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GNU is Not Unix

Open-Source Netware-Aware OS Under Construction 111

jjr writes "An article over at Infoworld say that a former exec of Novell is creating a open source(GPL) netware compatible OS. you can play with it over at" The operating system is named MANOS, so I keep expecting to see a lot of hands involved.
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Open-Source Netware-Aware OS Under Consturction

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  • And for anyone who still don't get it, "manos" is spanish for hands
  • netware complatible OS

    Not to be picky, but what exactly does complatible mean? Is this a new word, or a typo?

  • This is great to see. The peer-review miracle of open-source will be useful. It's a wonderous model that could've been used to catch the fact that there is no such word as "Consturction."
  • it's "Construction" not whatever it is you have in the title.

    1,2,3,4 Moderation has to Go!
  • Anyone out there automatically think of Manos: The Hands of Fate?

    Chris the MathFeak
  • I don't think that the RSA patent is as big a problem as they suggest. PGP circulates with a very GNU-like license. People can experiment with it. After RSA realized how many people were using it, they forced PGP to use RSA's licenses.

    Also, the RSA patents don't hold overseas. There's no reason why this development couldn't take place in Europe. Well, it would have been a bit inconvenient for the folks in Utah, but they could have gotten everything rolling.

  • No! Mars is Netware 3.x (more-less) compatible. It doesn't support NDS and IMO is good solution only for a few DOS clients.
  • by b0z ( 191086 )
    I think I will name my OS MONOS, as in giving an infinite number of them typewriters and an infinite amount of time and eventually they will develop a complete OS.

    Oh wait, it's already been done I think. How else can you explain Windows? :oD

  • My honest reaction to this on both a personal and professional level of interest is "who cares"? The latest industry figures for companies from the Fortune 500 down is that NetWare is well on the way to becoming deader than the prospects for the Star Trek franchise. People just aren't interested in it any more, and compatibility is becoming less of an issue every day as companies upgrade their architecture.

    Since I've started following the rise of the open source movement as championed by the people's hero, RMS (by the way, what does the M stand for? or is it just a "hack" so he gets a tech-friendly TLA name?), I've seen more and more companies start to move their enterprise solutions onto open source platforms - mainly Linux, but some more daring pioneers are opting for BSD. This switch in the way that these companies operate is slowly filtering up to larger and larger companies, traditionally friends with Solaris systems or even "big irons".

    I haven't heard NetWare spoken about for a couple of years, except for the odd customer trying to get rid of it and install something else. It seems to me that this is just another open source "toy" operating system which will founder on a sea of indifference. Linux and BSD have already captured almost all of the mindshare amongst the open source crowd, and alternatives are just not going to find it easy to muscle in.

    So, I don't think that this project will go anywhere. Like too many open source projects, it falls into the category of "wishware" - it'll never get past version 0.001-pre6 alpha 3 or whatever.

    Jon E. Erikson

  • Why make all the trouble in creating a brand new OS , when they can create a distro of their own from any Open source OS they like and plug in GOOD Netware support in that! Isn't it really a waste of resources? (IMHO it is)

  • (Caution: extremely flammable. treat with care)

    But WHY ?

    I agree. After a first-order analysis, it seems that building a new OS, GPLed or not, that is netware-compatible is a horrible waste of time, and that just building the user-land and kernel-space components for some *NIX, possibly Linux or *BSD, to accomplish this would be a better use of their time, especially considering the time-to-market issues.

    HOWEVER, if everybody thought like this, then we wouldn't have Linux or any of the *BSD's. Perhaps they'd build an OS that's better than Linux or the current crop of the *BSD's. Perhaps they'll build another HURD-a system that looks really fscking neat, but fails to deliver due to lack of {mindshare|interest|common knowledge|overambitious project}. Who knows until they try?

  • by FascDot Killed My Pr ( 24021 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @03:46AM (#840590)
    Man is it ever annoying when these open source projects spend tons of time on giving people titles, setting up cool websites and such before (or even instead of) doing any coding. For instance, from the website:

    "TRG's MANOS logo was painted approximately 1500 years ago by an ancient artist who was one of the earliest inhabitants of Utah."

    That's right, this project has been around for 1500 years and they are just now starting to code. Sheesh.
  • Why not concentrate on something useful, like making Samba and NT to cooperate better ?

    If i had any moderation points left, this would already be a (score 0, troll) article...

    since when did the open source movement start telling people to stop development on any field because this other field is more important? if that was the case we could argue that maybe we should be growing from netware up to make linux/unix better, and stop working with samba since NT is already a piece of crap. but we don't say that because open source offeres something for everyone, regardless of what the ohters say. your argument is as bad as the one used by people who say that we shouldn't spend money on space travel becasue there's still a lot of problems here on earth that need solving.

