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Using ZENworks for Servers to automate patching NetWare servers with new Time Zone Information

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By James Davey

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Posted: 1 Mar 2007

When patching NetWare servers for the new Time Zone data, there are three steps that need to be done. ZfS can do them all quickly and easily.

The steps are:

  1. Edit Autoexec.ncf and change the START/END OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME parameters to match the new dates (SECOND SUNDAY MARCH, FIRST SUNDAY NOVEMBER)
  2. Run the SET command to make those changes active without restarting the servers.
  3. Patch Java on the servers.

Steps 1 and 2 above can be done with the Novell released tool DSTSHIFT.NLM as described in TID 3397648. However, without ZfS, the user will have to manually run the utility at the console of every NetWare server.

Step 3 above is accomplished by downloading the Java patch from Sun Microsystems as described in TID 3980430 and manually running it on each server.

How about a ZfS distribution that can update all your servers at once in minutes!

Follow the steps below:

1. Create a new ZfS Server Software Package called TimeZone Update, and open the Properties page.

2. On the Copy File tab, copy the TZUPDATER.JAR file you downloaded from Sun Microsystems to somewhere under the sys: volume. In the example it would go to a folder called "updates".

3. Under the Set Commands tab, add any server to get the available commands, and select "Start of Daylight Saving Time" and "End of Daylight Saving Time". Edit them and set the value to the new information and be certain to check the Console and Autoexec.ncf boxes.

4. Finally, under the Post Installation, Script tab, enter the script "java -jar /updates/tzupdater.jar -u -v". This assumes you put tzupdater.jar in the folder sys:\updates.

5. Compile the package, create a ZfS distribution using this package, and send it to all your NetWare servers. Within minutes, all your servers will be patched without visiting a single one!

To verify your work, type time from any server console and you should see the new Time Zone information displayed.

If you have any questions you may contact James at

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