How do I configure a Trust Relationship?

A. Domains by default are unable to communicate with other domains, which means somewhere in domain x cannot access any resource that is part of domain y. Before a trust relationship is configured

  • an administrator in x cannot give permission to any user of domain y for files or printers
  • a user of domain y cannot sit at a workstation that is part of domain x and logon

After a trust relationship is defined, say x trusts y the following happens

  • users of domain y can sit at a workstation that is part of domain x and logon to their own domain y (it will be displayed in the domain dropdown box)
  • an administrator of domain x can grant permission to any user of domain y to file and print resources
  • users of domain y are included in the Everyone group of domain x

In the example above x is the trusting domain, and y is the trusted domain. Also the above is a one-way trust relationship, i.e. while domain y users can use domain x resources, users of domain x cannot use domain y resources. A two-way relationship would allow each domain to access resources of the other (if given permission).

The basics of a trust relationship is to first configure domain y to allow domain x to trust it, and then configure domain x to trust domain y:

  1. Log onto domain y as Administrator
  2. Start User Manager for Domains (Start - Programs - Administrative Tools)
  3. Select "Trust Relationships" from the Policies menu
  4. Click the Add button to the Trusting Domains box
  5. Enter the name of the domain you want to be able to trust you, i.e. domain x
  6. You can type a password in the Initial Password and Confirm Password, however this is only used when the trust relationship is started. You can leave it blank Click OK to complete the addition
  7. Close the Trust Relationship dialog box
  8. Log off of domain y and logon onto domain x as Administrator
  9. Start User Manger for Domains, and choose "Trust Relationships" from the Policies menu
  10. Click the Add button to the Trusted Domains box
  11. Enter the name of domain y and the password if one was configured in step 6
  12. Click OK and close the User Manager for Domains application.
  13. Domain x now trusts domain y

See also, "Identifying Trust-Relationship Changes" and "Q: What is an Active Directory (AD) shortcut trust relationship, and what effect does it have on Kerberos authentication traffic?"

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