14 Best Microsoft Active Directory Alternatives

14 Best Microsoft Active Directory Alternatives
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When using a computer, we have one of the biggest concerns: privacy. If you run a company, its importance cannot be understated.


There are quite a few ways to ensure privacy in Windows, but most companies use Microsoft Active Directory for access control if they do not want anyone else to log in to their server. Only you and your team can log in to your system.

Microsoft Active Directory is a database tool built by Microsoft. This tool acts as a domain controller and can be accessed only on a Windows Server. Many Microsoft active directory alternatives are available in the market, and we have listed some of the best among them below.

14 Best Microsoft Active Directory Alternatives

Best Microsoft Active Directory Alternatives

Apache Directory Studio

Apache Directory Studio is open-source software that is developed on LDAP3 and Java-certified servers. This tool supports Kerberos 5 and other similar codes. This software can be downloaded from the official website. However, you need to have Java 11 or above version for it to work on your PC.


JumpCloud provides one cloud directory platform for the IT admins and centralizes the system management. Users across different platforms like Linux, Mac, and Windows can access their files through JumpCloud. Maintenance, server availability, and management can be done easily with JumpCloud. 

Moreover, one can try the free account before upgrading to their premium plans.


Open LDAP is an open-source and free application for directory access. This is a Windows administration and client tool for database control. Moreover, this is one of the best alternatives to the Microsoft Active Directory.

Managing passwords, scheme browsing, exporting and importing LDIF, binary attributes, etc., are some of the key features of this tool.

Univention Corporation Server

If you are looking for an active directory alternative that is both convenient and useful for profitable operations, then Univention Corporation Server is the right choice. This server OS is adopted from Linux with the right set of management systems for multi-platform and centralized control of the desktop, servers, services, and users.


After upgrading to version 3.0, the Univention Corporation Server supports all the functions offered by Microsoft Active Directory.


If you are looking for a cross-platform Microsoft Active Directory alternative, then JXplorer is the right choice. This tool works easily on Linux, Windows, and other operating systems as well.

You can read, edit, and search for any LDAP directory with the help of DSML and the LDAP interface. Moreover, this tool has inbuilt HTML templates and JAVA installed.


FreeIPA is an open-source project that is backed by RedHat. It offers services like Audit suites, Policies, and Identity, mostly focused on Unix and Linux computers. Currently, this project supports many features of the Microsoft Active Directory.


Security Information Management is one of its prime features. This tool primarily focuses on mechanizing the installation and configuration functions and making the administration convenient.

Lepide Auditor

If you are looking for a powerful tool to manage the directory changes, then Lepide Auditor is the right alternative to Active Directory. This tool is capable of trailing the modifications as well as unraveling the undesirable ones. It gives a clear idea of who, when, and where the changes were made in the directory.


This free alternative to the Microsoft Active Directory runs on the Unix platform. Though it belongs to the Unix platform, it blends well with Windows users. People who use Windows operating system can effortlessly use this Active Directory alternative to access the print and file services.

CIFS (Common Internet File System) manages everything on this platform. Currently, this tool has been migrated to non-Unix hosts like VMS, NetWare, and AmigaOS. 



GoSa is the best alternative to the Microsoft Active Directory, providing administrator access to both systems and accounts. You can manage the mail sharing lists, applications, groups and users, faxes, and many other things. It makes the open-source configuration easier. Moreover, people can share files or information on a project in different languages.


eDirectory is an adaptation of the network operating system directory by Novell. It is a mission-critical element and high-performance tool for directory services in the IT industry. Currently, eDirectory has 28K customers, and it offers unique features like large-scale distributions. Just like MS Active Directory, eDirectory comes with many security standards and support features.


Zentyal is compatible with the MS Active Directory and helps with user management. Some of the key features of the Zentyal are SSO, central domain directory management, printer management, contacts, etc.

389 Directory Server

389 Directory Server is an open-source business alternative to MS Active Directory. This tool manages several LDAP distributions worldwide. Businesses can download this free of cost and give it a try.


This LDAP server can manage millions of searches per second, and multiple users can connect to the server simultaneously. It offers high performance and also the convenience of expanding the operations.


OpenSSO is an open-source platform that provides web security in this autonomous application. This tool offers secured integrated access management and is best suited for both extranet validation and internal web access.

The end users can see a lone view with the help of this OpenSSO tool, as it creates aligned mashups with the help of associate applications and internal data. OpenSSO lets the customers scale their business swiftly and ensures that the high-security parameters are maintained.

Resara Server

Resara Server is suitable for small businesses and the best alternative to the Microsoft Active Directory. This tool is built on Samba 4 and is very easy to operate. The control panel allows the users/clients to share files and set up the DNS.


It provides clear documentation to use the tool and also has an impressive graphical user interface.


Microsoft Active Directory is the best database solution in the market. However, if you want to try other alternatives, the above tools are the best. They offer similar features to MS Active Directory.

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