SSSD Manual pages

Table of Contents

sssd-ad — the configuration file for SSSD


sssd-ad — the configuration file for SSSD


This manual page describes the configuration of the AD provider for sssd(8). For a detailed syntax reference, refer to the FILE FORMAT section of the sssd.conf(5) manual page.

The AD provider is a back end used to connect to an Active Directory server. This provider requires that the machine be joined to the AD domain and a keytab is available.

The AD provider supports connecting to Active Directory 2008 R2 or later. Earlier versions may work, but are unsupported.

The AD provider accepts the same options used by the sssd-ldap(5) identity provider and the sssd-krb5(5) authentication provider with some exceptions described below.

However, it is neither necessary nor recommended to set these options. The AD provider can also be used as an access and chpass provider. No configuration of the access provider is required on the client side.

By default, the AD provider will map UID and GID values from the objectSID parameter in Active Directory. For details on this, see the ID MAPPING section below. If you want to disable ID mapping and instead rely on POSIX attributes defined in Active Directory, you should set

ldap_id_mapping = False


Refer to the section DOMAIN SECTIONS of the sssd.conf(5) manual page for details on the configuration of an SSSD domain.

ad_domain (string)

Specifies the name of the Active Directory domain. This is optional. If not provided, the configuration domain name is used.

For proper operation, this option should be specified as the lower-case version of the long version of the Active Directory domain.

ad_server, ad_backup_server (string)

The comma-separated list of IP addresses or hostnames of the AD servers to which SSSD should connect in order of preference. For more information on failover and server redundancy, see the FAILOVER section. This is optional if autodiscovery is enabled. For more information on service discovery, refer to the SERVICE DISCOVERY section.

ad_hostname (string)

Optional. May be set on machines where the hostname(5) does not reflect the fully qualified name used in the Active Directory domain to identify this host.

This field is used to determine the host principal in use in the keytab. It must match the hostname for which the keytab was issued.

override_homedir (string)

Override the user's home directory. You can either provide an absolute value or a template. In the template, the following sequences are substituted:


login name


UID number


domain name


fully qualified user name (user@domain)


a literal '%'

This option can also be set per-domain.


override_homedir = /home/%u

Default: Not set (SSSD will use the value retrieved from LDAP)

fallback_homedir (string)

Set a default template for a user's home directory if one is not specified explicitly by the domain's data provider.

The available values for this option are the same as for override_homedir.


fallback_homedir = /home/%u

Default: not set (no substitution for unset home directories)


The default shell to use if the provider does not return one during lookup. This option supersedes any other shell options if it takes effect.

Default: not set (Return NULL if no shell is specified and rely on libc to substitute something sensible when necessary, usually /bin/sh)


The failover feature allows back ends to automatically switch to a different server if the current server fails.

Failover Syntax

The list of servers is given as a comma-separated list; any number of spaces is allowed around the comma. The servers are listed in order of preference. The list can contain any number of servers.

For each failover-enabled config option, two variants exist: primary and backup. The idea is that servers in the primary list are preferred and backup servers are only searched if no primary servers can be reached. If a backup server is selected, a timeout of 30 seconds is set. After this timeout SSSD will periodically try to reconnect to one of the primary servers. If it succeeds, it will replace the current active (backup) server.

The Failover Mechanism

The failover mechanism distinguishes between a machine and a service. The back end first tries to resolve the hostname of a given machine; if this resolution attempt fails, the machine is considered offline. No further attempts are made to connect to this machine for any other service. If the resolution attempt succeeds, the back end tries to connect to a service on this machine. If the service connection attempt fails, then only this particular service is considered offline and the back end automatically switches over to the next service. The machine is still considered online and might still be tried for another service.

Further connection attempts are made to machines or services marked as offline after a specified period of time; this is currently hard coded to 30 seconds.

If there are no more machines to try, the back end as a whole switches to offline mode, and then attempts to reconnect every 30 seconds.


The service discovery feature allows back ends to automatically find the appropriate servers to connect to using a special DNS query. This feature is not supported for backup servers.


If no servers are specified, the back end automatically uses service discovery to try to find a server. Optionally, the user may choose to use both fixed server addresses and service discovery by inserting a special keyword, _srv_, in the list of servers. The order of preference is maintained. This feature is useful if, for example, the user prefers to use service discovery whenever possible, and fall back to a specific server when no servers can be discovered using DNS.

The domain name

Please refer to the dns_discovery_domain parameter in the sssd.conf(5) manual page for more details.

The protocol

The queries usually specify _tcp as the protocol. Exceptions are documented in respective option description.

