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I've recently migrated a classical Windows Domain (samba3) to an Active Directory domain (samba4).

Workstations in remote sites do not have a local DC so they are not aware of the transition, hence they do not automatically migrate to the Active Directory setup and I have to join them manually.

Is there some way to automatically tell them (via DHCP?) to search for the new realm?


The environment was a migration so all of the previous information (accounts, SIDs, etc) is still valid.

I can restore connectivity to the remote clients by manually "rejoining" them from OLDNETBIOSDOMAINNAME to NEWREALMNAME ( Soon as I do that, they realize that they should be using DNS to find their AD environment and away we go!

This happens automatically at the main site due to the clients finding out about the new server due to NETBIOS broadcasts (right?) but workstations at remote sites don't have a local DC to provide that.

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Is this a completely new domain? Or were the samba4 DCs added to the samba3 directory and then the samba3 DCs were decomissioned? – MDMarra Jan 28 '14 at 20:48
By the way, I feel filthy writing "samba DC" so thanks for that. – MDMarra Jan 28 '14 at 20:49
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I'm going to shoot in the dark here.

Your Samba servers can be WINS servers. I'd consider turning on WINS server functionality on a test Samba DC, passing out its address as an NBNS server (option 44), and telling the clients to do H-node type NetBIOS name resolution (option 46, value 8). You'll have to make a static WINS entry on the Samba server if it doesn't resolve the old NetBIOS name already.

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I will try this when I get the opportunity... (soon hopefully)! – MikeyB Jan 28 '14 at 22:24
Setting the WINS server to the IP address of the new DC did the trick! – MikeyB Jan 29 '14 at 17:59

I'm not sure what exactly you've done. If you've stood up a separate parallel domain, you're in for some work. If you've added samba4 DCs to your samba3 environment and then just decomissioned the samba3 DCs, then you're in good shape.

Assuming you've done the second option, it's as simple as pointing the clients to DNS servers that host the zone(s) for your directory. You're smart, so I assume this isn't the case or you would have figured this one out by now. :)

Assuming you've stood up a separate environment in parallel, you'll need to do a migration. In the Windows world, there is a tool for this. It will transparently translate file permissions, user profiles, etc and then change the domain membership. Will this work with samba DCs? I have no freaking clue. If this isn't a viable option, then you may be stuck unjoining and rejoining, or scripting something with netdom

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Please make sure that the workstations are using DNS servers that contain the new AD realm's DNS zone. So, modify the DHCP scope to hand out the correct internal DNS servers for your new realm.

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They are already pointing at the correct DNS servers, but they don't know to look for the realm. – MikeyB Jan 28 '14 at 21:37

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