NetWare : Detailed Information

NetWare is a sophisticated, 32-bit network operating system (NOS) that supports Windows, UNIX, OS/2, Mac OS, IBM SAA, and DOS environments.

You should consider purchasing NetWare in the following circumstances:
In many cases, you can install a NetWare network for thousands of dollars less than a minicomputer or mainframe system and still get comparable processing power, functionality, and reliability.

The NetWare NOS is available in a number of user configurations, so you can choose the user capacity you need and stay within your operating budget.


32-Bit High-Performance Operating System

Designed around the 32-bit 386, 486, and Pentium environments, the real-time NetWare NOS provides a foundation of speed and reliability.

NetWare is a multitasking operating system that provides the high performance necessary for network computing. NetWare operates faster and more efficiently than network operating systems that run on top of general-purpose operating systems because it accesses the server's CPU directly. For even higher performance, you can use Novell's 32-bit NE3200 and NE/2-32 network adapters to increase your network's speed.

The NetWare NOS's Universal File System provides a variety of features that improve performance. It employs Turbo FATs on large files to substantially improve the speed of disk reads. It also uses directory caching, file caching, and directory hashing to decrease the time required to read and write information. NetWare uses a disk access technique called "elevator seeking" to efficiently service multiple disk requests. This technique enables the disk read/write head to pick up files in the direction in which the head is traveling across the disk, increasing disk throughput and reducing wear on disk components. Split seeks, in which data is read from the first available hard disk regardless of whether it is the primary disk, are also implemented automatically. Furthermore, the NetWare NOS improves data access and storage speeds by using data-scattering technology to spread data over multiple hard disks.

Memory and Storage

The NetWare NOS's disk process ensures that volumes are mounted quickly and enables developers to create drivers for WORM, CD-ROM, and removable media devices. The NetWare NOS supports as many as 32TB (terabytes) of free disk space and as many as 4GB of RAM.

NetWare's Universal File System easily handles large files and volumes, enabling it to support the large database files usually associated with minicomputers and mainframes. The maximum theoretical NetWare volume size is 32TB; the maximum file size is 4GB.

NetWare Loadable Modules

All network services, server-based applications, and server utilities are NLMs that you can load and unload at any time without bringing down the server. NLMs are granted access to system functions through the C-Library (CLIB), a development interface that enables both Novell and third-party developers to create server-based application NLMs for the NetWare NOS.

Figure 1: The NetWare NOS modular design


With NetWare , you can design a network with the computing resources that best fit your organization's needs. You can provide connectivity to local area network (LAN) clients as well as to other networks, host systems, and remote and mobile users.

NetWare lets you seamlessly integrate specialized computing platforms such as UNIX, OS/2, OSI FTAM, Mac OS, IBM SAA, and DOS. Users on the network can share files, application software, printers, and other network resources, regardless of the desktop operating system they are using.

NetWare serves Windows 3.x and DOS clients through either the NetWare Client for DOS/Windows or the NetWare Client 32 for DOS/Windows. NetWare supports Windows 95 clients through the NetWare Client 32 for Windows 95 and supports Windows NT clients through the NetWare Client for Windows NT. OS/2 clients are supported through the NetWare Client for OS/2.

NetWare also supports UNIX, OSI FTAM, and NFS clients through add-on NLMs. With the AppleTalk Filing Protocol (AFP) add-on service, for example, Macintosh computers can connect directly to the NetWare server. The NetWare UNIX Client gives UnixWare clients access to a NetWare network. UNIX workstations can connect to a NetWare server through the NFS add-on service. The OSI FTAM add-on service enables a wide variety of FTAM systems to access a NetWare network. The NetWare NOS also supports as many as five Macintosh clients at no extra cost.

The NetWare file system supports multiple name spaces to accommodate the file naming conventions of various desktop operating systems. The NetWare NOS enables users on all supported workstation operating systems to create files using familiar naming conventions.

Media Independence and Internetworking

NetWare is media independent: It enables you to integrate different, even incompatible, types of hardware within a single network.

The NetWare NOS provides an internal router that enables a NetWare server to connect as many as 16 different networks and make them appear as one logical network. Because users see and use the various physical networks as one large logical network, fault detection is easier. And, it is not necessary for all subnetworks to use the same media or topology.

You can also run optional routing services outside the server by using a workstation as an external router. You can connect as many as 16 subnetworks to the external router using the same or different media and topology.

Because NetWare supports multiple internal and external routers, users on any connected subnetwork can access servers on any other connected subnetwork. The NetWare NOS includes a source-routing NLM that enables NetWare IPX packets created by a NetWare network to be routed through IBM source-routing bridges.