    Besides, Netware is not horrible and you know it. I've never come across any system that was as intuitive and easy to administer than Netware, but i don't think that's what this is about.
  • RMS (by the way, what does the M stand for? or is it just a "hack" so he gets a tech-friendly TLA name?)

    Maybe we should have a contest or a /. poll. Here're some of my (not so funny attempt at funny) suggestions:

    • Mystery
    • Money
    • Monkey
    • Moot
    • Monstrous
    Seriously, what *does* it stand for?
  • Shouldn't that be 'man os'?
  • A combination of compliant & compatible perhaps?
    There may be an alternative answer though. When a story is first posted, there is a manic race to get the first post in a thread. Perhaps our esteemed editors are also in the same position, racing through the submission queue to find that one interesting article, then quickly typing up some copy to go with it?
  • Congratulations! As the first person to EVER spot a typo on slashdot, you will receive the "YOU'RE A GODDAM SUPERHERO AND WHAT WOULD WE ALL DO WITHOUT YOU" award!

    Please PLEASE do continue pointing out typos or surely the world as we know if will end.

  • It's a new word; it mean "compatible, but not quite". Some uses:
    "Gah, this file's not compatible - it's not even complatible!"
    "My partner and I are highly complatible."
    "This hardware is 100% IBM complatible, which equates to 85% IBM compatible."
    etc. etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Isn't it apparent? We have ESR & RMS. Isn't that what Linux is all about?
  • Its absolutely wonderful. Finally you can have an open-source operating system that is 100% compliant with netbios... lanman.. etc. Your favorite apps will work right out of the box.. like
    and for you CDC fans out there BackOrifice is installed by default!!..

    Ok it sounded better in my head... *sigh*

  • the "Hands of Fate" operating system?

    Cool! Think of the features:

    • The Torgo shell that minds the system while the master is away.
    • The "top" command is graphical using women clad in semi-transparent underwear wrestling in the dust for CPU time.(*)
    • All of the system sounds are annoying 4-note riffs that repeat over and over again.
    • The screensaver is of a tall dark moustached man who resembles a reject from the Village People.
    • Disk usage is portrayed as an ever-growing pair of knees.

    I would pay $50 for one!

    (This will make no sense to anyone except MST3K fans. It refers to a movie that makes "Plan 9 from Outer Space" look like "Gone With the Wind".)

    (*) Natalie Portman skin optional

  • But what vision! As Novell couldn't've been around for more than a few decades, the founders of the project knew, over 1400 years ago, that an NOS will once flourish, then need an OSS replacement!

    Of course, if I were the bastards who knew this, I would've picked up M$ stock in the '70's and forgot about building the OS ;p

  • A recent article on /. discussed: IBM Takeover Of Novell? []

    Could it be that the powers that be at Timpanogas Research Group [] are looking for a possible buyout by IBM, too?

    And following the link for this ("Open-Source Netware-Aware OS Under Consturction[sic]") article there is this:

    Novell sued TRG in a Utah federal court three years ago in a bid to prevent the company from developing clustering software for tying groups of NetWare servers together.

    IBM has considerable experience with lawyers and the cash to pay them. Could it be an attempt to find backing and protection at the same time?

  • Argh, you beat me to it. Good job!

    The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk
  • I think the difference is that UNIX was (is!) a Good Thing - and it's worth making a free copy of it (Linux), or making it free (*BSD). OTOH, many people feel that Netware is *dead* - old and uninteresting, with nothing to offer.

    Why would you need a copy of something *bad*? I would be interested to hear what the people at TRG had as their reason...

    best wishes,
  • The answer is lots of people care. This is *very* cool. Why you ask. Simply put while there might not be alot of new installs of Netware it is still alive and well in many spots and this will give those of us who are going to be forced to work with it for the next few years a chance to apply all of the good things about OSS/Free software in a way that our suits feel they can sign off on. Can't speak for everybody but we are very pumped by this. Also this will include a OSS/Free NDS workalike. At that point it will be almost trivial to port NDS to any platform you want. This along with what Novell has already put out will lead to some sweet sweet NDS loving on *nix, bsd, what ever you got. And that is a good thing. Yes Netware is kind of flaky but NDS rocks. And opensourcing it could lead to a OS with all the advantages of both worlds. Also just keep in mind that not that long ago the future was Windows :)
  • by C. E. Sum ( 1065 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @04:08AM (#840605) Homepage Journal
    Jeff is the "former exec of Novel" referenced here.

    He has been an active contributor to (at least) the discussion on the linux-kernel mailing list for the last year or so. Check out his entry [] in the Kernel Traffic [] People index [].

    It's very interesting to watch his interaction with the community, since he came in from a large software house and seem(ed, s) to not "get" the way Linux development works. Some of the discussions he's brought up really seem bizarre in the Linux world (incorporate fsck into the kernel, like w2k, or this little diatribe []), but others have led to very positive developments (NTFS help, legal help, ...).

