A nice little enhancement that I recently came across in ESXi 6.0 is the inclusion of the Likewise utility called domainjoin-cli which allows you to join a system to an Active Directory Domain. Previously, if you wanted to automate the process of joining an ESXi host to an Active Directory Domain, you had to either manually configure it using the vSphere Web/Client, using Host Profiles or creating an external script using the vSphere APIs.
All of these options were mostly executed during the post-provisioning process and if you wanted to include Active Directory configuration as part of the provisioning process, you may have had to resort to something like calling into the vSphere MOB within a Kickstart script as I had shown back in 2011 in this article here. The solution I came up with was not ideal but it worked for those that did not want to have additional steps after initial provisioning.
With the domainjoin-cli utility now included in the ESXi Shell of ESXi 6.0, you easily automate the joining an Active Directory Domain with just a couple of lines added to your Kickstart or provisioning scripts. Before you can use the command-line utility, you will need to ensure the Likewise Service Manager Daemon is running by running the following two commands which will start the service and also ensure the service automatically starts up:
chkconfig lwsmd on
Next, to join to your Active Directory Domain, you will need to specify the following 3 parameters:
- join - Specifying the operation is a join versus a leave
- AD Domain Name - Active Directory Domain to join
- AD Username - Active Directory username to join to the domain
- AD Password - Active Directory password to join to the domain (optional as you will be prompted if it is not specified)
Here is an example of what the command looks like joining my Active Directory Domain in my lab:
/usr/lib/vmware/likewise/bin/domainjoin-cli join primp-industries.com administrator [PASSWORD]
You should see a success message if the ESXi host was successfully joined to the Active Directory Domain and you will want to reboot your ESXi host for the changes to take full effect. This is definitely a simpler method to include into an ESXi Kickstart script to automate the joining of an Active Directory Domain and hopefully you will find this handy when using ESXi 6.0.