NetWare internal router

NetWare operates with numerous protocols, including AppleTalk, IPX/SPX, OSI TP4, SNA, and TCP/IP. Through its Protocol Engine, the NetWare NOS enables you to provide a wide range of client communications by allowing multiple protocol stacks to operate concurrently.

NetWare external router

Network Security

NetWare provides overlapping layers of security to protect your data and network resources. You control access to network resources through user accounts, passwords, trustee rights, file rights, and directory rights. In addition, NetWare confirms a user's identification and checks his or her authorization before granting requests for services or data.

You can make NetWare security as simple or as complex as your business requires. You can limit users to operating within specific files, within designated directories, at a particular workstation, or during specific hours of the day. You can require users to periodically change their passwords, and you can use the intruder detection and lockout features to specify the number of incorrect login attempts allowed before the system locks a user out.

In addition to encrypting passwords at the server, the NetWare NOS encrypts user passwords on the cable as they are transferred to the server, preventing intruders from using unauthorized cable taps to discover passwords.

To further increase network security, NetWare enables the signing of NetWare Core Protocol sessions between the server and a client workstation. This diminishes the possibility of unauthorized users gaining access to secure network resources.

System Reliability

The NetWare NOS has built-in system reliability features that safeguard it against network hardware failure. Because these fault tolerance features are built into the operating system, NetWare delivers fault tolerance without sacrificing performance.

Two of NetWare 's most basic reliability features are read-after-write verification and Hot Fix. Every time data is written to the network disk, NetWare automatically performs read-after-write verification, which guarantees that data is readable at the time it is written. NetWare 's Hot Fix feature finds faulty areas of the disk, lists them in a "Bad Block" table, and then relocates data to a usable area--without affecting normal network operation.

NetWare 's disk-mirroring feature protects your system against data loss caused by defective hard disks. The NetWare NOS duplicates the entire physical volume on a second hard disk or disk set on the same channel. It also verifies writes on both volume copies. If an original disk fails, the duplicate takes over automatically, without loss of data. The NetWare NOS supports as many as eight mirrored disks.

NetWare 's disk-duplexing feature protects against data loss caused not only by defective hard disks, but also by disk controllers, interfaces, and power supplies. In disk duplexing, all data on one hard disk is duplicated on a second hard disk on a separate channel. This feature automatically detects, corrects, and logs controller and disk channel faults. If any component in a disk channel fails, the redundant channel takes over automatically.

NetWare uses a Transaction Tracking System (TTS) to protect multiuser application files from being contaminated by incomplete transactions. For TTS files, the NetWare NOS views operations as transactions that will be either wholly completed or wholly abandoned. If a system failure occurs during an incomplete transaction, NetWare will back out of the transaction and leave the file as it was before the transaction began. The NetWare NOS enables TTS to operate either implicitly or explicitly.

The NetWare NOS also monitors an optional uninterruptible power supply attached to the server so that if a power failure occurs, the network is shut down automatically and safely.

Backup and Restore Services

NetWare 's SBACKUP utility enables you to back up and restore all network data. This NLM lets you perform backups on any network server, eliminating the need to perform this task from a DOS workstation. SBACKUP also provides backup for multiple name spaces, such as those used by Mac OS, as well as for administrative information. The NetWare NOS also supports a variety of third-party backup and archiving solutions.

Powerful Network Management Capabilities

The NetWare NOS includes several powerful management utilities that simplify the job of installing, updating, and managing your network. In most cases, you can manage network resources from a centralized location.

Remote Management Facility

With NetWare 's Remote Management Facility, you can save time and money by managing remote servers from your own workstation. You can install, upgrade, and maintain the operating system and configure network services remotely. Over either a network connection or a telephone line, you can load and unload network services; mount, dismount, or expand volumes; or execute any console command without ever having to bring down a server.

Workgroup Manager Capability

The NetWare NOS includes a workgroup manager capability that enables you to delegate the tasks involved in managing a subset of users. A workgroup manager is responsible for a defined subset of users, typically those within a particular department or group. He or she can create users, set passwords, assign disk space, and grant rights to a group of users.

Automated Workstation Software Update Utility

The NetWare NOS contains the WSUPDATE utility, which makes it easy for you to update workstation software from a central location. WSUPDATE enables you to update NetWare workstation programs on all Windows and DOS workstations automatically, without physically going to each workstation. You can call the program in the system login script and set it to run as often as necessary.

