01
May
12

LDIFDE.exe syntax error in the input file

I spent more time than I’d care to admit trying to write an LDIF import file for a customer today. I started with a file provided by someone else, which is of course the root of my problem.  After adding the appropriate ” ” after each “:” character (which is absolutely required), when importing it, I was receiving the following error:

There is a syntax error in the input file
Failed on line 21. The last token starts with '-'.
An error has occurred in the program

So I opened the file in Notepad, and saw nothing wrong. I sent it back to the Linux box it came from, opened it in vi, verified it had dos line endings, and still saw nothing wrong with the format, according to the MSDN Document on the subject of LDIF Schema modifications.

Only after scrolling through the file several times did I notice that line 20 wasn’t actually blank. it was a single horizontal tab character.

To recap:

  1. LDIF formatting is extremely specific, including breaking on whitespace appearance.
  2. LDIF formatting is extremely specific, including breaking on whitespace missing.
  3. LDIF formatting is extremely specific, including requiring the “-” to be a line literally on its own.

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