Emacs Unified Directory Client

This file documents EUDC version 1.40.0.

EUDC is the Emacs Unified Directory Client, a common interface to directory servers and contact information.

Copyright © 1998, 2000–2024 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with the Front-Cover Texts being “A GNU Manual”, and with the Back-Cover Texts as in (a) below. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License”.

(a) The FSF’s Back-Cover Text is: “You have the freedom to copy and modify this GNU manual.”

Table of Contents

1 Overview

EUDC, the Emacs Unified Directory Client, provides a common user interface to access directory servers using different directory protocols.

Currently supported back-ends are:

The main features of the EUDC interface are:

1.1 LDAP

LDAP, the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, is a communication protocol for directory applications defined in RFC 1777.

Quoted from RFC 1777:

[LDAP] is designed to provide access to the X.500 Directory while not incurring the resource requirements of the Directory Access Protocol (DAP). This protocol is specifically targeted at simple management applications and browser applications that provide simple read/write interactive access to the X.500 Directory, and is intended to be a complement to the DAP itself.

LDAP servers usually store (but are not limited to) information about people such as their name, phone number, email address, office location, etc... More information about LDAP can be found at https://www.openldap.org/.

EUDC requires external support to access LDAP directory servers (see LDAP Configuration)

1.2 BBDB

BBDB is the Big Brother’s Insidious Database, a package for Emacs originally written by Jamie Zawinski which provides rolodex-like database functionality featuring tight integration with the Emacs mail and news readers.

It is often used as an enhanced email address book.

EUDC considers BBDB as a directory server back end just like LDAP, though BBDB has no client/server protocol and thus always resides locally on your machine. The point in this is not to offer an alternate way to query your BBDB database (BBDB itself provides much more flexible ways to do that), but rather to offer an interface to your local directory that is consistent with the interface to external LDAP directories. This is particularly interesting when performing queries on multiple servers.

EUDC also offers a means to insert results from directory queries into your own local BBDB (see Creating BBDB Records)

1.3 macOS Contacts

This EUDC back end considers macOS Contacts as a directory server just like LDAP, though the macOS Contacts application always runs locally on your machine. The Contacts application was previously called Address Book; the EUDC macOS Contacts back end also works on those older versions.

1.4 ecomplete

ecomplete is Emacs’s “electric completion”, and it is part of Emacs. It stores all information in an ecompleterc file, whose location, and name can be configured via the variable ecomplete-database-file (which see). The format of the file is:

((TYPE_1 ITEM_1 ITEM_2 ...)
 (TYPE_2 ITEM_N+1 ITEM_N+2 ...)

That is, it is an alist map where the key is the type of match (so that you can have one list of things for “mail”, and one for, say, “mastodon”). In each of these sections you then have a list where each item is of the form:


When performing a query, the result will be all items where the search term matches all, or part of STRING.

When EUDC performs queries with ecomplete, the name of each attribute making up the query is used as the type in which the lookup is performed. The mapping from EUDC attribute names to ecomplete type names is performed according to the variable eudc-ecomplete-attributes-translation-alist (which see).

1.5 mailabbrev

mailabbrev is Emacs’s “abbrev-expansion of mail aliases”, and it is part of Emacs. It stores all information in a mailrc file, whose location, and name can be configured via the variable mail-personal-alias-file (which see). The mailrc file has the same format as the mail and mailx commands use for their startup configuration file. mailabbrev processes ‘alias’, and ‘source’ statements in the mailrc file. ‘alias’ statements can define simple aliases and distribution lists, and can be nested in that the alias expansion can contain references to other alias definitions. Forward references, that is references to aliases before they are actually defined, are possible, too.

Originally, mailabbrev was designed to be used with abbrev-mode. The mailabbrev EUDC backend does not use abbrev-mode, but queries mailabbrev for alias entries only, and returns these as EUDC results. All entries where the alias name exactly equals either the email, name, or firstname attribute value in the EUDC query, will be returned as matches. When a mailrc alias defines a distribution list, that is it expands to more than one email address, the EUDC result will contain a single entry, which will contain an email attribute only, whose value will be a comma-separated list of RFC 5322 formatted recipient specifications.

2 Installation

EUDC is built-in to Emacs, and its main functions are autoloaded.

After installing EUDC you will find (the next time you launch Emacs) a new Directory Search submenu in the ‘Tools’ menu that will give you access to EUDC.

