Novell's New NTClient


Novell updated its client packages, including packages for Windows NT and Windows 9x clients, with the release of NetWare 5. The company's NetWare Client 4.6 for Windows NT introduces several new and interesting features. The most important of these features is a new network management product called the Zero Effort Networks ( Starter Pack.

The Starter Pack is a network-management product that distributes software updates to client systems and manages workstation profiles from a central location. This product has caused some confusion because of the similarity of its name to Novell's product. The Starter Pack is free with the NetWare client, replaces the NetWare Application Launcher (NAL) and Workstation Manager features, which shipped separately in previous NetWare versions, and expands the capabilities of NetWare Administrator. The NetWare Administrator tool aids in managing NetWare servers. Most administrators use this tool remotely on the administrator's workstation. The Starter Pack lets you centralize the creation and management of system policies and mandatory user profiles.

Another nice feature that the new NT client introduces is the Novell icon, which appears in the taskbar as a red N. Right-clicking the icon displays a menu that provides quick access to the client's administrative tools and functions. These tools and functions include logging in, mapping and disconnecting Network drives, redirecting printer output, and accessing Network Neighborhood and the Novell Client Properties dialog box, as Screen 1 shows.

The Novell Directory Services (NDS) database in the Starter Pack stores information about configuration elements such as user profiles, desktop policies, printer properties, and applications. Users can log in to the database from any workstation to see their desktop configurations. Also, the Starter Pack lets administrators create standardized workstation configurations that are user-independent and that perform workstation repairs automatically. For example, if a user deletes crucial files, will automatically reinstall them.

The Starter Pack doesn't include all the components that make up the complete package. The complete package includes additional features, such as the ability to create and maintain workstation hardware inventories in the NDS database, NDS-authenticated remote control of NT workstations, and a Help Requestor that lets users provide information about themselves and their workstations to help the troubleshooting process. permits NDS-authenticated remote control of NT workstations and lets you solve end-user software problems without having to visit the user's workstation or the NT server. For more information about the complete package, refer to the product page on Novell's Web site at or the Cool Solutions Web site at coolsolutions/zenworks.

Installing NetWare Client 4.6
To use the latest NetWare client, your server must have NetWare 3.11 or later and must support NT's long filenames. This requirement means that you must run either the long.nam module (for NetWare 4.11 and later) or the os2.nam module (for NetWare versions earlier than 4.11), and you must execute the Add Name Space command for all of your NetWare volumes.

The new NetWare client release supports Intel-based NT 4.0 workstations with Service Pack 3 (SP3) or later. The NetWare client also supports Citrix MetaFrame; NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition; and the Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) NDS provider.

To install the client on a workstation from the NetWare server, you must have a NetWare client already running on the workstation—either the Microsoft client or a previous NetWare client. You must be able to log in to the NetWare server from the workstation. You can also store the NetWare client installation files on an NT server and install them from the server.

If you're running NT 3.51 or earlier, you can't use NetWare Client 4.6. You must use Netware Client 4.11b for Windows NT 3.51, which is available online at Novell will provide no further client development for NT 3.51.

Novell provides several different methods for installing the NetWare client. You can install the client in the following ways:

  • From a CD-ROM: Install the NetWare client onto a workstation from a local CD-ROM drive, or mount a NetWare server CD-ROM as a volume and install the client directly from the CD-ROM.
  • From the network: Copy the CD-ROM installation files or download the latest version of the client from Novell's online services to a directory on a NetWare volume, expand the client, and execute the winsetup.exe file from this directory.
  • As an unattended installation: Save time by automating the client installation and assimilating it into the NT setup process. Novell provides commands that you can include in a standard NT unattend.txt script file to configure the NetWare client at the same time you install the OS. includes the Client Install Manager utility, which lets you automate the creation of unattend.txt scripts.
  • As an Automatic Client Upgrade (ACU): Use ACU to automatically upgrade NetWare client installations when Novell releases a new version.

The new NetWare client includes a unified setup program, which lets you install the client software and from the same interface. To launch the installation program, run winsetup.exe from the directory in which you expanded the client download file.

When you launch the program, a menu page appears that lets you select the language for the client installation. After you've selected a language, the installation program displays the following list of installable components: Windows NT Client, Install, and View Quick Start.

The NT Client software provides basic NDS and NetWare file and printer access, and synchronizes the NetWare and NT workstation logons. The client package also supports NetWare 5 server access with IP and traditional IPX/SPX services and applications. The View Quick Start component opens a Help window for the setup procedure.

