Cool Solutions

Same Server Data Migration – NetWare to OES 2 Linux


January 25, 2008 10:56 pm





After talking to my Novell Sales Exec. the other day, I began pondering a wild notion. He had mentioned that he had several customers that were big NBO users and still wanted to upgrade to OES 2 Linux. Now with NBO, this is not a possibility at this time, due the single server/tree configuration of NBO. But, with a server that is in a multi-server tree, it is possible.

Note: This migration does not migrate anything but non-OS data or user data. No services are included and will need to be re-configured after the data migration.

The main purpose of this article is to show that it can be done. I challenge you to take this ball and run with it. Show Novell and the community what you can do! And, above all, have fun with it.


  • More than one server in replica ring. – for eDirectory
  • Any replicas are removed from NetWare server prior to install.


  • Remove any replicas from NetWare server to be migrated.
  • Place the SLES 10 SP1 DVD in the server and reset the NetWare server. Boot to the DVD.
  • Choose New Installation and Add-On CD for OES2.

Partitioning – IMPORTANT

  • Choose Expert under partitioning. You will see existing partitions. If you see more than one “NetWare Partition” then you can accomplish this process. If you see one NetWare Partition” then you cannot distinguish between sys and any other data volumes.
  • Delete DOS and SYS partitions.
  • Create /boot, Swap, / (root) partitions, etc… as desired. Leave larger NetWare Partition intact and do not set a mount point yet.

OES2 Installation

Ensure you choose NSS Software in addition to your other Software Packages.

If you wish to re-use the same server name, Name your server the same as your NetWare server. NOTE: During the OES2 installation, use iManager, on another server, and remove references to the NetWare server, volumes, NCP Server and other ancillary objects.

Complete the OES2 installation.

Reviving the Data volume

Upon completion of the installation, open a console screen and type nssmu

Choose Devices and find the device that you left alone during the installation.

As you can see, the type is NSS and it is recognized by the utility as a legitimate device.

Press Enter and you see the Volume.

Go back to the main menu and select Volumes.

Notice that the Mount Point has been added. Press F4 to update eDirectory.

Exit this utility and let’s take a look at /etc/fstab

/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-SATA_ST340014AS_5JXEVJ27-part1 /boot                ext3       acl,user_xattr        1 2
/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-SATA_ST340014AS_5JXEVJ27-part3 /                    ext3       acl,user_xattr        1 1
/dev/disk/by-id/scsi-SATA_ST340014AS_5JXEVJ27-part2 swap                 swap       defaults              0 0
proc                 /proc                proc       defaults              0 0
sysfs                /sys                 sysfs      noauto                0 0
debugfs              /sys/kernel/debug    debugfs    noauto                0 0
usbfs                /proc/bus/usb        usbfs      noauto                0 0
devpts               /dev/pts             devpts     mode=0620,gid=5       0 0
VOL1 /media/nss/VOL1 nssvol noauto,rw,name=VOL1 0 0

Look at the last entry. It’s our NSS Volume.

Open iManager and look at the container where you put the server.

We can see that the volume has been updated in eDirectory.

Check the trustees of the user apple’s home directory.


Although it seems an impossibility, migrating data from NetWare to Linux on the same server can be performed with relative simplicity. Hopefully, some of your own ideas will stem from this one. The Chameleon changes it’s color from red to green.

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Micro Focus. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.


  1. By:tbiles

    Any idea if this scenario would work to migrate OES Netware cluster nodes to OES Linux nodes? I understand it may be dependent on what services we have.

    Does anything have to be done to the NSS volumes to make them cross platform compatible, or is that already true (currently at 6.5 SP7).

    Main services of concern in our cluster are iPrint and AFP. I’m guessing iPrint wouldn’t be much of an issue, but since AFPTCP isn’t available on OES Linux (at least not yet, from what I’m hearing) I’ll have to wait a bit longer. No reason I can’t start testing now. Thanks for the great article.

    • By:Gracal

      From what I’ve heard about Novell Cluster Services, this is in effect what you do when you do the ‘rolling upgrade’. You take a server out of the cluster, reformat it as OES2-Linux, bring it back into the cluster. Once it is there, the NSS volumes that represent the volumes in the cluster have been living on other (presumably NetWare) servers. Once they migrate to the OES2-Linux server the trustees are then migrated to a different storage mechanism.

      This is where the problem is. OES2-Linux and OES2-NW store trustees on the volume differently. There are ways to allow volumes to migrate between the two platforms, but replicating trustee changes is an engineering challenge. It is my understanding that this is the reason that Novell recommends that clusters don’t operate in multi-platform mode for very long.

      We have the same AFP dependency, so such a migration is still in my future. By a ways, by all accounts. When I make the migration it’ll likely be done over the course of a week and all nodes will be done.

  2. By:rogcar

    I have been searching for this a long time and finally. It dosen’t say anything about this in the documentation. I haven’t found it anyway.
    Is this gonna work with any nss volumes or just Newtare 6.5.

    Roger Carlsson
    INVID Jönköping AB

    • By:mfaris01

      It will work IF and that’s a big IF, the NSS volume that contains the user data, like VOL1, resides on a completely different disk device. If both SYS and VOL1 are partitioned on the same RAID then SLES/OES2 will show the entire NSS partition, both SYS and VOL1, in your partitioner.

      I haven’t tested this with anything less than NW 6.5 SP6.

      Be sure to test this first in the lab and you won’t have any surprises.