Resource Management

The NetWare NOS's resource management features enable you to check the status of each NLM running on the server and to determine which network resources the NLM is using. With the MONITOR utility, you can track an NLM's use of memory pools, screens, processes, and semaphores. The NetWare NOS monitors more than 150 server resources in real time. This helps developers identify and manage the resources their NLMs use and thus create reliable NLM applications.

NetWare ensures that NLMs run reliably. When you unload an NLM, for example, the operating system returns all resources used by that NLM to the pool of available resources. The operating system also performs consistency checking on all NLMs to protect against NLMs that hoard resources.

The NetWare NOS's accounting features enable you to charge for the use of network resources. You can base charges on connection time, blocks read from or written to disk, free disk space used, or the number of requests made by a workstation. You can vary rates according to the time of day or the day of the week. You can also assign credit limits and have the system log out users who have exceeded their limits.

The NetWare NOS also provides dynamic resource configuration, automatically calculating the internal system resources needed for optimum performance.

Open Development Platform

NetWare 's open development platform enables developers to create NLMs optimized to run in the NetWare environment, ensuring that you will have a wide range of server-based applications from which to choose. Novell provides developers with tools and application programming interfaces (APIs) that make NLM development easier. NetWare includes CLIB, a set of APIs that developers need to create NLMs.

Support for NetView

NetWare includes the NetWare Management Agent (NMA) for NetView, an NLM that supports an interface from the NetWare server to IBM's NetView network management system. Both NetWare 3 and NetWare 4 servers can use NMA for NetView to more fully participate in an IBM host networking environment.

NMA for NetView forwards information about events on the server to the NetView manager. You can use the NetView run command interface on the NetView console to automate the management of NetWare servers from NetView. Commands supported include the loading and unloading of NLM software, directory management, and volume management. You can connect a NetWare server running NMA for NetView to a host system using a direct token-ring connection or through a server that runs NetWare for SAA.

Advanced Print Services

The NetWare NOS includes NetWare Print Server, an application that enables you to run multiple print servers on a single network and allow users to share as many as 16 printers.

You can attach printers through parallel (LPT1-LPT3) or serial (COM1-COM4) ports or directly to the network. Network printers may be attached to virtually any node on the network, including a network server, an external router, a dedicated DOS-based print server, or any DOS-based user workstation. You can install multiple print servers on a network or internetwork. Users and printers can be located on different floors within the same building and receive service from a single NetWare Print Server.

The NetWare Print Server includes flexible print queue management; you can configure it to have multiple printers serviced by one queue, one printer serviced by multiple queues, or an individual printer serviced by its own queue. Furthermore, you can set the print server configuration so that print jobs are serviced according to specified priorities. For example, the print server can service jobs according to queue priority, mounted form priority, or job position in the queue.

The NetWare Print Server includes user alert and user notification capabilities. For example, you can configure it to inform users when print jobs are completed or to notify print operators that the printer needs paper, needs different forms, or is offline.

Improved Menu System

The NetWare NOS includes the NMENU utility, which requires less memory than the MENU utility available in previous versions of NetWare. If you are upgrading to the NetWare NOS, NMENU will easily convert menus created by MENU.

Simplified Installation

The NetWare NOS's CD-ROM install option makes installation fast and easy. You simply load the CD-ROM and type answers to a few preliminary questions. The CD-ROM then automatically installs your NetWare system.


The NetWare NOS can serve as the platform for many of the network services Novell offers. For example, you can use NetWare as a network operating system for many of Novell's connectivity products, which help provide network access to users regardless of their location or computing environment.

In addition, you can use NetWare as the platform for GroupWise, Novell's messaging solution, and ManageWise, Novell's network management solution.


GroupWise is a fully integrated messaging system that provides E-mail, personal calendaring, group scheduling, serial routing, task management, rules-based message management, and workflow routing. By adding GroupWise to your NetWare network, you can provide users with the tools they need to communicate effectively with each other.


Sold separately from NetWare , ManageWise 2.1 is a comprehensive, integrated management solution. With ManageWise, you can easily manage NetWare servers, analyze network traffic, automate network inventory, remotely control and manage users' desktops, administer network applications, and prevent virus infiltration.

Hardware Requirements


More memory may be required, depending on the number of users, the load they put on the server, the number of NLMs loaded, and the size of the network hard disks. (More than 70MB of free disk space requires additional memory.) The dynamic resource configuration feature of the NetWare NOS notifies you when more memory will improve server performance.
The type of network adapter used depends on the type of computer used as a server or workstation. In 32-bit Micro Channel servers on Ethernet networks, Novell recommends using the NE/2-32. The 32-bit bus of the NE/2-32 enables you to gain the full performance potential of the NetWare NOS by increasing the amount of data that can be moved on and off the network and into server memory. For EISA servers on Ethernet networks, Novell recommends the NE3200, a 32-bit bus master adapter.


