About This Guide

About This Guide

Penrose Virtual Directory is a lightweight and flexible server which creates a bridge between LDAP, database, Active Directory, and NIS servers, and any application which stores its content in databases or directory services, and combines the information from all of these separate data sources into a single, LDAP-style directory. The entries and hierarchy of this directory tree are created dynamically as operations come into the server, based on predefined directory configuration parameters and mapping rules for entries and attributes. Since data are not copied to a central source, just pulled as necessary, this is a virtual directory.

Penrose Virtual Directory is simple to configure and use. Its interface, Penrose Studio, makes it easy to navigate both the configuration and the virtual directory. Penrose Server is based on widely-known standard protocols and easily edited XML files.

This guide is intended for experienced system administrators who are deploying and managing a virtual directory.

1. Content Overview

This admin guide describes how to create virtual directories, set up identity federation between NIS and LDAP sources, manage data sources, install the Penrose Server and Penrose Studio, and configure the server.

The first section in this guide contains general concepts, installation, and basic usage for Penrose Server and Penrose Studio:

The second section covers setting up the virtual directory and its required entries and configuring identity federation:

The next section contains additional and advanced configuration options for Penrose Server:

The appendix covers the management tools included with Penrose Virtual Directory (Appendix A, Using Penrose Virtual Directory Command-Line Tools).

2. Examples and Formatting

All of the examples for Penrose Virtual Directory commands, file locations, and other usage are given for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 32-bit systems. Be certain to use the appropriate commands and files for your platform.

To start the Penrose Virtual Directory:

service vd-server start
Example 1. Example Command

All of the tools for Penrose Virtual Directory are located in the /opt/vd-server-2.0/bin directory on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 32-bit systems. These tools can be run from any location without specifying the tool location.

Certain words are represented in different fonts, styles, and weights. Different character formatting is used to indicate the function or purpose of the phrase being highlighted.

Formatting Style Purpose
Monospace font Monospace is used for commands, package names, files and directory paths, and any text displayed in a prompt.
with a
This type of formatting is used for anything entered or returned in a command prompt.
Italicized text Any text which is italicized is a variable, such as instance_name or hostname. Occasionally, this is also used to emphasize a new term or other phrase.
Bolded text Most phrases which are in bold are application names, such as Cygwin, or are fields or options in a user interface, such as a User Name Here: field or Save button.

Other formatting styles draw attention to important text.


A note provides additional information that can help illustrate the behavior of the system or provide more detail for a specific issue.


Important information is necessary, but possibly unexpected, such as a configuration change that will not persist after a reboot.


A warning indicates potential data loss, as may happen when tuning hardware for maximum performance.

3. Additional Reading

The Penrose Admin's Guide describes how to install, configure, and administer Penrose Virtual Directory services, as well as set up other services to integrate with the virtual directory, browse and search the directory, and organize information. This guide is targeted for Penrose administrators.

The documentation for Penrose Virtual Directory includes the following guides:

  • Penrose Admin's Guide explains all administrative functions for the Penrose, such as adding users, mapping entries, adding services, and using Penrose Server.

  • Release Notes contains important information on new features, fixed bugs, known issues and workarounds, and other important deployment information for Penrose Virtual Directory 2.0.

4. Samples Files

There are dozens of example configurations in the /opt/vd-server-2.0/samples, including files for identity federation and synchronization, access controls, Active Directory schema, referrals and proxies, and different types of sources. This is an excellent reference to use for setting up many of the features and scenarios in Penrose Virtual Directory, so refer to those files frequently as you configure the virtual directory.