I'm not entirely sure how to phrase the question best so I'll take suggestions.

As an example, let's say you were just issued a Mac computer but you need to run windows for whatever reason. You make a VM and have it share the internet connection with the host (but you haven't joined Active Directory in the windows VM, though the Mac has) - when the windows VM makes requests, is it treated the same as the host computer?

Can it still access things like fileshares that just check that you are logged in to Active Directory as a user with the correct permissions?

  • Two things, what VM software are you using? And what is your network config (NAT, Bridged, or something else)? – Charles Ludlow Jan 25 '17 at 1:29
  • @CharlesLudlow I see that there is an option in VMWare Fusion to "Share connection" where the Mac takes care of NAT. I assume parallels has something similar but I don't know. It's not bridged – GarrettJ Jan 25 '17 at 1:31
  • Possibly consider Virtualbox. In an AD environment my Windows VMs both in NAT and bridged can see and access AD. I will verify that NAT supports AD join but I know that bridged does for sure. – Charles Ludlow Jan 25 '17 at 1:36
  • No; The VM is considered its own machine by the AD server: you will have to add the vm to the domain – Ramhound Jan 25 '17 at 1:56
  • @Ramhound The VM does not have to be joined to the AD to connect and access files or other things in the AD. It just has to be able to connect to the server via IP if nothing else. – Charles Ludlow Jan 25 '17 at 1:58

As far as will it directly emulate the Mac's perms no.

Bridged Networking

Assuming your IP for your Windows VM is in your AD networks subnet whether DHCP or static all you should have to do is renter your AD credentials and you should be all set. As far as joining the Windows VM to the AD you may or may not have issues there, this will depend on your VM software.

NAT Networking

This can be a little odd, technically your virtualization software is pretending to be a router in that it takes your internet connection and and creates a separate subnet for it. From which (like a router) instead of using your host machines IP scheme it uses a separate one. It also sets up a DHCP and DNS NOT connected to AD in anyway for the VMs.

Please Note: Depending upon your VM software you might not be able to establish a connection.

The mainstream options (Hyper-V*, VMWare, and Virtualbox) all support bridged networking and do not hinder the connection in anyway I am aware. This DOES NOT mean that another software wont.

However with NAT it's possible that the software might block ports needed for AD to communicate correctly this could include AD Auth (LDAP), DHCP (IPs), and DNS (Host Resolution), etc.

Note for Hyper-V - It is only supported on Windows 8.0 and above as well as Windows Server 2008 and above.


I would recommend that you use Virtualbox instead of VMWare or Parallels. It can be found here. https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

  1. It's free
  2. It works on almost every modern OS there is
  3. It supports most of the virtual disk formats for every other solution. Examples include (VHD - Hyper-V/VPC, VMDK - VMWare, HDD - Parallels, etc)



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