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rootdn with sasl

The administrator's guide gives

rootdn "uid=root@EXAMPLE.COM"

as an example of using a sasl identity for the rootdn.
Does this uid need to actually appear in the database somewhere before it
can be used?  If you're just starting an installation, do you have to use
a dn/simple authentication?
   I may just be using the tools wrong, it's difficult for me to
tell. I verified the password was in sasldb, and tried:
ldappasswd -R freespeech.org -U ldap-root -v -d 2
and got "ldap_sasl_interactive_bind_s: No such attribute", while slapd
(which I started with -d 2) reported:
ldap_read: want=1 error=Resource temporarily unavailable
(seemed like the relevant message).