By Rajat Bhargava Posted November 17, 2016
Is it possible to use G Suite passwords for authentication into Windows, macOS, and Linux systems? That’s a common question from IT admins. Translating the question a bit more, it is really ultimately asking whether G Suite can also act as a directory service.
Unfortunately, as many IT admins learn the hard way, no, G Suite does not authenticate you into your Windows, Mac, and Linux devices. G Suite directory is more of a user management system for G Suite applications and authentication to a few, select web applications.
Why Isn’t G Suite a Full Directory?
G Suite directory was not designed to be an identity provider. In fact, when Google created Google Apps for Work (the previous name of G Suite), there wasn’t any intention of replacing the directory service. At the time, Microsoft Active Directory was the dominant identity management platform and Windows had a virtual monopoly on the operating system space.
At the time, it wouldn’t have been believable to replace Active Directory or move away from it at the time.
The result was a Google Apps solution that integrated with Active Directory and OpenLDAP via the Google Apps Directory Sync (GADS) solution. This required another server on top of the existing Active Directory servers. As the world has moved to the cloud, this route has become increasingly unpalatable.
How to Use G Suite Passwords for Systems
In a perfect world, G Suite identities could serve as an AD alternative, using those same credentials to access workstations and other IT resources. Unfortunately, G Suite directory doesn’t work in this capacity – at least not without some help.
Directory-as-a-Service® functions as a companion solution to G Suite and gives IT organizations the ability to use G Suite passwords to authenticate Windows, MacOS, and Linux systems. The benefit for end users is that their G Suite passwords can be used for access to virtually all of their IT resources including systems (Windows, Mac, Linux), applications (cloud and on-prem), and WiFi networks.
This integrated approach of G Suite and Directory-as-a-Service replaces the Microsoft duo of Exchange and Active Directory.
G Suite + Windows, macOS, & Linux
If you would like to learn more about how G Suite passwords can authenticate your systems, drop us a note. Or, sign-up for a free account and give it a try for yourself. Your first 10 users are free forever.