OS X & Netware 4.11compatible?

naturalbornchaos used Ask the Experts™
I work in a school district that runs Novell 4.11. All of our workstations are Win98, mostly Dells. One of the teachers wants to purchase some new iMacs. Since they are new I am guessing they will be running OS X, but I am not 100% sure. Is this compatible with Netware 4.11. I heard somewhere that it was not. Thanks for you help.
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I think your right here,

I am not sure if there is an IPX client for OS X, which means that you wont be able to connect to it.

OS X can use either Samba, AFP or SLP...

However these all work over IP and since support for TCP/IP was only introduced in Netware 5 i dont think it will work this way.

However if you have shared files on your windows pc's then the MAc will still be able to access them, just use the finder to browse via SMB/CIFS, and your shoudl be able to see the Windows boxes, maybe just not the Novell Server.

Only IPX is natively supported in Netware 4.11, so the client weed recommends won't work without some major help (and may not work at all). The key in the product description on prosoft's page is "Pure IP." Netware 5.x+ speak IP natively, but not any earlier versions.

You could get an IP/IPX gateway (either a software one by loading an NLM on the server or a hardware box like a Cisco). That would allow the machines to talk to each other, but I wouldn't bet any money that 4.11 services will be available to the Macs. Pre-5.x Netware works with TCP/IP by encapsulating its own data inside the headers that IP needs to communicate. A Mac communicating using "Pure IP" simply wouldn't be sending all of the information that 4.11 needs.

Actually, I'd recommend updating Netware... even if you weren't getting the new Macs. The security benefits alone would warrant the change, but you'd also be getting the ConsoleOne tool for administration, compatibility with more and more useful NLMs, etc., etc., etc. In addition, you wouldn't even need a Novell client on the Macs, then... you could use AppleTalk (or Samba) NLMs on the server.

Sorry about the long-windedness of my answer. Hope this helps.

exactly Arioso...

so you would probably reccomend upgrading to Netware 6 then..

sounds good to me, plus he'll get iprint, ifolder, etc and an even better support portal into server via any number of web browsers.

It is possible to connect OS X to a NetWare 4.1 server. The server needs to have the following running:

Long file name support
Macintosh Name Space

The server will then show up as an AFP server in "Connect to server".

I'm currently connected this way with OS X 10.2.6, and did previously with 10.2 and 10.1.5, without problem.


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