Novell is now a part of Micro Focus

Update: Running NetWare 6 Under VMware Workstation for Windows

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Roger Foss

Digg This - Slashdot This

Posted: 25 Jun 2003

Jump to reader feedback by clicking here.


What is VMware?
Here's the official word (lifted straight from their web site): VMware Workstation enables multiple operating systems to run on physical computers in secure, transportable, and high-performance virtual machines. As a result, technical professionals spend more time being productive and less time configuring hardware, installing software, rebooting, or reconfiguring systems. Today's release concludes an enormously successful beta program, with more than 130,000 beta users.

Sounds good to us. And we're thrilled -- no, we're ecstatic -- that Roger Foss enjoys spending his spare time figuring out how new technologies like this one work with NetWare.

Here's the Beef.
The following describes the special steps that Roger documented and you need to follow in order to install NetWare 6 as a guest OS under VMware Workstation 3.0:

  1. What you need.
  2. Create a new Virtual Machine
    • In the New VM Wizard, choose Custom
    • Choose 'Other' as the Guest operating system
    • Enter a name for the VM (ie. 'NW6' and a folder to place the virtual disk file
    • Specify at least 192mb of memory for VM
    • Choose a network connection type (I used NAT, others may work as well)
    • Create a virtual disk of an appropriate size (usually the default 4gb)
    • OPTIONAL: Use the Configuration Editor and remove the USB Controller
    • OPTIONAL: Specify an ISO image of NW6 for the CDROM drive, if you have it.
      This will speed installation of the OS.
    • Exit VMWare

  3. Edit the VMWare configuration file
    • load the config file (ie. c:\VMs\NW6\NW6.vmx) into an editor
    • Find the guestOS="other" line and change the value to "netware6".
      This will allow the PAE mode of NetWare 6 to be accepted by VMware.
    • Add a new line beneath the guestOS line as follows:
    • svga.8bitonly="true"

      This will ensure that VMware doesn't complain about running in an 8-bit video mode.

    • Save the file

  4. Change the display mode of the HOST OS
    • You need to change your host OS' color depth to 256 colors (8-bit) during the install of NetWare. Once you're done installing it, however, you can go back to using gazillion colors.

  5. Install NetWare 6
    • Start VMware and the new Virtual Machine.
    • Start the NetWare 6 installation as usual, either from a NW6 CD or from an ISO image if you have one.
    • As soon as possible after the install begins, insert a floppy with the NW5-IDLE.NLM, ALT-ESC switch to the console, and type
    • When NetWare tries to load the LAN driver (use PCNTNW.LAN), it will fail because it broadcasts for its own IP address (doing an ARP?) and then hears its own packets. This causes IP networking to fail.
    • You can get around this by ALT-ESC switching to the System Console and entering


      Alternatively, you can LOAD MONITOR !h, go into Server Parameters, Communications, and find the above parameter and set it to ON.

      Now, ALT-ESC switch back to the GUI install screen and retry loading the LAN drivers.

  6. Install the NetWare CPU Idle NLM
    • copy NW5-IDLE.NLM to SYS:SYSTEM and to C:\NWSERVER in your Guest OS.
    • load it from AUTOEXEC.NCF as early as possible.

  7. Once installed, you can switch your HOST OS color depth back to what it was.

Things to be aware of:
If you run in full screen mode and NetWare switches to graphical mode, you sometimes get the Windows taskbar at the bottom. This seems to be a problem with Windows.

Reader Feedback:

Serafin Gonzales

During the installation, when the Java Graphic appears in the monitor, the installation on my machines seemed to hang. I tried it twice with the same result. After 10 minutes, the installation really did hang and stopped functioning. The third time, I used the launch command "CDINST" in the console. This time, the installation finished without incident."

Tim Calderone

Just a tip to pass on about installing NetWare 6 in VMware on Windows XP. During the install where you are prompted for what kind of install, my machine would just beep every time I pressed a key on the keyboard. I needed to use the arrows on the keyboard to hop between fields to make my selections so I was kind of stuck. After a frustrating amount of time I found out that the arrow keys on the keyboard's numerical keypad allowed me to move between selections on the screen.

Michael B

Feedback: Just to let you know that with a NetWare 6 SP3 ISO CD you can now install in VMware Workstation 4.0 without any hassle. I configured VMware with:

  • 384mb ram
  • 4GB hdd on ide 0:0
  • CDrom on ide 0:1
  • removed USB & Sound device

Did a plain install of Netware 6 and it worked first time :-) Following this I installed the nw5-idle.nlm and VMware tools.


I have the Digital Airlines CD and I was trying to get it to work in VMware. I got it to work but the tricky part was to manually edit the ETC\NETINFO.CFG that you're not supposed to touch. Here's how I did it:

Novell Cool Solutions (corporate web communities) are produced by WebWise Solutions.

© Copyright Micro Focus or one of its affiliates