Sorry if I am misusing terms here; I actually don't know much about Active Directory and the related technologies. Basically I have a Linux computer and I'd like it (or my user on that computer) to be associated with my user on the Domain, so that I can browse the network and all that stuff windows has.

Is this feasible? What do I need to look into to do something like this?

7 Answers 7


There are three main options:

  • Kerberos plus LDAP - This is a lower-level option where you set up Linux to use Active Directory's underlying protocols yourself. Described in this answer.
  • Samba - Samba is the de facto standard for joining a Linux machine to a Windows domain.
  • Microsoft Windows Services for Unix includes options for serving usernames to Linux / UNIX via NIS and for synchronizing passwords to Linux / UNIX machines. You'd use this if you wanted to do everything possible from Windows or if you had an existing Linux / UNIX infrastructure you wanted to tie to Windows; for most environments, though, one of the other solutions would be better.

There are a few other options available too: Likewise (apparently no longer available), Centrify, SSSD... There's further discussion in this question.

  • +1 for Likewise. Likewise Open has saved me hundreds of hours in user administration. I specifically built an AD infrastructure for my Linux boxes. Way, way way way way better. Oct 21, 2009 at 17:33
  • Likewise appears to be dead; at least your link goes to some unrelated business and searching doesn't turn up much.
    – detly
    Jun 20, 2018 at 1:14
  • 1
    Likewise was purchased by Isilon (now DellEMC) for inclusion in their NAS. I guess they did away with the standalone product.
    – Dan Pritts
    Jun 20, 2018 at 16:23

Two ways that I know of. From the linux host you can try this:

root# net ads join -UAdministrator%password

Or you can just create the computer object in active directory.

Like everyone else said, you'll need to add the samba packages to get that to happen.



I'd suggest looking at an excellent public domain package called Samba. It might very well be part of the Linux distribution that you have installed.


In order to get all the benefits and security of AD, you'll need a solution involving Kerberos (for authentication) and LDAP (for authorization). There's an excellent tutorial here that I've used in the past and it works amazingly well. It's more complex to implement than just using samba/winbindd, but you'll get the benefit of being able to use the UNIX attributes in AD to manage your linux users, groups, uids, gids, etc.

  • 1
    I believe that Samba/Winbind can use AD's UNIX attributes as well, using the idmap_ad backend (samba.org/samba/docs/man/manpages-3/idmap_ad.8.html) and the "winbind nss info" smb.conf setting (samba.org/samba/docs/man/manpages-3/smb.conf.5.html#id2564796) setting. Oct 21, 2009 at 16:17
  • Heh, news to me :-) That's a nice feature to have. I guess I still prefer the security that Kerberos brings, but for more simple setups, this will probably be just fine.
    – EEAA
    Oct 21, 2009 at 16:24
  • I don't find that tutorial excellent at all. For example, it says "Make sure that the appropriate Kerberos libraries, OpenLDAP, pam_krb5, and nss_ldap are installed. If they are not installed, install them.", without any more details.
    – Frank H.
    Sep 27, 2016 at 15:05
  • @FrankH. You'll notice that this answer is 7 years old. If you have a better tutorial that you can link to, by all means edit my answer accordingly. However, if you are a linux sysadmin, being able to install packages without step-by-step instructions are among the first things one should learn.
    – EEAA
    Sep 27, 2016 at 15:07
  • 3
    @FrankH. You are a professional. You cannot reasonably expect to do your job by following perfectly comprehensive, step-by-step instructions for every single task that you need to do. Some level of initiative is required to go out and actually learn the operating systems you're using. If you're unable or unwilling to do that, then hire someone to help you out. There's no shame in doing that.
    – EEAA
    Sep 29, 2016 at 12:33

same tips http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/how-do-i-join-a-windows-2003-active-directory-domain-from-linux-system.html

  • Also a non-tutorial which just tells you in very broad terms what to do.
    – Frank H.
    Sep 27, 2016 at 15:06

Samba/Likewise is overkill.

Set up pam_krb5, authenticating to the KDC of the AD domain.


To add a Linux machine to an Active Directory domain, you will need:

  • TCP / IP Config: Configure the DNS of the AD as DNS.
  • NTP Config: Configure the NTP server in DC
  • Packages: Install the necessary packages
  • SSSD Configuration: Configure the network authentication service.
  • Verification with the id command

Here is a guide, step by step:


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