NetWare 6 offers many new features for NetWare administrators. You’re biggest concern is probably “How much work will it take to get it running?” In this article, I will walk through the installation of NetWare 6.

For a review of the features of NetWare 6, see my previous Daily Drill Down “NetWare 6 beta offers a sneak peek at new features and improvements.” In it, I covered most of the changes you can expect in NetWare 6, including new features and memory requirements.

Author’s note

For this article, I will install NetWare 6 Beta 3 on an IBM PC325 PII 300 with 256 MB of memory. I will be installing on an IP-only network. Novell assures that this version of the NetWare 6 beta will not have any functional differences from the final release of the product. I suggest first installing NetWare 6 on a test server, especially if you are considering putting it into a production environment. Also, for the purposes of this Daily Drill Down, I’ll be creating a new NDS tree.

Preflight checks
Before you install NetWare 6, make sure that your server meets the minimum requirements including:

  • A Pentium II or higher CPU. If you want to support multiple CPUs in the same server, your server should be running Pentium III CPUs with a minimum speed of 700 MHz. NetWare 6 won’t run on computers running AMD K6 processors.
  • 256 MB minimum for RAM, with 512 MB recommended for decent performance.
  • Super VGA video.
  • 2 GB minimum hard disk space for SYS partition, in addition to 1 GB minimum for a DOS boot partition.
  • A network card.
  • A MS-compatible mouse.
  • MS-DOS 3.3 or later, although Caldera DOS 7 is included with the NetWare 6 CD.

Once you have confirmed that your server meets these requirements, turn on the server and insert the NetWare 6 operating system CD into the CD-ROM drive before the POST process completes on the server. As your server boots, enter the BIOS Setup and make sure the CD-ROM is set to be the primary boot device. This will allow you to boot from the CD and begin the installation from there. Then, save the changes and restart your server.

As soon as the server detects that the CD starts to boot, you should see a message indicating that you are booting Caldera DOS. If you are working with a server that already has a version of NetWare installed, shortly after Caldera DOS loads, you will receive a message asking if you would like to install a new server or if you would like to run the existing server. Press I to proceed with the installation of the new server. If you don’t select the option to install a new server in time, the installation process will stop, and your old version of NetWare will start.

Starting the installation
When the installation begins, you will be asked what type of CD-ROM drive you’ll be using: IDE, SCSI, or both. This is different than in NetWare 5 and some versions of NetWare 4 where the type of CD drive was automatically detected. Most of the newer servers I have seen use IDE drives, but if you are unsure, you should be able to select B for Both and get the installation to work. If you don’t make a selection within about 10 seconds, B will be automatically selected for you.

If you are using a SCSI adapter, Netware’s installation program will ask you for the ID of the device. You’ll have a choice of the numbers 0 to 7 and the letter A. If you don’t remember the ID of the drive, select A, and the correct ID of the CD of the SCSI CD drive will be found for you.

Once the CD drive has been detected, you’ll see the NetWare Installation screen. Before you actually get to the install, though, you’ll have to read the license agreement, accept its terms, and press [Enter] to continue.

Then, if the installation process detects a valid boot partition, you’ll be prompted as to whether you wish to continue with the existing partition or create a new one. If you are working with a test server, go with the option of creating a new partition to make sure your partition is large enough. Select the option Create A New Boot Partition and press [Enter].

Remember that even though NetWare 6 can load with a boot partition as small as 50 MB, Novell recommends that you create one 1 GB in size. Don’t panic if the First Hard Disk screen shows the total size of the disk only being 8 GB even if your hard drive is larger than that. The screen shows that size because the boot CD starts with a version of DOS that can’t see more than 8 GB. After you install NetWare 6, you’ll be able to use all of the space on your hard drive.

You’ll next be asked if you would like to remove the existing partition. This question is just a failsafe to prevent you from accidentally deleting important data. Select the option Continue To Remove The Partition. After the installation program creates a new boot sector, you must restart your server.

After that, the installation program will format the new partition, copy a series of files to the hard drive, and boot NetWare 6 at a very base level. You will have to accept the license agreement for the Jreport Runtime software that is included with NetWare 6 by pressing [F10].

The next screen will ask two questions concerning the type of server installation that you are performing:

  • Is this an express install or custom install? On this question, the default value is set to Express.
  • Is this a new server, upgrade, or premigration? The default value of this question is set to New Server.

