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Supplying Local Printers to Roaming Users

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Bryan Bensel, Cory Koenig, Randy Keller

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Posted: 18 Aug 2004
 

At our company when we were running NetWare 4.11, we used the %NETWORK_ADDRESS variable to identify a roaming user. (See TID#10062309). When a user was roaming, we would map the user's N: drive to the local NAL Distribution directory. So no matter where the user logged in, they would pull their NAL distribution files from a local server; not over the WAN from their home server. We would also map the user's home and group directories from their home file server for personal and shared application files. Once we started to move to NetWare 6 and turned on NCPIP.NLM, the %NETWORK_ADDRESS variable would no longer work.

When we found TID#10022325, a light bulb went off. We could handle roaming users though a customized DHCP option and the REGREAD command. Now we could allow users to roam to any location while having their personal and group files from their home file server and their NAL distribution files from the local file server.

Our Current Environment:

  • NW Client 4.90sp1 on Windows XP
  • NetWare 6sp2
  • ZENworks 4.01 Workstation Manager
  • Users change their context if necessary
  1. On the DHCP Server we added the DHCP Option 00085 (NDS Preferred Server) to the scope. When a user gets an IP address the DHCP server sends down the IP address of the local file server. This is written to the workstation's registry.
    (HKLM\SOFTWARE\Novell\Workstation Manager\Identification\Preferred Connection=192.X.X.X)


  2. We added the following commands to the login script and created an environment variable called LFS to store the local server's IP address during the login process.

    REM F: - user's home directory.
    REM I: - local server's sys volume
    REM L:- local server's vol1 volume for NAL distribution
    REM Z: - local server's sys:public for any other installs or scripts
    REGREAD "HKLM,SOFTWARE\Novell\Workstation Manager\Identification\,Preferred Connection"
    DOS SET LFS="%99"
    MAP ROOT F:=HomeFileServer\VOL1:USERS\%LOGIN_NAME
    MAP ROOT I:=%LFS\SYS:
    MAP ROOT N:=%LFS\VOL1:
    MAP INS S1:=%LFS\SYS:PUBLIC


  3. Once this was place we could also build NAL objects to install printers tailored to the location of the user. While at home, the user will get their printer list from 192.1.1.1 file server. While roaming, the user will get their printer list from 192.2.2.2 file server. The printers are installed from the local server's iPrint website. In this configuration the users would always have access to a local printer no matter where they are.

    Here is a clip from the NAL object's AXT file:
    [Application Path]
    Value=N:\path\to\file\appload.exe
    [Application Parameters]
    Value=http://%LFS%:631/ipp


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