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Looking for active directory alternatives for a developer environment

I am looking for active directory alternatives for a developer environment. The solution needs to do nothing more than contain an OU structure and some users that can be authenticated. Preferably it should be possible to install this alternative on Windows 10. As of right now, I know of AD LDS (which I never got authenticating) and then perhaps https://jumpcloud.com - but they are not free and I am guessing that the standard LDAP:// path strings will not be transferable to that solution, thus needing to recode the authentication solution. The options that seem to be left are to install a Windows server 20XX with the AD DS role set up, which I preferably woulf like to avoid.
Windows OSActive Directory

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8/22/2022 - Mon
Sajid Shaik M

OpenLDAP is a free suite of client and server tools that implement the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) for Linux. We created OpenLDAP for Windows, a package that you can also use for free. It works out of the box so no additional software is needed.

you can download here
Cliff Galiher

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I second the opinion that if you are coding for an Active Directory environment, you should use Active Directory. You can run the evaluation version of Windows Server 2016 in a VM on Windows 10. There should also be developer programs where you can get Windows Server for development purposes that won't expire like the evaluation licenses will.

Windows 10 has Hyper-V, so there is no problem running Active Directory locally in a VM.
Shaun Vermaak

Just confirming... You know AD LDS can be installed on Windows 10?
I started with Experts Exchange in 2004 and it's been a mainstay of my professional computing life since. It helped me launch a career as a programmer / Oracle data analyst
William Peck


Thanks for all suggestions. As noted in the question, AD LDS was ruled out because of personal preferences. Offcourse, I could always end up with a different opinion under different circumstances.

Ended up installing AD in Windows Server 2008 x86 in VirtualBox, since the 32 bit version of the OS allows for nested virtualization without Hyper-V installed on the host (in this case a virtual host). I know nested virtualization can be done with a 64 bit guest OS, but this seemed like the least effort way and there really isn't any need for higher versions of Windows server. Just an AD with a few users and an OU structure.