You must install the NetWare Client 4.6 modules on the workstation before you install the Starter Pack. When you launch the client installation, the standard Typical and Custom installation options appear. The Typical (default) option installs four of the six components that the client includes. The following are the six components:

  • Novell Client for Windows NT (default—mandatory)
  • Novell Distributed Print Services (default): Installs client support for advanced NDS-based printing services
  • Novell IP Gateway: Lets client systems access IP services (such as Web sites) by using the IPX protocol and an IP gateway running on a NetWare server
  • Novell Target Service Agent: Automatically backs up selected hard disks to a NetWare server
  • Novell Workstation Manager (default): Lets you use NDS to configure and manage nondomain NT workstations
  • Application Launcher NT Service (default): Publishes network applications to NT workstation desktops; this component's original name was Netware Application Launcher

You can eliminate certain components from your client installations, depending on which NetWare services you run on your network. For more information about the client installation, see the README file on the client installation main menu page. To reach this page, launch the winsetup.exe program. At the Novell Starter Pack and Client Installation menu, click the English key, then the Windows NT Client key. The Novell Client Installation main menu dialog box appears. Click the View Readme option that appears on this dialog box.

After you select the client components you want to install, the setup program displays the client's Software License Agreement and prompts you to specify a location for the NT distribution files. The client installation program then decompresses and copies the necessary client and NT files to the directories you designated. After the installation completes, you must reboot the system.

After installation, you might need to set client properties. You can configure client properties on a workstation in two ways: through the Network Neighborhood and through the Network applet in Control Panel. From the Network applet, select Novell Client for Windows NT, click Properties, and select the Client tab, as Screen 2 shows. You can use the property pages to set login parameters such as preferred server, tree, NDS context, and which login scripts will execute during the login. If you run NetWare 5 and the full package, you can use NetWare Administrator to configure client properties for multiple workstations.

Administrators can use system policies to configure a NetWare client remotely. The Starter Pack includes a template file that works with NT's System Policy Editor (SPE) to create policy files that include NetWare client settings.

Installation Options
NetWare 5 supports IP as a native protocol. To make sure your workstations can communicate with NetWare servers via the TCP/IP protocol stack, you must use the IP install component to install the NetWare server and clients. If you perform a Typical client installation on a system that has never had a NetWare 5 client installed on it, the setup program will install both the IPX and the IP protocols. If you install the client on a workstation with a previous NetWare 5 client installation, the setup program will use the original protocol options. You can choose to do a Custom installation and select any combination of protocols. Novell warns that if you've enabled RAS on your workstation or server and you plan to install the client with the IP-only option, you must disable IPX networking over RAS before you start using the client.

Another feature the client modules include is ACU. This feature looks at the version number of the installed client to determine whether the client software needs an upgrade. You must install ACU on a workstation with a version of NetWare Client for Windows NT installed. Also, the workstation's user must have Read and File Scan rights to the folder that stores the client installation files. To perform an ACU client installation, you must run the setupnw.exe program with the /ACU switch. The installation program for the NetWare client, setupnw.exe, is in the \products\winnt\i386\ directory that the NetWare client created when you expanded the client download file. You can include the ACU command in a login script or batch file so the workstation automatically executes the command during the login process.

If the setup program determines that the system is running the most recent NetWare client version, the program closes and the workstation continues processing the script. If the setup program determines that a client upgrade is necessary, the program presents the user with a dialog box that provides the option to perform the upgrade. If the user clicks Cancel in the dialog box, the older version of the client continues to function without the upgrade. However, as long as the ACU command remains in the login script or batch file, the user will have the opportunity to upgrade to the current version during every login.

Uninstalling the NetWare client is a simple task. To uninstall the client, open the Network applet in Control Panel and remove the Novell Client for Windows NT item from the Services tab. After you confirm that you want to uninstall the client, the system will remove the networking components and the client files from the hard disk.

Installing the Starter Pack
If you want to use the Starter Pack, your server must run NetWare 4.11 or later and have at least 40MB of memory and 175MB of available disk space. Before you begin the installation process, you must log in to the server and the NDS container in which the server is located, and you need Supervisor object rights. You must also have the rights to modify the NDS schema. To execute the Starter Pack from a workstation, you must first install the NetWare client.

