Friday, December 26, 2008

Joining Linux to Active Directory

In the computer world there is always a large number of pros and cons for every technology. Windows is very good for general purpose usage and works great in an every day workplace, but doesnt perform ideally in some high performance environments. Linux can be tuned like crazy to give some high performance, but is convoluted and confusing, and some basic Windows features are unavailable.

Recently I have been looking at Linux to run a high-performance Oracle database - but installign and setting it up is only a small part of the issue, long-term management is the big issue. The first hurdle is user accounts: I already have a windows domain and I dont want to make my admins manage different credentials on every box we run. In the past there has been NIS, some LDAP integrations and even MS Services For Unix, but I have always been dissapointed by what was available
I stumbled across some software called likewise-open that makes that first hurdle a piece of cake. I installed this in an Oracle Enterprise Linux installation in a few seconds without issue - no editing of text files, hacking of kerberos packages, or hunting down RPMs - before I knew it I was logging into my Oracle linux system with my domain credentials...

For those who use Ubuntu (my personal choice), check out this post. Just execute the following steps and your good to go
  1. sudo apt-get update
  2. sudo apt-get install likewise-open
  3. sudo domainjoin-cli join fqdn.of.your.domain Administrator
  4. sudo /etc/init.d/likewise-open start
So an entire infrastructure can now be built on Linux, but still use AD authentication like users expect. Just add these steps into your build process and all things are shiny.

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