I'm doing a work for operative systems class, and I wanted to know which one is more used for users management.

I know a little of Active Directory, but I've never worked with LDAP on Linux systems, so I don't how complete it is.

So, which one is more used in (large or not) enterprises?

  • 4
    Given that AD includes LDAP, and that therefore each AD implementation is also an LDAP implementation, your question seems somewhat flawed.
    – Rob Moir
    Apr 23, 2011 at 13:46

3 Answers 3


AD, by a large margin

That said, AD implements LDAP (as one of its many components), so technically LDAP is most common, since every AD deployment plus most other non-AD alternatives implement it.

LDAP itself is only a small component of the key features of Active Directory. The main advantage for businesses is Group Policy - The ability to control the end-user experience and lock down various aspects of Windows client workstations. Almost certainly the most powerful aspect of AD that isn't implemented on such a level in any alternative.

  • -1. Learn to see how the math woks here. As every AD system IS an LDAP system there can never be more AD instances than LDAP instaces. Trick question, but sadly many people these days never learn to read a question for edge cases. Technically.... there are more LDAP systems than AD systems, although most LDAP systems ARE in fact AD instances.
    – TomTom
    Apr 23, 2011 at 15:06
  • 4
    Erm, that's exactly what I said? Apr 23, 2011 at 15:40

Active directory is used by nearly all Windows deployments of any scale. Groups that are heterogeneous, Lin and win, frequently leverage AD on the linux side as well since that also works decently well. Mostly Linux shops are much more likely to do LDAP, and may go so far as to use an LDAP-backed Samba fake-PDC for the Windows installs. I guess the key factor is the number of Windows servers being managed; once that gets past a certain point, AD becomes very attractive.


Lap. There can never be more AD instances than LDAP instances... ...because every AD instance is also an LDAP instance per definition. AD expands LDAP, in full accordance with the LDAP standard.

As such... there are AD instalnces (which are LDAP instances) + other LDAP instances.

  • True, in a pedantic sense, but it doesn't really answer the asker's question. Interpreting, I'd say he's really asking for LDAP-only vs AD/LDAP.
    – uSlackr
    Apr 23, 2011 at 18:53

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