AD Domain Join Ubuntu with DNS update

Here are a couple of useful articles to help with this task

Untested script ūüôā

# Set the following values to match your env
DOMAIN_NAME=<my domain name in lower case>
DOMAIN_NAME_UC=<my domain name in uppercase>
DOMAIN_USER=<valid domain user that can join domain>

# Lets assume your host name is set correctly, if not uncomment this
#hostnamectl set-hostname $HOSTNAME

; Install Components
sudo apt-get install krb5-user samba sssd sssd-tools libnss-sss libpam-sss ntp ntpdate realmd adcli

; Update NTP Config
sed -e '\|server $DOMAIN_NAME|h; ${x;s/incl//;{g;t};a\' -e 'server $DOMAIN_NAME' -e '}' /etc/ntp.conf > /etc/ntp.conf

; Force an NTP Update
sudo systemctl stop ntp
sudo ntpdate $DOMAIN_NAME
sudo systemctl start ntp

; Find the Domain
sudo realm discover $DOMAIN_NAME_UC

; Join the Domain (Note: this might fail here due to kinit requiring a password -- if so, just run everything after this manually for now)
sudo realm join --verbose $DOMAIN_NAME_UC -U $DOMAIN_USER --install=/

; Edit the SSD
; Comment out the following line
; use_fully_qualified_names = True
sed -i '/^use_fully_qualified_names = True/s/^/#/g' /etc/sssd/sssd.conf 
sed -i '/^fallback_homedir = \/home/\%u@\%d\//s/fallback_homedir = \/home\/\%d\/\%u/g' /etc/sssd/sssd.conf 
sudo service sssd restart

; Setup Home Directory
; Add the following line in this /etc/pam.d/common-session below the line 'session optional' and save it:
session required skel=/etc/skel/ umask=0077
sed -i '/session optional.* some session required skel=/etc/skel/ umask=0077' /etc/pam.d/common-session

; Add suport for Domain Admins to /etc/sudoers
; Add 'AAD DC Administrators' group members as admins.
; %Domain\ Admins ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL
sed -e '\|\%Domain\ Admins ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL|h; ${x;s/incl//;{g;t};a\' -e '\%Domain\ Admins ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL' -e '}' /etc/sudoers > /etc/sudoers

Note: To remove a ubuntu computer from the domain here’s what I did :

realm --verbose leave lan.domain.tld
deleted computer entry in AD
updated /etc/hostname file
updated /etc/hosts file
reboot, checked new hostname is valid
realm ‚Äďverbose join lan.domain.tld ‚Äďuser-principal=NEWHOSTNAME/administrator@LAN.DOMAIN.TLD ‚Äďunattended

Copy of the original article (it is not online anymore)

Table of Contents

Integrate Ubuntu & Active Directory using Kerberos, Realmd, SSSD

We can integrate Ubuntu & Active Directory using Kerberos, Realmd, SSSD. Prerequisites to join an Ubuntu Server to Windows Active Directory,

  1. Your Ubuntu server should be able to reach AD server.
  2. Active Directory Domain administrator account or an account in Active Directory‚Äôs ‚ÄėDomain Admins‚Äô group or an account, that has sufficient privilege to join your Ubuntu server to Active Directory domain.

Configure Hosts

The first step of Active Directory join is to edit the /etc/hosts file. Set your machine’s IP address and hostname in /etc/hosts file.

vi /etc/hosts

In the hosts file, please enter the below values,


Example :-

vi /etc/hosts

In the hosts file, please enter the below values,

Configure Local Resolver

Next you need to setup the /etc/resolv.conf with your name server entries and search domain entry. Usually, the AD server IP itself will be the name server IPs, since DNS role may be installed in the same server.

vi /etc/resolv.conf

In the resolv.conf file, please enter the below values

nameserver xx.xx.xx.xx
nameserver xx.xx.xx.xx

Example :-

vi /etc/resolv.conf

Edit the resolv.conf file and please enter the below values


Install the Utilities

Install the required packages,

apt-get -y install realmd sssd sssd-tools samba-common krb5-user packagekit samba-common-bin samba-libs adcli ntp

During the Kerberos installation, you will see a pink screen. Just enter your full domain name in CAPITAL LETTERS,


select OK by pressing TAB

You may keep it as BLANK and press OK, if you wish to configure Kerberos later.