You may also find it useful to add the following to your .emacs initialization file to add a shortcut for email address expansion in email composition buffers (see Inline Query Expansion)

(with-eval-after-load "message"
  (define-key message-mode-map [(control ?c) (tab)] 'eudc-expand-try-all))
(with-eval-after-load "sendmail"
  (define-key mail-mode-map [(control ?c) (tab)] 'eudc-expand-try-all))

2.1 LDAP Configuration

LDAP support is added by means of ldap.el, which is part of Emacs. ldap.el needs an external program called ldapsearch, available as part of OpenLDAP (https://www.openldap.org/). The configurations in this section were tested with OpenLDAP 2.4.23.

Most servers use LDAP-over-SSL these days; the examples here reflect that. The other possibilities are:

  • Servers that do not require authentication or that do not encrypt authentication traffic.

    Include auth simple in ldap-host-parameters-alist, which causes the -x option to be passed to ldapsearch.

  • Servers that require SASL authentication.

    Pass any required extra options to ldapsearch using ldap-ldapsearch-args.

The following examples use a base of ou=people,dc=gnu,dc=org and the host name ldap.gnu.org, a server that supports LDAP-over-SSL (the ldaps protocol, with default port 636) and which requires authentication by the user emacsuser with password s3cr3t.

These configurations are meant to be self-contained; that is, each provides everything required for sensible TAB-completion of email fields. BBDB lookups are attempted first; if a matching BBDB entry is found then EUDC will not attempt any LDAP lookups.

Wildcard LDAP lookups are supported using the * character. For example, attempting to TAB-complete the following:

To: * Smith

will return all LDAP entries with surnames that begin with Smith. In every LDAP query it makes, EUDC implicitly appends the wildcard character to the end of the last word, except if the word corresponds to an attribute which is a member of eudc-ldap-no-wildcard-attributes.

2.1.1 Emacs-only Configuration

Emacs can pass most required configuration options via the ldapsearch command-line. One exception is certificate configuration for LDAP-over-SSL, which must be specified in /etc/openldap/ldap.conf. On systems that provide such certificates as part of the OpenLDAP installation, this can be as simple as one line:

TLS_CACERTDIR /etc/openldap/certs

In .emacs, these expressions suffice to configure EUDC for LDAP:

(with-eval-after-load "message"
  (define-key message-mode-map (kbd "TAB") 'eudc-expand-try-all))
(setopt eudc-server-hotlist
        '(("" . bbdb)
          ("ldaps://ldap.gnu.org" . ldap)))
(setopt ldap-host-parameters-alist
                  base "ou=people,dc=gnu,dc=org"
                  binddn "gnu\\emacsuser"
                  passwd ldap-password-read)))

Specifying the function ldap-password-read for passwd will cause Emacs to prompt interactively for the password. The password will then be validated and cached, unless password-cache is nil. You can customize password-cache-expiry to control the duration for which the password is cached. If you want to clear the cache, call password-reset.

2.1.2 External Configuration

Your system may already be configured for a default LDAP server. For example, /etc/openldap/ldap.conf might contain:

BASE ou=people,dc=gnu,dc=org
URI ldaps://ldap.gnu.org
TLS_CACERTDIR /etc/openldap/certs

Authentication requires a password, and a bind distinguished name (binddn) representing the user, in this case, gnu\emacsuser. These can be specified in ~/.authinfo.gpg with the following line:

machine ldaps://ldap.gnu.org binddn gnu\emacsuser password s3cr3t

Then in the .emacs init file, these expressions suffice to configure EUDC for LDAP:

(with-eval-after-load "message"
  (define-key message-mode-map (kbd "TAB") 'eudc-expand-try-all))
(setopt eudc-server-hotlist
        '(("" . bbdb)
          ("ldaps://ldap.gnu.org" . ldap)))
(setopt ldap-host-parameters-alist
                  auth-source t)))

For this example where we only care about one server, the server name can be omitted in ~/.authinfo.gpg and .emacs, in which case ldapsearch defaults to the host name in /etc/openldap/ldap.conf.

The ~/.authinfo.gpg line becomes:

binddn gnu\emacsuser password s3cr3t

and the .emacs expressions become:

(with-eval-after-load "message"
  (define-key message-mode-map (kbd "TAB") 'eudc-expand-try-all))
(setopt eudc-server-hotlist
        '(("" . bbdb) ("" . ldap)))
(setopt ldap-host-parameters-alist
        '(("" auth-source t)))

2.1.3 Troubleshooting

If ldapsearch exits with an error, you’ll see a message like this in the *Messages* buffer (all on one line):

ldap-search-internal: Failed ldapsearch invocation:
   ldapsearch "-Hldaps://ldap.gnu.org" "-bou=people,dc=gnu,dc=org"
   "-Dgnu\emacsuser" "-W" "-LL" "-tt" "(&(mail=name*))"
   "givenname" "sn" "mail"

The ldapsearch command is formatted such that it can be copied and pasted into a terminal. Set the ldapsearch debug level to 5 by appending -d 5 to the command line.

