Joining Mac OS to Windows Active Directory

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Mac system can join Windows domain. Please follow the following steps to join your mac to Windows Active Directory.
One advanage is that any domain user can now log on to the machine without a local account being setup first.
Just like a Windows OS. I will update more if there are new findings, enjoy the new experience.

Please let me know if you encounter any issue.

1) From Finder, select Apple icon >click Systems Preferences.

2) Under System> click Accounts.

3) Click on little padlock to unlock with Mac Admin credentials.

4) Click Login Options to show "Network Account Server".

5) Click "Join..." to display a pop-up with "Open Directory Utility" button.

6) Upon selection, the entire content is grey out. Click the little padlock, and enter a Mac
Admin's credentials to unlock it. Mark "Active Directory".

7) Click on the little pencil to edit. Enter Mac Admin's credentials.

8) Active Directory Domain: niestaff.cluster.nie.edu.sg,
Computer ID: NIE asset no. (eg. nb1030mac)

9) Upon clicking Bind button, a window popup appear for Network Administrator Required (note: all NIE staff can join and unjoin domain. In Mac's term, Bind or Unbind). Click OK.

10) A process indicator will run from step 1 to 5 while binding computer to Domain. If you encounter error message on “Step 3 of 5”, change your clock settings to manual (according to your own watch).

11) You should see these settings after binding. The rest of the settings are for Administrators. Click OK.

12) Click Apply to save changes.

13) Click the little padlock to prevent further changes and close Directory Utility.

14) In the Accounts Window, you will notice your domain with a little green light next to it. Follow all the settings on this screen capture.

15) Now log out from Mac Admin account.

16) If the Mac is configured to show a list of users at login, select "Other" at the bottom. Enter your domain logon credentials: "username" and your "password". The machine will pause a minute to create new user folders.

17) If there is no wireless or wired connection, "Other" will not appear. You can only logon to Mac Admin account. Once connected back with a LAN, it should appear after a while.

Please download the attached screen captures to have a better picture.


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Updated 25-02-2013 at 06:23 PM by lee_hon_wai

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  1. quek_kia_yong's Avatar
    This is not limited to staff use only. Students can also login with their AD accounts by typing "niestudent\username" in the login box.

    This should be useful in computer laborartories but there will be an associated diskspace increase due to the many user home directories that will be created also. Also, the lab tech will have to clean up or remove stagnant home directories. Contrast this with the current simpler approach with a common account used by anyone. A cost-benefit analysis seems to be looming over this. :-D