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Connectivity from a SLES9 or OES Linux Server to a NetWare Server

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Tay Kratzer

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Posted: 21 Mar 2006

Connectivity from a SLES9 or OES Linux Server to a NetWare Server to Migrate GroupWise

There's been a recent surge in interest about migrating GroupWise from NetWare to OES Linux. One of the most difficult things for people to overcome is a simple method of getting connectivity from the Linux server to the NetWare server in order to actually migrate over the data.

It's for this reason that I have created a NetWare server mapping utility with a BASH Shell script called This script makes the process of mapping a mount point (a directory path) on a Linux server, to a volume on a NetWare server much simpler. A BASH Shell script is similar to a DOS Batch file, or a NetWare *.NCF file. However, the BASH Shell scripting language is far more powerful than other batch/scripting languages. But don't worry, you don't need to know anything about BASH Shell scripting in order to run this script.

Running the Utility

Here are the steps you would take to use this utility:

1. Install the NetWare connectivity package called "NCPFS" if it needs to be installed. The Linux-based "Novell" client that many people are aware of, is not sufficient, and is not compatible with the SLES9 or OES Linux server platforms. The NCPFS package can be installed using the very-easy-to-use setup utility called "YaST" (Yet another Setup Tool). To see if NCPFS is installed on your Linux server, perform the following command in a terminal session:

rpm -qa | grep ncpfs

If the NCPFS package is installed, there should be a response similar to this:


If NCPFS is not installed nothing will come back from your request. Then you need to install it through YaST. On a SLES9 server the method for doing this is:

2. Look for the tool called YaST, or from a Terminal session type in the command:


This will bring up the dialog shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 - YaST dialog

3. In YaST, select Install and Remove Software.

4. Search for the package "ncpfs" in YaST. Once it is located, install the package. Figure 2 shows the package installed through YaST. You will be prompted to add the appropriate CDs or DVDs to install the ncpfs software package.

Figure 2 - Seaching for the ncpfs package

5. Download the NCPMNTSH Software Package and place it somewhere on the Linux server.

6. Install the NCPMNTSH Software Package in a terminal session, or install it through YaST if you want. Here's the command you would use to install the package from a terminal session:

rpm  -ivh   ncpmntsh-1.1-1.i586.rpm

This installs the following file:

in the path:


Now you can use the script by doing the following:

7. Change to the directory where the script was installed:

cd /opt/ncpmntsh

8. Run the script, and it will give you information about modifying the ncpmnt.conf file that it creates:

The script creates a configuration file called "ncpmnt.conf" that you modify to indicate information needed to map to the NetWare server. This configuration file is shown in Figure 3, being edited with the "Kwrite" text editor.

9. Modify this configuration file with an editor in order for the configuration file to reflect the connectivity settings to the NetWare server you are trying to get connectivity to. You could use any of the following commands from a terminal session to modify this configuration file, assuming you are in the same directory where the *.conf exists:

*GUI Editors:

kwrite ncpmnt.conf 
gedit ncpmnt.conf 

*Text Editor:

vi ncpmnt.conf

Figure 3 - ncpmnt.conf configuration file

10. After you have modified the ncpmnt.conf file, you can just run the script again, and it will detect changes in the ncpmnt.conf file and use the configuration settings to map to the NetWare server.


Once you get the mapping to the server, change to the Linux mount point that you specified in the ncpmnt.conf file. For example:

cd /mnt/nwserver

You should now be able to browse around on your NetWare servers from the Linux server, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4 - Browsing NetWare servers from a Linux server

To remove the mounting to the NetWare server, use the commands:

cd /opt/ncpmntsh 

./ -u 


The script can be configured to use the alternative *.conf file. Use the help screen ( -h) for more guidance on doing this. If you need to map to multiple NetWare servers, you could create different *.conf files and different mount paths, and be mapped to several NetWare servers at the same time.

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