Apple Open Directory to Samba 4 Active Directory Domain Controller migration tools
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Open Directory to Samba4 Migration tools

od2samba4 is a set of tools that simplify migrating users (including passwords) and groups from Apple Open Directory to Samba4 Active Directory Domain Controller. od2samba4 preserves apple-generateduids of users and groups, which will become objectGUIDs in Samba4. RC4, AES128-CTS-HMAC-SHA1-96 and AES256-CTS-HMAC-SHA1-96 Password hashes are converted to a Samba4-compatible format using Heimdal. After migration and before making the final switch to Samba4, Open Directory and Samba4 can be used simultaneously, while new users and password updates are automatically synchronized.


Apart from the script, od2samba4 does not modify data on the Samba4 server. Instead, the python scripts only generate outputs (LDIF files) that have to be manually imported into the LDB database. This way, od2samba4 can modify normally immutable attributes like objectGUIDs and password hashes without you having to worry about accidentally changing entries in the Active Directory. On the downside, this means that after messing up the Samba4 database (e.g. by deleting a user that is still present in Open Directory) there is no way to recover other than re-provisioning Samba4.

Apart from the sync utilities, od2samba4 does not have to be used on the Samba4 server itself. Output files can just as well be generated on any system and copied over to the Samba4 server.


od2samba4 has been tested with Debian 8. This guide only covers Debian-specific packages and commands, please adapt them to your linux distribution accordingly.

Step 1 - Install Samba4 and Utilities

On the Samba4 server, install Samba4 and some dependencies:

apt install samba smbclient winbind krb5-user

On the system running od2samba4 (which can be the Samba4 server, but doesn't have to be), install heimdal and python-ldap for python2. Also, immediately disable the heimdal server, which would otherwise interfere with samba.

apt install heimdal-clients heimdal-kdc python-ldap
systemctl disable heimdal-kdc
systemctl stop heimdal-kdc

Step 2 - Samba4 Provisioning and Setup

Follow the official guide for provisioning a Samba4 Domain Controller. Make sure to use --use-rfc2307 when provisioning and configure /etc/resolv.conf according to the official guide to make sure the hostname of the Open Directory server can be resolved or manually add an entry to /etc/hosts. Enable the Samba4 Active Directory Domain Controller (Debian: should happen automatically, or use systemctl start samba-ad-dc). Mind that from now on, the Samba4 server has to be running for internet access (since it acts as the DNS server).

Step 3 - Install Schema Extensions

od2samba4 migrates the Open Directory attribute apple-user-homeurl to Samba4. Since that is not a default Active Directory attribute, it has to be manually added by installing schema extensions.

Make sure to adapt the DN (dn: line in extensions/apple-user-homeurl.ldif, extensions/apple-user-homeurl-contain.ldif) in the schema extension files to your specific domain setup!

The following commands install the schema extensions from the extensions folder. Samba4 must not be running while the schema is modified.

systemctl stop samba-ad-dc
ldbmodify -H /var/lib/samba/private/sam.ldb extensions/apple-user-homeurl.ldif --option="dsdb:schema update allowed"=true
ldbmodify -H /var/lib/samba/private/sam.ldb extensions/apple-user-homeurl-contain.ldif --option="dsdb:schema update allowed"=true
systemctl start samba-ad-dc

Step 4 - Modify Password Settings

od2samba4 will set all pwdLastSet fields in the Active Directory to the time is executed. If you don't want all your passwords to suddenly expire at the same time, disable maximum / minimum password age:

samba-tool domain passwordsettings set --min-pwd-age=0
samba-tool domain passwordsettings set --max-pwd-age=0

Step 5 - Initial Migration of Users, Passwords and Groups

od2samba4.conf Settings

od2samba4 needs information on how to contact both Open Directory and Samba4 as well as information on where to find and store files. Samba4 server contact information is only used to read the directory (e.g. to find out which users haven't been migrated yet), od2samba4 won't write to the Samba4 directory. Copy the configuration file template using

cp od2samba4.conf.example od2samba4.conf

and enter the following settings:

