credential-sheets: User Account Credential Sheets Tool


This little piece of work has been pending on my todo list for about two years now. For our local school project "IT-Zukunft Schule" I wrote the little tool credential-sheets. It is a little Perl script that turns a series of import files (CSV format) as they have to be provided for user mass import into GOsa² (i.e. LDAP) into a series of A4 sheets with little cards on them, containing initial user credential information.

The upstream sources are on Github and I have just uploaded this little tool to Debian.


After mass import of user accounts (e.g. into LDAP) most site administrators have to create information sheets (or snippets) containing those new credentials (like username, password, policy of usage, etc.).

With this tiny tool, providing these pieces of information to multiple users, becomes really simple. Account data is taken from a CSV file and the sheets are output as PDF using easily configurable LaTeX template files.


Synopsis: credential-sheets [options] <CSV-file-1> [<CSV-file-2> [...]]


The credential-sheets command accepts the following command-line options:

   --help Display a help with all available command line options and exit.

          Name of the template to use.

          Render <x> columns per sheet.

          Render <y> rows per sheet.

   --zip  Do create a ZIP file at the end.

          Alternative ZIP file name (default: name of parent folder).

          Don't remove temporary files.

CSV File Column Arrangement

The credential-sheets tool can handle any sort of column arrangement in given CSV file(s). It expects the CSV file(s) to have column names in their first line.

The given column names have to map to the VAR-<column-name> placeholders in credential-sheets's LaTeX templates.

The shipped-with templates (students, teachers) can handle these column names:

  • login -- The user account's login id (uid)
  • lastName -- The user's last name(s)
  • firstName -- The user's first name(s)
  • password -- The user's password
  • form -- The form name/ID (student template only)
  • subjects -- A list of subjects taught by a teacher (teacher template only)

If you create your own templates, you can be very flexible in using your own column names and template names. Only make sure that the column names provided in the CSV file(s)'s first line match the variables used in the customized LaTeX template.


The shipped-with credential sheets templates are expected to be installed in /usr/share/credential-sheets/ for system-wide installations. When customizing templates, simply place a modified copy of any of those files into ~/.credential-sheets/ or /etc/credential-sheets/. For further details, see below.

The credential-sheets tool uses these configuration files:

  • header.tex (LaTeX file header)
  • <tpl-name>-template.tex (where as <tpl-name> students and teachers is provided on default installations, this is extensible by defining your own template files, see below).
  • footer.tex (LaTeX file footer)

Search paths for configuration files (in listed order):

  • $HOME/.credential-sheets/
  • ./
  • /etc/credential-sheets/
  • /usr/local/share/credential-sheets/
  • /usr/share/credential-sheets/

You can easily customize the resulting PDF files generated with this tool by placing your own template files, header and footer where appropriate.


This project requires the following dependencies:

  • Text::CSV Perl module
  • Archive::Zip Perl module
  • texlive-latex-base
  • texlive-fonts-extra

Copyright and License

Copyright © 2012-2016, Mike Gabriel <>.

Licensed under GPL-2+ (see COPYING file).