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There's no real viable alternative to GPO under Linux. There are projects like FreeIPA, but how useful they are now is an issue as I understand it. What are you actually trying to achieve with group policy? There are plenty of tools that can achieve many of the goals of it if you can describe your actual requirements.
Pretty sure you'll never get that at *any* price. If you want full AD functionality, you need AD.
You *could* explore what you can do with a tool like puppet, which now runs on windows, to apply configuration settings and maintain them over many systems, but I have no idea if these settings you are after are possible to set with the tools available outside of AD.
You have to accept that there is a limit on how much something can be reverse engineered, both in terms of technical feasibility and real world benefit. Sometimes you need to own up to what you need to do. It doesn't seem reasonable to me to think such a huge re-implementation of a highly proprietary product should exist at all, at so you either need to put your hand in your pocket and do it properly, or do something different.