2.2 macOS Contacts Configuration

macOS Contacts support is added by means of eudcb-mab.el, or eudcb-macos-contacts.el which are part of Emacs.

To enable a macOS Contacts backend, first require the respective library to load it, and then set the eudc-server to localhost in your init file:

(require 'eudcb-macos-contacts)
(eudc-macos-contacts-set-server "localhost")

eudcb-macos-contacts.el uses the public scripting interfaces offered by the Contacts app via the macOS Open Scripting Architecture (OSA). To accomplish this, eudcb-macos-contacts.el uses an external command line utility named osascript, which is included with all macOS versions since 10.0 (which was released 2001). eudcb-macos-contacts.el is hence recommended for all new configurations.

eudcb-mab.el reverse engineers the format of the database file using the external command-line utility named contacts, which needs to be installed separately. While this may promise some performance advantages, it comes at the cost of using an undocumented interface. Hence, users of eudcb-mab.el are recommended to double check the compatibility of eudcb-mab.el and the required, external command-line utility before upgrading to a new version of macOS. eudcb-mab.el is retained for backwards compatibility with existing configurations, and may be removed in a future release.

2.3 ecomplete Configuration

ecomplete is Emacs’s “electrical completion”, and is part of Emacs. To use it, you will need to set up a database file (see ecomplete) first.

It will be autoloaded on demand.

You can also enable multi-server queries as described in see Multi-server Queries.

2.4 mailabbrev Configuration

mailabbrev is Emacs’s “abbrev-expansion of mail aliases”, and it is part of Emacs. To use it, you will need to set up a database file (see mailabbrev) first.

It will be autoloaded on demand.

You can also enable multi-server queries as described in see Multi-server Queries.

3 Usage

This chapter describes the usage of EUDC. Most functions and customization options are available through the ‘Directory Search’ submenu of the ‘Tools’ submenu.

3.1 Querying Servers

EUDC’s basic functionality is to let you query a directory server and return the results back to you. There are several things you may want to customize in this process.

3.1.1 Selecting a Server

Before doing any query you will need to set the directory server. You need to specify the name of the host machine running the server software and the protocol to use. If you do not set the server in any fashion, EUDC will ask you for one when you make your first query.

You can set the server by selecting one from your hotlist of servers (see The Server Hotlist) available in the ‘Server’ submenu or by selecting ‘New Server’ in that same menu.

LDAP servers generally require some configuration before you can perform queries on them. In particular, the search base must be configured. If the server you select has no configured search base then EUDC will propose you to configure it at this point. A customization buffer will be displayed where you can edit the search base and other parameters for the server.

Variable: eudc-server

The name or IP address of the remote directory server. A TCP port number may be specified by appending a colon and a number to the name of the server. You will not need this unless your server runs on a port other than the default (which depends on the protocol). If the directory server resides on your own computer (which is the case if you use the BBDB back end) then ‘localhost’ is a reasonable value but it will be ignored anyway.

Variable: eudc-protocol

The directory protocol to use to query the server. Currently supported protocols in this version of EUDC are ldap and bbdb.

Command: eudc-set-server

This command accessible from ‘New Server’ submenu lets you specify a new directory server and protocol.

3.1.2 Return Attributes

Directory servers may be configured to return a default set of attributes for each record matching a query if the query specifies none. The variable eudc-default-return-attributes controls the return attributes you want to see, if different from the server defaults.

Variable: eudc-default-return-attributes

A list of the default attributes to extract from directory entries. If set to the symbol all then all available attributes are returned. A value of nil, the default, means to return the default attributes as configured in the server.

The server may return several matching records to a query. Some of the records may however not contain all the attributes you requested. You can discard those records.

User Option: eudc-strict-return-matches

If non-nil, entries that do not contain all the requested return attributes are ignored. Default is t.

3.1.3 Duplicate Attributes

Directory standards may authorize different instances of the same attribute in a record. For instance the record of a person may contain several email fields containing different email addresses, in which case EUDC will consider the attribute duplicated.

EUDC has several methods to deal with duplicated attributes. The available methods are:


Makes a list with the different values of the duplicate attribute. The record is returned with only one instance of the attribute with a list of all the different values as a value. This is the default method that is used to handle duplicate fields for which no other method has been specified.


Discards all the duplicate values of the field keeping only the first one.


Concatenates the different values using a newline as a separator. The record keeps only one instance of the field the value of which is a single multi-line string.


