User domains

Users and groups are stored in an LDAP database, served by one account provider module. Multiple modules can work together to serve the same LDAP database as replicas of it. An LDAP database represents an account domain.

A NS8 cluster can host multiple account domains from different implementations. It is possible to configure and connect external LDAP services, too. Supported LDAP schema are

  1. ad - Active Directory
  2. rfc2307

LDAP service discovery

A module can discover the list of available account domains with the agent.ldapproxy Python module. The following command dumps a list of parameters required to connect with an LDAP database on cluster node 1.

runagent python3 -magent.ldapproxy

Returned TCP endpoints are local (host is and do not require TLS. The port number depends on the LDAP domain.

Those ports are held by the Ldapproxy module. It is a L4 proxy that relays the TCP connection to an LDAP backend server, enabling TLS and handling backend failures as needed.

If the LDAP client module runs in a Podman container with a private network, add the following arguments to the podman run command:


Then replace with the special IP address, that is translated by Podman back to the loopback device, on the root network namespace.

Python code example:

from agent.ldapproxy import Ldapproxy
lp = Ldapproxy()
domains = lp.get_domains_list()
domain = lp.get_domain("mydomain")

The module can handle the user domain configuration changes by defining an event handler. Create an executable script with path ${AGENT_INSTALL_DIR}/events/user-domain-changed/10handler. For instance:

read -r domain < <(jq -r .domain)
if [[ "${domain}" == "mydomain" ]]; then
    systemctl --user reload mymodule.service

List users and groups

Once LDAP connection parameters are retrieved with the agent.ldapproxy Python package, it is easy to get user and group listings with the agent.ldapclient package.

This is an excerpt from the cluster/list-domain-groups API implementation:

from agent.ldapproxy import Ldapproxy
from agent.ldapclient import Ldapclient

domparams = Ldapproxy().get_domain('mydom.test')
groups = Ldapclient.factory(**domparams).list_groups()

For complete examples see the API implementation of

  • cluster/list-domain-groups
  • cluster/list-domain-users
  • cluster/get-domain-user
  • cluster/get-domain-group

Hidden users and groups

Some users and/or groups can be hidden to UI and other applications.

Applications might need to build LDAP search filters to configure user and groups. The Ldapproxy library provides some methods that return filter strings that honor the user and group lists used by the core. For example:

from agent.ldapproxy import Ldapproxy
lp = Ldapproxy()
users_filter = lp.get_ldap_users_search_filter_clause("mydomain")
groups_filter = lp.get_ldap_groups_search_filter_clause("mydomain")

Bind modules and account domains

If a module wants to use an account domain it must be granted API permissions. Add the accountconsumer role to the org.nethserver.authorizations label of the module image. For instance set


The module can now execute a bind procedure, so the core is aware of existing relations between modules and account domains. When such relations are formally established the core can

  • limit/grant access to LDAP resources
  • show the relations in the web user interfaces

For example, a module that uses one domain at a time can unbind the old domain and bind the new one with a script like this:

import agent

ldap_user_domain = ""

# Bind the new domain, overriding previous values (unbind)

At any time, retrieve the list of domains currently bound:

import agent
rdb = agent.redis_connect(use_replica=True)
domlist = agent.get_bound_domain_list(rdb)

When the module or the domain is removed from the cluster, the relation cleanup occurs automatically.

If the module wants to be notified of any change to the relation between modules and user domains it can subscribe the module-domain-changed event. For instance, this is the payload of such event:

    "modules": ["mymodule1"],
    "domains": ["mydomain.test"]

The event paylod contains a list of module and domains that were affected by the relation change. Modules and domains can be either added or removed: they are listed to ease the implementation of event handlers in both account provider and account client modules.

For instance, the following Python excerpt checks if the module domain was changed:

event = json.load(sys.stdin)
if not os.environ["LDAP_USER_DOMAIN"] in event["domains"]:
    sys.exit(0) # nothing to do if our domain is among affected domains

# Handle the event by some means, for example
# - rewrite some config file
# - reload some service running in a container