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Using RSYNC for NetWare Outside of Nterprise Branch Office

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Michael Ashton-Moore

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Posted: 14 Oct 2003

(Update: an anonymous reader sent an additional suggestion.)

The Novell implementation of Rsync is intended by Novell to provide the mechanism that is used by Nterprise Branch Office to replicate into the central server.

There is plenty of documentation to get you going with Nterprise Branch Office but no documentation to run Rsync between two regular NetWare servers.

This guide will allow you to use the open source Rsync NLMs between two NetWare servers with no Nterprise Branch Office involvement. Obviously this is with no Novell support!

To quote the Novell instructions.

WARNING: Rsync for NetWare is not supported as a standalone module in a production environment. The following instructions help you configure it on a NetWare server so you can experiment with it in a nonproduction environment. In a production environment, Rsync for NetWare is supported only with the Nterprise Branch Office product.


The instructions for installation are on the website, but for a cut-down version that ignores all of the Nterprise Branch Office stuff, read on.

  1. Download the current binaries from

  2. Decompress the zip file and copy the contents of the ..sys/etc directory into your server SYS:ETC then copy ..sys/rsync directory into your server's SYS:SYSTEM.

  3. Make sure that the various NCF files are not read-only.

  4. Edit the RSYNCSTR.NCF file

    Uncomment the line that reads:
    rsync -v --progress --port=873 ?daemon

    It is also a good idea to remove the ?ssl part as well, if it is present.

  5. Edit the RSYNCSTP.NCF file

    Uncomment the line that reads:
    rsyncdn Rsync<IP>:873

  6. Then change the <IP> to read rsyncdn Rsync0.0.0.0:873 (Note: there is no space between the rsync and the address.)

Destination Server

Edit rsyncd.conf and add one entry for each volume and directory that will be the root paths for the files being received.

uid = nobody
gid = nobody 
max connections = 0
syslog facility = local5

	path = DATA:/APPS
	comment = Area to copy apps into
	read only = no
	use chroot = no
	timeout = 3600
	transfer logging = no

	path = DATA:/USER
	comment = Area to copy user data into
	read only = no

This configuration will create a destination for the source server called APPS that will default into DATA:APPS and one called USER that does the same for DATA:\USER.

All files will be pushed starting in the directory specified.

If the daemon is already running, it needs to be stopped and restarted to read the config file by running rsyncstp and rsyncstr.

Source Servers

Create an NCF file with the command lines to run one Rsync for each volume and directory that you need to copy.

rsync -ra --volume=APPS: apps/office SRV2::APPS
rsync -ra --volume=USER: home/is SRV2::USER/home

Using the example above with the destination config file in the destination example, the first line will push all the files from APPS:apps/office to SRV2/DATA:APPS/office

The second line will push the files from USER:home/is to SRV2/DATA:USER/home/is

There is no scheduler with Rsync, so you will need to schedule the execution of the NCF file by whatever means you prefer.

If you have any questions you may contact Michael at

Other Suggestions

Anonymous Reader

Load RSYNCNRM.NLM then use NRM to configure rsync parameters.

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