Duplicates the whole record into as many instances as there are different values for the field. This is the default for the email field. Thus a record containing 3 different email addresses is duplicated into three different records each having a single email address. This is particularly useful in combination with select as the method to handle multiple matches in inline expansion queries (see Inline Query Expansion) because you are presented with the 3 addresses in a selection buffer

Because a method may not be applicable to all fields, the variable eudc-duplicate-attribute-handling-method lets you specify either a default method for all fields or a method for each individual field.

Variable: eudc-duplicate-attribute-handling-method

A method to handle entries containing duplicate attributes. This is either an alist of elements (attr . method), or a symbol method. The alist form of the variable associates a method to an individual attribute name; the second form specifies a method applicable to all attribute names. Available methods are: list, first, concat, and duplicate (see above). The default is list.

3.2 Query Form

The simplest way to query your directory server is to use the query form. You display the query form with the ‘Query with Form’ menu item or by invoking the command M-x eudc-query-form. The attribute names presented in this form are defined by the eudc-query-form-attributes variable (unless a non-nil argument is supplied to eudc-query-form).

Since the different directory protocols to which EUDC interfaces may use different names for equivalent attributes, EUDC defines its own set of attribute names and a mapping between these names and their protocol-specific equivalent through the variable eudc-protocol-attributes-translation-alist. Names currently defined by EUDC are name, firstname, email and phone.

Variable: eudc-query-form-attributes

A list of attributes presented in the query form. Attribute names in this list should be either EUDC attribute names or valid attribute names. You can get a list of valid attribute names for the current protocol with the ‘List Valid Attribute Names’ menu item or the M-x eudc-get-attribute-list command. Defaults to name, email and phone.

Command: eudc-query-form get-fields-from-server

Display a form to query the directory server. If given a non-nil argument the function first queries the server for the existing fields and displays a corresponding form. Not all protocols may support a non-nil argument here.

Since the names of the fields may not be explicit enough or adapted to be directly displayed as prompt strings in the form, the variable eudc-user-attribute-names-alist lets you define more explicit names for directory attribute names. This variable is ignored if eudc-use-raw-directory-names is non-nil.

Variable: eudc-user-attribute-names-alist

This is an alist of user-defined names for the directory attributes used in query/response forms. Prompt strings for attributes that are not in this alist are derived by splitting the attribute name at underscores and capitalizing the individual words.

Variable: eudc-use-raw-directory-names

If non-nil, use attributes names as defined in the directory. Otherwise, directory query/response forms display the user attribute names defined in eudc-user-attribute-names-alist.

3.3 Display of Query Results

Upon successful completion of a form query, EUDC will display a buffer containing the results of the query.

The fields that are returned for each record are controlled by eudc-default-return-attributes (see Return Attributes).

The display of each individual field can be performed by an arbitrary function which allows specific processing for binary values, such as images or audio samples, as well as values with semantics, such as URLs.

Variable: eudc-attribute-display-method-alist

An alist specifying methods to display attribute values. Each member of the list is of the form (name . func) where name is a lowercased string naming a directory attribute (translated according to eudc-user-attribute-names-alist if eudc-use-raw-directory-names is non-nil) and func a function that will be passed the corresponding attribute values for display.

This variable has protocol-local definitions (see Server/Protocol Locals). For instance, it is defined as follows for LDAP:

(eudc-protocol-set 'eudc-attribute-display-method-alist
                   '(("jpegphoto" . eudc-display-jpeg-inline)
                     ("labeledurl" . eudc-display-url)
                     ("audio" . eudc-display-sound)
                     ("labeledurl" . eudc-display-url)
                     ("url" . eudc-display-url))

EUDC provides a set of built-in functions to display binary value types:

Function: eudc-display-generic-binary data

Display a button for unidentified binary data.

Function: eudc-display-url url

Display URL and make it clickable.

Function: eudc-display-sound data

Display a button to play the sound data.

Function: eudc-display-jpeg-inline data

Display the JPEG data inline at point if possible.

Function: eudc-display-jpeg-as-button data

Display a button for the JPEG data.

Right-clicking on a binary value button pops up a contextual menu with options to process the value. Among these are saving the attribute value to a file or sending it to an external viewer command. External viewers should expect the value on their standard input and should display it or perform arbitrary processing on it. Messages sent to standard output are discarded. External viewers are listed in the variable eudc-external-viewers which you can customize.

Variable: eudc-external-viewers

This is a list of viewer program specifications. Each specification is a list whose first element is a string naming the viewer for unique identification, the second element is the executable program which should be invoked and the following elements are arguments that should be passed to the program.

