To have your host use a directory service, you must join the host to the directory service domain.

You can enter the domain name in one of two ways:

  • name.tld (for example, The account is created under the default container.
  • name.tld/container/path (for example, The account is created under a particular organizational unit (OU).

To use the vSphere Authentication Proxy service, see Using vSphere Authentication Proxy.


  1. Browse to a host in the vSphere Client inventory.
  2. Click Configure.
  3. Under System, select Authentication Services.
  4. Click Join Domain.
  5. Enter a domain.

    Use the form name.tld or name.tld/container/path.

  6. Enter the user name and password of a directory service user who has permissions to join the host to the domain, and click OK.
  7. (Optional) If you intend to use an authentication proxy, enter the proxy server IP address.
  8. Click OK to close the Directory Services Configuration dialog box.

What to do next

You can configure permissions so that users and groups from the joined Active Directory domain can access the vCenter Server components. For information about managing permissions, see Add a Permission to an Inventory Object.