Change an option by selecting Modify from the Options menu and pressing [Enter]. You can then press [Enter] on each field to change its default value.

Author’s note

For the purposes of this Daily Drill Down, I chose to perform an express installation on a new server. For most installations, the express installation will handle the configurations you need.

The Custom Installation screens allow you to tailor NetWare 6 to your organization’s needs. However, when you choose Express Installation, the installation program will do the following:

  • Autodetect, load, and configure drivers for network cards.
  • Autodetect, load, and configure drivers for hard drives.
  • Configure NetWare 6 for the English language.
  • Assume the default setting for Super VGA graphics and MS-compatible mouse.
  • Install Novell Distributed Print Services (NDPS), the NetWare Administration Server, and Novell Advanced Audit Service features.
  • Configure volume SYS for your server of up to 4 GB, leaving any leftover space empty.

If you want to modify any of these default settings, you should choose to do a custom installation.

After you’ve made your selections and continued, you’ll be presented with a summary screen showing the options you have selected for this installation. At this point, select the Continue option on the Options menu and then press [Enter] to proceed with the installation.

You should now see a File Copy status screen appear with a gauge-type display showing the files being copied to the DOS partition. Once all the driver files for the SCSI and LAN drivers have been copied from the CD, an autodiscovery process commences where the drivers for controllers in your server are autodetected and loaded.

In the event the installation program detects more than one driver that can be used by a device, a list of applicable drivers will be shown. For example, for my IBM server, four different drivers were found. When presented with such a list, select the driver you want to use and press [Enter]. If the autodiscovery process doesn’t detect an appropriate driver for a device, you’ll need to supply the correct third-party driver.

The autodiscovery process will proceed until all devices have been loaded. Then, you will be informed that the NetWare installation is saving system settings. Another File Copy Status screen will appear while the files copy to the newly created SYS volume. The installation will seem to pause at times while the Java Zip files are uncompressed and copied to their correct locations.

Going graphical
After a few minutes, a graphical Java screen will appear. The remainder of the installation process will be completed using these graphical screens including the following procedures:

  • Naming the server
  • Configuring Volumes
  • Configuring protocols
  • Configuring DNS
  • Setting time zones
  • Configuring eDirectory
  • Setting up the NetWare license
  • Installing other applications
  • Summary and file copying

Naming the server
When the Server Properties screen appears, enter a name in the Server Name field and click Next. In my case, I named the server NW6_TEST. You can call the server anything you want, just make sure the name is between two and 47 characters long. The name can contain numbers, underscores, and dashes, but no spaces. Try to avoid punctuation in the server’s name and make sure the first character isn’t a period.

Configuring volumes
If there’s free space on your server’s hard drive, you will next see a Configure File System screen appear. Remember that during the Express installation, NetWare 6’s installation program will configure the first 4 GB of your hard drive as volume SYS. So if you only have a 2-GB hard drive in your server, the installation will configure the entire drive as SYS. If you have a hard drive larger than 4 GB, only the first 4 GB will be configured as SYS. You can then specify other NetWare volumes on the Configure File System screen.

You’ll see the current volumes on your NetWare server in the Volumes box. To add a new volume, click Create. You’ll then see the New Volume window appear where you can configure the new volume. Enter the name of the volume in the Volume Name field. You can name a volume whatever you want, but names must be between two and 15 characters long and can contain any alphanumeric characters, including numbers and most punctuation symbols with no spaces. However, the volume name can’t begin with an underscore or have two or more consecutive underscores.

The Volume Type radio buttons allow you to choose between traditional NetWare volumes and NetWare’s new NSS format. Novell recommends that you configure large volumes as NSS volumes because NSS is more secure and faster. As long as you don’t have any third-party NLMs that may not be able to deal with NSS, NSS is a good choice for most configurations.

You can specify the size of the volume by entering a value in the Space To Use field and clicking the Apply To Volume button. After configuring your new volume, click OK to return to the Configure File System screen, where you can create additional volumes, or click Next to continue.

Before you can use your new volumes, you must mount them. Thus, after you’ve created the volumes, the Mount Volumes window will appear. NetWare 6 will always mount volumes automatically after you finishing installing it, but f you want to copy programs to your new volumes during installation, you need to mount them now. To do so, select the option No, Mount Volumes Now. Otherwise, leave the default selection of Yes, which will leave the new volumes unmounted until you reboot your server after installation.

