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Linux LDAP auth server

I've been trying to create an LDAP authentication server with Linux for some time with absolutely no success.  Can someone point me to doumentation?
What is /etc/nss.conf?  What is NSS for that matter?
I created a basic /etc/openldap/slapd.conf with the following info:
include         /etc/openldap/slapd.at.conf
include         /etc/openldap/slapd.oc.conf
schemacheck     off
pidfile         /var/run/slapd.pid
argsfile        /var/run/slapd.args
database        ldbm
suffix          "dc=deadtrout,dc=com"
rootdn          "cn=root,dc=deadtrout,dc=com"
rootpw          foo
directory       /usr/tmp
I used the
I started slapd and I used ldapsearch with the following syntax:
ldapsearch -v -L -b "dc=com" -D "cn=root,dc=deadtrout,dc=com" -w foo "(objectclass=*)"
and I get the following results:
ldap_init( <default>, 0 )
filter pattern: (objectclass=*)
returning: ALL
filter is: ((objectclass=*))
ldap_search: No such object
0 matches
Since I know absolutely nothing about LDAP this error means nothing to me  Can someone point me to a resource (online, or book) that could help me start making sense of all this?
Thanks very much,