Install and Configure Zentyal Linux 3.5 as A BDC (Backup Domain Controller)

On 1st July 2014, Zentyal developers announced the release of Zentyal Linux 3.5 Community Small Business Server, a native drop-in replacement for Windows Small Business Server and Microsoft Exchange Server based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. This release comes with new features, the most important being a single implementation of LDAP based on Samba4 and Microsoft Outlook 2010 support, while some modules found in previous versions have been completely removed: FTP Server, Zarafa Mail, User Corner, Bandwidth Monitor, Captive Portal and L7 Filer.

Install Zentyal 3.5 Linux

Configure Zentyal 3.5 as BDC

Following former topics on Zentyal 3.4 installed and used as a PDC, this tutorial will concentrate on how you can configure Zentyal 3.5 Server to act as a BDCBackup Domain Controller for Windows Servers or Zentyal 3.4 or 3.5 PDC, by replicating user accounts database, but skipping installation guides since it can be used the same procedure as described for Zentyal 3.4, without setting as a PDC.

Requirements

  1. Download Zentyal 3.5 Community Edition CD ISO image – http://www.zentyal.org/server/
  2. Install Zentyal 3.5 using the same procedure as described for Zentyal Linux 3.4.

Step 1: Install Required Modules for Zentyal BDC

1. After a fresh installation of Zentyal 3.5 Server, login to console prompt and verify your server IP address using ifconfig command, if you use a DHCP server on your network that automatically assigns IP addresses to your network hosts, to be able to login to Zentyal Web Administration.

Verify Zentyal IP Address

Verify Zentyal IP Address

2. After you get your Zentyal system IP address, open a browser from a remote location and login to Web Remote Admin Interface using the address https://zentyal_IP and credentials configured for Zentyal Admin User on installation process.

Login to Zentyal Web Interface

Login to Zentyal Web Interface

3. On the first window choose the following Zentyal packages to install so you can configure your server to act as a BDC and hit on OK button on next prompt.

  1. DNS Service
  2. Firewall
  3. NTP Service
  4. Network Configuration
  5. Users, Computers and File Sharing
Install Zentyal Software Packages

Install Zentyal Software Packages

Confirm Zentyal Packages

Confirm Zentyal Packages

4. Zentyal Ebox will start installing the required packages with their dependencies and when will reach Network Interfaces configuration wizard. Here setup your Network Interface as Internal and hit on Next button to proceed further.

Configure Zentyal Network Interface

Configure Network Interface

5. Due to the fact that you will be using Zentyal as a BDC in your network interface, must be assigned with a static IP address. Choose Static as IP configuration Method, provide your local network static IP Address, Netmask and Gateway and – very important – choose your Primary Domain Controller IP Address or the servers responsible for DNS PDC resolutions to be used on Domain Name Server field, then click on Next to continue.

Enter Network Interface Details

Enter Network Interface Details

6. On the next stage on Users and Groups leave it as default and hit Skip button and the modules installation should continue.

Select Default Server

Select Default Server

7. After this step if you configured other static IP Address than the one automatically issued by DHCP server, you will lose connectivity to Zentyal Server from browser. To re-login, go back to browser and type your newly Static IP Address that you manually added above on step 5 and use the same credentials as earlier.

Re-Login to Zentyal Web Portal

Re-Login to Zentyal Web Portal

8. After all modules finish installing move to Module Status, make sure you check all modules listed, hit on above Save Changes button and click again on Save button prompt to apply changes and start modules.

Module Status Configuration

Module Status Configuration

Step 2: Setup Zentyal 3.5 as a BDC

9. After all required modules installed and operational, it’s time to configure Zentyal 3.5 to act as a Backup Domain Controller or Additional Domain Controller by synchronizing User Accounts Database.

10. Go to System -> General -> Hostname and Domain and check your Hostname and Domain name entries – provide an descriptive name for Hostname, like bdc for example and use your main domain name on Domain field – by default this step should be configured on system installation process by choosing your server BDC hostname.

Enter Hostname and Domain

Enter Hostname and Domain

11. But before starting to join the main domain, assure that you have connectivity and DNS resolution to Primary Domain Controller Server. First open Putty, login to your Zentyal BDC server and edit resolv.conf file to point to your Primary Domain Controller IP Address or DNS Server Address responsible with PDC name resolutions.

# nano /etc/resolv.conf

This file is automatically generated by Zentyal DNS Resolver and manual changes will be overwritten after modules restart. Replace nameserver statement line with your Primary Domain Controller IP Address (in this case my Zentyal PDC has 192.168.1.13 IP Address – change it accordingly).

