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Excuse my broad question, but I'm a developer that seldom deals with these issues.

I would like to set up an environment where I have a domain controller and AD on a VPC, and then authenticate to that domain from my VPC host, which plays the role of a workstation.

How can I go about this? I am running SBS 2003 as the guest VPC.

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closed as off-topic by MDMarra, mdpc, Falcon Momot, Sven, HopelessN00b Jan 19 at 14:14

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There are no "primary domain controller" computers in Active Directory. They're just "domain controllers". It's a nitpick, but a constant peeve of mine w/ questions here. –  Evan Anderson Nov 8 '09 at 22:30
    
Yes @Evan, I came across your (and others') peeve a while after I posted the question. It's fixed now. –  ProfK Nov 8 '09 at 22:46
    
Not just with questions here but in the field as well. Even from those who never worked with anything prior to AD. –  John Gardeniers Nov 9 '09 at 0:00
    
@John: Good point. I gently correct people on Server Fault. For most Customers I just grit my teeth, deal with it, and continue billing... >smile< –  Evan Anderson Nov 9 '09 at 1:01
    
Setting up is so easy but i think the this isn't the most user friendly enviroment –  user82807 May 27 '11 at 4:09

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'm an AD support guy and I can tell you that will work just fine. Download/Install VirtualBox and then install AD in a Windows VM.

One issue with SBS is that it has higher memory requirements, but if your OK with a relatively slow DC that should not be a problem. Make sure you have at least 2GB to give to the VM.

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You can do what you're describing, but you'll never be able to have your "workstation" effectively use group policy (since the domain controller won't be booted before the DC VM is). Assuming that this isn't a problem then go for it.

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1  
Won't the policy be cached on the workstation and subsequently updated during a refresh to catch any changes? You could also set the DC to autostart and not log into the workstation until the DC is up (I know, for the impatient it might be 10 minutes after booting the machine.)? –  Keith Stokes Nov 9 '09 at 0:02
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The filesystem portion of the GPO is not "cached" locally by clients. Some parts of computer and user policy will apply during the periodic policy refreshes that occur by default, but some policy extensions (software installation, scripts) only work during initial policy application (during startup or logon). –  Evan Anderson Nov 9 '09 at 1:00
    
Wouldn't he have to run "gpupdate /force" then log off and back on? It could cause some weirdness at boot time like you pointed out anyway. Might seem like a better approach is to create a second machine on which to run something like VMWare to emulate a full-time testbed configuration (and other systems as well to be clients)... –  Bart Silverstrim Nov 9 '09 at 3:24
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@Bart: "gppdate /force" won't apply software installation policy to the computer, for example. It'll only apply at startup (when there will be no DC available, because the DC hasn't booted yet). I doubt he'll need software installation policy, so he'll probably be fine. Personally, I'd run a VM for the server and a VM for the domain-member "workstation" just as you suggest. –  Evan Anderson Nov 9 '09 at 14:48

Team in VMware Workstation allows to set booting order and boot delay for team members, so DC(s) can start before workstations.

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-1 VMs can't start before the host –  Chris S May 27 '11 at 4:16

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