Authentication failed: ldap operation failed: unable to retrieve user bind DN

Hello, I’m really stuck here. I inherited a system which stores secrets in a Hashicorp vault, and I’m getting this error, Authentication failed: ldap operation failed: unable to retrieve user bind DN

I am not sure how to resolve this issue, and have been Googling for hours, and trying a lot of things.

  • I did see the post here on this forum at ref. [A], but it isn’t helpful.
  • Also the post at ref [B] gives some information about setting the binddn variable, but in classic utterly-frustrate-a-new user form, doesn’t say where to set it, how to set it, in what file it exists, or give any examples.
  1. Hashicorp Vault v1.6.x
  2. The vault is running on a docker container, on an AWS EC2.
    … I have the .pem file, and am able to ssh into the EC2
  3. . I am able to ssh into the docker container with root priv, like so:
    … docker exec -it 123abc123abc sh
  4. On the container, some vault commands work; e.g:
    … vault version
    → Vault v1.6.0 (123asdf1234adsf1234adsf1234adsf13w4radsf1234asdff)
  5. It is using ldap configuration
  6. When trying to retrieve config and other info, I get this message:
    … a. “* missing client token”

How to proceed?

I’m not an expert with this, and would appreciate clear, full, command-line examples.

Thanks for your help.



$ cat docker-compose.yml
version: ‘3’
image: vault:1.6.0
command: vault server -config=/vault/config/config.json
- 80:8200
- vault-data:/vault
- ./config.json:/vault/config/config.json


/vault/config # cat config.json
“backend”: {
“file”: {
“path”: “/vault/data”
“listener”: {
“address”: “”,
“tls_disable”: 1
“default_lease_ttl”: “30m”,
“max_lease_ttl”: “30m”,
“log_level”: “info”,
“ui”: true

A. Ldap operation failed: unable to retrieve user bind DN

B. Receiving "ldap operation failed: failed to bind as user" error when logging in via LDAP authentication method – HashiCorp Help Center

Are you able to login to the system using a root token?

Thanks for the response.

I’m embarrassed to say that I neither know how to obtain a root token, nor to login with one.

Is the following article applicable? If not, would you kindly link me to one that is?

Thanks, Keith :^)

Yes you will need to follow those instructions.