New Linux Users:Novell

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Network Server-side Configuration

For Novel Client to automatically sense the settings for your network, your local network administrator will need to set up some or all of the following: an SLP DA server, a DHCP server which hands out vendor option 15 and Novell specific options 78, 79, 85, 86, and 87, also a DNS server which resolves the names of fileservers to their IP address and the treename to an IP address of an NDS server in that tree.

Query Network If these services are configured on your network then Novel Client for Linux can automatically obtain the correct settings when you click on the auto-config button on the Advanced, Settings tab. Consult the Novell web site for information on how to install and enable each of these services on your NetWare network.


There are two ways to install Novel Client: using the included setup shell script, or by performing all the necessary steps manually. The manual install may appeal to you for various reasons, especially if you run a distribution which is not supported by the script. However, most distributions which are based on a recent Redhat or Debian should probably work. The instructions that follow were originally written for Redhat Linux 7.x. Also, the instructions below were written for early versions of Novel Client so they may not be complete for the newest version. If you must install manually, you can examine the latest setup script to see what steps are necessary then make any appropriate adjustments for your distribution.


  • The Novel Client uses the ncpfs package to establish NCP connections so install it from the RPMS directory of the Redhat CD set. Currently the version that Redhat distributes lists the ipxutils package as a dependency so you will need to install that first.
  • If you wish for non-root users to be able to use Novel Client then set the suid bit for ncpmount, ncpumount, and slist:
    • Logon as root and at the shell prompt type:
    • 'chmod +s /usr/bin/ncpmount'
    • 'chmod +s /usr/bin/ncpumount'
    • 'chmod +s /usr/bin/slist' (only necessary if you will use ipx)
    • Note that setting any program suid could conceivably open a security hole.
    • At one time there was a Denial of Service exploit that could be run against a suid ncpmount, but at the time of this writing I know of no security advisories related to the latest versions of the ncpfs utilities being set suid.
  • Untar the novelclient-0.xx.tar.gz file. It will create a directory called "novelclient" containing all the projects files.
  • Copy the binary "Novel" and the shellscript "novelclient" to a location on the users path. '/usr/local/bin' is suggested.
  • You will also need to copy the libraries to an accessible place for the binary to work. '/usr/local/lib/kylix2' is suggested.
    • So copy the and libraries there.
    • Also copy the soft links and to the same location or recreate the links like this:
+ cd /usr/local/lib/kylix2
+ ln -s
+ ln -s
Edit the novelclient shell script so that LD_LIBRARY_PATH points to where you copied the kylix libs.
Edit the novelclient shell script to run Novel from where you copied the binary.
Both of those edits are unnecessary if you accepted the suggested locations.


The Novel Client allows you to make NCP connections over IP or IPX. You can also configure your system to use both then choose between them at run-time.


If you want to use IP there are some conditions that must be met. Most importantly, your system must already be correctly configured to network using IP. Host address, subnet mask, default gateway, DNS servers, etc. must all be configured correctly for your environment. Consult your network admin if you don't know what these values should be, and consult your system admin if you don't know how to enter this information in your Linux system.

  • In order to make NCP connections over IP you must be running Netware 5.x or 6. FlexIP or Netware 4's NWIP is not capable.
  • Second, you must have IP bound on the server. Load INETCFG at your server console to do that.
  • In addition, to automatically list fileservers in the drop down box you must be running the SLP Directory Agent on one or more of the Netware 5.x or above servers.
    • Load the directory agent on the Netware server using the console command 'SLPDA'. Once it is loaded and the SLP service agents on the fileservers have registered with it then the Novel Client should be able to find the directory agent and ask it for the list of fileservers.
    • The SLP directory agent must be running somewhere that the client can find it through multicast.
+ If the DA is on your local subnet then there will be no problem, but
+ If the DA is located on the other side of a router then the router must be configured to forward multicasts. This includes routers for dialup connections or VPN's.
  • Also, for the client to find the DA through multicast you must have a route set on your local Linux box to the multicast network.
+ This must be done as root: 'route add -net netmask dev eth0'.
+ You can add the command to /etc/rc.d/rc.local to make it permanent.
  • However, if you know the address of the DA then you may enter it manually and no multicast is needed. Therefore, no routes would need to be configured on the routers or the local machine. Multicasting to find a DA is merely a convenience for the end users.
Note: Novel Client for Linux has currently not been tested in an environment using named scopes.
  • However, you do not need SLP to make connections. It is only to provide an automatically generated list of fileservers in a drop down list for your convenience. But you can just type the name of the server in the box if you know what it is.
  • Last but not least, the server names must be resolvable to IP addresses. So add them into your DNS database or alternately to your local /etc/hosts file.
    • The /etc/hosts file method will require a line for each Netware server and normally contains three parts separated by spaces or tabs:
+ The servers IP address, eg.
+ The servers fully qualified host name, eg.
+ Any aliases you want to use for the FQHN, eg. myserver
+ Be sure to enter this information in the correct format. Read a TCP/IP tutorial if you need more information.


NCP connections over IP seem to be more reliable. This is probably due to the way IPX auto configures itself. You may have a quite a mix of equipment on your network including Macintosh using SNAP frames or NAS servers that emulate Netware 3.x using the old 802.3 frametype. TCP/IP uses Ethernet II frametype and Netware currently uses 802.2. So when IPX tries to configure itself or reconfigure after a dropped connection, it may become confused trying to determine the correct interface, frametype, network number, and routes. It almost always get it right, but when it doesn't it can be frustrating.

  • To make NCP connections using IPX you will need to install the ipxutils package in addition to the ncpfs package.
    • Look for the appropriate rpm on your Redhat install discs.
  • As root type 'ipx_interface add -p eth0 802.2' to bind IPX to the the ethernet card.
    • You may need to change the frametype to '802.3' if you support Netware 3.11 or earlier servers.
    • 'EtherII' (sometimes) or 'SNAP' (not very often) are other frametypes that may be used for IPX at your location.
    • You can bind multiple frametypes if necessary but the -p parameter (primary) may only be specificed once.
    • Under Redhat, you can add this line to your /etc/rc.d/rc.local file to automatically bind IPX each time you boot.
    • Under Debian, you will need to create this file and set it to run at boot. Consult the Debian documentation to learn how.
  • If you experience problems with slist then you might try explicitly setting the network and node addresses as well. Check the man page for syntax.