I was installing Server2003 Std and Server2008 Std on hardware recently. When joining the servers to the domain during the install, I was asked for credentials.

I answered with the the DC's Admin user and password.

What minimum level of credentials are normally required to join a member server to a domain?


By default a domain user can add up to 10 computers to a domain. There is a way that administrators can restrict this default behavior to only allow Administrators to add computers to the domain, by using ADSI Edit.



By default Authenticated Users are assigned this privilege.

This is defined by a GPO:

Computer Configuration --> Policies –-> Windows Settings –-> Security Settings –-> User Rights Assignment --> Add workstation to domain

As noted by @redknight, by default users (excepting domain admins) are able to join 10 computers to a domain.


"Add computers to domain" is not restricted to Domain Admins at all, that wouldn't be very good security. There is also no distinction between adding a workstation, or adding a member server.

This article describes some of the details.

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