See Also

For more information on the service discovery mechanism, refer to RFC 2782.


The ID-mapping feature allows SSSD to act as a client of Active Directory without requiring administrators to extend user attributes to support POSIX attributes for user and group identifiers.

NOTE: When ID-mapping is enabled, the uidNumber and gidNumber attributes are ignored. This is to avoid the possibility of conflicts between automatically-assigned and manually-assigned values. If you need to use manually-assigned values, ALL values must be manually-assigned.

Mapping Algorithm

Active Directory provides an objectSID for every user and group object in the directory. This objectSID can be broken up into components that represent the Active Directory domain identity and the relative identifier (RID) of the user or group object.

The SSSD ID-mapping algorithm takes a range of available UIDs and divides it into equally-sized component sections - called "slices"-. Each slice represents the space available to an Active Directory domain.

When a user or group entry for a particular domain is encountered for the first time, the SSSD allocates one of the available slices for that domain. In order to make this slice-assignment repeatable on different client machines, we select the slice based on the following algorithm:

The SID string is passed through the murmurhash3 algorithm to convert it to a 32-bit hashed value. We then take the modulus of this value with the total number of available slices to pick the slice.

NOTE: It is possible to encounter collisions in the hash and subsequent modulus. In these situations, we will select the next available slice, but it may not be possible to reproduce the same exact set of slices on other machines (since the order that they are encountered will determine their slice). In this situation, it is recommended to either switch to using explicit POSIX attributes in Active Directory (disabling ID-mapping) or configure a default domain to guarantee that at least one is always consistent. See Configuration for details.


Minimum configuration (in the [domain/DOMAINNAME] section):

ldap_id_mapping = True
ldap_schema = ad

The default configuration results in configuring 10,000 slices, each capable of holding up to 200,000 IDs, starting from 10,001 and going up to 2,000,100,000. This should be sufficient for most deployments.

Advanced Configuration

ldap_idmap_range_min (integer)

Specifies the lower bound of the range of POSIX IDs to use for mapping Active Directory user and group SIDs.

NOTE: This option is different from min_id in that min_id acts to filter the output of requests to this domain, whereas this option controls the range of ID assignment. This is a subtle distinction, but the good general advice would be to have min_id be less-than or equal to ldap_idmap_range_min

Default: 200000

ldap_idmap_range_max (integer)

Specifies the upper bound of the range of POSIX IDs to use for mapping Active Directory user and group SIDs.

NOTE: This option is different from max_id in that max_id acts to filter the output of requests to this domain, whereas this option controls the range of ID assignment. This is a subtle distinction, but the good general advice would be to have max_id be greater-than or equal to ldap_idmap_range_max

Default: 2000100000

ldap_idmap_range_size (integer)

Specifies the number of IDs available for each slice. If the range size does not divide evenly into the min and max values, it will create as many complete slices as it can.

Default: 200000

ldap_idmap_default_domain_sid (string)

Specify the domain SID of the default domain. This will guarantee that this domain will always be assigned to slice zero in the ID map, bypassing the murmurhash algorithm described above.

Default: not set

ldap_idmap_default_domain (string)

Specify the name of the default domain.

Default: not set

ldap_idmap_autorid_compat (boolean)

Changes the behavior of the ID-mapping algorithm to behave more similarly to winbind's idmap_autorid algorithm.

When this option is configured, domains will be allocated starting with slice zero and increasing monatomically with each additional domain.

NOTE: This algorithm is non-deterministic (it depends on the order that users and groups are requested). If this mode is required for compatibility with machines running winbind, it is recommended to also use the ldap_idmap_default_domain_sid option to guarantee that at least one domain is consistently allocated to slice zero.

Default: False


The following example assumes that SSSD is correctly configured and is one of the domains in the [sssd] section. This example shows only the AD provider-specific options.

id_provider = ad
auth_provider = ad
access_provider = ad
chpass_provider = ad

ad_server =
ad_hostname =
ad_domain =


sssd(8), sssd.conf(5), sssd-ldap(5), sssd-krb5(5), sssd-simple(5), sssd-ipa(5), sssd-ad(5), sssd-sudo(5), sss_cache(8), sss_debuglevel(8), sss_groupadd(8), sss_groupdel(8), sss_groupshow(8), sss_groupmod(8), sss_useradd(8), sss_userdel(8), sss_usermod(8), sss_obfuscate(8), sss_seed(8), sssd_krb5_locator_plugin(8), sss_ssh_authorizedkeys(8), sss_ssh_knowhostsproxy(8), pam_sss(8).