Install Zentyal as PDC (Primary Domain Controller) and Integrate Windows System – Part 1

This series will be titled Preparation for the setting up and managing Zentyal as PDC (Primary Domain Controller) through Parts 1-14 and covers the following topics.

Part 1: Install Zentyal as PDC (Primary Domain Controller) and Integrate Windows System

In this tutorial will demonstrate how to use a Linux distribution, Zentyal, as a PDC ( Primary Domain Controller ) and integrate Windows based system in this Domain Controller.

Install Zentyal as PDC

Install Zentyal as PDC

Requirements:

  1. Download Zentyal 3.4 Community Edition form this link http://www.zentyal.org/server/.
  2. A different computer that runs a Windows based system to be integrated to domain.
  3. The domain used is a fictional one and runs on local network only : “mydomain.com”.

Step 1: Installing Zentyal Server

1. Choose language.

Select Language

Select Language

2. Choose expert mode.

Select Language

Select Language

3. Again choose your language for installation process.

Choose Installation Language

Choose Installation Language

4. Choose your location. If your country is not listed in the default options choose other , then select your continent and country: I’m in Romania so I choose Romania.

Select Country

Select Country

Select Location

Select Location

5. Next configure your locales: I choose USA (en_US.UTF-8 ) because is a general locale.

Configure Locals

Configure Locals

6. Next select your keyboard : Again I choose Romanian keyboard.

Configure Keyboard

Configure Keyboard

7. Next the installer will load components needed for configuring the system.

Loading Additional Components

Loading Additional Components

8. The next installer stage is to set the hostname for your system. You should enter here your FQDN. This is a test server so I choose “pdc.mydomain.com” ( Be aware that “pdc” will be this server and “mydomain.com” would be your domain for Active Directory ).

Configure Network

Configure Network

9. Next choose a user for system administration ( This will be the privileged user with root powers – sudo ) not the user domain controller.

Setup User and Password

Setup User and Password

10. Next type a password for root user. Choose a strong one ( 9 characters at least upper&lower&numerical&special ). Here I choose a simple one because is a test server.

Setup Password

Setup Password

11. Next it will ask you to re-enter your password and if you choose a weak one the installer will warn you about this fact. So select Yes and hit enter.

Setup Password Confirm

Setup Password Confirm

12. Next step is configuring your time. If your system is connected to Internet the installer will automatically detect your time zone. So press Yes if your time setting are the correct ones.

Configure Clock

Configure Clock

13. Next screen is Partition Disks where you have four alternatives like in the images bellow. For better control over your system partition choose manual and hit Enter.

Partition Disks

Partition Disks

14. Choose your HDD. In this setup I’m on a VMware virtual disk.

Select Partition Disks

Select Partition Disks

15. Next choose Yes and hit Enter.

Create New Partition

Create New Partition

16. Configuring the Hard Disk Partitions. My HDD system config is the following.

  1. 6 GB for / Partition ext4
  2. 1 GB for swap area
  3. 3.7 GB for /home ext4

On a real server you should allocate more space for all of partitions , even create a new one for /var. Now is time to create a partition. Follow the steps. Choose Free space.

Configured Partitions

Configured Partitions

Create New Disk

Create New Disk

New Partition Size

New Partition Size

Select Partition Type

Select Partition Type

Done Setting Partitions

Done Setting Partitions

Repeat this steps for /home and swap partitions too. The final disk layout should look like this. On the next warn dialog choose yes and hit Enter again.

Write Changes to Disk

Write Changes to Disk

17. The next stage on the installer is asking if you want to setup a Graphical Environment for Zentyal. If your server has a monitor and a keyboard attached to it then you should probably choose No ( This will install a LXDE GUI ) else choose yes ( you will control your system remotely using web admin interface and ssh ).

