Linux and other server administrators now have a fully open source directory server available to them for the first time with the release on Friday of Fedora Directory Server 1.0, an offshoot of the Red Hat Directory Server that was acquired from AOL a year ago.
Fedora Directory Server (FDS) adds full access to the code for the console and administration engine, joining the earlier open sourcing of the software's core LDAP engine. A statement from the project's directors noted that Fedora developers will now be able to port the entire package to new platforms, with all of the various pieces ready in tandem.
At present, FDS is supported for Fedora Core (the Fedora Project's open-source operating system that is based on Linux), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 and 4.0, Solaris 2.8 and 2.9, Windows 2000 and HP/UX 11i. 64-bit x86 platforms aren't supported now but should be in a future upgrade, the statement noted; however, FDS will work on 64-bit Sun SPARC platforms now.
Among FDS's features are support for most LDAPv3 features, including many common controls and extensions; schema update ability, flexible in-tree Access Control Information (ACIs), and online configuration and management over LDAP; and support for MD5, SHA-256, SHA-384, and SHA-512 password hashing. In addition, the software supports 4-way multi-master replication, which lets administrators maintain as many as four continually synchronized copies of the master directory instead of relying on one server with failover protection.
Fedora Directory Server, and its commercial cousin Red Hat Directory Server, are derived from the Netscape Directory Server, which was written in 1996 by a team that included the inventors of LDAP. AOL bought Netscape in 1999 and formed an alliance with Sun Microsystems for two years to further develop the software; eventually, Red Hat bought the software from AOL in December 2004.