How to Join Linux CentOS to the Active Directory Domain with SSSD?

Realmd makes it simple to set up authentication and domain membership (on Active Directory or IPA/FreeIPA). The domain information is discovered automatically. SSSD is used by Realmd to validate and authenticate user accounts.

To join an Active Directory domain successfully, your CentOS server must meet the following requirements:

  1. Set up time synchronization with the domain controller in Active Directory (and your DC with the PDC role must synchronize time with the external NTP server). Otherwise, SSSD will not function properly. Only Kerberos is supported by this service (and cannot be used for authentication using the NTLM). As a result, the disparity in time between the DC and the Linux client should not exceed 5 minutes.
  2. . On Linux Centos, you must configure DNS client to use the domain controllers’ DNS service.
    On CentOS, install the NTP client (chrony):
# yum install -y chrony

Then, in the /etc/chrony.conf configuration file, specify the FQDNs or IP addresses of the NTP servers for synchronization (these may be your AD domain controllers):

# nano /etc/chrony.conf

server iburst

Start the NTP service and add it to autostart:

# systemctl start chronyd

# systemctl enable chronyd

Now add the addresses of DNS servers that are responsible for resolving names in your Active Directory domain to your /etc/resolv.conf file:

# nano /etc/resolv.conf




Now install the necessary packages from the CentOS repos:

# yum install adcli krb5-workstation realmd sssd

Note. If you are using another Linux distro or an older version of CentOS, make sure that the version of the SSSD package is newer than 1.9.0. Full support for AD in the SSDD appeared only since this version. In our example, sssd-2.2 is used.

Verify that rearm tool can discover your AD domain:

# realm discover --verbos

If the utility successfully detects your AD domain, the following response will appear:

* Resolving:

* Performing LDAP DSE lookup on:

* Successfully discovered:

type: kerberos

realm-name: TEST.COM


configured: no

server-software: active-directory

client-software: sssd

required-package: oddjob

required-package: oddjob-mkhomedir

required-package: sssd

required-package: adcli

required-package: samba-common-tools

Now specify the values of the AD attributes operatingSystem and operatingSystemVersion in the configuration file /etc/realmd.conf:

# nano /etc/realmd.conf


os-name = CentOS Linux

os-version = 8.1.1911 (Core)

Your CentOS server can now be added to the Active Directory domain. Use the realm join command to accomplish this. The username with permissions to add the machine to the domain and the Organizational Unit in which you want to put the account of your Linux computer were supplied in the following command.

# realm join --user=jbrion --computer-ou="OU=Servers,OU=UK,DC=test,DC=com"

The utility will prompt you for the AD user password. After running the command, open the Active Directory Users and Computers console (dsa.msc), and make sure that the account of your CentOS server appears in the specified AD container.

Run the realm list command and verify that the server-software: active-directory line appears. This means that this server is a member of an Active Directory domain.

In order to not to specify the full domain name when users log in, you can add the line to the /etc/sssd/sssd.conf file:

use_fully_qualified_names = False

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