AWS News Blog

Joining a Linux Instance to a Simple AD (AWS Directory Service)

If you are tasked with providing and managing user logins to a fleet of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances running Linux, I have some good news for you!

You can now join these instances to an AWS Directory Service Simple AD directory and manage credentials for your user logins using standard Active Directory tools and techniques. Your users will be able to log in to all of the instances in the domain using the same set of credentials. You can exercise additional control by creating directory groups.

We have published complete, step-by-step instructions to help you get started. You’ll need to be running a recent version of the Amazon Linux AMI, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu Server, or CentOS on EC2 instances that reside within a Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, and you’ll need to have an AWS Directory Service Simple AD therein.

You simply create a DHCP Options Set for the VPC and point it at the directory, install and configure a Kerberos client, join the instance to the domain, and reboot it. After you have done this you can SSH to it and log in using an identity from the directory. The documentation also shows you how to log in using domain credentials, add domain administrators to the sudo’ers list, and limit access to members of specific groups.