  • [files] section:
    • For details on input and output files, see in/ and out/ respectively
    • heimdal_path: Path to hprop and hpropd executables, which are included in heimdal. Propably /usr/sbin.
  • [opendirectory] section:
    • dc: Domain component of the OD server
    • url: Where to reach your OD server via LDAP protocol
    • username: Username for OD server
    • password: Password for given username on OD server
    • host, sshuser, sshpass: only required for automatic synchronization, see sync/
  • [samba4] section:
    • dc: Domain component of the Samba4 server
    • url: Where to reach your Samba4 server via LDAP (or LDAPS) protocol
    • username: Username for AD server
    • password: Password for AD server
    • nis_domain: msSFU30NisDomain attribute of users and groups, usually the lowercase domain name
    • upn_domain: UPN suffix, domain part of userPrincipalName, usually the domain components of the DN in DNS format

groups.json Settings

od2samba4 needs to know which groups you want to migrate and how you want to accomplish the migration. The configuration file groups.json is used for this purpose. Get started using the sample file:

cp groups.json.example groups.json

This JSON file must have the following structure

	"odname" : {
		"target" : "sambaname",
		"type" : "migrate" OR "merge"


  • odname is the CN of the group on the Open Directory Server
  • sambaname is the CN the group will be given after getting migrated to Samba4
  • type can either be:
    • migrate: A new group called sambaname will be created in the Samba4 Active Directory; gidNumber, objectGUID (from apple-generateduid) and other attributes will be copied
    • merge: An existing group called sambaname is modified to contain gidNumber and other neccessary properties. The predetermined objectGUID in Samba4 won't be changed.

od2samba4 will only migrate groups listed in groups.json, so make sure to migrate at least the primary groups of your users.

Migrate Groups -a will generate an LDIF file with all Open Directory groups for Samba4 import. Group migration is only meant to be done once (there is no option to only migrate new groups) and has to happen before migrating users. This is because users need to know their primary group's objectSid, which is generated during import, in order to determine their primaryGroupID value, which establishes primary group membership. It is recommended to call with the -a (= --amend-nis-props) command line flag which makes sure preexisting Samba groups will also be equipped with a NIS Domain, NIS Name and gidNumber matching the group's RID + 1e8. In that case, Samba4 has to be running while executing

Groups can then be imported using

ldbadd -H /var/lib/samba/private/sam.ldb <group ldif file> --relax

Additionally, a script that establishes secondary group membership and parent-children relationships between groups (nested groups) is created. This script has to be executed after users have been imported!

Migrate Users will generate an LDIF file with all Open Directory users for Samba4 import. You may also choose to only extract users that have not already been migrated ("new users") using --new.

Users can then be imported using

ldbadd -H /var/lib/samba/private/sam.ldb <user ldif file> --relax

The --relax option makes sure, LDB accepts the LDIF despite it specifying objectGUIDs, which can't normally be written directly.

Migrate Password Hashes

Obtain mit_dump and master_key files as described in in/ Extract hashes using This will generate the hashes file which contains all hashes assigned to usernames in a JSON format. This file is for internal usage in od2samba4 only.

Convert hashes to LDIF for Samba4 import using This script will also make sure to only include those hashes in the LDIF, whose corresponding users are known by Samba4. The LDIF generated by also sets pwdLastSet to the current system time and enables the user account.

Import password hashes into Samba4 using

ldbmodify <hashes ldif file> -H /var/lib/samba/private/sam.ldb --controls=local_oid:

The control ( = DSDB_CONTROL_BYPASS_PASSWORD_HASH_OID, which was intended to be used for Samba3 import) will make sure, to override a check that prevents ldbmodify to directly change password hashes.

Establish secondary group and group-in-group membership from step "Migrate Groups" will have generated a script that establishes secondary group membership for users and groups. Primary group membership was already established by, by setting the correct primaryGroupID and gidNumber. By default, the script is called out/ It calls samba-tool group addmembers, which adds member and memberUid attributes to the group:


This script also takes care of processing nested groups, if both parent and child group are migrated to Samba4.

Step 6 - Simultaneous OD and Samba4 Operation with Automatic Import

If you want to test Samba4 for some time before making the final switch while synchronizing password changes and new users from OD over to the Samba4 server, see sync/ for information on how to accomplish that.