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What is Active Directory and how does it work?

I spoke with someone today who said that the company's ActiveDirectory system is accessed via Samba. Why is this?

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marked as duplicate by RobM, Magellan, Scott Pack, SvW, EEAA Oct 28 '12 at 2:49

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This is a pretty big question that has a lot to do with architectural history and AD design considerations. I'm not sure it's reasonable answerable in the SE answer limits. –  Scott Pack Oct 27 '12 at 17:29
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I'm assuming what they mean here is that Samba is using active directory to authenticate users share access. So that users can use their Active Directory account to be able to access samba shares.

They would do this so that users can access these shares without having to enter another username and password, they can access them with their Windows Account. It also means it is easier to disable users access to these shares should the user leave.

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