If you play the word association game, NetWare and NDS probably won’t come to mind first in association with the phrase “cool new technology.” Chances are you’d think of Java, Lindows, or some new buzzword of the week. NetWare has been around for so long and is so reliable that it seems dull, but Novell is constantly adding to NetWare, incorporating the coolest, newest technologies.

One example is ConsoleOne 1.3.3 For Linux, which incorporates Java and Linux with Novell’s newest administration utility, ConsoleOne. With it, you can administer your NetWare servers from a Linux workstation as easily as you can from a Windows workstation. I’ll show you how it works.

Author’s note

If you’re familiar with Linux, you know there are many distributions and versions available. I’ll be using Red Hat 7.1 in this Daily Drill Down. If you’re using a different version of Red Hat or a separate Linux distribution, don’t panic. What I’m covering will work on most distributions, with some subtle variations.

What’s ConsoleOne?
ConsoleOne is Novell’s newest administration tool for NetWare. New is a relative term, though, because ConsoleOne has been around since Novell first shipped NetWare 5. It’s still new in the sense that many NetWare administrators still use the old reliable NetWare Administrator.

Unlike NetWare Administrator, which is a pure Windows application, ConsoleOne is a Java-based utility. It can run on many platforms, including all versions of Windows after Windows 95, Solaris, and Tru64 UNIX. You can even run it from your NetWare server’s GUI. Recognizing the increasing usage of Linux, Novell also created a version of ConsoleOne for Linux platforms.

Aside from its platform independence, ConsoleOne has other benefits over the traditional NetWare Administrator program. It also has a few key drawbacks. One is the fact that, as a Java-based utility, ConsoleOne is a lot slower in performing administration duties than NetWare Administrator. For a complete discussion of ConsoleOne, see the Daily Drill Down “New and exciting features of ConsoleOne.”

Obtaining ConsoleOne For Linux
In the spirit of Linux software, Novell provides ConsoleOne For Linux as a free download from its Software Download Web site. You have two choices when you download ConsoleOne: You can download it as one large 25-MB download or as two smaller downloads. If you have a fast, reliable Internet connection, choose the larger download file, – c1_linux_full.tar.gz. Save this file to a temporary directory on your Linux workstation—your home directory would be the best choice.

After you’ve downloaded the file, open a terminal window on your Linux workstation. You must first extract ConsoleOne’s tar file from the .gz file you just downloaded. To do so, type gunzip –d c1_linux_full.tar.gz and press [Enter]. Linux will only display a message if there’s a problem with the extraction. Otherwise, you’ll just see another command prompt.

Next, you must extract the ConsoleOne installation files from the ConsoleOne tar file. Type tar -xf c1_linux_full.tar and press [Enter]. Again, you’ll only see another command prompt appear after you extract the files. If you view a directory listing using the ls command, you’ll see a Console1 directory.

Installing ConsoleOne For Linux
Before you install ConsoleOne, make sure your Linux workstation meets Novell’s minimum system requirements. Novell recommends that your Linux workstation be running one of the following Linux distributions:

  • Red Hat 6.x
  • Red Hat 7.x
  • Caldera eServer 2.3
  • Caldera eDesktop 2.4
  • Caldera OpenLinux 3.1

ConsoleOne for Linux may work on other distributions, but these are the only ones that Novell has tested.

Additionally, Novell recommends that your Linux workstation’s CPU run at 200 MHz or faster. The workstation should also have 128 MB of RAM and 38 MB of free disk space. ConsoleOne 1.3.3 is a graphical application, so you must be running KDE, GNOME, or some other window manager at a minimum resolution of 800 x 600 with 256 colors.

Finally, you must run Java 1.3 or later on your Linux workstation. If you don’t have Java installed on your Linux workstation yet, don’t panic. Novell includes IBM’s Java 1.3 runtime with ConsoleOne 1.3.3 For Linux.

After you’ve made sure your workstation is capable of running ConsoleOne, you can install it. You can only install ConsoleOne as a user logged in to the Linux workstation with root permissions. To switch to root, type su – at your workstation’s command prompt and press [Enter]. You’ll notice the command prompt change, displaying your /root directory rather than the temporary directory you were just in.

Next, change directories to ConsoleOne’s installation directory. To do so, type cd /temppath/Console1/Linux, where temppath is the full path of your temporary directory, and press [Enter]. Begin ConsoleOne’s installation routine by typing ./c1_install and pressing [Enter].

As you can see in Figure A, ConsoleOne For Linux doesn’t have a snazzy GUI installation routine like ConsoleOne For Windows. Instead, you’ll see a no-nonsense text menu appear. This text menu interface will carry through for the entire installation.

Figure A
ConsoleOne For Linux doesn’t have a graphical installation wizard.

You must start by choosing the language you want to install for ConsoleOne. As you can see, you can choose from several languages. You can even install all of the languages. For the purposes of this Daily Drill Down, I’ll only install English, by typing 1 and pressing [Enter].

Next, ConsoleOne’s installation program will give you a list of snap-ins that you can install with ConsoleOne. Snap-ins extend ConsoleOne’s basic functionality. You can choose from:

  • ICE Snap-in—Allows ConsoleOne to work with Novell’s Import/Convert/Export utility to transfer objects to and from LDIF formatted directories.
  • Index Manager Snap-in—Allows you to use Index Manager to index NDS objects.
  • LDAP Snap-in—Allows you to control Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) objects in NDS.
  • SLP Snap-in—Allows you to configure and control SLP on your network. See the Daily Drill Down “Implementing SLP on NetWare 5.1” for more information about SLP.
  • WAN Manager Snap-in—Allows ConsoleOne to work with WAN Traffic Manager NDS objects. For more information about WAN Traffic Manager, see the Daily Drill Down “Control NDS traffic using WAN Traffic Manager.”
  • PKI Snap-in—Allows ConsoleOne to work with Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) objects in NDS.
  • Filtered Replica Snap-in—Allows ConsoleOne to work with eDirectory 8.5’s new filtered replicas.

