Login to Active Directory From Ubuntu with Likewise

Last year, Ubuntu added Likewise to their repositories. Likewise is a set of programs which allow you to leverage Active Directory on your Linux desktops. I experimented with Likewise when it first appeared in Ubuntu, but was never able to get it to work. Today, I did.

I started playing with it again a couple of weeks ago, when I (again) decided to (try (again)) to convert my primary desktop computer to Ubuntu. Unfortunately I did not get very far. My troubles were caused by a bug in Ubuntu where mDNS lookups appear to cause all traffic to most of my internal LAN IPs (Active Directory servers included) to take approximately 4 seconds in between each packet. Needless to say, this is about a thousand times too slow for most current applications, therefore, everything I tried to do, including joining my AD, failed.

Once I cleared that up, I decided to try Likewise again. It was this simple:

  1. sudo apt-get install likewise-open-gui
  2. Click System | Administration | Active Directory Membership
  3. Enter the domain to join, computer name to use for its AD account, and username and password of an account with permissions to join AD.
  4. Reboot.
  5. Login with DOMAIN\username and my Windows password. Done.

Linux.com also has a tutorial on how to install and configure Likewise on Ubuntu completely from the command line.

Now all I need to do is redirect my Documents and Desktop folders to my home server (easily done with some shell scripting) and my Linux box is pretty much a functional member of Active Directory, allowing single sign-on without the need for local accounts.

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