NetWare has long been proprietary in the way that it handles certain services, but recent versions of this respected operating system have begun to embrace open standards like TCP/IP and LDAP. With the release of NetWare 6, Novell now allows access to the NetWare file store through the use of client operating system native file protocols such as CIFS and NFS. In this Daily Feature, I’ll describe how to install the NFS components on a NetWare server and use them from a client Linux server.

The author’s equipment

For demonstration purposes, I’ll be using a NetWare 6 file server. The client machine I used for this article is a Red Hat Linux 8 server. Both machines are connected to the same network on the same subnet.

Details, details…
NFS on NetWare provides support for Network File System (NFS) version 2 and 3 clients. NFS version 3 is only supported on Novel Storage Services (NSS) volumes, however. Native NetWare volumes only work with NFS version 2. Mount protocols versions 1, 2, and 3 are supported over UDP, while NFS works over both TCP and UDP.

NFS on NetWare comes with an NDS-enabled version of NIS, as well. This allows a NetWare administrator to bring UNIX users into the fold via a single point of administration, NDS eDirectory.

Installing NFS on the NetWare server
You install the NFS component of the Native File Access Pack (NFAP) in much the same way as other services on NetWare. If NFAP isn’t already installed, insert the NetWare 6 Operating System CD into the server’s CD-ROM drive. From the server’s graphical console, click Novell | Install. This will bring up a list of the components currently installed on the server. Next, click Add and browse to the root of the NetWare 6 CD-ROM, which contains the file. (If you don’t get the NetWare 6 CD-ROM in the list of available devices, make sure that you’ve loaded the CD-ROM drivers at the server’s console.)

Click the file, then click OK. At the Source Path window, click OK again. You’ll have to wait while the files are copied from the CD. When the list of installable components appears, choose Native File Access Pack and click Next. The next screen will ask you for an administrative user name and password to verify that you want to install the components.

Since other components are installed on your server, you may get configuration screens that pertain to them in addition to those for NFAP. I’m only going to cover the information relating to NFAP.

After authenticating to NDS, the first configuration screen that you’ll see asks you to decide which NFAP components you want to install. Your choices are Apple, Windows, and UNIX. For this article, I’ve chosen only the UNIX option. Once you make your choice, click Next.

Again, you may get other configuration screens, but the only step that you need to take at this point is actually installing NFAP/NFS. Eventually, you’ll get to a component summary screen, at which point you should click Finish to install and configure the selected components.

Starting the services
At the command prompt on the NetWare server, type nfsstart to start the NFS services.

Administering NFS
You’ll administer the NFAP/NFS component via the ConsoleOne administration utility. To run this utility from a Novell Client-enabled workstation, click Start | Run, type Z:\mgmt\ConsoleOne\1.2\bin\ConsoleOne.exe, and click OK. This path may be different on your server, depending on the patch level. For reasons related to the IDE device drivers in my lab server, I’m running an unpatched NetWare 6 server.

Notice that there’s a new option, NFSAdmin, added to the bottom of the My World list, as shown in Figure A. This is where you’ll handle all of the administration for NFAP/NFS.

Figure A
A new option, NFSAdmin, has been added to the list.

Add a server
To manage the NFS component of another server, you need to add that server to the NFSAdmin list. Right-click NFSAdmin and choose Login To NFS Server. You’ll be prompted for the IP address of the NetWare-based NFS server that you wish to administer. Enter the appropriate address and click OK. After that, you’ll need to authenticate to the server using an administrative user account and by providing the tree name and server context. Once you’re done, the server will show up under NFSAdmin, as shown in Figure B, where I’ve added a server called to the NFSAdmin list.

Figure B
The NFS server named is ready for administration.

Administrative options
The most common administrative function you’ll perform will be adding and deleting the exports that NFS clients will use to access specific areas of the NetWare server file store.

To add a new export, expand the server name in the left-hand window. This will bring up an Exports option. Right-click this option, and then choose Export New Path from the shortcut menu to open up the Export New Path dialog box, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C
The Export New Path dialog box is waiting for input.

The Export New Path dialog box requires you to make a number of decisions about access control. First, you need to decide which path you wish to make available as an export. You can either type in the name of the path or click the browse button to the right of the Export Path field. For my example, I’ll export SYS:public (/SYS/PUBLIC). The remaining options are:

  • Access Control Mode—For NSS volumes, this is always Independent Mode. This mode maps the NetWare file owner and group to the corresponding UNIX user ID and group ID.
  • Read Only—The read only mode marks an NFS export as read only, which makes sense. This applies to all users, regardless of their administrative status. Even root/admin users have read-only rights when this box is checked. You can override this option by specifying trusted hosts.
  • Anonymous Access—This check box determines whether users without specific name mappings, such as the UNIX nobody user, are allowed to access this export.
  • Web Access—Checking this box allows for WebNFS access. You can only grant this to one NFS export.
  • Trustees—This list contains the names of the trusted hosts. To add a trustee, click the Add Trustee button. Likewise, to delete a trustee, click Remove Trustee.

For my example, I’m going to export SYS:public with root and read/write privileges to all hosts, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D
The Export New Path dialog box shows the exporting options for SYS:public.

Testing the service
Now that you’ve installed NFAP/NFS on your NetWare server and used the ConsoleOne administration utility to create an NFS export for SYS:public, it’s time to test the export to see if the NFAP/NFS service is working properly and that you’ve correctly set up the export.

For my example, I’ll be mounting this export from a Red Hat Linux 8 server on the same network as the NetWare server. The first step is to create the local mount point. I’ve chosen to use /mnt/syspublic, so I’ll create this directory on the Linux server by typing mkdir /mnt/syspublic and pressing [Enter].

Next, I’ll attempt to connect to and use the export on the NetWare box by running the following commands:
mount /mnt/syspublic
cd /mnt/syspublic
ls -al

The mount command above attempts to connect to the export as the currently logged in Linux user (root). The second command changes to the /mnt/syspublic directory, and the third command gets a directory listing from it.

Open up your NetWare server
Major moves toward open standards, such as NFS, will help Novell NetWare server neatly coexist with other services in the enterprise. NFAP can help in this endeavor, as well as help administrators maintain a central point of administration while rolling out new services to their users.