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Using LDAP with Email Clients

ITS has a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) server available for use by the UH community.  For faculty and staff directory listings, a public search of the ITS LDAP directory from your email client might be useful when you need to send a message and you know the person's name, but not their email address.  [Note: due to privacy issues, no students are included in the LDAP server.]

LDAP works better in some email clients than others.  At the time this article was written, LDAP seems to work best in Thunderbird (PC and Macintosh), or Mac Mail. Please note that the more information you provide in the search fields the better and faster your results will be. However, we do not recommend searching by anything other than first name, last name, both first and last, or username. If your search comes up empty try searching a different way.
The following are instructions on setting up the ITS supported email clients to use the UH LDAP.

Thunderbird 2.0 (Windows and Macintosh)


  1. Go to the Tools menu and select Account Settings.
  2. On the left side, click on Composition & Addressing.
  3. On the right, select Use a different LDAP server, then click on Edit directories.
  4. Click on Add.
  5. Fill out the screen as follows:
    Name: UH LDAP
    Base DN: ou=people,dc=hawaii,dc=edu
  6. Click OK. Click OK again, and then click OKone more time.
  7. Close Thunderbird and then reopen it for the new settings to take effect.


  1. Create a new message.
  2. Click on the Contacts button a search field will come up.
  3. Select the UH LDAP address book from the Address Book: drop down.
  4. You may type a combination of first name, last name, or part of first name/part of last name in the Search For: field provided.
  5. Thunderbird will display a list of choices. Click on the correct choice and it will be inserted into your message.

Optionally you can click on the address book icon to perform a search.


Outlook 2007 for Windows


  1. Go to the Tools menu and select Account settings
  2. If this is the first time you are doing this, you might be asked if you want to synchronize your RSS feeds.  Click Yes unless you are sure you don't want to.
  3. Click on the Address Books tab.  Click New.
  4. Select Internet Directory Service (LDAP).  Click Next.
  5. In the "Server name" box, type
  6. Click on More settings.  You will be prompted that it will not be active until you exit and restart Outlook.  Click OK.
  7. Click on the Search tab.  In the "Search base" box, select Custom, then in the box type: ou=people,dc=hawaii,dc=edu
  8. Click OK.  Click Next.  Click Finish.  Click Close.


  1. Create a new mail message
  2. Click on To...
  3. Under the "Address Book" option, select
  4. Click on Advanced Find
  5. Type a first and/or last name in the appropriate box, and click OK. Some searches can take a while and cause Outlook to seem unresponsive; this is normal and Outlook should respond again once the query finishes or times out.
  6. The search results will be displayed.  Select the person you want, and click on either the To, Cc, or Bcc buttons.
  7. Click OK.  The person will be added to your message on the line you specified.


Mac Mail


  1. Go to the Mail menu and select Preferences
  2. Click on the Composing icon
  3. Check the box for "Automatically complete addresses"
  4. Click on Configure LDAP
  5. Click on the plus (+) button
  6. Name: UH LDAP
    Search Base: ou=people,dc=hawaii,dc=edu
    Leave everything else as the default
  7. Click Save
  8. Click Done
  9. Close the Preferences window by clicking on the red dot in the upper right corner of the window.


  1. Create a new message
  2. You can type part of the person's name or a combination of first and last, where you would type the email address.
  3. Mac Mail will display a list of choices.  Click on the correct choice and it will be inserted where your cursor is.
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Article ID: 823
Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 2:46pm
Modified: Tue, 10 Jun 2014 3:53pm