Photo by Francesco Gallarotti on Unsplash

Photo by Francesco Gallarotti on Unsplash

Integrating a Linux system with Active Directory


Article from ADMIN 76/2023
Your Active Directory system doesn't have to be a walled garden. A few easy steps are all you need to integrate Linux with AD.

If your organization manages a network that includes both Windows and Linux machines, you might want to implement a unified authentication mechanism. Many businesses rely on Microsoft's Active Directory (AD) as their directory service of choice (see the "Active Directory" box). Microsoft AD has dominated the market for corporate access control for many years. Joining a Microsoft client to Active Directory is nearly effortless – you don't need an ADMIN article to explain it. Adding a Linux system is still easy, but the process requires a few more steps.

Active Directory

The Active Directory service creates a unique object for each user in a central database, together with a unique set of credentials. Moreover, every computer system is created as an object. With the same set of credentials, every user has automatic access to other systems at the workplace. All required account updates are performed once at the centralized database.

A directory service is, at its core, essentially a method of cataloging and simplifying access to all of an organization's resources. In its most basic form, Active Directory is a distributed database that you can access over a network with the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). By using a connection-oriented channel like TCP/IP, LDAP allows users to access directory services remotely.

In this article, I first show you how to join a Linux machine to your Windows AD domain. Following that, I'll use Active Directory as the main place to manage all users, making administrative tasks easier and less time consuming. I'll also use the AD System Security Services Daemon (SSSD) feature to check whether a user is really logging in against Active Directory.


SSSD is designed to streamline Linux and

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