February 23, 2019

Net Returns: Linux and Netware

A Neglected Link

  • December 22, 2000
  • By William Wong

Netware used to command significantly more interest than it does today, but remains a significant player in file and print services. Linux can be a Netware client and there is limited Netware server support as well.

Those interested in incorporating Linux into a Netware network will find this article of interest. Those simply interested in file and print sharing will find Samba and NFS better alternatives, with more extensive support.

Those familiar with Netware can skip to the next section as we take a quick look at the Netware 3.x bindery and the Netware Directory Services (NDS) found in Netware 4.x and later. NDS is also available independent of Netware, but has yet to garner significant support outside of Netware shops.

The Netware bindery is a database used to track network resources such as users, groups, disks and printers. It works well in a single server network, although it is possible to manage multiple binderies in a multiple server network. Although this configuration may sound restrictive, it is actually very similar to Linux in terms of user and group management. On the other hand, NDS is specifically designed for multiple server networks.

Unfortunately, the bottom line for Linux and Netware is not good. The Netware server support that is available has not been updated in quite a while. Only the Linux-based Netware client support from the likes of Caldera is being supported. This makes it undesirable for building up a new network but it is possible to provide Linux workstations and servers limited access to existing Netware servers. If general file and print services are the desired end, then stick with NFS or Samba covered in earlier articles.

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