How do I get the Novell Client to run on Opensuse10.3?

…submitted by Brian, here’s his original question: “Have you tried, or had any luck installing the Novell Client on this distro yet?” Brian goes on to explain that he is running 64-bit, and having dependency-related install errors with the client.

So just to come clean here, let me state that for this post/discussion/experiment I’m using the 32-bit version of Opensuse10.3, with the Opensuse10.2 Novell Client. There currently is no released client for 10.3, or this would be a pretty silly post. I have the gcc, kernel-sources, and make packages installed. My machine is patched up-to-date at the time of this writing.

I got the client software from Oddly, the clients are provided in *.iso form. So, you can just mount them and copy out the files like I did, like this:
cd /tmp/novellClient/suse10.2 (where I put the iso)
mount -o loop novell-client-2.0-suse10.2-i386.iso /media/iso/
cp -av /media/iso/* .
…you get the idea. Enough if the disclaimer and background… let’s get bizzy….

Brian, you’re right; shortly after starting the Novell client installation, I got this:
[ncl_install] Upgrading novell-xtier-base...
error: Failed dependencies: is needed by novell-xtier-base-3.1.5-46.i586

…and a bunch more dependency-based failures stack up if you let it continue. I checked and found that libbfd is a part of the binutils package… which *is* installed on your/my machine. So I thought, “Hmm… if I were an Opensuse10.2 machine (since the client was intended for 10.2, right?), where would I keep my libbfd if not /usr/lib?” So I went and looked at a 10.2 machine, and noticed a small difference. The 10.2 machine has soft-links to its libbfd versions that the 10.3 didn’t have. So, to correct this, I made similar entries on my 10.3 machine as follows:
cd /usr/lib
ln -s
ln -s

…and I ran the install again. Still the same errors. Well, this time I figured I have nothing to lose, since I know it’s there, the requirements are essentially met, and the package just isn’t seeing it. Tough. Let’s do this! So a quick glance at the ncl_install script set me on the right path (pun intended), and I manually installed the first package by going into the directory structure where I have downloaded and placed the client files as follows:
cd /tmp/novellClient/suse10.2/suse/i586

…and force the first package as follows:
rpm -Uvh --nodeps novell-xtier-base-3.1.5-6.23.i586.rpm

…now, when I go back and re-run the ncl_install, I get happiness… here’s the output of the same section:
[ncl_install] Upgrading novell-xtier-base...
[ncl_install] novell-xtier-base-3.1.5-6.23 is already installed - upgrade is not needed.

…you’re darned right it’s not needed! And finalize it with a reboot. And it works! Yay! Okay, no promises here, but go ahead and log in, map some drives, get to your home directory, do your timesheet, play your mp3s.


Okay, before we go… sidebar… do you all know about “ncpmount“? I have to admit, I haven’t used the Novell Client on Linux since it was first introduced when I beta-tested it. I thought there was no future in it. But wow, this experiment has shown me it has come a loooong way… but I digress. With ncpmount, you can do basically the same thing without all that fanciness. Want to mount your server’s VOL2? Here’s what I do:
ncpmount -S BAZAAL -A -V VOL2 -U jpavlov.users.corp /media/ncp

…it works great… ok, it works good. Actually, it has quit on me in the past under heavy-HEAVY load, but it’s usually fine. It is certainly great in a pinch, when you’re on someone else’s machine, or server, without all the fancy-schmancy client stuff! But, I admit it…. I think I’ll leave this client installed… it’s pretty clean now…


UPDATE June 1 2008: Here’s an important update I read on one of my favorite blogs ( thanks martijn! )… Apparently the client for Opensuse 10.3 is out, but not yet for the 11 client at the time of this writing…


  1. Brian Moffet

    Modifications for x64 users:

    whip out yast software management
    reinstall binutils
    If you went with the Gnome environment, make sure you install kdelibs3

    cd /usr/lib64
    ln -s (watch the name closely)
    ln -s

    cd /tmp/novellClient/suse10.2/suse/x86_64/
    …and force the first package as follows:
    rpm -Uvh –nodeps novell-xtier-base-3.1.5-6.23.x86_64.rpm

    If that runs ok, go ahead and try running ./ncl_install and cross your fingers.
    Mine ran all the way though and tossed up an error when starting novsfs
    If this happens to you, pop into yast again and install, or reinstall the novfs kernel module suitable for your kernel.

    Loving this distro…

  2. Brian Moffet

    This is the best linux / Novell resource I have found on the web. Keep it up the good work please…

  3. Greg

    with the novell client on out 10.3 test machine we were able to access everything just fine can edit and save documents that are already on the share…however if you try to create a document through nautilus it fails because I am running up against this bug

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