Unfortunately, Novell Netware is pretty much dead as an operating system. These pages will not be updated anymore, but will be retained for a while for the benefit of the faithful who continue to use this excellent operating system.
Novell did create the Open Enterprise Server, a SUSE Linux based OS that runs most of the old NetWare server functions.

What is NDS / eDirectory

Netware Directory Services (NDS) was renamed to eDirectory in Netware 6. In simplest terms, eDirectory is a list of objects that represent network resources, such as network users, servers, printers, print queues, and applications. eDirectory organizes objects in a tree structure, beginning with the top Tree object.

A tree is divided into Objects which are used to divide the tree into branches, and Leaf Nodes which represent network resources. The whole structure is called a Schema. Some object classes might not be available, depending on the actual schema configured on the eDirectory server.

eDirectory Container Object Classes

The Tree container is the top-most container and used to be called the Root. You can have several eDirectories in your Network, and each will have a tree with an unique name.

Country (C) objects can be used if your network spans several countries but it is rarely used in practice as it makes the tree more complicated. If you see a country object, it will be called by a two letter name like UK, DE or FR

Organization (O)You normally have a single Organisation object that represents your company, though you can have more than one. The object name will typically be an abbreviation for your company.

Organizational Unit (OU) Normally the Organizational Unit object represents a department, but what you have will depend on the size of your network. You may have no, one or several OUs, and OUs can contain nested OUs. An OU holds a set of objects that commonly need access to each other. A typical example is a set of Users, along with the Printers, Volumes, and Applications that those Users need . Typically, the OU Name property is an abbreviated department name.

eDirectory Leaf Object Classes

An Alias points to the actual location of an object in the directory. Any directory object located in one place in the directory can also appear to be in another place in the directory by using an Alias.

A Directory Map object represents a directory on a NetWare volume. (An Alias object, on the other hand, represents an object.) The Directory Map object is a pointer to a path in the server file system and is used in MAP commands.

A Group assigns a name to a list of User objects in the directory. You can assign rights to the group instead of to each user, then the rights transfer to each user in the group.

A Volume represents a physical volume on the network whether it is a hard disk, a CD, or other storage medium. The Volume object contains some information about the volume, but does not contain information about the files and directories on that volume. This information is retained in the file system itself.
When you create a physical volume on a server, a Volume object is automatically created in the tree. By default, the name of the Volume object is the server's name with an underscore and the physical volume's name appended (for example, SERVER-SYS).The volume has a Name or logical name and a Host Volume, or physical name. These two can be the same, but don't have to be. The volume also has a Host Server property which relates it to its owning server.

eDirectory storage

The directory is physically stored as a set of database files on a server. If the server hosts file system volumes, these files are on volume SYS:. If no volumes are present, the directory is stored on the server's local disk.
If you have more than one eDirectory server on the network, the directory should be replicated on multiple servers for resilience.

Typeless Distinguished Name

The typeless distinguished name of an object is its object name with the context appended. For example, the complete name of User object Terry is .Terry.Support.IT.Company

Typeful Distinguished Name

Sometimes typeful names are displayed in eDirectory utilities. Typeful names include the object type abbreviations .CN=Terry.OU=Support.OU=IT.O=Company. You can use typeful names interchangeably with typeless names in eDirectory utilities.

Backup and Recovery

Most third party Netware backup products will claim to support NDS or eDirectory backup. The key to a successful backup is that the product should support Netware Storage Management Services (SMS). SMS then presents the NDS data to the backup software in a system independent data format (SDIF). For this to work you also need two NLMs loaded on the server, the NDS TSA called TSANDS.NLM and the storage management data requestor NLM, called SMDR.NLM.
An NLM is a Netware Loadable Module, a TSA is a Target Service Agent, and is a component of SMS.

Some specific product hints

ARCserve 7.0 fully supports Novell's eDirectory.
If you run an ARCserve backup, and the backup userid has been deleted or disabled, the job simply disappears. This is the product working with the NDS as designed, and is intended to stop invalid users from dumping data to tape then removing it.
ARCserve does not allow you to restore NDS data to a different location. This is to prevent NDS corruption

TSM 5.x fully supports eDirectory backup and recovery. However the NDS is not included in all-local domain; you must explicitly code NDS in the domain option or use one of the following backup commands to back up the NDS:
To back up the entire NDS

load dsmc selective nds:* -subdir=yes -volinfo

To perform an incremental backup of the entire NDS, enter the following:

load dsmc incremental nds

Veritas Netbackup requires a specific Remote Agent (CAL) for NetWare Servers. The agent offers 100 percent Systems Management Server (SMS) compatibility and NetWare Directory Services.

It is possible to recover the entire NDS if it becomes corrupt. The TSM command is

load dsmc restore nds -replace=yes

but this should be used with extreme care.

Backing up the Netware NDS

Novell Directory Services (NDS) is critical for the Netware server environment. You should backup the entire NDS tree periodically, and make sure that the DIRECTORY is included in the domain of at least one of your nightly, scheduled backups.

TSM will not be able to recover every part of an NDS, schema extensions, partition boundary information and replica assignments are not backed up at present. Its best to keep an accurate blueprint of the NDS tree so that you can recreate this information after a disaster.

TSM Version 5.1 and above uses a file space name of NDS to backup the NDS. This means that you cannot call any Netware disks NDS, or they will conflict with NDS backups.

Full NDS backup

To manually backup the NDS, use the command

selective nds:* -subdir=yes -volinfo

Version of the TSM client for NetWare will automatically backup NDS on a server that holds a master replica. Previous versions of the TSM client, you need to add NDS: to the domain line in your dsm.opt file, it is not included in all-local domain

DOMain all-local, NDS

NDS trees

If you have split your NDS tree into several branches, then its network intensive to gather data from a remote branch. It best to exclude NDS entries from remote branches, and just backup from the root, and the local branch. Say the NDS tree has three branches, US, EU and OZ, and you want to backup the local EU tree, a typical include/exclude file would then be


TSM stores NDS object names as the typeful, distinguished object name including '.[Root]'. For example, the object CN=Miller.OU=Operations.O=RBS would have the following Tivoli Storage Manager name:


This means that if you want to, you can exclude right down to common (leaf) objects. There are some restrictions, for example you cannot use the include and exclude.dir options together.

print queues

IBM recommended that you INCLUDE the directory structure for print queues, and EXCLUDE the print files, as they cannot be backed up anyway. This means that if the server is restored, print pending documents are lost, but the queue structure is available for new requests.


If Novell Distributed Print Services is used for printing, then Netware does not use print queues, so both the directory structure and the files can be excluded.

Server Specific information

There is some Netware information which is specific to a server, and which is not backed up by default. If you want to include it, you need to add a domain statement to the dsm.opt file

DOmain serverspecificinfo

The serverspecificinfo contains the following -

Contains the information needed by the NetWare installation procedure to restore the server object to its original state.
A text file containing various NDS information, including the server's replica list.
A text file which contains the full server name (i.e., if the directory name had been truncated), a list of volumes present on the server at the time of the last server specific information backup, the name spaces and extend file formats (e.g., compression) enabled on the volumes. This file is meant to aid the user during server recovery.
The server's autoexec.ncf file.
The server's startup.ncf file.

Also Server centric ids are unique ids assigned to each server, and are backed up server as part of the server specific information

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