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If you're as comfortable with NetWare services as you are in your favorite old jeans, we've got good news: the NetWare services you've grown to know and love are also available on Novell Open Enterprise Server for Linux. The arguably better news is that getting and keeping Open Enterprise Server for Linux up and running is easier than you might think–and this series intends to prove it to you.

This is the fifth article in a nine-part series designed to help you bridge your NetWare skills to Open Enterprise Server for Linux. Like Novell's free training program upon which it is based, this series seeks to demystify the process of deploying and managing Open Enterprise Server for Linux. (See

The first three articles in this series provided primarily background information, including a summary of the Linux history, a discussion of Linux fundamentals, and an introduction to Novell Open Enterprise Server. (If you haven't already, check these out: See Got Skills?, Back to Basics., and March 2006, Tech Talk #2..)

April's article (Part 4.) moved beyond this necessary foundation and took the first big step toward achieving the series' goal. To help bridge the gap between your NetWare know-how and Linux naivete, Part 4 walked through commonly-used NetWare commands and tasks to highlight the simple functional equivalents on Open Enterprise Server for Linux.

This article continues along the same vein charted by Part 4, again illustrating that your NetWare knowledge will serve you well in a Novell Linux environment. This article focuses on the server management tools that you use to remotely access and manage Open Enterprise Server for Linux. These tools will probably look and feel familiar to you, as they should: they are the same tools, with a few different features, that you might use now to conveniently manage NetWare from anywhere you can launch a browser and plug into the Internet:

  • Novell Remote Manager for Linux
  • Novell iManager 2.5

> Now for Something Completely Familiar
If you have used Novell Remote Manager for NetWare (formerly called NetWare Remote Manager), then I have good news for you: you already have the skills to remotely manage Open Enterprise Server for Linux using at least one tool. Novell Remote Manager for Linux has the same interface and, for the most part, the same features as its NetWare counterpart. Take a look.

As you may know, Novell Remote Manager for NetWare uses an HTTP stack (httpstk.nlm) that is independent of your general-purpose Web server. By doing so, Novell Remote Manager enables you to remotely access your NetWare server despite your Web server's status.

Similarly, Novell Remote Manager for Linux uses an HTTP stack (novell-httpstkd) that is independent of the Apache Web server and thereby achieves the same end: whether the Web server is up or down, you can use Novell Remote Manager for Linux to manage your server.

To access Novell Remote Manager for Linux, launch your Internet-connected browser (Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer) from wherever you happen to be hanging out at the moment (Starbucks perhaps?). Next, enter the address for the server you are trying to access followed by port number 8008, the same port number you enter when using Novell Remote Manager for NetWare (e.g., https://ipaddressforOESLinuxserver:8008).

As on NetWare, this entry redirects you to a secure port (that is, 8009) so you can authenticate securely. After entering your credentials, you will see Novell Remote Manager for Linux which you can use to manage your Linux server in the following ways:

  • Check your server's health (and the health of groups of servers)
  • Maintain the file system
  • View server information
  • Troubleshoot server hardware
  • Manipulate NetWare Core Protocol (NCP) shares
  • If you have used Novell Remote Manager for NetWare, then you probably recognize most of these tasks–and already know how to complete them. The exception is the last task in the above list: the option to manage NCP shares is available only on Novell Remote Manager for Linux.

> Here's to Health
The Health Monitor in Novell Remote Manager for Linux gives you access to much (but not quite all) of the same information accessible via its NetWare twin. Click on the Health Monitor to view information regarding CPU utilization; physical, swap and virtual memory; process count; and LAN collisions.

You can also monitor the health of groups of servers by clicking the appropriate link under Use Group Operations. This option on Linux provides functionality that is identical to that provided on NetWare.

File Away
Novell Remote Manager for Linux enables you to access and manage your file system remotely. Through the links listed under View File System, you can view partition information or scroll through your file system to view and manipulate specific directories and files. For example, you can view a file's owner and modification timestamps; change a file's attributes; and read, edit, delete, rename and create hard and symbolic links to a file.

Linux Links
The Manage Linux option in Novell Remote Manager for Linux provides links to several features that enable you to view and maintain server-specific issues. For example, by clicking links under this option you can complete the following tasks:

  • Launch 1024x768 VNC sessions
  • View information regarding kernel modules, such as which ones are loaded
  • View memory information, such as the total system memory and how much is being used
  • Down and restart your server
  • Search for, install and view and sort information about packages (such as its vendor and version and release number)
  • View information about and send signals to processes (such as kill)

Handling Hardware
The information you can view about your Novell Linux servers from Novell Remote Manager is basically the same as the information you can view about your NetWare servers. For example, you can view helpful troubleshooting information about a server's processors, interrupts and IO memory.

Share and Shares Alike
Novell Remote Manager for Linux enables you to view and manage NCP shares. For example, when you click Manage NCP Services, you see which volumes are mounted on the Linux server. Clicking a volume name enables you to browse its contents. Clicking the information icon next to the volume name directs you to more information about this share, such as its location, file system type, volume ID, cache details and current status. Clicking the Unmount button next to the volume enables you to...well, take a guess.

