How to Add an OS X 10.5 Computer to a Windows Domain

This article will guide you through the steps required to connect a computer running OS X 10.5 to a Windows domain, allowing you to login using your Active Directory credentials. Since Active Directory is so widely used, it is useful to be able to set up any computers running OS X to authenticate through it.

Step 1: Open the Directory Utility tool, which can be found under Applications -> Utilities -> Directory Utilities or by searching for it through the Finder.


Step 2: Click on the Services tab, and make sure the Active Directory service is enabled. You may have to click on the lock in the bottom left corner and enter local administrator credentials to be able to make changes. Next, click on the Configure button.


Step 3: Enter in the address for the Domain you wish to connect to, and a name for the computer you are working on. Under the Advanced Options, you can check ‘Create mobile account at login’ and uncheck ‘Require confirmation before creating a mobile account’ if you want the computer to cache credentials locally, allowing users who have previously logged in to login even if there is no network access. Click Bind and enter proper network credentials. The computer should now show up in Active Directory under the name you gave it.


Step 4: Ensure that the login preferences are set to require a user to type in a username and password. This can be configured by navigating to System Preferences -> Accounts and clicking on the Login Options tab.


That’s all there is to it! Any user logging in will now be authenticated through Active Directory.



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4 responses to “How to Add an OS X 10.5 Computer to a Windows Domain”

  1. […] Kevin Schulte wrote an interesting post today onHow to Add an OS X 10.5 Computer to a Windows <b>Domain</b> | TecheratorHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  2. Xdhbdgcbd Avatar

    The problem with this setup is that if the user has a laptop and they leave the office with it, they will no longer be able to authenticate correctly, no?

    1. 123 Avatar

      no, see step3: create mobile account…
      without this option you cant logon offline…

  3. GeeTee99 Avatar


    thanks for the instruction. I’m having a bit of a problem though. I’m using a mac with OS 10.5.8. I follow the instruction but after I bind and then type in the network administrator and password I get the message ‘Unable to access domain controller – this computer is unable to access the domain controller for an unknown reason’. The leads are plugged in correctly and the domain name is correct. Does anyone know why this might be coming up?

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