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.

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