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LDAP, Email Client

This page contains information about using LDAP with your email client to look up names that correspond to email addresses. This is considered legacy technology, as most clients can communicate directly through Exchange Email services.

This feature will not work unless you are connecting from on campus or via VPN.

Configuring specific email clients to use LDAP as an Address Book

If you have an Exchange email account and use Outlook, Apple Mail or Webmail, Exchange has a built-in address lookup function and these configuration instructions are unnecessary. The use of LDAP as an address book is mainly used by older clients such as Mozilla Thunderbird or Mutt, which are not able to integrate using Microsoft Exchange.

This article describes connecting Mozilla Thunderbird to LDAP. Other email clients may be able to connect to the LDAP server using the information supplied below. 

  1. Open Thunderbird.
  2. Go to Tools -> Options. (If you are using a Mac, go to Thunderbird -> Preferences.)
  3. In the Options window, click the Composition icon.
  4. Click the Addressing tab.
  5. Place a checkmark by Directory Server.
  6. Click the Edit Directories button.
  7. Click Add.
  8. In the General tab, enter:
    • Name: AD LDAP
    • Hostname:
    • Base DN: ou=People,dc=ad,dc=uillinois,dc=edu
    • Check the Use secure connection (SSL) checkbox. 
    • Port number: 3269 (Make sure the port still matches up with 3269. Checking the SSL checkbox may reset it to 636.)
    • Bind DN: cn=<netid>,ou=People,dc=ad,dc=uillinois,dc=edu   (where <netid> is replaced with your actual netid)
  9. In the Advanced tab, enter:
    Scope: Subtree
    Search filter: &(objectCategory=Person)(objectclass=user)
    Login method: Simple
  10. Click OK.
  11. Click OK again.
  12. Make sure that Directory Server is checked and AD LDAP is selected in the drop down menu.
  13. Click OK.
  14. Thunderbird is now configured for LDAP.

Looking up email addresses

In Thunderbird, addresses that match the pattern you've typed so far will be listed below the field you're typing in (typically the "to:" and "cc:" fields of a new email message). You can type partial netids or names. You can select one from the list of available email addresses that appear in the autocomplete bar below.

Optional (for IT Pros only, this requires advanced configuration): For proper display of the full name in searches, you may wish to remap Thunderbird's display name attribute to AD's displayName attribute by configuring as follows:

  1. Click Tools->Options
  2. Select Advanced Tab
  3. Click Config Editor...
  4. Search for config item: ldap_2.server.default.attrmap.DisplayName
  5. Edit the value to read "displayName"
Upon restarting Thunderbird, the client will display full names in the same manner as Exchange and other apps, in "Lastname, Firstname" format.

(If your information is not returned to you, contact the Help Desk at 244-7000 or for assistance.)

KeywordsLDAP, email, Thunderbird, Address Book, AD, Active Directory, DN, Distinguished Name   Doc ID47790
OwnerID M.GroupUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Created2015-02-27 14:46 CDTUpdated2023-05-10 09:02 CDT
SitesUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
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