How to Reset the Directory Manager Password

If you forget the directory manager password or you want to change it, it’s pretty easy to reset it. Here are several ways to reset the Directory Manager password.

Manually Update dse.ldif (forgot the password)

You can edit the main server configuration file (dse.ldif) to reset the password if you have forgotten it. But before you do that, you must shutdown the server first. If the server is running and you edit dse.ldif, your changes will be lost!

Stop The Server

stop-dirsrv [yourinstance]

For 389-ds-base-1.4.x use:

dsctl YOUR_INSTANCE stop

Generate The New Password

/usr/bin/pwdhash your_new_password

This will print out the hashed password string using the default directory manager password hashing scheme for your instance. Save the hahsed password forthe next step

Edit The Config File

Goto the your instance’s configuration directory

cd /etc/dirsrv/slapd-yourinstance

Edit the configuration file dse.ldif, then search for nsslapd-rootpw, and you will see a line like this:

nsslapd-rootpw: {SSHA}92ls0doP1i0VgQMm8jMjGw27AzVEzyLJS9sj02==

Replace the value with the value printed out by pwdhash and save the file.

Start The Server

start-dirsrv [yourinstance]

For 389-ds-base-1.4.x use

dsctl YOUR_INSTANCE start

Use CLI Tools (know the password)

You can use ldapmodify to change the Directory Manager’s password, and if you are 389-ds-base-1.4.x you can use the new CLI tool dsconf.

Use dsconf

dsconf has a nice interactive interface and it will automatically use the most secure protocol available on the server. This is only available on 389-ds-base-1.4.x

dsconf -D "cn=Directory Manager" YOUR_INSTANCE directory_manager password_change


# dsconf -D "cn=Directory Manager" slapd-localhost directory_manager password_change
Enter password for cn=Directory Manager on localhost:  <type something>
Enter new directory manager password :  <type something new>
CONFIRM - Enter new directory manager password : <confirm something new>

Use ldapmodify

Since you’re updating the password over the network in clear text you should be using LDAPS/StartTLS.

# ldapmodify -x -H "ldaps://" -D "cn=directory manager" -w YOUR_CURRENT_PASSWORD
dn: cn=config
changetype: modify
replace: nsslapd-rootpw
nsslapd-rootpw: YOUR_NEW_PASSWORD
<press enter twice>
Last modified on 17 April 2019