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Samba 4: Linux Active Directory Server

Linux does have directory server called OpenLDAP, but it requires good understanding and admin skills. MS-Ad has reputation for ease of use. Samba is a free software re-implementation of SMB/CIFS networking protocol mainly used by Microsoft. One of the goals of Samba version 4 is to implement an Active Directory compatible Domain Controller. Major features for Samba 4 already include:
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Every IT shop has a mix of Windows and Linux system. Sometime you need to authenticate your Linux desktop system against Microsoft Active Directory service. You can save time, effort and IT infrastructure by sharing authentication server. This article explains how to setup the Linux desktop computers with Active Directory using Samba and winbind.

From the article:
Starting with Windows 2000, Microsoft moved from NTLM to Active Directory and its integrated Kerberos authentication services. Kerberos was considerably more secure than NTLM, and it scaled better, too. And Kerberos was an industry standard already used by Linux and UNIX systems, which opened the door to integrating those platforms with Windows.

Most Linux distributions come with several PAM authentication modules, including modules that support authentication to an LDAP directory and authentication using Kerberos. You can use these modules to authenticate to Active Directory, but there are some significant limitations, as I will discuss later in this article.

=> Authenticate Linux Clients with Active Directory