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When running the command:

slaptest -f slapd.conf

Against my slapd config file I'm getting this error message

51dfbb3e lt_dlopenext failed: (back_@BACKEND@) file not found
slaptest: bad configuration file!

It seems to me the slaptest is missing something when running the test. Any ideas?

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This is not a 100% answer, but still: I am quite sure that slapd itself never parses any kind of variables in its config – especially not the database backend; it would make most sense to put it directly in the config, since it's not something you can change every day.

The variables are probably intended to be replaced by some other tool that takes such configuration templates – maybe Debian's debconf (I don't know if it uses a similar syntax), maybe a custom shellscript full of sed s/@BACKEND@/hdb/g... Without knowing where you got the config file from, it's hard to tell.

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I'm running into the same problem. The config file with the @BACKEND@ variable comes from the default installation (apt-get install slapd) – Gottlieb Notschnabel Jun 29 '15 at 8:50

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