> iManager: Different Features for Different Platforms
As with Novell Remote Manager, iManager 2.5 might look very familiar to you. The best news about iManager 2.5 is that it runs on both NetWare and Linux. The implication of this fact is that iManager 2.5 makes it easy for you to take the skills you have mastered on NetWare and apply them–no fuss, no muss–to Linux. In other words, if you know how to use iManager 2.5 to manage NetWare, then you know how to use it to manage Novell's Linux.

Want to create a new user? If you can do this on a NetWare server, then you can on your Linux server using iManager 2.5. Want to create a Novell Storage Services (NSS) pool? The process for doing so on Linux is identical to the process on NetWare using iManager 2.5. In fact, all of the roles and tasks that iManager 2.5 makes available on both NetWare and Linux are identical on both platforms–as is the URL you enter to access iManager (https://server_ipaddress or server–dns/nps/iManager.html).

That said, iManager 2.5 on NetWare has a few features that you will not find on Linux, namely these:

  • Auditing and Logging
  • DHCP
  • DNS
  • Install and upgrade
  • Licenses
  • NetWare product usage
  • Time synchronization

Likewise, iManager 2.5 on Linux has a feature that you will not find on NetWare, namely this one:

  • Samba management

Take a Look
To access iManager 2.5 from a Linux desktop, launch the browser (Mozilla Firefox). Next enter https:// and then either the DNS name or IP address of the server you want to manage, followed by /nps (e.g., That's the shortcut, and it works. If you insist on entering the complete path (and even you don't know why), you need to follow that last bit with /iManager.html–and yes, it is case sensitive (e.g.,

iManager 2.5 (on both NetWare and Linux) has an updated look and feel and a few new features, such as the ability to categorize roles. By default, iManager 2.5 lists all of the roles and tasks available, including Archive Versioning, Clusters, eDirectory Administration, Help Desk, iPrint and NMAS, to name only a few; however, you can click to select a category of rules, such as Collaboration, Directory or File Management. When you do, you get a more restricted list of roles and tasks related specifically to the category you have selected.

If you used iManager when it was only a fledgling, then you will surely notice that iManager 2.5 has done a lot of growing up since then. When first released, iManager offered only four roles and tasks. The list of roles and tasks in iManager 2.5 is considerably larger than that. Suffice it to say, you'll have to scroll through this list. Not surprisingly, many of the new roles are Linux related, such as the Linux User Management role.

Linux User Management is a new role you use to enable your eDirectory users and groups to directly access a server running Open Enterprise Server for Linux. If you continue scrolling down the list of roles, you will also find Samba management, the role you use to enable users for Samba access. (You will learn more about how and why you would enable Samba access in Part 7 of this series.)

Icon Access
If you click the icon for the Object Viewer (a 3D box with a small magnifying glass just to the right of it), a new panel opens that enables you to browse your tree using not only Internet Explorer, as was available previously, but also Mozilla Firefox. Using the object viewer, you can browse your eDirectory tree and click to open and manage tree objects. For example, for each object you select, you can add trustees, set passwords and view effective rights, to name only a few examples.

With iManager 2.5, you can view, manage and update the roles and tasks modules you have installed. You do so using the RBS Configuration option, which you access by way of the Configure icon (a desk with a little dude behind it). RBS Configuration in iManager 2.5 groups iManager 2.x and 1.x collections of roles and tasks modules separately. For each collection, you can see in an instant how many modules are available, how many you have installed or have not installed, and how many are out of date.

The Configure option also gives you the ability to configure iManager itself. When you click Configure iManager, you see a series of tabs, including Security, Look and Feel, Logging Events, Authentication, RBS and Misc.

The Security tab includes a few new capabilities, including the ability to specify which users have rights to access and modify iManager.

As you might guess, the Look and Feel tab enables you to modify the look and feel of iManager. For example, you can change the background color or change the color of and add your own graphics to the header.

To enable or disable contextless login, click the Authentication tab. Contextless login enables users to log in using only a username and password, without having to know or understand their entire user object context.

Clicking on the Favorite icon (the star) gives you quick and easy access to a custom list of tasks and roles. If you perform three or four tasks day in and day out, the Favorites list gives you the ability to create for yourself a convenient way to access these roles and tasks.

You create your Favorites list using the Preferences feature (the icon for which looks like a check list). From Preferences, you select roles and tasks from a pull-down menu to create your custom list of favorites. Under Preferences, you also can set your initial view, that is, the page you want to appear first every time you log in to iManager. For example, you could set Favorites as your initial view.

> Moving On
If you were to take the training course on which this series is based, you would now be ready to complete the exercises for Module 7. In this case, the exercises are designed to help you practice what you have just viewed or read about. The exercises provide step-by-step instructions on launching and using Novell Remote Manager for Linux and iManager 2.5. By completing these exercises, you can see for yourself how familiar these tools really are–despite their new Linux backdrop.

The next article in this series is the first of two articles that discuss how to understand and manage the file system on Open Enterprise Server for Linux. red N

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