Select Installation Mode

Select Installation Mode

18. Next your system starts installing.

Copying data to Disk

Copying data to Disk

Configuring Linux Image

Configuring Linux Image

19. On the next dialog just hit enter ( if you are accessing internet through a proxy you should enter it now).

Configure Package Manager

Configure Package Manager

Configuring Apt

Configuring Apt

20. Choose Yes for installing Grub into MBR.

Install GRUB Boot Loader

Install GRUB Boot Loader

Finishing Installation

Finishing Installation

21. Next choose Yes for next warning about UTC time.

Set System Clock

Set System Clock

22. And we reached finish line. Press enter to continue and the system will reboot.

Installation is Complete

Installation is Complete

After rebooting the system will install some basic software and the it will prompt us for web IP administration.

Installing Core Packages

Installing Core Packages

Zentyal Admin Interface

Zentyal Admin Interface

Step 2: Installing Basic Softwares for PDC

Now it’s time to go to heavy stuff …meaning accessing web remote administrating tool and installing the basic software for the server to become a complete Primary Domain Controller (PDC) with samba4.

  1. Next open a web browser and type the address prompted in Zentyal ( for this example the web admin address is : https://192.168.1.13 ).
  2. Next the web browser it will warn you about a security issue relating the certificate.

23. Choose “I Understand the Risks” , “Add exception“ and then “Confirm Security Exception” like in the screenshoots below.

Choose HTTPS

Choose HTTPS

Add Security Exception

Add Security Exception

24. Then enter your user and password for admin user ( the user created on installation).

Zentyal Admin Login

Zentyal Admin Login

25. We are now presented with the Zentyal Web Administration and it’s time to choose and install software for our PDC.

Select Packages to Install

Select Packages to Install

26. Choose the following packages (modules) for the server to become a Primary Domain Controller.

  1. DNS Service
  2. File Sharing and Domain Services
  3. Firewall
  4. Network Configuration
  5. Printer Sharing Service
  6. Users and Computers
Package Selection

Package Selection

27. Confirm your modules installation.

Confirm Package to Install

Confirm Package to Install

Installing Packages

Installing Packages

28. Next configure your Network Interface as Internal.

Configure Network

Configure Network

29. Next choose Static Method and enter your static IP server address ( this will be the pdc address) , netmask , gateway and DNS servers.

Enter Network Details

Enter Network Details

30. Choose Standalone server and enter your domain name ( not FQDN) and hit Finish.

Select Server Type

Select Server Type

Saving Changes

Saving Changes

Installation Finished

Installation Finished

Now the software for this server to become a PDC is installed and ready to be used.

31. Now you should go to DNS Module and make sure that your domain is listed in the Domains tab.

Add Domain in DNS

Add Domain in DNS

32. Then go to Users and Computers Module , select Manage and add a user with Administrator Privileges for Active Directory. Select Users , Click on “+” button bellow and enter your credentials.

Add User

Add User

33. Then select the user you just created an on the right side under User Groups field select Domain Admins and hit the “+” button so it should look like bellow screenshots.

Select Domain Admins

Select Domain Admins

Added Domain Admins

Added Domain Admins

34. Now go to Domain Module , select Settings , choose a description for your server, select “Enable roaming profiles” and hit Change button.

Enable Roaming Profiles

Enable Roaming Profiles

35. Now go top right and click on Save Changes for the system to apply your new settings and Click Save.

Save Domain Settings

Save Domain Settings

Save Changes

Save Changes

That’s it for now on the pdc server minimal configuration to become a Primary Domain Controller.

Step 3: Integrating a Windows System in PDC

It’s time to integrate a Windows based system ( In this example a Windows 7 system) in the “mydomian.com” domain.

36. First let’s setup network configuration for the system to be able to access the new domain. Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network and Sharing Center -> View Network Status and Tasks -> Local Area Connection.

Setup Network Configuration

Setup Network Configuration

Network Sharing Center

Network Sharing Center

Local Area Connection

Local Area Connection

37. On Local Area Connection select Properties -> IPv4 -> and enter your static IP, netmask, Gateway and DNS like in the screenshoots bellow.

Enter IP Details

Enter IP Details

Local Network Properties

Local Network Properties

Enter Network Details

Enter Network Details

38. To be sure that everything is OK try first pinging your pdc server address and then ping domain name.

Ping Domain to Confirm

Ping Domain to Confirm

39. We now reach the end of this tutorial. Let’s finish the configuration by adding Windows 7 to the mydomain.com domain name. Click “Computer” -> System Properties -> Advanced System Settings -> Computer Name.

