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What Is Open Directory?

Apple’s extensible directory-services architecture, called Open Directory, is built into Mac OS X Server. Many services on Mac OS X require information from Open Directory to function. Open Directory can securely store and validate the passwords of users who want to log in to client computers on your network or use other network resources that require authentication. You can also use Open Directory to enforce policies such as password expiration and minimum length and to manage user preferences.

Open Directory can also authenticate Windows users for directory login, file services, print service, and other Windows services that Mac OS X Server provides. Open Directory is integrated with Samba 3, which allows an Open Directory server to function as a Windows primary domain controller (PDC) or a backup domain controller (BDC).

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