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iManager as a Help Desk Tool

Novell Cool Solutions: AppNote
By Dave Simons

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Posted: 28 Feb 2007


In this AppNote, I will explain how to use iManager as a help desk tool. In one of my earlier AppNotes I also explained how you can use eGuide for this. eGuide has some features you can use for a help desk application, but if you need additional features, iManager is your tool.

In iManager you can use Role and Tasks. In many environments, you'll see that the admin user is alway logged in as the admin in iManager, and that he/she is the only one who uses iManager. This is a normal situation if the admin is the only user that unlocks User accounts, delete print jobs, shut down printers, or changes user disk quotas.

But let's say you have a student who is coming to work for you for a couple of weeks. You would like him to do all the things I just mentioned. I will explain how you can use iManager to perform these tasks, without having to assign the Student full eDirectory rights to your tree.

In this AppNote, we will create an iManager Role for Student DSimons so he can do the following things:

  • Unlock user accounts
  • Delete print jobs
  • Shut down / start up printers
  • Change user disk quotas

Before you begin, make sure you have installed the latest version of iManager. It doesn't really matter on which OS platform it is installed (Linux or Netware).

Setting Up the Student User

1. Log in to iManager as admin, using your favorite browser: http://<ip-adres>/nps

Figure 1 - iManager login

Once you are logged in as admin, you will see many menu options on the left. The goal of this AppNote is to reduce the menu options to only the jobs we mentioned above.

Figure 2 - Full list for Roles and Tasks

2. To create a Role for your Student Dsimons, click Configure at the top of your iManager screen.

You will see this screen:

Figure 3 - Configuration screen

3. In the left-hand menu, click Role Based Services.

Figure 4 - Role Based Services

4. In the Member field, find and select the Student user Dsimons.

5. Click OK to bring up the next screen, where you will enter the roles for the student:

Figure 5 - Editing the student roles

6. Click Search (next to the Role field) and search for your Role Based Services object.

As you can see, I have found my Role Based Services object and selected the Roles for the Student to perform.

Figure 6 - Selected roles

7. Click OK to save the changes.

8. Click the drop-down arrow next to the Role field to see all the tasks the Student can perform.

Figure 7 - Selected tasks

The next step is to determine the scope of student tasks that can be performed. As you can see, my student user can perform tasks under the whole Users Container.

Figure 8 - x

9. Click Add to see the Roles that are available to the student user.

Figure 9 - Available roles

Now you can see the power of iManager - it automatically gives the student user the proper eDirectory rights. You can also choose whether the rights need to be inheritable; most likely you would want this.

10. Click OK to save the settings.

Testing the Student Role

Now it's time to check whether the Student Role is created correctly.

1. Log in to iManager with the student login name:

Figure 10 - iManager login

2. Click Login to continue.

Now that you are logged in as the student user DSimons, you will only see the role we assigned to that user.

Figure 11 - Role of student user

All the other menu options are gone. This makes life much easier that when all the other options are in the menu. Additionally, the student user now has eDirectory rights to only the specified objects.

Other Tasks

Unlocking a User Account

1. To unlock a user account, click Enable User under the Users menu link.

Figure 12 - Enable Account screen

2. Select the user you would like to unlock (such as "Install") and click OK.

Now the Install user can work again. If a user has Intruder Detection enabled, you can the Modify User option to unlock the user account.

Removing Print Jobs from the Queue

1. To remove a print job from a printer, click the Manage Printer link in the iPrint menu.

You will see this screen:

Figure 13 - Manage Printer screen

2. Select the Printer to clear the printer jobs from, and click OK.

As you can see, this printer has an error, so I would like to delete all the print jobs it has.

Figure 14 - Manage Printer information

3. Click the Jobs link in the menu bar.

4. Select all the print jobs in the list.

Figure 15 - Selecting print jobs

5. Click Delete, and all the print jobs are deleted.

Figure 16 - Deleting print jobs

Now that all the print jobs are gone, you can troubleshoot your printer problem further.

Setting the User Disk Quota

1. From the Storage Menu, select Volumes.

2. Add the File Server in ther Server field.

Figure 17 - Displaying server volumes

As you can see in the example above, all the volumes of the server are displayed.

3. Select the server where the user has space restrictions. I've selected the DATA Volume.

4. Click the User Quotas button from the list.

5. Click Edit to display an option screen from where you can edit the Disk Space Quota.


I hope you understand a bit more now about how you can use iManager, for yourself and for others. iManager is a great tool, but you need to understand how Novell intends for it to be used. Just create a couple of Roles for your users, and they can work just the way you like.

In this example I showed you how to assign Roles for a single user (Dsimons), but you can also select a Group Object. That way you can assign the Role to all the members of a Group.

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