Configure NTP Settings

The date and time of your Ubuntu server\host must synchronize with Active Directory  server. Add your active directory‚Äôs ntp hostname in the /etc/ntp.conf file,

vi /etc/ntp.conf

You can also keep it as Ubuntu’s NTP servers, provided your active directory server’s time and Ubuntu NTP server time are in sync.

vi /etc/ntp.conf

In that case, add the below values, instead of above values,


Now sync the Ubuntu host machine’s date and time with NTP server and then start the NTP service,

If you are using your Active Directory’s NTP service, then execute the below commands,

systemctl enable ntp
systemctl start ntp

Configure RealMD Settings

Create a file named realmd.conf,

vi /etc/realmd.conf

Enter the below values in the realmd config file,

default-home = /home/DOMAIN/%U
default-shell = /bin/bash
default-client = sssd
os-name = Ubuntu Server
os-version = 16.04
automatic-install = no
fully-qualified-names = no
automatic-id-mapping = yes
user-principal = yes
manage-system = no

Now, try to get a valid Kerberos ticket for your active directory administrator account,

kinit administrator@DOMAIN.COM
# Password for administrator@DOMAIN.COM: <enter password>
# Ticket cache: FILE:/tmp/krb5cc_0
# Default principal: administrator@DOMAIN.COM
# Valid starting Expires Service principal
# 02/11/2017 21:22:27 03/11/2017 07:22:27 krbtgt/DOMAIN.COM@DOMAIN.COM
# renew until 02/11/2017 21:22:27

Join the Ubuntu Host to Active Directory Domain

To join the Ubuntu Host to Active Directory Domain, please execute the below command,

realm --verbose join --user-principal=mymachine/administrator@DOMAIN.COM --unattended
/usr/sbin/update-rc.d sssd enable
# update-rc.d: error: cannot find a LSB script for sssd
/usr/sbin/service sssd restart
# Successfully enrolled machine in realm

Access Control using REALM

To deny all Active Directory user or group access to your Ubuntu host, please execute the below command,

realm deny --all

Once all the access is denied, now we can permit selected active directory user groups or users. To permit selected user groups, please execute the below command,

realm permit -g 'Domain Admins' 'IT DEPT'

To permit selected users, please execute the below command,

realm permit administrator george

This will permit two users administrator and george.

Configure SSSD Service

Edit the file sssd.conf. If the file is not existing, you may need to create it,

vi /etc/sssd/sssd.conf

Enter the below configuration values in the sssd config file. Replace & domain with your domain name

domains =
config_file_version = 2
services = nss, pam
ad_domain =
krb5_realm = DOMAIN.COM
realmd_tags = manages-system joined-with-adcli
cache_credentials = True
id_provider = ad
krb5_store_password_if_offline = True
default_shell = /bin/bash
ldap_id_mapping = True
use_fully_qualified_names = False
#fallback_homedir = /home/%d/%u
fallback_homedir = /home/DOMAIN/%u
enumerate = True
access_provider = ad

Now restart the SSSD service by executing the below command,

service restart sssd

Edit PAM.D Configuration

To enable the users to auto create home directory upon a successful login to your ubuntu box, you need to edit the /etc/pam.d/common-session file.

Add the line,

session required skel=/etc/skel/ umask=0077

below the line\entry

session optional

So that, the session config file should look like,

session optional 
session required 
session optional 
session required skel=/etc/skel/ umask=0077

Configure SAMBA Service

To configure the SAMBA service in your Ubuntu box, edit the samba configuration file. /etc/samba/smb.conf

To edit the file, execute the command,

vi  /etc/samba/smb.conf

Replace the DOMAIN with your domain name(without .com) and DOMAIN.COM with your complete domain name.

workgroup = DOMAIN
client signing = yes
client use spnego = yes
kerberos method = secrets and keytab
realm = DOMAIN.COMsecurity = ads

Verify krb5.keytab

To list the content of /etc/krb5.keytab file, please execute the below command,

klist -kt

To show the available kerberos tickets, please execute the command,

klist -c /var/lib/sss/db/ccache_DOMAIN.COM

SUDOER Configuration

To enable a particular AD group to have admin privilege in the Ubuntu box, you need to edit the sudoer configuration. The sudo file is located at /etc/sudoers. The members of AD groups added in sudoers can perform sudo.

To edit the sudoers, please execute,

vi /etc/sudoers
# Members of the admin group may gain root privileges
#%admin ALL=(ALL) ALL

# Allow members of group sudo to execute any command
# AD Domain Groups and Users
#Adding Domain Admins and it_support as admins
%domain\ admins ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL
%it_support ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL

#Adding user george as admin

Configure LightDM (optional)

To configure the lightDM, create the lightDM configuration file‚ÄĚ./etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf‚Äú.

vi /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

Once the file is saved, restart the lightDM service by executing the below command,

service lightdm restart

Verify the AD connectivity

To verify the active directory connectivity, please execute the below commands. You will see the AD user and group information.

getent passwdgetent groupid <AD user name>

Now try a server reboot. Also try to access using the server via SSH from an another host and perform sudo.