3.4 Inline Query Expansion

3.4.1 Inline Query Expansion Using a Key Binding

Inline query expansion is a powerful method to get completion from your directory servers. The most common usage is for expanding names to email addresses in mail message buffers. The expansion is performed by the command M-x eudc-expand-try-all which is available from the ‘Expand Inline Query Trying All Servers’ menu item but can also be conveniently bound to a key shortcut (see Installation). The operation is controlled by the variables eudc-inline-expansion-format, eudc-inline-query-format, eudc-expanding-overwrites-query and eudc-multiple-match-handling-method.

If the query fails for a server, other servers may be tried successively until one of them finds a match (see Multi-server Queries), or all servers can be tried and all matches returned.

Command: eudc-expand-try-all try-all-servers-p

Query some or all servers and expand the query string before point. The query string consists of the buffer substring from the point back to the preceding comma, colon or beginning of line. eudc-inline-query-format controls how individual words are mapped onto directory attribute names. After querying the server or servers for the given string, the expansion specified by eudc-inline-expansion-format is inserted in the buffer at point. If multiple matches are available, a selection window is displayed. If try-all-servers-p is non-nil then all servers are queried.

Command: eudc-expand-inline save-query-as-kill-p

Query the server and expand the query string before point. The query string consists of the buffer substring from the point back to the preceding comma, colon or beginning of line. eudc-inline-query-format controls how individual words are mapped onto directory attribute names. After querying the server for the given string, the expansion specified by eudc-inline-expansion-format is inserted in the buffer at point. If multiple matches are available, a selection window is displayed. If save-query-as-kill-p is t then the query string is saved to the kill ring. If eudc-expansion-save-query-as-kill is non-nil then the meaning of save-query-as-kill-p is negated.

Variable: eudc-inline-query-format

Format of an inline expansion query. This is actually a list of formats. A format is a list of one or more EUDC attribute names. A format applies if it contains as many attributes as individual words in the inline query string. If several formats apply then they are tried in order until a match is found. If nil all the words will be mapped onto the default server/protocol attribute name (generally name).

For instance, use the following

(setq eudc-inline-query-format '((name)
                                 (firstname name)))

to indicate that single word expansion queries are to be considered as surnames and if no match is found then they should be tried as first names. Inline queries consisting of two words are considered as consisting of a first name followed by a surname. If the query consists of more than two words, then the first one is considered as the first name and the remaining words are all considered as surname constituents.

formats are in fact not limited to EUDC attribute names, you can use server or protocol specific names in them. It may be safer if you do so, to set the variable eudc-inline-query-format in a protocol or server local fashion (see Server/Protocol Locals).

For instance you could use the following to match up to three words against the cn attribute of LDAP servers:

(eudc-protocol-set 'eudc-inline-query-format
                     (cn cn)
                     (cn cn cn))
Variable: eudc-inline-expansion-format

This variable lets you control exactly what is inserted into the buffer upon an inline expansion request. It can be set to nil, to a function, or to a list. Default is nil.

When the value is a list, the first element is a string passed to format. Remaining elements are symbols corresponding to directory attribute names. The corresponding attribute values are passed as additional arguments to format.

When the value is nil, the expansion result will be formatted according to RFC 5322. The phrase part will be formatted as “firstname name”, quoting the result if necessary. No comment part will be added in this case. This will produce any of the default formats

first <address>
last <address>
first last <address>

depending on whether a first and/or last name are returned by the query, or not.

When the value is a function, the expansion result will be formatted according to RFC 5322, and the referenced function is called to format the phrase, and comment parts, respectively. The formatted phrase part will be quoted if necessary. Thus one can produce any of the formats:

phrase <address>
address (comment)
phrase <address> (comment)

Email address specifications, as are generated by inline expansion, need to comply with RFC 5322 in order to be useful in email messages. When an invalid address specification is present in an email message header, the message is likely to be rejected by a receiving MTA. It is hence recommended to switch old configurations, which use a list value, to the new nil, or function value type since it ensures that the inserted address specifications will be in line with RFC 5322. At minimum, and to achieve the same semantics as with the old list default value, this variable should now be set to nil:

(customize-set-variable 'eudc-inline-expansion-format nil)

A function value can for example be used to get “last, first <address>” instead of the default “first last <address>”:

(defun my-phrase-last-comma-first (search-res-alist)
  (let* (phrase
	 (my-attrs (eudc-translate-attribute-list '(firstname name)))
	 (first-name (cdr (assq (nth 0 my-attrs) search-res-alist)))
	 (last-name (cdr (assq (nth 1 my-attrs) search-res-alist)))
         (comment nil))
    (setq phrase (concat last-name ", " first-name))
    (cons phrase comment)))

(customize-set-variable 'eudc-inline-expansion-format

To set the comment part, too, instead of nil as in this example, also provide a string as the cdr of the cons being returned. Do not include any double quotes in the phrase part, as they are added automatically if needed. Neither include parentheses in the comment part as they, too, are added automatically.

