The dsconfig tool is the text-based management tool used to configure the underlying Directory Server configuration. The tool has three operational modes: interactive mode, non-interactive mode, and batch mode.

The dsconfig tool also offers an offline mode using the --offline option, in which the server does not have to be running to interact with the configuration. In most cases, the configuration should be accessed with the server running in order for the server to give the user feedback about the validity of the configuration.