- a Macintosh X.500 Directory Client
maX.500 version 2.1.1 is now available.
Click here to find out how to get a copy of your
maX.500 (pronounced "max five-hundred") is an Internet online directory client
developed at the University of Michigan that uses the
LDAP protocol. maX.500 will
work with standalone LDAP directory servers and with X.500 directory
servers that are front-ended by an LDAP server (most are). Using maX.500
you can search online directories, display entries, and make changes
the entries. maX.500 requires MacOS System 7 or later, MacTCP or
Open Transport, and an LDAP server
to talk to in order to function.
maX.500 is largely the work of
Mark Smith, although it builds on the work of many others, especially
It is a companion application to
waX.500 (for Microsoft
xax500 (for the
X Window System). There is also some
information on other LDAP clients available.
Table of Contents
maX.500 is made freely available by the University of Michigan for
everyone to use. The latest version is 2.1.1, and it the installer
is available here:
You may also want to read the Version 2.1.1 Release Notes.
maX.500 relies upon Robert Churchill's fabulous Authentication Manager control panel to
support Kerberos authentication. Note that if your site is not using Kerberos
authentication in conjunction with an X.500 directory service of its own,
you can make full use of maX.500 without installing the Authentication Manager
maX.500 can also use the Internet Configuration System for handling URLs.
If you would like to join a mailing list where new releases and other
interesting information about maX.500 is announced, send e-mail to:
If you find a bug in maX.500, please send a report via e-mail to:
Ideas for new maX.500 features may be sent to the same address.
If you are willing to test new, pre-release versions of maX.500 and can
provide speedy, useful feedback, send e-mail to:
General comments and questions about maX.500 can be sent to:
- Friendly (but powerful) Macintosh interface to the X.500 Directory.
- Fast, flexible, intelligent searching.
- Ability to add new entries and modify existing ones.
- One-click to follow World-Wide-Web URL links.
- Support for simple (password-based) and Kerberos 4 authentication.
- Comprehensive on-line help system.
- Configurable by system administrators to work well at their site.
Here are some screen shots that will give you an idea what maX.500 looks
like in action (note that these are from version 2.0.2, not 2.1.1):
Note that URLs are stored in entries with labels, and maX.500 only
shows the label if it is there. maX.500 relies upon a Web browser to
actually retrieve and display resources pointed to by URLs; after
clicking on the arrow next to "View Document" in the example screen
shot above, a Web browser would be launched or brought to the front and
told by maX.500 to display the appropriate document. This is accomplished
transparently through the magic of AppleEvents.
maX.500 is very customizable for use at a specific site. There is an
"Admin Kit" available that contains documentation and tools to
help you customize maX.500. There is also a mailing list
for system administrators who are using and supporting maX.500 at their site.
It is a fairly low traffic list. To join, send e-mail to:
source code to
maX.500 is now available. This will be useful to those who want to make
serious changes or to anyone who can use some of the code. Please share your
changes if you do make any. If you are working with the maX.500 sources,
please join the developers list by sending e-mail to:
Many people wonder what the origin of the name "maX.500" is. Originally,
we called the application "X.500 Access," but few could deny the boring
character of such a name. Eventually, we settled on the name maX.500
(remember to say "max five-hundred") for these reasons:
Insisting on the use of a lower-case 'm' at the start of the name has annoyed
much of the documentation staff here at U of M, but we have stood firm.
Also, many people who don't know better refer to maX.500 as "Mac X.500"
or "Mac 500." Now there is no excuse for getting the name wrong!
- "maX" plays off both of the words "Mac" and "maximum."
- It contains "X.500" and is still easily to say once you know how.
- The lowercase 'm' at the start helps the eye separate the "X.500" part from the rest.
This page has been accessed
times since 24 September 1997.
Send comments about this page to: