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10. Configuring your Linux machine as an NCP server.

There are two packages available that allow Linux to provide the functions of a Novell Fileserver. They both allow you to share files on your linux machine with users using Novell NetWare client software. Users can attach and map filesystems to appear as local drives on their machines just as they would to a real Novell fileserver. You may want to try both to see which best serves your intended purpose.

10.1 The mars_nwe package.

Martin Stover <> developed mars_nwe to enable linux to provide both file and print services for NetWare clients.

In case you are wondering about the name: mars_nwe is Martin Stovers Netware Emulator.

Capability of mars_nwe.

mars_nwe implements a subset of the full Novell NCP for file services, disk based bindery and also print services. It is likely to contain bugs but there are many people using it now and the number of bugs is steadily decreasing as new versions are released.

Obtaining mars_nwe.

You can obtain mars_nwe from or from

The version current at the time of writing was: mars_nwe-0.99.pl10.tgz.

Building the mars_nwe package.

Build a kernel with Ethernet and IPX Support

In the 1.2.13 version kernel you need only ensure that you have answered Y to the question: 'The IPX protocol' and N to the question: `Full internal IPX network' as illustrated:

The IPX protocol (CONFIG_IPX) [n] y
Full internal IPX network (CONFIG_IPX_INTERN) [N/y/?] n
In newer kernels a similar process is adopted but the actual text of the prompt may have changed slightly.

You will also need to ensure that you include an appropriate driver for your Ethernet card. If you do not know how to do this then you should read the Ethernet-HOWTO.

You can then proceed to build your kernel. Make sure you remember to run lilo to install it when you have finished.

Untar the mars_nwe package.

# cd /usr/src
# tar xvfz mars_nwe-0.99.pl10.tgz

Make mars_nwe.

To make the package is very simple. The first step is to simply run make, this will create a config.h file for you. Next you should look at and edit the config.h file if necessary. It allows you to configure items such as the installation directories that will be used and the maximum number of sessions and volumes that the server will support. The really important entries to look at are:

FILENAME_NW_INI       the location of the initialisation file
PATHNAME_PROGS        where the executable support programs will be found.
PATHNAME_BINDERY      where the 'bindery' files will go.
PATHNAME_PIDFILES     the directory for the 'pid' files to be written.
MAX_CONNECTIONS       the maximum number of simultaneous connections allowed.
MAX_NW_VOLS           the maximum number of volumes mars_nwe will support.
MAX_FILE_HANDLES_CONN the maximum number of open files per connection.
WITH_NAME_SPACE_CALLS if you want to support ncpfs clients.
INTERNAL_RIP_SAP      whether you want mars_nwe to provide rip/sap routing.
SHADOW_PWD            whether you use shadow passwords or not.

The defaults will probably be ok but you should check anyway.

When this is done:

# make
# make install

will build the servers and install them in the appropriate directory. The installation script also installs the configuration file /etc/nwserv.conf.

Configure the server.

Configuration is fairly simple. You need to edit the /etc/nwserv.conf file. The format of this file may at first look a little cryptic, but it is fairly straightforward. The file contains a number of single line configuration items. Each line is whitespace delimited and begins with a number that indicates the contents of the line. All characters following a '#' character are considered a comment and ignored. Martin supplies an example configuration file in the package, but I'll present what I consider to be a simplified example to offer an alternative for you.

# VOLUMES (max. 5)
# Only the SYS volume is compulsory. The directory containing the SYS
# volume must contain the directories: LOGIN, PUBLIC, SYSTEM, MAIL.
# The 'i' option ignores case.
# The 'k' option converts all filenames in NCP requests to lowercase.
# The 'm' option marks the volume as removable (useful for cdroms etc.)
# The 'r' option set the volume to read-only.
# The 'o' option indicates the volume is a single mounted filesystem.
# The 'P' option allows commands to be used as files.
# The 'O' option allows use of the OS/2 namespace
# The 'N' option allows use of the NFS namespace
# The default is upper case.
# Syntax:
#    1 <Volumename> <Volumepath>   <Options>

1   SYS         /home/netware/SYS/               # SYS
1   DATA        /home/netware/DATA/      k       # DATA
1   CDROM       /cdrom                   kmr     # CDROM

# If not set then the linux hostname will be converted to upper case
# and used. This is optional, the hostname will be used if this is not
# configured.
# Syntax:
#    2 <Servername>

2   LINUX_FS01

# The Internal IPX Network Address is a feature that simplifies IPX routing
# for multihomed hosts (hosts that have ports on more than one IPX network).
# Syntax:
#    3 <Internal Network Address> [<Node Number>]
# or:
#    3 auto
# If you use 'auto' then your host IP address will be used. NOTE: this may
# be dangerous, please be sure you pick a number unique to your network.
# Addresses are 4byte hexadecimal (the leading 0x is required).

3   0x49a01010  1

# This entry configures your IPX network. If you already have your
# IPX network configured then you do not need this. This is the same as
# using ipx_configure/ipx_interface before you start the server.
# Syntax:
#    4 <IPX Network Number> <device_name> <frametype> [<ticks>]
#                         Frame types: ethernet_ii, 802.2, 802.3, SNAP

4  0x39a01010  eth0  802.3  1

# Syntax:
#    5 <flag>
#       0 = don't save routes, 1 = do save routes

5 0

# Syntax:
#    6 <version>
#      0 = 2.15, 1 = 3.11

6 1

# Real Novell DOS clients support a feature which encypts your
# password when changing it. You can select whether you want your
# mars server to support this feature or not.
# Syntax
#    7 <flag>
#    <flag> is:
#        0 to force password encryption. (Clients can't change password)
#        1 force password encryption, allow unencrypted password change.
#        7 allow non-encrypted password but no empty passwords.
#        8 allow non-encrypted password including empty passwords.
#        9 completely unencrypted passwords (doesn't work with OS/2)

7 1

# permissions used for attachments with no login. These permissions
# will be used for the files in your primary server attachment.
# Syntax:
#    10 <gid>
#    11 <uid>
#    <gid> <uid> are from /etc/passwd, /etc/groups

10  200
11  201

# SUPERVISOR password
# May be removed after the server is started once. The server will
# encrypt this information into the bindery file after it is run.
# You should avoid using the 'root' user and instead use another
# account to administer the mars fileserver.
# This entry is read and encrypted into the server bindery files, so
# it only needs to exist the first time you start the server to ensure
# that the password isn't stolen.
# Syntax:
#    12 <Supervisor-Login> <Unix username> [<password>]

12  SUPERVISOR  terry  secret

# This associates NetWare logins with unix accounts. Password are
# optional.
# Syntax:
     13 <User Login> <Unix Username> [<password>]

13  MARTIN martin
13  TERRY  terry  

# If you have a large numbers of users and could not be bothered using
# type 13 individual user mappings, you can automatically map mars_nwe
# logins to linux user names. BUT, there is currently no means of making
# use of the linux login password so all users configured this way are
# will use the single password supplied here. My recommendation is not
# to do this unless security is absolutely no concern to you.
# Syntax:
#    15 <flag> <common-password>
#    <flag> is: 0  - don't automatically map users.
#               1  - do automatically map users not configured above.
#               99 - automatically map every user in this way.

15  0  duzzenmatta

# mars_nwe will automatically ensure that certain directories exist if
# you set this flag.
# Syntax:
#    16 <flag>
#    <flag> is 0 for no, don't, or 1 for yes, do.

16  0

# This associates NetWare printers with unix printers. The queue
# directories must be created manually before printing is attempted.
# The queue directories are NOT lpd queues.
# Syntax:
#    21 <queue_name> <queue_directory> <unix_print_cmd>

21  LASER  SYS:/PRINT/LASER lpr -Plaser

# These are not normally needed, but may be useful if are you debugging
# a problem.
# Syntax:
#    <debug_item> <debug_flag>
#    100 = IPX KERNEL
#    101 = NWSERV
#    102 = NCPSERV
#    103 = NWCONN
#    104 = start NWCLIENT
#    105 = NWBIND
#    106 = NWROUTED
#                 0 = disable debug, 1 = enable debug

100 0
101 0
102 0
103 0
104 0
105 0
106 0

# Syntax:
#    200 <flag>
#        0 = run NWSERV in foreground and don't use logfile
#        1 = run NWSERV in background and use logfile

200  1

# Syntax:
#    201 <logfile>

201  /tmp/nw.log

# Syntax:
#    202 <flag>
#        0 = append to existing logfile
#        1 = overwrite existing logfile

202  1

# This item sets the time after a SERVER DOWN is issued that the
# server really goes down.
# Syntax:
#    210 <time>
#        in seconds. (defaults 10)

210  10

# The time is seconds between server broadcasts
# Syntax:
#    211 <time>
#        in seconds. (defaults 60)

211  60

# Set how many broadcasts take place before logging of routing
# information occurs.
# Syntax:
#    300  <number>

300  5

# Set the name of the routing logfile
# Syntax:
#    301 <filename>

301  /tmp/nw.routes

# Set whether you want to append to an existing log file or
# overwrite it.
# Syntax:
#    302 <flag>
#        <flag> is 0 for append, 1 for create/overwrite

302  1

# Set the timing for watchdog messages that ensure the network is
# still alive.
# Syntax:
#    310 <value>
#        <value> =   0 - always send watchdogs
#                  < 0 - (-ve) for disable watchdogs
#                  > 0 - send watchdogs when network traffic
#                        drops below 'n' ticks

310  7

# Set the filename for the stations file which determine which
# machines this fileserver will act as the primary fileserver for.
# The syntax of this file is described in the 'examples' directory
# of the source code.
# Syntax:
#    400 <filename>

400  /etc/nwserv.stations

# Set how SAP Get Nearest Fileserver Requests are handled.
# Syntax:
#    401 <flag>
#        <flag> is: 0 - disable 'Get Nearest Fileserver' requests.
#                   1 - The 'stations' file lists stations to be excluded.
#                   2 - The 'stations' file lists stations to be included.

401  2

Start the server

If you've configured the server to expect external programs to configure your network and/or provide the routing function then you should start those before starting the server. Presuming you have configured the server so that it will configure your interfaces for you and provide the routing services you need only issue the command:

# nwserv

Test the server

To test the server you should first try to attach and login from a NetWare client on your network. You then set a CAPTURE from the client and attempt a print. If both of these are successful then the server is working.

10.2 The lwared package.

Ales Dryak <> developed lwared to allow Linux to function as an NCP based fileserver.

Ales has called the package lwared, an abbreviation for LinWare Daemon.

Capability of lwared.

The lwared server is capable of providing a subset of the full function of the Novell NCP. It incorporates messaging but it does not provide any printing facilities at all. It does not currently work very well with either Windows95 or Windows NT clients. The lwared server relies on external programs to build and update the IPX routing and SAP tables. Misbehaving clients can cause the server to crash. Importantly, filename translation facilities have not been included.

The server does work for NETX and VLM NetWare shells.

Obtaining lwared

The lwared package can be built for any kernel newer than 1.2.0, I recommend you use version 1.2.13 as no kernel patches are required if you do. Some of the IPX functionality has changed with the version 1.3.* kernels and this means that patches are now required to make it work properly. Appropriate patches are included for the new kernels, so if you must use an alpha kernel you should still be able to get lwared to work properly for you.

You can obtain the lwared package by anonymous ftp from:

or from: or mirror sites. The current version at the time of writing was: lwared-0.95.tar.gz

Building lwared

Untar the lwaredpackage

Something like:

# cd /usr/src
# tar xvpfz lwared-0.95.tar.gz

Build a kernel with Ethernet and IPX support

If you are using an alpha 1.3.* kernel then you should try and use kernel version 1.3.17 or newer because the supplied patches were built against it. 1.3.* kernels older than 1.3.17 will require hand patching to install. (some information on how to do this is included in the INSTALL file in the package.). To install the patches against a 1.3.17 kernel or newer you should try:

# make patch

After applying the patches if necessary, the next thing you need to do is ensure that your kernel has been built with IPX support enabled. In the 1.2.13 version kernel you need only ensure that you have answered Y to the question: 'The IPX protocol' as illustrated:

Assume subnets are local (CONFIG_INET_SNARL) [y]
Disable NAGLE algorithm (normally enabled) (CONFIG_TCP_NAGLE_OFF) [n]
The IPX protocol (CONFIG_IPX) [n] y
* SCSI support
In newer kernels a similar process is adopted by the actual text of the prompt may have changed slightly.

You will also need to ensure that you include an appropriate driver for your Ethernet card. If you do not know how to do this then you should read the Ethernet-HOWTO.

You can then proceed to build your kernel. Make sure you remember to run lilo to install it when you have finished.

