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Is it possible (and if it is, could you point me in the proper direction) to set up a Windows Domain server (active directory and all that stuff) on a FreeBSD machine?

I do understand that I need to use Samba (but not sure whether Samba 3 will be enough or should I go with the Samba 4 alpha versions). As I don't know much about Windows domains, I'm not sure whether I need to set up a DNS service on the network.

In the end, I need to set up (as a CS project) a virtual FreeBSD machine that will serve Windows domain/active directory services for virtual machines running Windows. With all the nice stuff like single-login, settings, network directories and stuff.

I know it's a pretty general question, but after doing my research I was left pretty much confused - Samba 4 is a advertised as a rewrite of Samba 3, with support for AD, being primary domain controller and many other features. It sounds as if Samba 3 didn't have all that.

So, is it possible? What should I use? Any other tips for me?

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What level of functionality do you expect from the domain server? That's what the answer about the samba version will depend on ... –  0xC0000022L Mar 9 '11 at 21:21

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Samba 3 can operate as a fully function NT4 Primary Domain Controller. Samba 3 can also join both an NT4 Domain or an Active Directory Domain as a full Domain Member. Samba 3 can not in any way act as an Active Directory Domain Controller. If an NT4-style domain works for you, I would go with Samba 3 as it's well supported and fully production quality. I'm using Samba 3 to run a NT4 Domain for a small business with many Windows XP clients and a Windows 7 client. Note: you need professional versions of XP/Vista/7 to join any kind of domain. Home editions cannot join a domain. Even Windows 7 Professional/Enterprise/Ultimate can still join an NT4 Domain. Samba 4 is a complete rewrite of Samba to support acting as a full Active Directory Domain. It is still considered an Alpha release and is lacking some features of Samba 3, but Windows XP and Windows 7 are reported to be able to join as Active Directory Members. You can take a look at the HOWTO for Samba 4. I've yet to get around to playing with it myself.

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