The task of joining Linux to a Windows domain can be a challenge. I have covered it before here (see my article "Join a Ubuntu machine to a Windows domain"), but many users have had issues with Likewise Open either not being able to join or not being able to reliably remain joined. Naturally, if you are able to connect successfully with Likewise Open, you should stick with that. But if you are looking for an easier method of joining a domain, I have found a great solution; Centrify Express.
Centrify Express is free tool offered by the company that makes various Single Sign-On tools, of which only Express is available free and easily for the Linux operating system. Once you have used this tool to join a Windows Domain you will be shocked at how easily it is done.
I am going to illustrate this installation process on a Ubuntu 10.10 machine. If you need to install on a different distribution (or on Windows, or Mac) you will need to sign up for a download. If you do that you will find pre-compiled binaries for:
But if you are using Ubuntu, you can follow these easy steps:
Now it's time to do just a tiny bit of configuration.
The only configuration you need to take care of is in the /etc/nsswitch file. In that file you will find a line that looks like:
hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4
Change that file to just read:
hosts: files dns
Now there is one other configuration you need to take care of BEFORE you join the domain. In the file /etc/centrifydc/group.ignore you need to add the group "admin" (no quotes) to this list. If you do not do this your sudo users will not longer have sudo privileges. Without sudo privileges your users will not be able to install applications or run anything that needs administrative permissions.
Once you have configured that file, save it. You are now ready to join the comain.
Joining the domain
You will need the domain admin password for this to be successful. To join the domain do the following:
Open up a terminal window.
Issue the command
sudo adjoin -w DOMAIN (Where DOMAIN is the domain you want to join).
Type the Domain admin password and hit Enter.
It may take some time but you will eventually be joined to the domain. You should now be able to open up Nautilus and explore your network by hostname as if you were using a Windows machine.
If you find you can not see your network by hostname, you might have to reboot and then log in with your AD credentials.
You now have two methods with which to join a Windows domain. The enterprise pastures, for Linux, are growing greener and greener by the day.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.