Variable: eudc-multiple-match-handling-method

This variable controls what to do when multiple entries match a query for an inline expansion. Possible values are:


The first match is considered as being the only one, the others are discarded.


A selection buffer pops up where you can choose a particular match. This is the default value of the variable.


The expansion uses all records successively


An error is signaled. The expansion aborts.

Default is select

3.4.2 Inline Query Expansion Using completion-at-point

In addition to providing a dedicated EUDC function for binding to a key shortcut (see Inline Query Expansion), EUDC also provides a function to contribute search results to the Emacs in-buffer completion system available via the function completion-at-point (see (maintaining)Identifier Inquiries) in message-mode buffers (see Message in Message). When using this mechanism, queries are made in the multi-server query mode of operation (see Multi-server Queries).

When a buffer in message-mode is created, EUDC’s inline expansion function is automatically added to the variable completion-at-point-functions. As a result, whenever completion-at-point is invoked in a message-mode buffer, EUDC will be queried for email addresses matching the words before point. Since this will be useful only when editing specific message header fields that require specifying one or more email addresses, an additional check is performed whether point is actually in one of those header fields. Thus, any matching email addresses will be offered for completion in suitable message header fields only, and not in other places, like for example the body of the message.

3.5 The Server Hotlist

EUDC lets you maintain a list of frequently used servers so that you can easily switch from one to another. Most users should configure the hotlist via Customize, and store the configuration in the main Emacs initialization file. Configuring it dynamically can be confusing, particularly if the hotlist settings are saved to eudc-options-file automatically. eudc-options-file is historical and support for it is still maintained, but new EUDC users should set eudc-ignore-options-file to t.

However, this hotlist also appears in the ‘Server’ submenu. You select a server in this list by clicking on its name. You can add the current server to the list with the command M-x eudc-bookmark-current-server. The list is contained in the variable eudc-server-hotlist which is stored in and retrieved from the file designated by eudc-options-file, or normal Emacs initialization if eudc-ignore-options-file is non-nil. EUDC also provides a facility to edit the hotlist interactively (see The Hotlist Edit Buffer).

The hotlist is also used to make queries on multiple servers successively (see Multi-server Queries). The order in which the servers are tried is the order they appear in the hotlist, therefore it is important to sort the hotlist appropriately.

Command: eudc-bookmark-server server

Add server to the hotlist of servers

Command: eudc-bookmark-current-server

Add the current server to the hotlist of servers

Variable: eudc-ignore-options-file

If non-nil, EUDC ignores eudc-options-file and warns or issues an error when an attempt is made to use it. Most users should set this, and keep their EUDC configuration in the main Emacs initialization file instead. The separate eudc-options file has created confusion for users in the past.

Variable: eudc-options-file

The name of a file where EUDC stores its internal variables (the hotlist and the current server). EUDC will try to load that file upon initialization so, if you choose a file name different from the default ~/.emacs.d/eudc-options, be sure to set this variable to the appropriate value before EUDC is itself loaded.

3.5.1 The Hotlist Edit Buffer

The hotlist edit buffer offers a means to manage a list of frequently used servers. Commands are available in the context pop-up menu generally bound to the right mouse button. Those commands also have equivalent key bindings.

Command: eudc-hotlist-add-server

Bound to a. Add a new server to the hotlist on the line after point

Command: eudc-hotlist-delete-server

Bound to d. Delete the server on the line point is on

Command: eudc-hotlist-select-server

Bound to s. Select the server the point is on as the current directory server for the next queries

Command: eudc-hotlist-transpose-servers

Bound to t. Bubble up the server the point is on to the top of the list

Command: eudc-hotlist-quit-edit

Bound to q. Save the changes and quit the hotlist edit buffer. Use x or M-x kill-buffer to exit without saving.

3.6 Multi-server Queries

When using inline query expansion (see Inline Query Expansion), EUDC can try to query successively a sequence of directory servers until one of them successfully finds a match for the query.

Variable: eudc-inline-expansion-servers

This variable controls which servers are tried and in which order when trying to perform an inline query. Possible values are:


Only the current directory server is tried


The servers in the hotlist are tried in order until one finds a match for the query or eudc-max-servers-to-query is reached


The current server then the servers in the hotlist are tried in the order they appear in the hotlist until one of them finds a match or eudc-max-servers-to-query is reached. This is the default.

