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Is it possible to use active directory  commands on a client desktop without RSAT?

Posted on 2016-10-10
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Last Modified: 2016-10-12
It I make powershell gui programs for users that query and move users around in active directory does the users computer need to have remote server administration tools installed?
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Question by:Roccat
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sAMAccountName earned 250 total points
ID: 41837776
Yes, RSAT ad tools will need to be installed on the clients
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 41837853
no you only need the powershell modules
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by:oBdA
oBdA earned 125 total points
ID: 41837889
No.
You can, for example, use the ADSI provider. Not pretty, and most of the examples you'll find will be VB, but it's definitely possible.
Example to move a user without RSAT:
$TargetOU = [ADSI]"LDAP://ou=NewOU,ou=SomeOU,dc=domain,dc=com"
$TargetOU.MoveHere("LDAP://cn=Some User,ou=SourceOU,ou=SomeOU,dc=domain,dc=com", "cn=Some User")

Open in new window

Moving and Renaming User Accounts
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee198798.aspx

Or you can use RemotePS from the clients to some central administration server that has RSAT installed (not necessarily the DCs themselves).

Or you go the whole nine yards with delegated administration, where the users themselves won't even need AD permissions, just access to the proxy functions (though that's a bit more involved than what you might be planning or needing):
Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog > Use Delegated Administration and Proxy Functions
https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/heyscriptingguy/2014/04/03/use-delegated-administration-and-proxy-functions/
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by:McKnife
McKnife earned 125 total points
ID: 41837971
...or you give up and just install RSAT. RSAT is deployable using start scripts (wusa.exe will install it silently) or wrap it as MSI. As I had the same question some time ago, I hope David will expand on his "no you only need the powershell modules" a little, because that would be useful to know. I investigated a little, back then, but gave up.
Problem with RSAT on Win10: after any major upgrade (like the anniversary update), you will need to reinstall it.
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Author Comment

by:Roccat
ID: 41838141
Hey David.  I have not found any information on how to use the activedirectory module without RSAT unless it was a remote session into a computer with RSAT tools.  

If it try import-module activedirectory i get an error saying the module is not in the module directory.  Is there somewhere I can get this module without RSAT?
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by:sAMAccountName
sAMAccountName earned 250 total points
ID: 41838548
Perhaps I should have provided a more thorough answer.

You _can_ use the ADSI provider and you _can_ use just the powershell modules, but installing RSAT is the easiest for clients, considering Windows 10 makes this less than simple.  My initial answer was from a least resistance perspective.

RSAT will include the PS modules you need and installing it in its entirety will likely be much easier than just installing the PS modules for AD.  It will also install other remote administration PS modules you can use in future scripting endeavors.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Roccat
ID: 41840490
Thank you!
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