The same winsetup.exe program that you used to install the NetWare client also installs the Starter Pack. When you select Install from the menu page and choose Custom, the program lets you select from the following products:

  • Application Management: Installs' software distribution capabilities
  • Desktop Management: Lets you create a standardized workstation desktop configuration that is independent of the user
  • NWAdmin32: Installs NetWare Administrator onto the server
  • Copy Clients to Network: Copies all the available NetWare clients to the \public\clients directory on the server's SYS volume

If you install nothing else, make sure you install NetWare Administrator. NetWare Administrator is a major tool that you'll use to administer the Novell Network. After you choose the products you want to install, the setup program prompts you to select from among the following components: Files, Schema Extensions, Application Objects, and Workstation Registry Entries.

Because you're likely to install the NetWare client package on multiple workstations, the ability to deselect individual components lets you avoid repeating tasks, such as modifying the NDS database and its schema. After you choose the components you want to install, the program presents a list of NDS trees and servers so you can select the servers you want to include in the installation. The program then performs the installation, after which you must reboot the system.

Installing the NetWare client and the Starter Pack makes significant changes to the NDS schema in the form of new object classes and attributes. The most significant of these changes is the Workstation object, which the Starter Pack creates when you import and register workstations into your NDS tree. The installation program also creates new application objects in the tree for use with the Starter Pack's application launching feature.

Other attribute changes the Starter Pack makes are the following:

  • WM:Registered Workstation. The installation adds this right to the organization (O) and organizational unit (OU) classes. Users can gain this right in one of two ways—either automatically during the installation or manually through the Prepare Workstation Registration instructions. This right registers the workstation with NDS. A user with the Supervisor or All Attribute Write right to the container will also have the Write right to this attribute.
  • DM:Remote Control. For a workstation object to control the object remotely, Users must have the Write right to this attribute. A user with the Supervisory or All Properties Write right to the workstation object will also have the Write right to this attribute.
  • WM:Network Address. To control the workstation remotely, an administrator must have the Read right to this attribute. A user with the All Properties Read or Supervisor right to the workstation object will also have the Read right to this attribute.

Logging On
During the reboot following NetWare client installation, the Novell Login dialog box that lets the user provide authentication credentials for both NetWare and NT logins appears, as Screen 3 shows. Users can perform subsequent system logins by right-clicking the red N icon in the taskbar tray and choosing NetWare Login, or by running the login program from the Novell group in the Start menu.

The NetWare client's Novell Login dialog box includes tabbed pages that give you control over the login process. On the NDS tab, enter your location, username, and password. The NDS page provides browse lists for the NDS tree, context, and server selectors—a feature that some previous client versions sorely needed.

The NetWare client also provides the option to synchronize your Novell and NT logon passwords when you log in to your workstation. If your login name is the same for both NetWare and NT, you can check the box labeled Change Your Windows NT Password to Match Your NetWare Password after a Successful Login on the workstation login page. In subsequent logins, you will have to provide only the NetWare login password to gain access to both network OSs.

The Script tab on the Login dialog box lets you control the execution of NetWare login scripts. You can choose whether to run scripts, display the results window, or specify alternative scripts to the ones already associated with your account. Also, you can define four variables for use in more complex login scripts.

Setting Up Locations
Location profiles are useful to users who log in from multiple sites. For example, users might have separate profiles for laptops, home, office, and travel. These profiles help simplify the login process because the user doesn't have to remember login information for each workstation. You add location profiles under the Location Profiles Tab on the Novell Client for Windows NT properties page.

Customizing the NetWare Login Dialog Box
Administrators can customize the Novell Login dialog box by hiding certain items, such as the Location List at the top of the dialog box, the Advanced Button at the bottom, and the Workstation Only box. To hide these items, go to the Network applet in Control Panel. Select Novell Client for Windows NT, click Properties, and select the Advanced Login tab. In the Show on login section, check the boxes of the items you want to appear and clear those you don't want to appear, as Screen 4 shows.

Easier Access to NetWare Resources
The NetWare client adds several user tools to NT Explorer and Network Neighborhood that simplify the process of accessing NetWare resources. For example, the NetWare client modifies the context menus you see when you right-click a file or directory: The NetWare client adds the NetWare copy command for files and Novell Map NetWare Drive, Salvage Files, Purge Files, and NetWare Copy commands for directories, as Screen 5 shows.

A Better Mousetrap
With the Starter Pack, the NetWare client provides network management capabilities that address some of the maintenance problems of mixed NT and NetWare networks. Although NT's Client Services for NetWare provides basic access to NetWare resources, Client Services doesn't let network support personnel run crucial NDS utilities such as NetWare Administrator, CX, and Pconsole (in NDS mode). The NetWare client grants complete access to all Novell utilities and programs and provides user tools that simplify common NetWare tasks.

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