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How To Access a Novell Netware 4.x Server via Xandros Desktop 2.5 Business Edition

Before doing any of the following, understand that there is no warranty whatsoever (insert Disclaimer here). You follow these instructions at your own risk. While they worked for me, it might be because I was facing in the right direction and said the magic words just right. In addition, these instructions assume you are using IPX to access the Netware servers and not IP. While the instructions may be similar, they may or may not be the same (especially when you get to the point of mounting the server. I can't say for sure because we don't use IP to access the Netware servers). And finally, these instructions assume you have at least a minimal understanding of Linux and Netware. If this isn't true, stop now because if you make a mistake, it is possible to screw up not only your PC, but also your Netware network.

That said, backup your data/applications first. Don't come crying to me if something goes wrong and you loose the next_great_novel that you've been working on for the last 10 years.

So, enough with the warnings. In Xandros you need to use Xandros Network to install the NCPFS utilities (you will need to type in your root login or already be logged in as root). Assuming this went well, go to the next step.

Open a shell window and once at the command line, SU to root (if you aren't already).

Once there, type in:

ipx_configure --auto_interface --auto_primary=on

Assuming no errors occurred, type in slist and you should see a listing of the Netware servers available to you. If this worked, you should then create a mount point by changing directory to /mnt and making a directory (The Linux command is mkdir. I created a directory called netware but you can call it whatever you want).

Take a look at the command below but do not type it in until you've read and understood the notes that follow:



SERVER_NAME should be replaced with the name of the Netware server you wish to login to.
netware should be replaced with the name of the directory you created earlier.
USER_NAME should be replaced with your Netware login name for that server.
ORGANIZATIONAL_UNIT should be replaced with your, now wait for it, organizational unit. Note that if you have more than one OU, you start at the lowest unit and proceed upwards. For example, OU=OFFICE.OU=DEPARTMENT.OU=DIVISION.OU=COMPANY.OU=COUNTRY.
ORGANIZATION should be replaced with your organization.

An example of what the command might look like would be:


Now that you understand what needs to be substituted in, go ahead and type the command, changing what needs to be changed to reflect your particular network.

If all is going well, you should then be asked for a password. Go ahead and type it in and hit the enter key. If that worked you should now be logged in to the Netware server. If, however, you get a "No such entry (-601) in nds login" error, this is telling you that, probably, the context is wrong (all that CN, OU, and O parts above). If you get that error, check the spelling of everything in the command. If it's correct, then perhaps you need to reverse the order of the context. That is, type the command like this:


Hopefully, you will now be logged in and you can find the Netware directories starting at your mount point (change directory to /mnt/netware if you aren't there already).

A last note, all of this stuff seems to work only, if it does at all, if you are logged in as root. Whether this is a good thing is up to you to decide.

My next challenge is to get Lotus R5 Notes for Windows working in Linux (which is the point of getting access to the Netware servers.


Before you shut down, you MUST use the ncpumount -a command to unmount your Netware connection(s). If you don't, and you then reboot and try to login via Windows, your Netware server may still see you as logged in and therefore refuse to let you login again. I know this runs counter to what one How-To says but it's wrong (at least in our environment). Linux does NOT cleanly unmount your connection when you shutdown. You must do that yourself before you shutdown. So use the above command to logout of all Netware connections before you shutdown.