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Group Policy Overview

The Group Policy helps the administrators to configure the users' environment settings. The administrators can define the settings in a Group Policy setting, which are contained in a Group Policy objects (GPOs). This can then be applied to the users and computers of the Site, Domain, or Organization Units (OUs).


Group Policy Object Types

There are two types of Group Policy objects:

  • Local Group Policy objects
  • Non-local Group Policy objects.

There will be only one local Group Policy object in a Windows 2000-based computer. The local GPO can be used to set the Group Policy on local computers. The Non-local GPOs reside in the domain controllers that can be linked to a site, domain, or an organization unit.


GPO Inheritance

The order of inheritance is Site, Domain, and Organizational unit.

  • A GPO applied to a site affects all the users and computers of all the domains of that site.
  • A GPO applied to a Domain applies to all users and computers of that domain and further applies to all the users and computers of all the organization units of that domain.
  • A GPO applied to an Organization Unit applies to all the users and computers in the organization unit.


Group Policy Application

The Group Policies are applied in the following order:

  1. When the system is started all the Group Policies that are applicable to that system are applied.
  2. The Group Policy startup scripts are executed.
  3. When a user log on, the Group Policies for that user are applied. This is done after the user profile is set.
  4. Group logon scripts and the user logon scripts are executed.
  5. When the user logs off, the log off scripts are executed.
  6. When the system is shutdown, the Gropu Policy shutdown scripts that are applicable to that system are executed.


Group Policy Updates

The Group Policy updates happen at the following intervals:

  • For Domain Controllers (DCs): Every five minutes
  • Windows 2000-based Non-DCs: Every 90 minutes and is configurable.