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:
sudo apt-get install likewise-open-gui
- Click System | Administration | Active Directory Membership
- 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.
- 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.