Variable: eudc-max-servers-to-query

This variable indicates the maximum number of servers to query when performing a multi-server query. The default, nil, indicates that all available servers should be tried.

3.7 Creating BBDB Records

With EUDC, you can automatically create BBDB records (see BBDB in BBDB Manual) from records you get from a directory server. You do this by moving point to the appropriate record in a query result display buffer and invoking the command M-x eudc-insert-record-at-point-into-bbdb with the keyboard binding b1, or with the menu. EUDC cannot update an existing BBDB record and will signal an error if you try to insert a record matching an existing one.

It is also possible to export to BBDB the whole batch of records contained in the directory query result with the command M-x eudc-batch-export-records-to-bbdb.

Because directory systems may not enforce a strict record format, local server installations may use different attribute names and have different ways to organize the information. Furthermore BBDB has its own record structure. For these reasons converting a record from its external directory format to the BBDB format is a highly customizable process.

Variable: eudc-bbdb-conversion-alist

The value of this variable should be a symbol naming an alist defining a mapping between BBDB field names onto directory attribute names records. This is a protocol-local variable and is initialized upon protocol switch (see Server/Protocol Locals). The alist is made of cells of the form (bbdb-field . spec-or-list). bbdb-field is the name of a field that must be defined in your BBDB environment (standard field names are name, company, net, phone, address and notes). spec-or-list is either a single mapping specification or a list of mapping specifications. Lists of mapping specifications are valid for the phone and address BBDB fields only. specs are actually s-expressions which are evaluated as follows:

a string

evaluates to itself

a symbol

evaluates to the symbol value. Symbols corresponding to directory attribute names present in the record evaluate to the value of the field in the record

a form

is evaluated as a function. The argument list may contain attribute names which evaluate to the corresponding values in the record. The form evaluation should return something appropriate for the particular bbdb-field (see bbdb-create-internal). eudc-bbdbify-phone and eudc-bbdbify-address are provided as convenience functions to parse phones and addresses.

Function: eudc-bbdbify-phone phone location

This is a convenience function provided for use in eudc-bbdb-conversion-alist. It parses phone into a vector compatible with bbdb-create-internal. phone is either a string supposedly containing a phone number or a list of such strings which are concatenated. location is used as the phone location for BBDB.

Function: eudc-bbdbify-address addr location

This is a convenience function provided for use in eudc-bbdb-conversion-alist. It parses addr into a vector compatible with bbdb-create-internal. addr should be an address string of no more than four lines or a list of lines. The last line is searched for the zip code, city and state name. location is used as the phone location for BBDB.

Note that only a subset of the attributes you selected with eudc-default-return-attributes and that are actually displayed may actually be inserted as part of the newly created BBDB record.

3.8 Server/Protocol Locals

EUDC can be customized independently for each server or directory protocol. All variables can be given local bindings that are activated when a particular server and/or protocol becomes active. This is much like buffer-local bindings but on a per server or per protocol basis.

3.8.1 Manipulating local bindings

EUDC offers functions that let you set and query variables on a per server or per protocol basis.

The following predicates allow you to test the existence of server/protocol local bindings for a particular variable.

Function: eudc-server-local-variable-p var

Return non-nil if var has server-local bindings

Function: eudc-protocol-local-variable-p var

Return non-nil if var has protocol-local bindings

The following functions allow you to set the value of a variable with various degrees of locality.

Function: eudc-default-set var val

Set the EUDC default value of var to val. The current binding of var (if local to the current server or protocol) is not changed.

Function: eudc-protocol-set var val &optional protocol

Set the binding of var local to protocol to val. If omitted, protocol defaults to the current value of eudc-protocol. The current binding of var is changed only if protocol is omitted.

Function: eudc-server-set var val &optional server

Set the binding of var local to server to val. If omitted, server defaults to the current value of eudc-server. The current binding of var is changed only if server is omitted.

Function: eudc-set var val

Set the most local (server, protocol or default) binding of var to val. The current binding of var is also set to val.

The following variables allow you to query the various bindings of a variable (local or non-local).

Function: eudc-variable-default-value var

Return the default binding of var (outside of a particular server or protocol local binding). Return unbound if var has no EUDC default value.

Function: eudc-variable-protocol-value var &optional protocol

Return the value of var local to protocol. Return unbound if var has no value local to protocol. protocol defaults to eudc-protocol.

Function: eudc-variable-server-value var [server]

Return the value of var local to server. Return unbound if var has no value local to server. server defaults to eudc-server.

Changing a protocol-local or server-local value of a variable has no effect on its current value. The following command is used to synchronize the current values of variables with their local values given the current eudc-server and eudc-protocol:

Function: eudc-update-local-variables

Update all EUDC variables according to their local settings.

