Microsoft Active Directory using cPanel for non-Microsoft DNS?

John Connett

Jun 10, 2014
cPanel Access Level
Website Owner
I'm a volunteer at a museum and am trying to set up Microsoft Active Directory using an on-site system running Windows Server 2012 R2 as a domain controller. There is a broadband connection to the Internet with a single static IP address. DNS for our domain is provided by a hosting service which uses cPanel and our hosting package includes 10 sub-domains.

I have been reading / Learn Active Directory Management in a Month of Lunches. Chapter 15: Managing DNS suggests that it should be possible to use a non-Microsoft DNS to work with Active Directory. The book states that:
A non-Microsoft implementation of DNS has to meet the following requirements to support DNS:
  • Must support SRV records
  • Should support dynamic updates
  • Should ideally support incremental zone transfers
It appears that an _msdcs subdomain is required to provide an externally visible source of information to locate the Active Directory Domain Controllers (just one initially). The DNS configuration for the _msdcs subdomain should be simple and static, consisting of eight SRV, one A and one CNAME records.

Has anyone else done this successfully? Can anyone point me to a simple step-by-step guide?

Unfortunately, I don't have direct access to the cPanel interface myself. The person who does tells me that it appears not to accept _msdcs as a valid subdomain name.


Staff member
Apr 11, 2011
You would need to edit the DNS zone directly, so root or reseller WHM access to the server is required (It's currently not possible to add SRV records via the cPanel UI).

Thank you.