The NetWare NOS supports a large variety of both Novell and third-party LAN and disk adapters. For a complete list, contact your local Novell partner.

Software Requirements

The NetWare NOS includes all the software necessary to install and operate the network server and to connect as many as 250 Windows, OS/2, or DOS clients to the network, depending on the configuration you purchase. NetWare also includes software for connecting five Macintosh clients. The NetWare NOS supports the following client software:

Windows Clients

UnixWare Clients

UNIX NFS Clients

OS/2 Clients

Mac OS Clients

DOS Clients

Backup Devices

Many backup devices work with the NetWare NOS. These subsystems are produced by companies such as Archive, Cipher, Emerald, Gigatrend, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Mountain, Maynard, Tandberg, Wang, and Wangtek. For a complete list of backup devices, contact your Novell Authorized Partner.


Before buying the NetWare NOS, you should carefully plan your NetWare installation . This will help you determine which servers, workstations, and network adapters will work best with your system and what level of fault tolerance you will need.


Logical users supported: 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250
Concurrent open files per server: 100,000
Directory entries per volume: 2,097,152
Logical drives per volume: 32
Maximum disk storage capacity: 32TB*
Maximum RAM: 4GB*
Maximum file size: 4GB

* Maximums listed are individual limits. You may not be able to use these specifications at maximum levels at all times, and you may have to purchase additional equipment to achieve some maximums.

NetWare Command Line Utilities

Command line utilities (commands) that are of greatest use to the average user are ATTACH, CAPTURE, ENDCAP, GRANT, MAP, NPRINT, RENDIR, REVOKE, RIGHTS, SEND, SETPASS, and WHOAMI. For a complete description of these and other NetWare commands, users should consult the "Utilities Reference" NetWare manual.

The following is excerpted from the Utilities Reference manual with some modifications. Commands are ordered alphabetically. Text in italics indicates variables. Square braces ([ ]) around a variable indicates that it is optional. For example:
NPRINT filename [flags]

means that the user should substitute a valid filename for the italicized "filename" when typing in the command. Optional flags, such as NB which means no banner, can also be typed in.


login to additional NetWare file servers after logging into the network. You must have an account on the file server you attempt to attach to or you will be denied access.

NetWare networks can have one or many file servers. The login process typically gives a user access to one file server on the network. To gain access to other file servers, the attach command is used.

Common Usage:
ATTACH fileserver

Suppose you are logged in to file server TSUGA. Typing in the command:


will cause the computer to prompt:

Enter Username:

After typing in your username (or GUEST), you will be logged into FSDB if no password is required. If a password is required, you will be prompted for it.


Redirects printing output from single-user application programs (those not designed to run on a network) away from local printers (ports LPT1 through LPT3) to a shared network printer.

Applications software, such as wordprocessors and spreadsheets, that is written for standalone (single-user) IBM PC's typically send printing output to one of DOS's predefined parallel printing ports, LPT1, LPT2 or LPT3. To get these programs to send their output to network shared printers, the NetWare shell program has to intercept the output and reroute it. The CAPTURE command tells the shell to intercept and reroute output from a particular LPT port until an ENDCAP command is issued.

Common Usage:
CAPTURE [option ...]


CReate=file Capture output to a file. NoBanner Don't print banner page with username. NoFormFeed Disable form feeds at the printer. NoTabs Don't expand tabs (necessary for softfonts) Queue=queuename Queue name for output . Server=server The file server to which output is to be routed. TImeout=n Delay "n" seconds before queing output. Most programs require some delay (eg. n=15) to prevent output from being fragmented by short pauses in output. See the NetWare Command Line Utility Manual for complete list of available options.


will cause all printing directed to LPT1 on your workstation to be rerouted to print queue "fsl217c" (the Citoh) on file server TSUGA. Each file will be routed 15 seconds after the last character is received by server TSUGA. The NB option means no banner page will be printed. The NT option indicates no tab expansion is desired (required to use softfonts).


turn off print redirection set up by the CAPTURE command.

see the CAPTURE command above.

Common Usage:


grant trustee rights to users or groups in a given directory. You must have the Parental trustee right in a directory in order to use GRANT to assign other users trustee rights.

  1. Trustee rights are a security feature of NetWare that permit differing levels of file access to be established for different users on the network. The network supervisor typically sets trustee rights for most of the directories on NetWare file servers but users can also set trustee rights for other users in a given directory as long as they have parental rights in that directory.

