Admin ConsoleUser Management

Directory Connector CLI

The Directory Connector CLI is suited toward work in environments where a desktop GUI is unavailable, or if you want to programmatically script directory sync operations using tools provided by the operating system (cron job, scheduled task, and more). The Directory Connector CLI can be used cross-platform on Windows, macOS, and Linux distributions.

Getting started


Since the Directory Connector CLI and desktop app share the same configuration file, we recommend using the desktop app for simpler configuration experience and then using the CLI, with its shared configuration, for scheduling ongoing syncs.

To get started using the Bitwarden Directory Connector CLI:

  1. Download the CLI from one of the following links:

  2. Extract the .zip and move the contents (bwdc and keytar.node) to /usr/local/bin or another directory in your $PATH. Please note, keytar.node must be in the same directory as the primary bwdc executable.

    Linux only: If not already installed, install libsecret with your package manager of choice:

    apt-get install libsecret-1-0
    brew install libsecret
    Text Copied!

    Windows only: Windows users can add bwdc.exe to the current user's PATH.

  3. Verify that the bwdc command works in your terminal by running the following:

    bwdc --help
    Text Copied!
  4. Connect Directory Connector to your directory using the bwdc config <setting> <value> command (see here).

  5. Configure sync options by editing your data.json file (to learn more, see Directory Connector File Storage). Use the bwdc data-file command to obtain the absolute path of your data.json file.

    Available sync options depend on the directory type in use, so refer to one of the following articles for a list of options available to you:

  6. Run the bwdc test command to check whether your configuration would sync the expected results.

  7. Once your directory and sync options are properly configured, and bwdc test yields the expected results, run the bwdc sync command to start a live sync operation.

Commands reference


Use the login command to log in to Directory Connector with your organization API key. If you don't have the API key, reach out to an organization owner. There are a few ways to use the login command:

  • By itself:

    bwdc login
    Text Copied!

    Passing bwdc login by itself will prompt you to subsequently enter client_id and client_secret.

  • With parameters:

    bwdc login organization.b5351047-89b6-820f-ad21016b6222 yUMB4trbqV1bavhEHGqbuGpz4AlHm9
    Text Copied!
  • With saved environment variables:

    bwdc login
    Text Copied!

    Saving the environment variables BW_CLIENTID and BW_CLIENTSECRET allows you to login to Directory Connector using only bwdc login, which will check for those variables and use them if present.

    If these environment variables aren't present, you will be prompted to enter your client_id and client_secret.


Use the logout command to logout of the Directory Connector CLI.

bwdc logout
Text Copied!


The Bitwarden Directory Connector CLI is self-documented with --help content and examples for every command. List all available commands using the global --help option:

bwdc --help
Text Copied!

Use the --help option on any specific command to learn more about that command:

bwdc test --help
bwdc config --help
Text Copied!


The test command queries your directory and prints a JSON formatted array of groups and users that would be synced to your Bitwarden organization whenever you run a real sync operation.

bwdc test
Text Copied!

Use the --last option to test only the changes since the last successful sync.

bwdc test --last
Text Copied!


The sync command runs a live sync operation and pushes data to your Bitwarden organization.

bwdc sync
Text Copied!

Synced users and groups will be immediately available in your Bitwarden organization. Newly added users will receive an email invite to your organization.


The last-sync command returns an ISO 8601 timestamp for the last sync operation that was performed for users or groups. You must specify either users or groups as an <object> to run the command against:

bwdc last-sync <object>
Text Copied!

Returns an empty response if no sync has been performed for the given object.


The config command allow you to specify your directory settings:

bwdc config <setting> <value>
Text Copied!

Available options are:



server <server-url>

URL of your self-hosted installation.

directory <directory-type>

Type of directory to use. See the following table for enumerated values.

ldap.password <password>

Password for connection to the LDAP server.

azure.key <key>

Azure AD secret key.

gsuite.key <key>

Google Workspace/GSuite private key.

okta.token <token>

Okta token.

onelogin.secret <secret>

OneLogin client secret.

directory-type values

Source directory


Active Directory/LDAP


Azure Active Directory


Google Workspace/GSuite







The data-file command returns an absolute path to the data.json configuration file used by the Directory Connector CLI:

bwdc data-file
Text Copied!

Some configuration settings can be modified for the Directory Connector CLI by editing the data.json configuration file directly in your favorite text editor, however ldap.password, azure.key, gsuite.key, okta.token, and onelogin.secret can only be modified from the CLI using config#config, or from the desktop app.


The clear-cache command allows you to clear cached data that the application stores while performing sync operations. For more information, see Clear Sync Cache.

bwdc clear-cache
Text Copied!


The update command allows you to check if your Directory Connector CLI is up-to-date:

bwdc update
Text Copied!

If a newer version is found, the command will return a URL to download a new version. The Directory Connector CLI will not automatically update. You will need to use this URL download the new version manually.


If you using the CLI and desktop app together, it is important to ensure their versions match whenever in use. Running two different versions may cause unexpected issues.

Check the version of the Directory Connector CLI using the --version global option.


libsecret missing

If you receive an error message referring to the libsecret shared object Error: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory, you may need to install libsecret which is required to store things securely on the host.

dbus Errors

If you receive an error message referring to the dbus when using bwdc config, for example Failed to execute child process "dbus-launch" (No such file or directory) or Cannot autolaunch D-Bus without X11, assign the following environment variable to allow plaintext storage of secrets in data.json:

Text Copied!

Unable to get local issuer certificate

If you receive an error message that states unable to get local issuer certificate, set the NODE_EXTRA_CA_CERTS variable to your root.pem, for example:

export NODE_EXTRA_CA_CERTS="absolute/path/to/your/certificates.pem"
Text Copied!

If you're using the desktop app, this may also manifest as the following error: Warning: Setting the NODE_TLS_REJECT_UNAUTHORIZED environment variable to '0' makes TLS connections and HTTPS requests insecure by disabling certificate verification.

© 2023 Bitwarden, Inc.