will be returned in the ‘attributes’ if the schema is read and check_names connection parameter is True. If the attribute is defined in the schema as ‘multi_value’ the attribute value is returned as a list (even if only a single value is present) else it’s returned as a single value.

Offline Schema

If your LDAP server doesn’t return the DSA info or the Schema you can load pre-built schemas and infos with the get_info parameter. Schemas are available for eDirectory, Active Directory and Openldap.

You can also save the schema and info in a json string:

json_info =
json_schema = server.schema.to_json()

or can have them saved on file:'server-info.json')

you can then build a new Server object with the saved json files:

from ldap3 import Server, DsaInfo, SchemaInfo
dsa_info = DsaInfo.from_file('server-info.json')
schema_info = SchemaInfo.from_file('server-schema.json')
server = Server('hostname')

and then you can use the server as usual. Hostname must resolve to a real server.

Mock Server

When using a mocking strategy (usually used in Test Driven Development) you can create a fake server with custom schema and info with the from_definition() static method of the Server object:

# Create a fake server from the info and schema json files
fake_server = Server.from_definition('my_fake_server', 'my_real_server_info.json', 'my_real_server_schema.json')

Look at the Mocking section for more details..