Salvete! I have installed Windows7 64bit on an Oracle VirtualBox VM. I am preparing to install Sharepoint (Enterprise 2010), but I've a question about how this will work with my network's Active Directory domain.

I normally use a domain account. I have connected my VM to the domain (out of habit, really). When I install Sharepoint on this machine, do I need to create another set of service accounts for Sharepoint to run with?

If my VM weren't connected to the domain, since I am using Windows7 ad my dev atmosphere, where would Sharepoint get its userbase?


If anyone is interested in the outcome of this question, I accepted Per Jacobsens answer, and did, indeed install Sharepoint 2010 on Windows 7 on an Oracle Virtual Machine (I an extra Win7 license). I set both the primary and secondary farm administrators to the same accounts I use on my production server. The new sharepoint installation uses the same Active Directory Domain (I only have one on the server) as the production server. Everything works just fine. I installed Sharepoint simply using SharePoint's own installer, and did not configure any mysites for this installation. The only thing I think I had to configure special is the the timer job service which is not set by default to run automatically. God bless!

2 Answers 2


First of I'd recommend that you install Windows Server 2008 (R2) on the virtual machine instead of Windows 7. The option to support windows 7 as a dev environment was a bad choice made by the SharePoint team for SP2010 as it's not working 100% (and they've corrected that error in SP2013).

Regardless of that my preference regarding user accounts for a dev environment would be:

  • Domain accounts from a separate domain (could be local)
  • Separate accounts from the prod domain
  • Local windows account (don't work 100%)
  • Same accounts as prod (really bad idea but works)
  • I went with Windows7 because I don't have another license for Windows Server 2008, and because it costs less. It was not my preference, actually. However, I don't want to create a second domain on my network. Can I still run sharepoint on a local level? Do I have to set up my virtual machine as a standalone machine? I wanted the domain connection so I could programmatically deploy solutions.
    – bgmCoder
    Oct 13, 2012 at 14:20
  • If you can't get new domain account(s) then you can run SharePoint with local account either by running as StandAlone (which I also will not recommend) or by running New-SPConfigurationDatabase in powershell prior to running the configuration wizard. Oct 13, 2012 at 20:59
  • Oh man, this is getting to be hard, and I feel like I am preparing for disappointment. The powershell command - you mean run that on the domain server or on my VM? I don't want my VM SP to have anything to do with my production server's SP. This is complicated!
    – bgmCoder
    Oct 14, 2012 at 3:44
  • Why not use standalone? Would using standalone allow me to have no relation with my production server?
    – bgmCoder
    Oct 14, 2012 at 3:56
  • The powershell command should be run on the VM, the production servers should not no anything about your VM or that about them. Standalone is just an obscure installation option to let SharePoint run with SQL embedded, but brings your development enviroment further away from what I hope your production looks like Oct 14, 2012 at 11:56

Yes, I'd continue to use one or more domain (service) accounts even for a development machine. If your SharePoint Server was not joined to the domain, it could get its user base from local Windows accounts or other data sources (AD LDS/ADAM, SQL, etc).

  • If I don't join the virtual dev sharepoint server to the domain, and it pulls its accounts from local Windows (virtual machine's local, that is) - well, that seems confusing to me. I am using a domain admin account in my workstation, and even logging into the virtual machine with that domain account. Can I still install SP onto the VM even though that VM is joined to the domain? I am afraid of messing up my real domain's AD.
    – bgmCoder
    Oct 13, 2012 at 1:18
  • Do you mean that the SP server would only use the vm's local user accounts IF it weren't joined to the domain? Should I unjoin it? Can I just create local accounts and SP would use them, even though the VM is connected to the domain?
    – bgmCoder
    Oct 13, 2012 at 1:40

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