Windows Domains for dummies

I thought it would be useful for people new to things like this. I am trying to use a Linux box (virtualized on a server I have with Proxmox Virtual environment) to set up a Windows domain on my home network. I want to eventually move this server to a standalone physical machine set up with RAID and all sorts of other goodies, but right now I'm just sort of playing with the toys. The Linux distro I'm using is called Zentyal. and I like it ok, but I did have to make several modifications to the system to get the static IP and DNS settings all worked out....resolvconf is SOOO annoying on Ubuntu server...I like Debian for its simplicity in the "static IP setting" area but Debian is not an option because I want to use Zentyal. (I would use Windows Server but I need to do this cheaply and I don't want to shell out the $700 for Windows Server if it can be done with a bit more work on a Linux box)

I want to be able to have logon creditials and files all sync in between a couple Linux boxes and some Windows machines. (Its worth noting that at the moment all the Windows machines are Home Premium, so I was just going to log onto the shares, not join the actual domains. Maybe ill upgrade to Pro later.)

I haven't ever had a chance to set up a Windows domain with Windows Server so I only know what I've picked up off the internet, plus a little bit I've picked up at my school. Can someone offer some detailed explanation on all the different components of a Windows domain? I understand the idea, but since I have no experience with them I don't fully understand all the different components and the fancy names associated with them.

Thanks guys!

Although this guy maybe a little rough around edges, he goes over some of the basic things you can do with a Windows Active directory domain. It is a 15 parts series.

This guy (Eli) has a lot of instructional videos that are pretty good as well, this video is about the theory of active directory.