Configuring protocols
You should next see the Protocols screen, which lists all of the network cards in the server to which NetWare 6 loaded drivers. You’ll see them in the Network Boards pane. In the Protocols pane, select the protocols you want to support. You can choose to support TCP/IP, IPX, or both. If you’re dealing with an IP-only environment, you’ll need to select the check box beside IP, and fill in the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway for the subnet on which this server will be placed.

If you want to configure special settings for your protocols such as SLP, or IPX-Compatibility, click the Advanced button. Otherwise, click Next to continue.

Configuring DNS
NetWare 6 will then check the network to make sure that there are no conflicts on the network for the IP address you’ve chosen. If the test completes without finding a conflicting address, you’ll see the Domain Name Service (DNS) screen. At this screen, enter the name of the server as it will be known in DNS, the Internet domain name this server will reside in, and the DNS servers that this server will use when resolving a server/host name to an IP address. You can select the check box beside Verify The DNS Information to see that the DNS servers respond and that the A record for this server exists on the DNS servers you entered above. However, selecting this option isn’t a requirement for NetWare 6 installation.

Setting up time zones
When the Time Zone screen appears, click on the time zone for this server. Depending on the time zone selected, you may need to override the default setting where Daylight Savings Time (DST) is used. In the time zones where DST is observed, the NetWare server will automatically change to the correct time when the time change occurs in the spring and fall of each year.

Configuring eDirectory
The next screen you’ll see is the NDS Install screen. You’ll have the choice of setting up a new NDS tree or joining an existing NDS tree. The default option is to join an existing tree. If you are working with a test server, you should create a new tree by selecting the option New Independent NDS Tree and clicking Next.

Editor’s note

Don’t attempt to add NetWare 6 to a NetWare 5.x or NetWare 4.x network environment before first applying all of the Support Packs on your NetWare 5.x and 4.x servers. You should also make sure you run NWDeploy before attempting to insert NetWare 6 into an existing NDS tree. We’ll cover NWDeploy in an upcoming Daily Drill Down.

You’ll then see another NDS Install screen with fields you need to complete to configure your new NDS tree. You’ll need to enter the tree name for the tree you’re creating, the context in which you want the server placed, and the password for the Admin login. Fill out the appropriate fields in the NDS Information and Administrator Information panes.

By default, the Admin account will be placed in the same context as the first server in the NDS tree you are creating. Once the information has been entered, click Next to continue. NDS will then be installed on the server, and the schema will be updated. Once NDS has been installed, a summary screen will appear with the listing settings used to set up NDS.

Licensing the server
Next, you’ll see the Licenses screen. Insert the disk that came with your copy of NetWare into the server’s floppy drive and click the Browse button to the right of the License Location field to make sure the disk can be read. Select the license you want to install and click OK.

When you return to the first License screen, you should see the license file that you selected now showing on the screen with a description for that license (i.e., number of users) showing in the Description field.

The next screen will ask you where to place the license certificate. By default, this will be in the same container as the server that is being created. Only if you have a large number of servers will you want to consider changing the default.

Installing other products
A Components screen will appear showing the products to be installed on this server. Since I went with an express install, NetWare OS, iPrint/NDPS, Novell Native File Access for UNIX, Novell Advanced Audit Service, and eDirectory iManage Service will be installed. If you want any additional Novell supplied services installed at this point, scroll through the components window and select the additional components you want. If you’re not sure whether or not you want to add an additional program, don’t worry. You can add these products later, as well.

Depending on the components you select, you may see additional screens requesting additional information. Supply the needed information, clicking Next as you go until you reach the Summary screen.

Summarizing the installation
You’ll finally see a Summary screen appear. Click Finish to copy the remaining files needed to make the server functional. A Java screen will appear showing the status of files being copied from the NetWare CD to the SYS volume. The background screen will change periodically while the files are being copied to let you know about the different new features in NetWare 6.

This is a point in the installation process where you can take a break—it may take a while for this process to run. Once the installation is complete, you’ll be prompted to remove the installation CD and reboot the server. After the server reboots, you can log in to the server using the Novell client software that you already have in place.

After you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have a server that’s ready for testing and experimentation. Try it out, get comfortable with the new features, and then deploy it into your server environment. One thing that you’ll notice when using NetWare 6 is Novell’s migration from NWAdmin to ConsoleOne for administration purposes. More upcoming Novell products will use ConsoleOne as their management tool.