I have a small lab space and it has about 12 machines in it. I have two servers which I planned to use as a storage server and a domain server. Originally the lab had only 8 machines and they were all Windows XP except for the servers. The 4 new machines are going to be CENTOS 5.3, but I don't know how to manage the user accounts. I'd like them to work nicely with the Windows machines and I don't want to have to create separate user accounts on each machine.

Can I attach the CENTos machines to the domain and how?


Yes, it is entirely possible. You'll need to install Identity Management for Unix on your Windows Domain Controller to do so. There is good step by step article for setting this up on Server 2003 with CentOS clients here.

  • This sounds easy enough. I can't wait to try it. Thanks – Jay R. Jul 12 '09 at 16:57

If you don't want to touch your Active Directory, you can use winbind or likewise-open. Well, actually likewise uses a modified version of winbind.

In any case, these two tools make available to the linux machines the users from the Windows domain (translating the Windows SID to a local uid). That way you can use those users as if they were local (for example in /etc/sudoers).

  • Good info, as most AD environments have no Unix support. – churnd Jul 12 '09 at 15:41

I had to do exactly this for our servers. with the amount of admin turn over we had I rolled out AD auth for all unix servers. Here is a handy link to get you started, I followed this pretty much to the letter:


The biggest issue for me was figuring out the AD terminology.

You'll also need a Domain controller with at least server 2003 R2, which has the unix extensions.

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