Using eBox As Windows Primary Domain Controller

eBox Platform is an open source small business server that allows you to manage all your services like firewall, DHCP, DNS, VPN, proxy, IDS, mail, file and printer sharing, VoIP, IM and much more. These functionalities are tightly integrated, automating most tasks, avoiding mistakes and saving time for system administrators.

This tutorial shows you step by step how to use eBox as Windows Primary Domain Controller. At the end of it you will be using eBox Platform 1.2 for users and shared resources management on your Windows domain.


1. Installing the eBox server

The system installation can be done in two different ways:

  • Using the eBox Platform Installer (recommended).
  • Using an existing Ubuntu LTS Server Edition installation..

In the second case, you need to add eBox Platform PPA repositories to your sources.list and install the packages you are interested in.

Nevertheless, in the first case eBox Platform installation and deployment is easier as all the dependencies are in a single CD and in addition, some pre- configuration is made during the installation process. For this reason we will take this approach on this tutorial.

 eBox Platform installer

The eBox Platform installer is based on the Ubuntu installer and therefore those who are already familiar with it will find the installation process very similar. We will not cover here the Ubuntu system installation, but you can check the official installation documentation

When the base system installation ends, the system will reboot and the eBox installation process will begin. Then will first ask you which software components are going to be installed. There are two methods for selecting the functionalities you want to deploy on your system, we will choose the 'simple' method.

Selection of the installation method

After choosing the 'simple' method, you will get a list of software profiles. In this case we will choose only the 'Office' profile which contains all the software components needed for the PDC. This selection is not final and if you need more functionalities on the future you can install and remove packages according to your needs.

Selection of the profiles

Once you have selected the components to install, a progress bar will show you the installation process status.

Installing eBox Platform

When the installation finish, you will be requested to enter a password to access the eBox Platform web interface.

Enter password to access the web interface

You need to confirm the password.

Confirm password to access the web interface

The installer will try to pre-configure some basic configuration parameters. First, it will ask you if any of your network interfaces are external (not within the local network), i.e. used to connect to the Internet. Strict policies for all incoming traffic through external network interfaces will be applied. Depending on the role the server plays, i.e. placed inside your local network, there might be no external interfaces at all.

Selection of the external interface

Then it will ask you for your default mail virtual domain name. As we will not be using the email server on this tutorial you can enter here any name you like.

Set default mail virtual domain name

Once you have answered these questions, each module you installed will be pre- configured.

Preconfiguring eBox packages

After this process is completed, a message will inform you on how to connect to the web interface of eBox Platform.

eBox ready to use message

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14 Comment(s)

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From: Brian C at: 2010-09-05 06:59:52

In windows in order to be a domain controller you have to enable DNS, why would that not be true with ebox, just a thought? I will try this the way you have written it I am sure it was working for you before you wrote this, I was just wondering. Maybe this was just for a one server application with some sort of router for DHCP also. Dunno, any way thanks for the tutorial not trying to nit pick just trying to figure out the network environment for this setup is all.

From: Anonymous at: 2011-10-20 02:35:55

DNS is required for Active Directory. ebox sets up an NT style domain controller which did not require the DNS setup.

From: Emanuele at: 2009-11-27 00:25:52

Hello folks,

 I saw this good tutorial, but I still don't find a guide which can explain how to manage computer account.

 Simply, when you join a computer to the domain, you are able to login on the domain and use all the features and advantages dues to a centralized authentication and authorization system. But on ebox, there is no management interface section for domain users & computers, like "Users and computers" on m$ windows . Or, if exist, I still haven't found it.

 Please, anybody can explain to me how to manage computer accounts on Ebox ?


Best regards


PS : I apologize, I know this is very bad english, I hope you can understand what I'm searching for :-)

From: Josh at: 2010-06-24 20:09:57

I have the same question.  How are we to admin the users within the domain?

From: Camilo at: 2010-04-14 10:09:15

Hi guys, I have a little problem.... I erased domain admins and administrators groups and now I can't add computers to the domain. I created them again but it still won't work. Any idea?? Thank you a lot.

From: at: 2009-11-27 07:07:39

1) When Windows Server (2003 or 2008) is used as a PDC it isn't necessary to use an administrator account to add a PC to the domain. Can this be done with Linux+eBox?

2) Is there any way to have group policies for the domain just like when Windows Server is the PDC?



From: Don at: 2010-01-05 02:25:42


 in the screenshots of the ebox File Sharing Options, the domain name is set to ebox-server. In the Windows XP Compute Change Name dialog box, 'EBOX' is used for the domain.

 Shouldn't these be the same?

 Also, after joining the domain, the windows machine wants to reboot!?

From: Op3rat0r at: 2011-10-23 17:30:28


as you can read in the text, it says "We will use ebox as domain name". You are right that the picture is wrong. In the picture the domina name should also be ebox.

It is normal that when you join a computer to a domain, that the computer has to reboot. Their are several adjustments that will be done with the computer....

Sry for my bad english!


Greetings from germany



From: Anonymous at: 2009-12-03 15:25:26

I just wanted to thank you for your very informative tutorial. I have been looking for something like it for quite some time. I was wondering though what packages actually take care of the controller? OpenLDAP?

From: javivazquez at: 2009-12-05 16:09:33

Yes, it uses OpenLDAP.

You can check a full list of the software used by eBox in its trac:

From: at: 2009-12-10 02:30:51

Great Work, Jav.

Can't wait to try this out on a server I am building.


From: xrisse at: 2010-01-26 07:33:46

Great stuff - but what about windows 7 and joining ebox' domain? Can I manualy upgrade Samba? I've already backported Samba 3.3.4-2 on hardy (8.04). Any idears?

From: Op3rat0r at: 2011-10-23 17:37:25


yes you can join Win7 Clients to an eBox PDC.

Sometimes just check the Zentyal Community....


greetz from germany


From: philmills at: 2010-01-26 07:37:45

There's a great thread here which also explains how to map different shares to different user groups using a little vbs. Script is provided, and its really easy to use. Awesome!