Compile and install lwared.

To compile lwared you should first check, edit if necessary, the server/config.h file. This file contains various settings that will govern the way your server will behave when it is running. The defaults are reasonable, though you might want to check that the directories specified for the log files and configuration files suit your system.

# make depend
# make
# make install
I found that the 'make depend' complained about not finding the float.h file on my system but appeared to work anyway. I also found that when I tried compiling with gcc 2.6.3 I found I had to change the line:
#include <net/route.h>
#include <net/if_route.h>
in lib/ipxkern.c as this file changed name sometime.

The 'make install' will attempt to install the server and routing daemon programs into your /usr/sbin directory, the lwpasswd program into your /usr/bin directory, the IPX utility programs will be installed into your /sbin directory and last but not least the manual pages will go into the /usr/man directory structure. If any of these locations are not suitable for your system then you should edit the relevant Makefile and change the target directories to suit.

Configuring and using lwared

Now the fun bit!

Configuring the IPX network

The first thing you must do is configure your Ethernet interfaces to support the IPX networks your server will support. To do this you will need to know the IPX network addresses for each of your LAN segments, which Ethernet device (eth0, eth1 etc.) is on which segment, what frame type (802.3, EtherII etc.) each LAN segment uses and what Internal Network address your server should use (this is really needed if your server will service more than one LAN segment). A configuration for a server that is on two dis-similar segments with IPX network addresses 23a91300 and 23a91301 and internal network address bdefaced might look like:

# ipx_internal_net add BDEFACED 1
# ipx_interface add eth0 802.3 23a91300
# ipx_interface add eth1 etherii 23a91301

Start the routing daemons

The kernel software itself actually does the IPX packet forwarding as it does for IP, but the kernel requires additional programs to manage the routing table updates. In the case of IPX two daemons are needed and both are supplied with lwared: ipxripd manages the IPX routing information and ipxsapd manages the SAP information. To start the daemons you need only specify the location of where they should write their log messages:

# ipxripd /var/adm/ipxrip
# ipxsapd /var/adm/ipxsap

Configure the lwared server

There are two files that you must manually configure to allow user login to your lwared server. They are:


This is where LinWare user account information is kept. The lwpasswd program is to keep it up to date. In its simplest form the /etc/lwpasswd file looks like:

Its format is a simple list of login id followed by a ':' character and then the encrypted version of the login passwd. A couple of important caveats here: No encrypted password means no password, LinWare users must have Linux accounts, that is any user you place in /etc/lwpasswd must also appear in /etc/passwd and root is the only account that can change the password of another LinWare user. If you are logged in as root you can change the password of a LinWare user as this transcript demonstrates:
# lwpasswd rodg
Changing password for RODG
Enter new password: 
Re-type new password: 
Password changed.

This is the LinWare volume tables and it stores information about what directories should be made available to LinWare users (this file is similar in nature to the NFS /etc/exports file). A simple example of its format is as follows:

SYS             /lwfs/sys
DATA            /lwfs/data
HOME            /home
The format is simple: Volume name followed by whitespace followed by Linux directory to export. You must have at least an entry for the SYS volume for the server to start. If you intend your DOS based users to be able use your LinWare server as their primary server then you must install a standard SYS volume directory structure underneath the directory you export as your SYS volume. Since these files are proprietary and copyright to the Novell corporation you should have a license for these. If you users will be using a Novell fileserver as their primary server then this will not be necessary.

Start the lwared server.


# lwared
It is almost an anticlimax isn't it ? Ok so you've got a question, right? What is the fileserver name that is being advertised ? If you started the server as shown then the LinWare server name being advertised will be based on what is returned by the Linux hostname. If you'd like it to be something else then you can give the server the name when you start it, for example:
# lwared -nlinux00
would start the server with the name linux00.

Test the lwared server.

The very first thing to test is that your LinWare server appears in an slist from a DOS client on your network. The slist program is stored on the SYS volume of a Novell fileserver so you must do this from a machine that is already logged in somewhere. If this is not successful then check that ipxsapd and lwared are both running. If the slist is successful then you should try attaching to the server and mapping a volume:

C:> attach linux00/ales
C:> map l:=linux00/data:
C:> l:
You should then be able to treat the new map just like any other map. The file permissions you will have will be based on those allowed to the linux account that parallels your LinWare login.

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