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Redirecting the X Windows GUI on an eDirectory Install

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By David Stagg

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Posted: 15 Oct 2002

Version: Novell eDirectory 8.6 for NetWare 5.1

If you're having problems installing eDirectory on a system that utilizes X Windows, here are a few tips from the support team to get you up and running.

For updates to this information, please see TID-10075143.

Here are the symptoms:

eDirectory install executes the GUI on the remote server. You're unable to see the GUI screen on a remote server during eDirectory install. NetWare GUI X-windows redirection fails during the eDirectory install.

Here's the diagnosis:

The eDirectory install executes special scripts that start JAVA and the GUI outside the normal STARTX.NCF script. Changes made to the STARTX.NCF script to redirect X-windows session are not executed during the normal eDirectory installation.

CAUTION: Please note the these methods are unsupported by Novell. They can be affected by interruptions in WAN communications. Use these methods with caution.

Here's the fix:

The following Fix Methods assume that these items are already in place:

  1. 1. A Remote Console session active with the remote NetWare server.
  2. 2. An X-windows Client running on a local workstation.
  3. 3. The IP address for the X-windows Client workstation.

Method 1 - Manually change redirection before scripts are executed

  1. During the eDirectory installation process a dialog prompts for user input to identify if this is a Local or Remote installation.
  2. STOP - DO NOT respond to the eDirectory install Local or Remote dialog at this time.
  3. Switch to the System Console screen.
  5. Insert the following lines at the beginning of the file:
    (Replacing x.x.x.x with the X-windows Client IP address)
env DISPLAY=x.x.x.x:0
envset DISPLAY=x.x.x.x:0
  1. Exit and save the modified file
  2. Repeat steps 3 through 6 editing the file SYS:SYSTEM\EDIR2.NCF
  3. Switch back to the eDirectory installation screen and select Local or Remote

(See the Note below for an explanation of the differences between Local and Remote installations.)

Method 2 - Edit the eDirectory installation files prior to distribution

Editing the files in the distribution assumes that the same workstation will be used for all installs and that the X-windows client is running prior to the installation being started.

  1. Extract the \NW\INSTALL\EINSTALL.ZIP file.
  2. Find the EDIR.NCF file and edit it as noted in Fix Method 1.
  3. Find the EDIR2.NCF file and edit is as noted in Fix Method 2.
  4. Recreate the EINSTALL.ZIP file with the modified EDIR.NCF and EDIR2.NCF files.
  5. Proceed with distributing the eDirectory files to servers for installation.

WARNING: It is possible to edit these files without extracting them from the EINSTALL.ZIP file and then updating the existing EINSTALL.ZIP file. This process may result in the modified EDIR.NCF and EDIR2.NCF files being added to the end of the EINSTALL.ZIP with no path information. This will result in the modified files being copied to the root of SYS: while the unmodified files are copied to the directory SYS:SYSTEM. In this situation the unmodified files will be executed and no redirection will occur.

Local or Remote Install?

The choice made to the dialog prompting the installer to identify if the eDirectory installation is a Remote or Local install will result in slightly different installation scripts being executed. A Local install will execute the EDIR.NCF script file while a Remote install will execute the EDIR2.NCF script. The Local install script EDIR.NCF will use the RESPONSE.TXT file that allows for the installer to respond to some questions regarding the installation itself using the X-windows GUI.

Since the X-windows GUI is not visible on a remote NetWare server the Remote install script EDIR2.NCF uses the SILENT.TXT file which suppresses all interaction with the installer and takes the defaults for all options. In many cases the default options are okay and as the installer is unable to see the GUI on the remote NetWare server and the installation proceeds silently.

By redirecting the X-windows GUI to a local workstation X-windows Client, the installer is able to interact with the GUI and respond as if working locally at the server console. This gives the installer the choice of using the Local install option and having full interaction with all dialogs or using the Remote install option and observing the progress of the installation.

WARNING: Use of these methods, the suitability of redirection and the choice of Local or Remote installation is up to the installer with a full understanding of the environment that it may be used in. These methods are unsupported by Novell. The installer is cautioned to exercise good judgment and appropriate testing prior to using any method noted above.

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