OS X: Active Directory naming considerations when binding


When binding an OS X client to Active Directory, it is important to ensure that the computer names used in the binding process are less than 16 characters and use valid characters for Active Directory computer account names. Entering a longer computer name or invalid characters may cause client binding to Active Directory to not work, or cause Mac OS X to bind to Active Directory with a truncated computer name. 


To ensure that the computer binds as expected when binding with System Preferences, Directory Utility, or dsconfigad, use computer names that:

  • are less than 16 characters in length
  • only contain alphanumeric (A–Z, a–z), numbers (0–9), - (dash) and/or _ (underscore) characters

Although the underscore character is valid in hostnames, it is not a valid component in a DNS domain name. If the Active Directory domain being bound to contains an underscore in the domain name, binding and services will not function as expected.

For more information about the length and character set requirements for use with Active Directory, see this Microsoft article.

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Last Modified: Jan 7, 2014
  • Last Modified: Jan 7, 2014
  • Article: TS1532
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