How Do I Join Ubuntu in Active Directory? A Comprehensive Guide


Are you looking to enhance collaboration and streamline user management within your organization? Joining Ubuntu in Active Directory can be the solution you’ve been seeking. By integrating Ubuntu with Active Directory, you’ll enable centralized authentication, access control, and user management. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of joining Ubuntu in Active Directory, providing you with detailed instructions, expert insights, and frequently asked questions to ensure a successful integration.

How Do I Join Ubuntu in Active Directory?

Ubuntu is a popular Linux distribution known for its user-friendly interface and robust performance. Active Directory, on the other hand, is a Microsoft service that enables centralized management of user accounts, security policies, and resources in a network environment. Integrating Ubuntu with Active Directory allows you to leverage the benefits of both systems, enhancing user management and access control.

Step-by-Step Guide to Joining Ubuntu in Active Directory:

  1. Install Required Packages: Begin by installing the necessary packages for Active Directory integration. Use the terminal to execute the following command: sudo apt-get install realmd sssd sssd-tools adcli samba-common-bin.
  2. Configure Realmd: Once the packages are installed, configure the Realmd service to facilitate the integration process. Use the command: sudo realm discover (replace “” with your domain).
  3. Join the Domain: Join the Ubuntu machine to the Active Directory domain using the following command: sudo realm join --user=administrator (replace “administrator” with the appropriate username).
  4. Authenticate Users: After joining the domain, users can log in using their Active Directory credentials. Authentication requests will be forwarded to the domain controller.
  5. Access Control and Permissions: Define access control policies and permissions for users and groups using the security settings available in the Active Directory environment.
  6. Testing and Troubleshooting: Perform tests to ensure that users can authenticate successfully and access network resources. If any issues arise, consult the logs and online resources for troubleshooting.
  7. Password Policies and Management: Configure password policies for Ubuntu users through Active Directory Group Policy settings. This ensures uniform password standards across the network.
  8. Automount Home Directories: Automount user home directories from the network using sssd for a seamless experience.
  9. Group Membership and User Management: Manage user accounts and group memberships centrally through Active Directory, simplifying user administration.

Expert Insights on Joining Ubuntu in Active Directory:

As an expert in Linux system administration, I’ve encountered various scenarios where integrating Ubuntu with Active Directory has proven beneficial. This integration not only streamlines user management but also enhances security by enforcing consistent access controls. By centralizing authentication through Active Directory, organizations can effectively manage user privileges and ensure secure access to resources.


How do I map Active Directory groups to Ubuntu user groups?

Mapping Active Directory groups to Ubuntu user groups involves configuring the sssd service. Edit the /etc/sssd/sssd.conf file, adding group mapping entries under the [domain/] section. Then restart the sssd service using sudo systemctl restart sssd.

Can I integrate an older version of Ubuntu with Active Directory?

Yes, the process outlined in this guide applies to various versions of Ubuntu. However, ensure that the required packages are available for installation on the specific Ubuntu version you’re using.

Is it possible to revert the integration if needed?

Yes, you can remove the Ubuntu machine from the Active Directory domain by using the command: sudo realm leave This will remove the domain configuration and allow users to log in using local credentials.

Can I set up single sign-on (SSO) for Ubuntu users?

Absolutely. Once integrated with Active Directory, Ubuntu users can benefit from single sign-on capabilities, eliminating the need to enter credentials multiple times for different resources.

What happens if the Active Directory server becomes unavailable?

If the Active Directory server becomes temporarily unavailable, Ubuntu users who have previously logged in can still access their systems using cached credentials. However, new logins and updates to group memberships may be affected.

How do I ensure a secure integration process?

To ensure a secure integration, follow best practices such as using strong, unique passwords for the domain administrator account, regularly updating packages and software, and monitoring system logs for any unusual activity.

How to join Ubuntu to Windows domain?

To join Ubuntu to a Windows domain, use the “realm join” command and provide domain details.

How do I join Ubuntu in Active Directory?

You can join Ubuntu to Active Directory using the “realm join” command with proper domain info.

How do I join a Ubuntu server to a Windows domain?

Joining a Ubuntu server to a Windows domain involves using the “realm join” command along with domain specifics.

Can I join Ubuntu to Windows domain?

Yes, you can join Ubuntu to a Windows domain using the “realm join” command and valid domain information.


Joining Ubuntu in Active Directory opens up a realm of possibilities for enhanced user management and access control. By seamlessly integrating these two powerful systems, you can optimize collaboration and security within your organization. Remember to follow the step-by-step guide provided, leverage expert insights, and refer to the FAQs to overcome any challenges that may arise. Embrace the benefits of Ubuntu and Active Directory integration, and empower your organization with streamlined user authentication and management.

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