With the popularity of GUIs in operating systems today, it’s easy to forget about the power that a command prompt holds. I use the command prompt in Windows and Linux all the time. The NetWare console by itself can do many things, but it can’t do things like copy and move files. Fortunately, you can load TOOLBOX.NLM in your AUTOEXEC.NCF file to solve this problem.

What is it, and where do I get it?
TOOLBOX.NLM is a freeware utility written by Novell employees. Even though Novell employees wrote TOOLBOX.NLM, it’s not officially supported by Novell. Therefore, if you have a problem, you’re on your own. Having said that, I would also like to mention that I have used this NLM for years on both NetWare 4 and NetWare 5 servers without problems. It’s good stuff.

You can download a copy of TOOLBOX.NLM by going to Novell’s Web site and looking for TID #2956830. There, you can download a copy of TOOLBOX.NLM and also view the README file for it.

To download Toolbox, just click the ETBOX4.EXE link and click Connect from one of Novell’s download sites. The file is only 161,629 bytes long, so it will download quickly.

After you download the file, run the self-extracting executable. When you do, you’ll see two files extract: TOOLBOX.NLM and ETBOX4.TXT. ETBOX4.TXT is the README for the file. You can view it using any text editor. It contains some last-minute information about the file.

Copy TOOLBOX.NLM to the sys:\system folder of your NetWare server, and you’re ready to begin. Just type load toolbox at your server’s console prompt and press [Enter].

What comes in the in the package?
The utilities that you will be able to employ after TOOLBOX.NLM is loaded are as follows:

  • auth—Manage authentication/connection information
  • beep—Ring the bell
  • cat—Display file(s) on the screen
  • chdir (cd)—Set/View current directory or default path
  • copy (cp)—Copy utility
  • del (rm)—Delete utility
  • delay—Delay command
  • dir (ls)—Directory utility
  • echo—Echo a string to the console
  • flag—Flag and attribute utility
  • map—Alias mapping
  • mkdir (md)—Make Directory utility
  • move (mv) —Move utility (alias for COPY /MS)
  • purge—Purge deleted files
  • rmdir (rd)—Remove Directory utility
  • shutdown—Shutdown and restart the server
  • startfile—Edit the Startup file (see help in newly created file)
    startfile only commands are:
    CDV4—Allow the CD alias in NetWare 4.x. (See CD help)
    NONS—Disable long name space support
    NSV4—Enable long name space on v4.x (4.11 with Support Pack 6)
  • tapplet—Start a Java applet
  • texp—Export (copy) TOOLBOX.NLM and all associated files
  • tjava—Start a Java application
  • tload—Load a NetWare module
  • tmodules—List loaded NetWare modules
  • trun—Execute an NCF file
  • tunload—Unload a NetWare module
  • toolbox—Toolbox main help
  • tools—Toolbox Command List (this screen)
  • xtd,xtb,dtx—Hex, Decimal and Binary conversion

Your server console and Toolbox
All Toolbox commands are single threaded and attached to the console prompt. This was done to guarantee execution order when toolbox commands were executed from NCF files. So, when you enter a Toolbox command, you will “loose” your system console until the job has finished or been canceled by pressing [Ctrl]C. Don’t use Toolbox commands that require console interaction like dir inside an NCF file.

Gotchas and Issues

  • You need to be running Support Pack 5 for NetWare as a minimum. As of now, Support Pack 9 is out and available for NetWare 4; Support Pack 6 is latest for NetWare 5.0, and Support Pack 2 for NetWare 5.1 (Just patch your server—backup first.)
  • On some versions of 4.11, you must load CLIBAUX.NLM before loading TOOLBOX.NLM, as some symbols may not be found. CLIBAUX is included in the support pack.
  • Long name space is supported on the local server only. You cannot copy long names to remote servers or retrieve long filenames from remote servers. This is a limitation in the CLIB libraries. When doing any file operations on multiple files, files with multiple dots will not be acted upon. You must explicitly specify *.*.*.* etc. to find files with N number or less dots in their names. (i.e., be careful if you have documents with names like “info.mydoc.December.”)
  • When TOOLBOX.NLM is remotely loaded on a server (by using the tload command), when Toolbox commands which open a new screen are performed on that server (such as command help or cat), when that screen is closed, it appears to lock the console. To get the console prompt back, press [Ctrl][Alt][Esc]. Unload and reload TOOLBOX.NLM locally to get around the problem.

Although Novell allows you to do many things from the console prompt, it’s not perfect. You can’t do many necessary and common tasks. You can overcome these limitations with the TOOLBOX.NLM utility.

Editorial disclaimer

The authors and editors have taken care in preparation of the content contained herein but make no expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for any damages. Always have a verified backup before making any changes.