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Can I create a domain using SAMBA and set up Active Directory with SAMBA on it? And by this I mean no windows servers involved. I would also like to be able to log in from a Windows machine. Preferably on OpenSuSE.

My objective is to have a domain with centralized authentication just like AD. I want to be able to log in using both Windows and Linux computers.

  • How can I do that in SAMBA?

  • What other solution you guys recommend if Samba4 is not a viable one?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Sorin-Mihai, I am the IT department for a private school. There I have a Windows domain using Samba4 on a Linux server. The school has about 70 Windows PCs which are joined to the domain.

Thanks to Samba4, I take advantage of centralized account management, Group Policy (and Group Policy Preferences), shared drives, redirected folders, and roaming profiles. It works well.

Some issues I've experienced, which may or may not be due to Samba4:

  • No NTFS quota support. To do quotas, I create a separate logical volume (with LVM) for each share. I also set a maximum profile size with Group Policy, but that has been a PITA and I don't recommend it.
  • Sometimes certain files (in particular Internet Explorer favorites) refuse to copy to the server during logoff, and a scary message pops up saying that a file could not be copied. I have not found a rhyme or reason to which files refuse to copy.
  • Offline synchronization also refuses to copy some files. (Different from roaming profile issues.)
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Thank you. I don't think I would use NTFS for file storage. BTRFS sounds better. – Sorin-Mihai Oprea Feb 3 '14 at 23:29

I've not tried it, but one of Samba 4's goals is to be able to create an AD compatible domain controller, so theoretically yes.

According to the Wiki, it already has (as of today - 25 Jul 2012):

  • support of the 'Active Directory' logon and administration protocols, supporting XP, Windows7 and OS X clients
  • support for Group Policy definitions
  • full NTFS semantics for sharing backends
  • Internal LDAP server, with AD semantics
  • Internal Kerberos server, including PAC support
  • Bind9 integration for AD DNS support (with DLS)
  • fully asynchronous internals
  • flexible process models
  • new RPC infrastructure (PIDL)
  • Python support - used extensively for client and management tools
  • generic security subsystem (GENSEC)

(among a few others which I did not include as they were not functionally related).

The first bullet point should satisfy what you're looking for.

(Sounds like a good evening project, might just play with that tonight).

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Yes. I've read that, but I thought someone actually managed to do this. Thank You! – Sorin-Mihai Oprea Aug 1 '12 at 8:21

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