If hard drive space on your workstation is tight or you don’t use a particular function on your network, you can choose not to install it. Unfortunately, the only way you can exclude a snap-in is by only typing in the numbers of the snap-ins you do want to include, not separated by spaces or commas, and then pressing [Enter]. If you don’t want to install any of the additional snap-ins, press 0 (zero) and then press [Enter]. To install all of the snap-ins, which is the choice I’ll make for this Daily Drill Down, press 8 and then press [Enter].

Next, the installation program will ask if you want to install ConsoleOne’s Java Runtime Environment. You must have a version of Java, specifically Java 1.3 or later, installed on your Linux workstation for ConsoleOne to run. c1-install installs IBM’s Java 1.3 Runtime. If you have a Java runtime installed that you’re sure will work with ConsoleOne, press N and press [Enter]. Red Hat 7.1 doesn’t install a Java runtime, so I’ll press Y to install the runtime and then press [Enter] to continue.

After you’ve chosen to install the Java runtime, c1-install begins installing and configuring ConsoleOne to run on your workstation. c1-install won’t take that long to install ConsoleOne, displaying a text-based progress indicator for each RPM it installs. When the installation finishes, you’ll see the following message, followed by your command prompt:
%% Java Runtime Environment Successfully Installed
%% ConsoleOne Successfully Installed
%% Execute /usr/ConsoleOne/bin/ConsoleOne to run ConsoleOne
%% Snapins Successfully Installed

If you see any errors, you’ll need to rerun c1-install. Note any error messages that occur during the installation so you can resolve them during the second installation. If you see the message above, you’re ready to run ConsoleOne.

Running ConsoleOne For Linux
You can run ConsoleOne from a command prompt within your Window Manager or you can put an icon on your Linux workstation’s desktop to save you from having to type the command every time you want to run ConsoleOne. You can run ConsoleOne at a command prompt without having to log in to the workstation as root. Just open up a command prompt, type /usr/ConsoleOne/bin/ConsoleOne, and press [Enter]. You’ll see the screen shown in Figure B.

Figure B
ConsoleOne runs under Linux.

After ConsoleOne loads, you must log in to your NDS tree. You’ll have to do this even if you’ve previously configured your Linux workstation to connect to your NetWare server using the directions in the Daily Drill Down “Connecting Linux workstations to your NetWare servers.” That’s because ConsoleOne requires an NDS connection, and Linux’s basic NetWare connection only makes a bindery connection.

To connect to your NDS tree, select the tree icon in ConsoleOne that represents your NDS tree. Next, select Authenticate from the File menu. You’ll then see the login screen shown in Figure C.

Figure C
You must log in to your NDS tree.

Enter your Admin user ID and password along with the tree name and context you want to use to log in to the NDS tree. Don’t be surprised if you can’t select a tree or context from the Tree or Context drop-down list box. Just type the tree name and context in the appropriate fields.

Click Login to proceed after you enter the information. ConsoleOne will connect to your NDS tree and display all of the objects in your tree, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D
After you log in, you have full access to your NDS tree.

You can now do anything from ConsoleOne in Linux that you can with ConsoleOne under Windows. You may notice some objects that you can’t work with. If this is the case, it’s because you don’t have the appropriate snap-in for that object. You’ll need to obtain and install the appropriate snap-in. If one isn’t available for ConsoleOne For Linux, you must use a different administration tool to work with that object.

Creating a shortcut on your Linux desktop
If you want to avoid having to launch a command prompt and type ConsoleOne’s launch command every time you want to run the program, you can create a shortcut on your Linux desktop. Dozens of window managers are available for Linux. Your desktop manager will vary depending on what version and distribution of Linux you’re running and whether or not you’ve installed any aftermarket window managers. For the purposes of this section, I’ll show you how to do so using the two default window managers that come with RedHat 7.1: Gnome 1.4 and KDE 2.1.

If you’re running Gnome, right-click the middle of your desktop and select New | Launcher. You’ll see the Desktop Entry Properties screen. In the Name field, enter the name you want to appear under the program’s icon, such as ConsoleOne. In the Command field, enter the command to start ConsoleOne – /usr/ConsoleOne/bin/ConsoleOne. Next, select Application from the Type drop-down list box. Unfortunately, Novell doesn’t include ConsoleOne-specific icons for Linux desktops, so you must select one by clicking the Icon button and choosing a generic Linux one from the Choose An Icon dialog box. Click OK to save your settings and your ConsoleOne icon will appear on your desktop.

If you’re using KDE, right-click the desktop and select Create New | Link To Application. You’ll see the Properties For Program.Desktop window appear. Enter the title for the icon in the Link To Application field. Again, because Novell didn’t include an icon for ConsoleOne, you’ll need to select one from generic icons by clicking the Icon button next to the Link To Application field. Next, click the Execute tab. Enter the command to start ConsoleOne in the Command field. Click OK and you’re finished. You can now launch ConsoleOne from your KDE desktop.

If you’re experimenting with Linux, you’re probably wondering how to do practical work with it, such as administering your NetWare servers. Novell provides ConsoleOne 1.3.3 For Linux, which allows you to do just that. Once you download, install, and start using it, you may almost be tempted to never use your Windows administration workstation again.