I have read a couple of threads where the domain controller appliance cannot be used as a domain controller in Server 2019 network due to the outdated Samba configuration. Which is understandable.

However can someone clarify if the file server appliance can be joined to a Windows domain and act as a simple file server and it would be transparent to users. For example you can map a network drive in Windows client and set up permissions.


Jeremy Davis's picture

Windows AD is a closed source application that is not fully documented publicly. So Samba's AD support is reverse engineered. As such it will always lag behind Windows. The most recent release of Samba is fully compatible with the Server 2012r2 AD schema (version 69). It's quite possible to use Samba as a Domain Controller for AD and connect Windows 10 desktop computers to it. You even should (at least in theory) be able to connect it to an existing Windows Server 2019 AD domain, so long as it is using the Server 2012r2 schema. If you already have an AD with a newer schema version, then you would need to downgrade that first. I have no experience with that, but personally must say that it sounds dangerous and probably wouldn't recommend it unless you know what you are doing...

Having said the above, the version of Samba in TurnKey Linux (v4.9) is getting a bit dated and doesn't have full support for Server 2012r2 AD schema (it's classified as "experimental support"). The next major release of TurnKey Linux (v17.0 - based on Debian 11/Bullseye once it becomes stable and we've completed the required upgrades to our build code) will have a much newer version of Samba (v4.13) which will provide full support for Server 2012r2 AD schema/v69.

As for actually answering your question, TBH I don't know. I suspect that it would work fine, but I can't be 100% sure. At least in theory, you could start with any of our servers which include Samba (e.g. Domain Controller, or Fileserver appliances), then you could reconfigure it as a domain member?!

If you give it a go, I'd be really interested to hear how it works out.

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