Active Directory is a Microsoft Windows Server technology that provides a variety of network services including LDAP-like Directory services, Kerberos based authentication, and DNS based naming service. It also includes a set of graphical tools that makes managing it a cinch. This article describes how to utilize this powerful technology in the Linux environment.

Active Directory User Accounts in Linux

Active Directory User Account in Linux


The Active Directory user accounts can be integrated into Linux in such a way that the AD user accounts appears as if they are native user accounts of Linux. There are two ways to accomplish this

  1. Using Identity Management for Unix/Services For Unix
    Identity Management for Unix is available in Windows 2003 R2 and above while Services For Unix is supported on Windows NT 4.0 and above. IMU/SFU requires more effort to implement but provides more control over user accounts.
  2. Using Samba
    Samba on the other hand is easier to implement due to its template based nature but gives less control over user accounts. In Samba, everyone belongs to the same group and uses the same login shell.

Active Directory Network Services in Linux

Active Directory includes Kerberos authentication and an LDAP-like Directory services which you can utilize in the various network services of Linux. Below is a sample diagram of Linux network services which can use Active Directory.

Active Directory Network Services in Linux change password address book distribution list mailbox quota mailbox location ldap authentication kerberos authentication synchronize ad integration update email squirrelmail dovecot sasl

Here are the links on how to implement them.




389 Directory Server

Squid Proxy Server


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Posted on 1/3/2009 and last updated on 11/6/2009
Filed under Active Directory