Adding Windows Domain

Adding Windows Domain

System Settings

System Settings

40. Enter your computer name in Computer Name field domain in Member of Domain.

Enter Domain Name

Enter Domain Name

41. On the next prompt enter username and password for the Administrator User of your domain ( the user created in Users and Computer through Zentyal Web Interface).

Enter Domain User and Pass

Enter Domain User and Pass

Welcome to Domain

Welcome to Domain

42. Reboot the computer to apply the setting and logon to your new domain.

Restart Computer

Restart Computer

43. After reboot on logon enter domain and administrator username.

Enter Domain Admin Details

Enter Domain Admin Details

44. Navigate again to https://192.168.1.13 and check if the Computer has been added to Users and Computers.

Confirm PDC Status

Confirm PDC Status

Congratulations! You now have a full domain service and you can easily add other windows based system into your new domain .

Next tutorial will be on how to access your pdc server remotely from Windows based systems, Create new Users and Groups, Create a Share and setup Group Policy for this domain users and computers.

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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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40 Responses

  1. wajid says:

    is there any script to add bulk user in the zentyal 6.0.1 ?

  2. lucas says:

    This works great but the only issue I’m running into is when a user tries to change his or her password from the windows computer, it says incorrect user/password. If that can be figured out, this will be really useful for me.

    • Matei Cezar says:

      Maybe the passwords they enter don’t meet the security requirements for your domain. Provide more details? Can you change a user password from RSAT? What about from Zentyal panel?

  3. Prashant says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for these awesome documentation. Can we have integration of MAC machines with Zentyal documentation too.

    Thanks in advance.
    -Prashant

  4. Rishikesh Tiwari says:

    wants to know that is zyntel supports different os platform (Windows, linux and Mac)beacuse i have configured zyntel and configure some policys and it works in windows but it not works in mac and linux. if zyntel not supports the same then please suggest some open source tool so i can configure same

    thanks in advance

    • matei cezar says:

      You can join differnet OSes to Zentyal pdc, but windows GPO applies only to Windows based workstations. I dont’t think there’s a windows GPO echivalent on Linux or mac.

  5. Wasted Time says:

    I followed every single step in it TO THE LETTER and Windows clients still refuse to join the domain. You will get it all set up (which takes hours to load and configure), only to attempt to join your client to the domain and get the error message: “The following error occurred attempting to join the domain ‘YOURDOMAIN’ The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted.” Zentyal is a complete failure and is totally unable to act as a Primary Domain Controller for Windows clients.

  6. Luv says:

    Hey Matei Cezar, I am currently using Zentyal 4.2 as a PDC and able to connect Windows client. However, I am facing issues whilst pushing GPO’s to the multiple users/groups. I could see few settings are getting updated at the client end but most of the important ones are missing out; I have tried logging in with multiple ID’s on multiple system’s but no joy; I believe there’s a communication issue with Widows/Zentyal. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  7. Matei Cezar says:

    @Rully: First of all the second computer must be joined to Zentyal PDC from an administrative account. What do you mean an existing account bla bla bla…it has importance all the displayed error message it shows you! It could mean that you have another computer with the same name on your network!
    How much NICs your server has? You must fill the external interface with all the required internet settings provided by your ISP, not jot the IP Address. (put IP, Netmask, Router (gateway) and DNS! You must also check the outgoing rules from firewall.

  8. Rully says:

    Dear Matei Cezar,

    I need help please…I have install Zentyal 4.0 in my office server. And I try connecting the client to the server. I use my computer and it’s connected to the zentyal server. but when I use other computer it always said “The join operation was not successful, this could be because an existing computer account…bla..bla…could you please tell me what is wrong with that?

    And one more thing I have public IP from my Internet provider and I want to set the zentyal to be access remotely but when I fill in the ip number to the network setting on zentyal server why I still can’t go online and open a website on the browser.

    Please show me what is wrong…I need help. otherwise my boss will get angry with me. Thank you very much Matei Cezar.

    Regards,
    Rully

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