Add Primary Domain Controller DNS

Add Primary Domain Controller DNS

12. After the file was edited, don’t restart any modules at all and issue a ping command with your Primary Domain Controller FQDN domain name and verify if it responds with the correct IP Address (in this case my PDC FQDN is pdc.mydomain.com – a fictive one used only locally).

# ping pdc.mydomain.com
Confirm Your Domain

Confirm Your Domain

13. If you want to conduct other DNS test go to Zentyal Web Remote Admin Tool and use Ping and Lookup with your specific PDC FQDN domain name buttons from Network -> Tools Menu as presented on the below screenshots.

Network Diagnostic Tool

Network Diagnostic Tool

Verify Your Domain

Verify Your Domain

Verify Domain DNS Entries

Verify Domain DNS Entries

14. After the DNS test revealed that everything is correctly configured and functional move to Domain -> Settings left Menu and use the following Settings and after you finish hit on Change button and OK on Domain Join notification prompt, then upper Save Changes to apply configurations and stat importing User Accounts Database from your man PDC Server.

  1. Server Role = Additional Domain Controller.
  2. Domain Controller FQDN = your Primary Domain Controller FQDN.
  3. Domain DNS Server IP = your Primary Domain Controller IP Address or DNS responsible with PDC resolutions.
  4. Administrator Account = your Primary Domain Controller Administrator User.
  5. Administrator Password = your Primary Domain Controller Administrator User password.
  6. NetBIOS Domain Name = choose a domain name for NetBIOS – it can be your main domain name.
  7. Server Description = Choose a descriptive name that defines your BDC server.
Enter Domain Settings

Enter Domain Settings

Confirmation to Join Domain

Confirmation to Join Domain

Save Domain Changes

Save Domain Changes

15. That’s it! Depending on your database size the replication process can take a while, and after it finishes you can go to Users and Computers -> Manage and you should see the entire Users and Computers database from PDC completely synchronized with your Zentyal 3.5 BDC Server. Use klist command to see your domain Administrator Users.

Users and Computers Database

Users and Computers Database

$ klist
Check Domain Administrator Users

Check Domain Administrator Users

16. You can also check your Zentyal 3.5 BDC from a Windows based system if you have installed RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools) by opening Active Directory Users and Computers -> Domain Controllers.

Verify Zentyal from Windows

Verify Zentyal from Windows

17. As the last checks and setting you can open DNS Manager and see that a new DNS A entry has been added with your BDC Server Hostname using its IP Address. Also make sure that you open a SSH connection to your Zentyal BDC Server with Putty and sync time on both Domain Controllers using ntpdate command.

$ sudo ntpdate -ud domain.tld
Confirm New DNS Entries

Confirm New DNS Entries

Sync Time on Domain Controller

Sync Time on Domain Controller

Zentyal Linux 3.5 Community Edition Server with Samba4 can fully participate in Active Directory, and once configured as a part of the domain you can use RSAT Active Directory tools from a remote location and switch FSMO roles to the AD servers on your network.

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Matei Cezar

I'am a computer addicted guy, a fan of open source and linux based system software, have about 4 years experience with Linux distributions desktop, servers and bash scripting.

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18 Responses

  1. aneedsbalan says:

    When i authenticate my BDC TO PDC that time showing this error:

    Some modules reported error when saving changes . More information on the logs in /var/log/zentyal/
    could not to bind ldap server(simple bind failed: nt status logon failure)please check supplied credentials .

    am using zentyal 4.2 deployment edition. Could you please help me

    I hope your valuable replay.

    aneed sbalan

  2. bill says:

    Hey, I am getting this error.

    some module reported error when saving changes more information on the logs in /var/log/zentyal

    The local Domain pdc.mydomain.lan must match the AD server domain mydomain.lan.

    Now I have checked the names of the severs and net but i can’t figure out where im going wrong.

  3. Matei Cezar says:

    What caused this issue? You can try to re-join the domain again!

  4. Zlungu says:

    Hi Matei, thanks for your great tutorials. There are great help for us. We configure one BDC in our network but after few months syncronization between Dc and BDC is broken. We try a lot of commands to resync them but we don’t success at all. My question is, if we demote BDC we lost authentication for all other services on BDC? Like vpn accounts, sharing atribute (there are some folders shares on BDC)? And if we join again BDC in domain it will be the same configuration of users rights ?

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