LDAP Active Directory

Finding the DN (distinguished name) of a user in Active Directory:

You may be asked to define a DN so that a service can bind to it to authenticate a query. Each user in Active Directory has a distinguished name. However, you cannot find it through the ADUC tool.

From a command prompt on your domain controller type: ldifde -f c:\export.txt

View the export.txt file in Notepad and do a find on the username. For example, you do a find on username zimbrauser. You will see something like this:


This means that zimbrauser is in the OU called External in your AD forest exonline.intranet.

Using dsquery

From the command prompt you may also use the dsquery utlity.

dsquery user forestroot -samid zimbrauser 

Which like the instructions above will return the user dn: "CN=zimbrauser,OU=External,DC=exonline,DC=intranet"


One of the free tools available for Windows 2003 is ADSIEdit[1]. You can grab this with the tools that come on the CD or through Microsoft. ADSIEdit exposes the raw LDAP-like underbelly of AD, and allows you to see objects and attributes, and run LDAP queries. It will easily allow you to find the full path of any object.

Verified Against: unknown Date Created: 4/21/2006
Article ID: https://wiki.zimbra.com/index.php?title=LDAP_Active_Directory Date Modified: 2015-01-22

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