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HOWTO: Mount Netware Servers in Linux Through /etc/fstab

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By H.R. ter Veer

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Posted: 30 Nov 2005

Applies to:

  • Novell Linux Desktop 9
  • SUSE Linux Professional 9.3
  • SUSE Linux 10

1) Verify the installation of ncpfs:
To mount Netware servers you need the ncpfs package. Verify that this package is installed. If not, use YaST to install it. As far as I know, the package is available by default on all Netware distributions.

2) Create a mountpoint for the server
You'll want to mount the server somewhere; so you have to make mountpoint(s). In this document I only describe how to mount servers. If you want to mount volumes you need to make a mountpoint for each volume. Mounting servers results in all volumes being available under the server mountpoint.

3) Create a group to assign the filerights to
You probably don't want root to be the only one with permissions on the server, so create a local group and assign users to it. These users will get write rights to the mountpoint.

4) Assign users to the defined group
Assign the users you want to the group you made

5) create a password file
The /etc/fstab file is a public file. You don't want to, and should never, place (netware) passwords in it. So, create a password file in /etc/ and flag it only read(write)able for root.

The format for the passwordfile is

6) create a mount line in /etc/fstab
Combine all you did above in one line in /etc/fstab to finalize your actions to be able to quick mount netware server(s).

7) Notes
BEWARE: there's a bug (or feature) in ncpfs that you need to know when working the way described in this document:
When you want to mount all your netware mountpoints, use mount -a -t ncp.
But, if you want to umount all your mountpoint use umount -a -t ncpfs.
It sounds odd, it is odd, but beleve me it's true.

1) Verify the installation of ncpfs:
linux~# rpm -q

2) Create a mountpoint for the server
linux~# mkdir /mnt/myserver

3) Create a group to assign the filerights to
linux~# groupadd nwaccess

4) Assign users to the defined group
linux~# usermod -G nwaccess veerh01

5) Create a password file
linux~# echo myserver/myuser.location.nds:mypassword >/etc/ncp-pass
linux~# chmod 600 /etc/ncp-pass

6) create a mount line in /etc/fstab
Edit /etc/fstab with your favorite editor and add a line to it with the following definitions:

<server/user> <mountpoint> ncp uid=root,gid=<group>,mode=660,owner=root,A=<server>,passwdfile=/etc/ncp-pass     0 0

For the example described above it becomes:

myserver/myuser.location.nds /mnt/myserver ncp uid=root,group=nwaccess,mode=660,owner=root,A=myserver,passwdfile=/etc/ncp-pass 0 0

Don't forget to add a last linefeed to fstab, else it will complain about that everytime.

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