4 Credits

EUDC was written by Oscar Figueiredo based on ph.el by the same author.

Thanks to Soren Dayton for his suggestions, his enthusiasm and his help in testing and proofreading the code and docs of ph.el.

Appendix A GNU Free Documentation License

Version 1.3, 3 November 2008
Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies
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    We have designed this License in order to use it for manuals for free software, because free software needs free documentation: a free program should come with manuals providing the same freedoms that the software does. But this License is not limited to software manuals; it can be used for any textual work, regardless of subject matter or whether it is published as a printed book. We recommend this License principally for works whose purpose is instruction or reference.


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Jump to:   B   E   L   M   P  
Index Entry  Section

bind distinguished name: External Configuration
binddn: External Configuration

eudc-attribute-display-method-alist: Display of Query Results
eudc-batch-export-records-to-bbdb: Creating BBDB Records
eudc-bbdb-conversion-alist: Creating BBDB Records
eudc-bbdbify-address: Creating BBDB Records
eudc-bbdbify-phone: Creating BBDB Records
eudc-bookmark-current-server: The Server Hotlist
eudc-bookmark-server: The Server Hotlist
eudc-default-return-attributes: Return Attributes
eudc-default-set: Manipulating local bindings
eudc-display-generic-binary: Display of Query Results
eudc-display-jpeg-as-button: Display of Query Results
eudc-display-jpeg-inline: Display of Query Results
eudc-display-sound: Display of Query Results
eudc-display-url: Display of Query Results
eudc-duplicate-attribute-handling-method: Duplicate Attributes
eudc-expand-inline: Emacs-only Configuration
eudc-expand-inline: External Configuration
eudc-expand-inline: External Configuration
eudc-expand-inline: Inline Query Expansion
eudc-expand-try-all: Emacs-only Configuration
eudc-expand-try-all: External Configuration
eudc-expand-try-all: External Configuration
eudc-expand-try-all: Inline Query Expansion
eudc-external-viewers: Display of Query Results
eudc-get-attribute-list: Query Form
eudc-hotlist-add-server: The Hotlist Edit Buffer
eudc-hotlist-delete-server: The Hotlist Edit Buffer
eudc-hotlist-quit-edit: The Hotlist Edit Buffer
eudc-hotlist-select-server: The Hotlist Edit Buffer
eudc-hotlist-transpose-servers: The Hotlist Edit Buffer
eudc-ignore-options-file: The Server Hotlist
eudc-inline-expansion-format: Inline Query Expansion
eudc-inline-expansion-servers: Multi-server Queries
eudc-inline-query-format: Inline Query Expansion
eudc-insert-record-at-point-into-bbdb: Creating BBDB Records
eudc-max-servers-to-query: Multi-server Queries
eudc-multiple-match-handling-method: Inline Query Expansion
eudc-options-file: The Server Hotlist
eudc-protocol: Selecting a Server
eudc-protocol-local-variable-p: Manipulating local bindings
eudc-protocol-set: Manipulating local bindings
eudc-query-form: Query Form
eudc-query-form-attributes: Query Form
eudc-server: Selecting a Server
eudc-server-hotlist: Emacs-only Configuration
eudc-server-hotlist: External Configuration
eudc-server-hotlist: External Configuration
eudc-server-local-variable-p: Manipulating local bindings
eudc-server-set: Manipulating local bindings
eudc-set: Manipulating local bindings
eudc-set-server: Selecting a Server
eudc-strict-return-matches: Return Attributes
eudc-try-bbdb-insert: Creating BBDB Records
eudc-update-local-variables: Manipulating local bindings
eudc-use-raw-directory-names: Query Form
eudc-user-attribute-names-alist: Query Form
eudc-variable-default-value: Manipulating local bindings
eudc-variable-protocol-value: Manipulating local bindings
eudc-variable-server-value: Manipulating local bindings

ldap-host-parameters-alist: LDAP Configuration
ldap-host-parameters-alist: Emacs-only Configuration
ldap-host-parameters-alist: External Configuration
ldap-host-parameters-alist: External Configuration
ldap-ldapsearch-args: LDAP Configuration
ldap-password-read: Emacs-only Configuration

message-mode-map: Emacs-only Configuration
message-mode-map: External Configuration
message-mode-map: External Configuration

passwd: Emacs-only Configuration
password-cache: Emacs-only Configuration
password-cache-expiry: Emacs-only Configuration
password-reset: Emacs-only Configuration



This key binding does not actually call eudc-insert-record-at-point-into-bbdb but uses eudc-try-bbdb-insert instead.