ldapsearch does not display non-ASCII characters

Solution Unverified - Updated -


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6


ldapsearch does not show the expected values for strings that contain non-ASCII characters.


Set the following name with ldapmodify:

sn: Tünnerhoff

The ldapsearch will list the following result:

sn:: VMO8bm5lcmhvZmY=


Decode the string as base64. For example use a command like this:

$ echo "VMO8bm5lcmhvZmY=" | base64 -d ; echo

If you want to display the string in BASE64 encoding, please use the command below:

ldapsearch -x -LLL  | perl -MMIME::Base64 -MEncode=decode -n -00 -e 's/\n 
+//g;s/(?<=:: )(\S+)/decode("UTF-8",decode_base64($1))/eg;print'

Root Cause

There is no option for ldapsearch to decode the string automatically. ldapsearch would need to know how to display the decoded data, which could be a characterset not supported by the terminal or libraries.

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