Querying LDAP From Python the Easy Way

Historically, using LDAP in python could be fairly painful because you had to install python-ldap, which could be hard depending on your environment. E.g. getting that installed in a Jupyter notebook where I work proved impossible without changing the underlying docker image for the notebook.

Most search results will still lead you to python-dap, but now you can and should use python-ldap3 instead. This library is pure-python and does not have any awkward OS dependencies. So, it “just works” and is much lighter.

Here is an example of how to login with a service account and query a user via email.

import ldap3

# Put in params up top.

search_base = 'DC=foo,DC=bar'
search_filter = '(&(mail=john.doe@somecompany.com))'
attrs = ["*"]

server = ldap3.Server(LDAP_URI)
with ldap3.Connection(server, auto_bind=True, user=SERVICE_ACCOUNT, password=SERVICE_ACCOUNT_PASSWORD) as conn:
    conn.search(search_base, search_filter, attributes=attrs)

To run this, you just have to do a quick pip install as shown below. I recommend you use the latest version; but I locked it here just to remind you that locking a version is smart in most python projects. Version drift causes many production issues.

pip install ldap3==2.9.1