Is there an LDAP Server running on my OS X Snow Leopard deployment? How do I find it? Can I connect to it over the standard LDAP port of 389?

The simple telnet test results was not encouraging...

bobk-mbp:~ bobk$ telnet localhost 389
telnet: connect to address Connection refused
Trying ::1...
telnet: connect to address ::1: Connection refused
Trying fe80::1...
telnet: connect to address fe80::1: Connection refused
telnet: Unable to connect to remote host

The reason I'm asking is that I am developing an LDAP authentication capability in the webapp I work on and it would be most convenient if I can just test it out on my dev workstation leveraging the user accounts already set up there. My enthusiasm for deploying and maintaining an LDAP server on my dev workstation is rather low and if my mac already is running one I would just like to use it.

Enlighten me. Is LDAP already running on my Mac how can I connect to it?

My dev box is plain-jane Snow Leopard on a MacBook Pro.

3 Answers 3


No, there isn't. There is only an LDAP server with OS X Server.

A cheaper alternative would be VirtualBox with a Linux VM running OpenLDAP's slapd.

  • Sigh. Too bad. It should be easy enough to get ApacheDS onto the launchd thingy. I've had success with this in the past.
    – Bob Kuhar
    Nov 5, 2012 at 19:24
  • Note to anyone new who's coming here: this answer appears to be out of date. @bizzyunderscore's answer worked for me in 2018 using OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)
    – GMA
    Sep 12, 2018 at 10:35

Homebrew has an OpenLDAP formula. Deploying slapd this way uses much less RAM than installing a virtual machine with Linux running slapd.

  • Please add links and some description to your answer. This will help future users with the same question with their problem. Dec 26, 2012 at 1:08
  • @BartArondson done.
    – user37169
    Dec 26, 2012 at 2:03
  • 1
    In other words, run: brew install slapd
    – kenorb
    Sep 23, 2013 at 19:04
  • 1
    I think, it's brew install openldap.
    – fiedl
    Aug 7, 2014 at 15:52

This how-to illustrates how to start up the built in ldap server shipped with OS X. Installing another one from homebrew seems like a waste of time and will most likely break anything else in OS X depending on its configuration.


  • This tutorial worked for me. There was no need to install anything new (I'm running El Capitan, incidentally.) The only thing I had to do differently was run sudo /usr/libexec/slapd -d 255 instead of slapd -d 255
    – GMA
    Sep 12, 2018 at 10:36

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