November 6

Active Directory without Microsoft: An open source alternative to Bill Gates for your home lab


Guest blogpost by Graham French

Graham F French is an IT veteran of almost two decades and specialises in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure technologies. He can be found on twitter at @NakedCloudGuy and blogs at He holds VCP5-DCV and MCSE qualifications and is currently studying for the VCAP-DCD.

Microsoft has sounded the death knell for TechNet and if, like me, you use it for your own home lab, then an alternative to Microsoft Active Directory is needed.

A few years back I was looking to substitute Microsoft’s AD. I still needed to have some sort of authentication and authorisation platform, but I was becoming frustrated at having to build an AD infrastructure for quite a few small proof-of-concepts that I was building, for a large programme of works for a central government client.

After some intense research, better known as Google, I came across a German open source product called Univention Corporate Server, otherwise known as UCS, at and I’d never heard of it. But it had at least one redeeming feature; it offered Active Directory style service and ran on an open source Linux kernel.

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