Common Usage:
GRANT right TO user or group


will give (R)ead, (F)filescan (directory search) and (C)reate rights to user FRED in the current working directory.



Assigns network drive letters to directories, can modify path.

Common Usage:
MAP [drive:=directory]

Letters G through Z can be used in NetWare as shorthand substitutions for directories located on file server disk (network) drives. The MAP command is used to make the substitution assignments.

1) Typing in:


will display all NetWare drive mappings currently established for your workstation.

2) Typing in:

MAP k:=quercus/sys:fred

will "map" the drive letter k: to the NetWare directory SYS:FRED on server Quercus. The drive reference "k:" can be used in place of SYS:FRED within NetWare and some DOS commands.

3) Typing in:

MAP s3:=quercus/user:fred\bin
MAP INS s3:=quercus/user:fred\bin

allows you to modify your search path. The first example replaces the third element of the path with QUERCUS/USER:FRED\BIN. The second inserts the directory into the third position in the search path (moving all the rest down one). The third example deletes the third element of the search path.


copy one or more files from one network directory to another.

In the words of the NetWare manual, "NCOPY is nearly identical to the DOS COPY command, except that it is considerably faster when copying files between network directories on the same file server." It is also capable of dealing with file server and volume references in source and target names which COPY can not deal with.

Common Usage:
NCOPY source-filename target-filename


will copy the contents of the file FRED into FRED2 in your current working directory.


will copy the contents of file PAM in directory GEORGE on file server TSUGA volume USER to file PAM in the directory PETE\SAM on file server FSDB volume USER. Note that you must be logged in to both servers for this to work.


print a file on a shared network printer.

Common Usage:
NPRINT file [option ...]

The options for NPRINT are nearly identical to CAPTURE.

NPRINT memo.txt S=TSUGA Q=fsl217 NB NT

will send the text file memo.txt to the printer attached to print queue "fsl217" on file server TSUGA for printing. The option NB means no banner. The option NT indicates no tab expansion.


rename a directory.

Common Usage:
RENDIR path directory


will rename the subdirectory TEST in directory USER to JUNK.


remove trustee rights from users or groups in a given directory. You must have the Parental trustee right in a directory to use REVOKE to remove trustee rights from other users.

see GRANT above.

Common Usage:
REVOKE rights FROM user or group


will revoke the write trustee right from user SAM in the current working directory.


View your effective rights in a given directory.

effective rights are the file access rights you have in a given directory when your individual trustee rights and the directory's access rights are combined. See the "NetWare Concepts" section and the NetWare manual "Getting Started: User's Guide" for a complete description of effective rights.
Common Usage:
will cause the computer to display something similar to:
Your Effective Rights for this directory are [SRWCEMFA]
You have Supervisor Rights to Directory. (S)
May Read from File. (R)
May Write to File. (W)
May Create Subdirectories and Files. (C)
May Erase Directory. (E)
May Modify Directory. (M)
May Scan for Files. (F)
May Change Access Control. (A)


send a short message to one or more users on the network.

Common Usage:
SEND "message" [TO] user or group

SEND "hello there" TO nicole

will cause the message "hello there" to display on the 25th line of the workstation user NICOLE is currently logged into. The message stays on the screen until NICOLE clears it with a specified key stroke combination (<ctrl><enter>).


set or change your password on a given file server.

User accounts are usually protected by a password which must be typed in when logging in. It is a good practice to change an account's password from time to time for security reasons. SETPASS lets you quickly change your password from the command line. (The menu utility SYSCON can also be used to change your password.)

Common Usage:
SETPASS [file server name]


will cause the computer to prompt you for your old password, then the new password you want to change to. The new password must be entered twice for confirmation. At the prompt "Synchronize passwords on these file servers? (Y/N)" choose "Y".


display users currently logged into the network.

Common Usage:


will cause the computer to display something similar to: Connection User Name Login Time 1 MARK 5-20-88 8:10 am 2 PAM 5-20-88 10:45 am 3 *CAROL 5-20-88 11:30 am the connection with an asterisk is you.


display information about your network connection.

Common Usage:


will cause the computer to display something like: You are user GAIL attached to server TSUGA connection 2 Login Time: Wednesday June 20, 1988 8:10 am

Basic NetWare Commands and Utilities

Novell NetWare is the name of the network operating system running on the Local Area Network (LAN). Most DOS commands are valid on the Novell network. For example, typing dir will display a listing of files in your current directory. In addition you can use all the NetWare commands at the network prompt. Below are the commands you will use most often: