Tutorials

Mac OS X: Join your Mac to a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials domain

Mac OS X: Join your Mac to a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials domain

With Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials we have a Connector that can be used by browsing to http://servername/connect and it will download the Connector software to your Mac. Learn how to connect your Mac to the Windows domain and enjoy the best of both worlds.

Feature comparison Launchpad Apple Macintosh client Microsoft Windows Client
Backup Uses Timemachine Native Client Computer Backup
Remote Web Access The Remote Web Access site enables you to connect to other computers and to access some of the network resources from within the office or from any remote location with an Internet-enabled computer. The Remote Web Access site enables you to connect to other computers and to access some of the network resources from within the office or from any remote location with an Internet-enabled computer.
Shared Folders Click Shared Folders to open Windows Explorer to the location of the shared folders on the server. Click Shared Folders to open Windows Explorer to the location of the shared folders on the server.
Dashboard Not available for Mac Click Dashboard to open the Sign in page for access to the Windows Server Essentials Dashboard. After you sign in, a Remote Desktop connection to the server Dashboard opens
Microsoft Office 365 Not available for Mac Click Microsoft Office 365 to access additional links to the Office 365 resources.
Computer health alerts Alerts that appear on the Launchpad provide a quick status about the immediate health of the computer. To view information about a health alert, click an alert indicator to open the alert viewer. Health alerts appear in the viewer based on level of severity. The most severe alerts appear first in the list. Less severe alerts appear later in the list. Alerts that appear on the Launchpad provide a quick status about the immediate health of the computer. To view information about a health alert, click an alert indicator to open the alert viewer. Health alerts appear in the viewer based on level of severity. The most severe alerts appear first in the list. Less severe alerts appear later in the list.

When I first started writing this tutorial I thought it would be clear that Connecting the Mac with the new Connector software would actually join the Mac to the Active Directory as you would expect but it does not. It creates a computer account in the active directory and lists it in the Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Dashboard but you cannot login to the domain with your Mac. So I thought it would be a good idea the join the Mac after I successfully ran the Connector installation and so I did. One thing you must be aware of that you use exactly the same AD computer name as you used in the Connector Wizard. See the below screenshot for that.

Connecting that Mac to your Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials is really easy. Before you start with this procedure you should download the update connector from Download Windows Server Essentials Connector for Windows Server 2012 R2 from Official Microsoft Download Center. The last version is also compatible with the latest version of Apple Macintosh OS X.

  1. Open Safari and browse to http://servername/connect. Click on download software for Mac.
    Connecting a Mac with OS X 10.10 Yosemite to your Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials with the Connector
  2. Open ‘Connector for Mac’ to install it.
    Connecting a Mac with OS X 10.10 Yosemite to your Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials with the Connector
  3. Click Open.
    Connecting a Mac with OS X 10.10 Yosemite to your Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials with the Connector
  4. Use the username and password of your Mac
    Connecting a Mac with OS X 10.10 Yosemite to your Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials with the Connector
  5. Click Continue
    Connecting a Mac with OS X 10.10 Yosemite to your Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials with the Connector
  6. You can use the name of your server if DNS is working or use the IP address. Click Continue.
    Connecting a Mac with OS X 10.10 Yosemite to your Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials with the Connector
  7. Give your Mac a name to identify it on the Microsoft network.
    Connecting a Mac with OS X 10.10 Yosemite to your Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials with the Connector
  8. Now you need the credentials of the administrator of the Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials.
    Connecting a Mac with OS X 10.10 Yosemite to your Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials with the Connector
  9. We need to another description of this Mac.
    Connecting a Mac with OS X 10.10 Yosemite to your Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials with the Connector
  10. The Windows Server Launchpad is handy so I leave it checked. Click Close
    Connecting a Mac with OS X 10.10 Yosemite to your Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials with the Connector
  11. Use your Windows credentials to sign in to the Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials network.
    Connecting a Mac with OS X 10.10 Yosemite to your Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials with the Connector
  12. We can go to the shared folders and if you are also an admin on the Windows server you can view alerts on the server.
    Connecting a Mac with OS X 10.10 Yosemite to your Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials with the Connector

As we have found that the Connector not really joins the Mac to our Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials comain it is now time to use the classic procedure. I prefer this method because it allows me to use a domain account to authenticate with the Mac.

  1. Now that we have found that our Mac is not really joined to the domain we want to really join it and authenticate against the Active Directory when we login. Choose Users & Groups.
    Join the Mac to the Windows Domain
  2. Click the lock to unlock.
    Join the Mac to the Windows Domain
  3. Use a local Mac administrative account for this.
    Join the Mac to the Windows Domain
  4. Click Join.
    Join the Mac to the Windows Domain
  5. I am going to use the same name as we did when we connected the laptop to the Windows domain with the connector. I do this because I run the ‘classic join method’ now and hope to maintain the use of the Launchpad. This laptop has already a computer account in the Active Directory with the name ‘mac0001’. Click OK.
    Join the Mac to the Windows Domain
  6. Change ‘Display login windows as’ to ‘Name and password’. Click Options.
    Join the Mac to the Windows Domain
  7. Click ‘Only these network users’, click the +sign and choose the user(s) you want add.
    Join the Mac to the Windows Domain
  8. Make sure to change this in a checkmark, after that click the lock to prevent further changes.
    Join the Mac to the Windows Domain
  9. Logoff and login with your domain credentials
    Join the Mac to the Windows Domain
  10. Because you have used your domain credentials you can add a connection to your server shares without entering credentials. All security is now handled by our Windows Server Essentials and no passwords are stored locally on your Mac.
    Join the Mac to the Windows Domain
  11. Click on Contososerver
    Join the Mac to the Windows Domain
  12. All our shares are available.
    Join the Mac to the Windows Domain

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