If you’ve been following my previous posts, you’re aware that I’ve set up a cluster of virtual machines on my MacBook Pro 16. The primary goal? Setting up an Active Directory domain.

I currently have three servers operating with Windows Server 2016. For the time being, they’re configured as member servers, labeled DC-1, DC-2, and DC-3. I’ve decided on a 192.168.0.x network to maintain simplicity.

In this piece, I’ll walk through adding the AD DS role to DC-1, which will be assigned an IP address of Its gateway is set to

Note: Each virtual machine’s NIC operates in bridged mode. Meanwhile, the host NIC connects via a dynamic LAN address. For a seamless experience, I’ve turned off the wireless NIC on the host.

While I won’t dive deep into the intricate steps (as numerous detailed guides are available), consider this an overview of my setup journey.

Our first task? Install the AD DS role, then elevate DC-1 to Domain Controller status.

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Given that this is our pioneer server, the creation of a new forest is mandatory.

The functional level selection is based on the oldest server version. For instance, if a 2008 server existed on this network, I’d opt for a 2008 functional level. But with a 2016 foundation, the default is optimal.

Additionally, this setup:

  • Installs a DNS server,
  • Functions as a Global Catalog server, and
  • Generates a NetBIOS name. Ah, nostalgia!

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Following through with the subsequent prompts completes the installation.

Voila! Presenting an Active Directory domain named techsnazzy.local on a Windows Server 2016 domain controller.

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With everything in place, I’m now poised to create user accounts and integrate clients into this network.

Please note I originally posted this on my Medium blog. I am currently in the process of moving all my writings and any documentation I’ve ever written to here.