Configure LDAP Authentication

You can configure all REST services in the Confluent Platform to authenticate against LDAP using the centralized authentication service provided by the Metadata Service (MDS). MDS performs basic username/password authentication for REST services by authenticating with the LDAP server configured on brokers in the MDS cluster. You must configure LDAP credentials that perform authentication on behalf of the login user on all brokers in the MDS cluster. Because these brokers can be behind a firewall, this architecture enables you to avoid the requirement to have LDAP access from user-facing components outside the firewall.

The following configuration attributes (described in detail in LDAP Configuration Reference) are also used for authentication:

  • ldap.user.object.class

LDAP search filters do not use regex. Instead, LDAP search filters support 'substring' searches (which are not the same as wildcards)–not Regular Expressions, which run on the LDAP server side rather than Confluent Platform. Examples of valid substring LDAP search filters are: '(uid=abc*)', and '(mail=`john@*.com')`)'.

When specifying memberOf and distinguishedName, you must specify the full DN (distinguished name) of the objects. For details about how to specify the full DN when setting LDAP search filters while using Active Directory, refer to Active Directory: LDAP Syntax Filters.

You can also use LDAP attributes used to configure authorization to create LDAP context for authentication.

Be aware that nested LDAP groups are not supported.


The user ID specified in group role bindings is case-specific, and must match the case specified in the AD record. Also note that when logging in as a super user, the login ID is also case-specific and must match the case specified for the user ID in role bindings.

For more details, see Group-based authentication using LDAP. This configuration includes standard Java naming service provider options as well as JNDI options prefixed with ldap. (see LDAP Naming Service Provider for the Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI)).

LDAP Authentication Using Simple Bind

The recommended authentication method for LDAP performs a simple bind using the password provided by the user. The following privileges are required to do so:

  • You must configure LDAP credentials for performing LDAP searches to acquire the DN of the login user on brokers in the MDS cluster. For brokers using LDAP group-based authorization, the same credentials used by the Authorizer can also be used during authentication. This credential must be able to access all users connecting to Confluent services.
  • You must enable LDAP Simple bind using a login user’s DN and password for all users connecting to Confluent services.

MDS authenticates using its LDAP credential to perform a search to acquire a user’s DN. After the DN is known, the broker performs a simple LDAP bind using the DN and login password. Authentication succeeds if the bind succeeds.

If LDAP credentials are not configured for brokers in the MDS cluster, then an anonymous search is used to determine a user’s DN. This authentication option may prove useful during development and testing, but is not secure for production use. Therefore, you must disable anonymous search and configure LDAP credentials on the broker when connecting to production-level LDAP servers.