Mac OS X Server: Alternatives to Windows NT 4.0 domain control (PDC) technology

This article contains information about alternatives to Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 domain control (PDC), which is no longer supported by Windows 7 and later clients, or by Lion Server.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.


Windows NT 4.0 domain control is a system of network user and group authorization used by Windows Vista and earlier clients and Windows 2008 and earlier servers. Mac OS X Server v10.6 and earlier included the ability to be a primary (PDC) or backup (BDC) domain controller for these Windows systems.

Windows 7 and later clients no longer support the Windows NT 4.0 PDC technology provided in Mac OS X Server v10.6 and earlier. See the Microsoft Technet article Windows NT 4.0 domain join is not supported with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 for more information.

Windows NT 4.0 domain control is not a feature of Lion Server.


  • You can integrate your Mac OS X Server into an Active Directory domain. Read more about directory integration in the Lion Server Advanced Administration guide or the Mac OS X Server v10.6 Open Directory Administration Guide, available from Apple Servers and Enterprise Software Manuals.
  • Users can authenticate and log in locally on the Windows computer, then manually mount share points hosted on Lion Server.
  • You can install the Samba SMB server on Mac OS X Server and configure it provide Active Directory-style login authentication for Windows.
  • You can install a free, third-party Windows Login Window replacement called pGina on your Windows clients. This software allows Windows to authenticate directly to Mac OS X Server Open Directory or another LDAP directory. See for more information.
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