    Some times this guy seems like he just doesn't get it, but then again he provides a very active *different* voice in l-k land. And the best part is that due to the nature of the project, people can basically ignore him when he rants and maybe still pick up some useful ideas along the way.

    Directly related to this story, I'm not sure how much use an open NW-alike is, but hey, it's a free world.

  • I think Netware is great. Its user and object mamagement is unmatched by any other server operating system I've ever used. Its sturdy, has good support, and does its job.

    I'm not sure what else you need from it, it has a purpose and fullfills it. I consider its user management to be far superior to the standard linux or NT setup.

    Altho Novell seem to be running around like headless chickens trying to decide what direction it is going in tho, trying to aim Netware 5 at the internet market is a late, and probably bad decision.

  • - but whenever I look at that GNU image on the topic bar, I see an caped eagle with a leather face mask and an erection.
    See, you have to think of the gaps between the horns as an eye. The leftmost horn is the beak. The blanket becomes a cape. The eagle is standing proudly with an arched back, and, as any fool can plainly see, he has an erection.
    Good for him.

  • by Royster ( 16042 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @04:17AM (#840608) Homepage
    Except that one of the principals of the project, Jeff Merkey, already contributes scads of code to Linux and is very active on the lkml. He's already worked on lots of filesystems and he's contributed a new open source debugger for debugging a running kernel. It seems that Linux has already benefited.
  • this is cool i guess, but it doesn't circumvent the underlying problem:

    NetWare sucks.
  • Now that we can have Linux or BSD used as both Netware, TCP/IP, Web, RealAudio, AppleTalk, Samba, etc. servers, how could one OS that is not, at this moment, guaranteed to work as well as the Linux/BSD things be successfull ?
    Netware has indeed a great reputation but convincing people to switch to it and thus lose the extra protocol/services they would have under another already available Free OS sounds risky, IMHO...
    Has there been a "market-pemetration" study ?
  • OK, as you requested: "the world as we know if will end" doesn't make sense!
    However, my superhuman brain has already found out what's wrong and my superhuman altruism makes me share this knowledge with you:
    IT'S A TYPO!
    That's right, another typo on /.
    That makes (at least) 2 typos IN ONE ARTICLE!!!!
    But that's not enough, my superhuman brain has even found the CORRECT SPELLING of your sentence (ha, took me just a couple of minutes to figure that one out): It's "the world as we know IT will end".
    Clever, huh?
  • by Lion-O ( 81320 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @04:21AM (#840612)
    This sounds nice but IMHO it results to nothing.

    "Our intent is to support existing Linux applications and drivers on an optimized NOS [network operating system] kernel that provides comparable performance metrics to today's Netware product line."

    Thats all very nice to hear but when you take a look at the current server market (and the market shares offcourse) you will notice that Novell's share is decreasing very rapidly. Despite the fact that their NOS is a very robust and stable one its obvious, judging by the statistics, that the people want something else (more) nowadays. One could speculate on how people seemed to loose interest, IMHO one of the reasons is due to their own 'special' way of supporting TCP/IP but thats besides the point.

    So I wonder why they want to focus on a complete new OS, which is based on a fading one, instead of supporting the currently available OS'ses even better? Sure; a Netware based OS which can also run Linux applications sounds nice but not necessary; if I need Linux support I'd just setup another server running Linux, its free remember?

    As for the Netware part; if I'd have to choose between a (proven) stable NOS like netware or a new (free) product on the market I'd choose for Netware. Thats how it works when running a business. Even these folks feel the same on this: "Our first target shipment is geared to providing NetWare 4.11 NDS and networking capability in an open-source form to Novell's existing customers,". This also sounds very promising but don't forget that they plan to release somewhere in "the second half of 2001". How many Netware users will be left then? No one can predict this for sure but I really don't think it will be enough to make this whole product commonly accepted. It would take time, much effort and a lot of people supporting it.

    If these folks really want to give out more support for Netware I'd personally suggest focusing on building and extending NDS support for Linux instead of selling it [].

  • Linux and BSD have "almost all of the mindshare"!!!!

    Quick everyone!! abandon all other OS development!!

    (seeing this sort of thing at +3 insightful makes my heart sink. finding myself replying feels just as bad)

  • The big problem is that a lot of companies, including Novell, signed license agreements with RSA. To get them, they had to sign agreements that extended beyond the life of the patent, September 20th, 2000. So, basically, Novell often can't release stuff open source because of the RSA agreement, and there are limits to what they can do to get around the problem.
  • Actually, if you look at the per-seat instead of per-server count, it looks a lot better. I think it has something to do with being able to handle far more users at a time on the same box with Netware than NT (file and print). You can run 1,000 users off a Pentium II with 256 megabytes of RAM. You just have to buy more boxes for NT/2000, and deal with the extra managment that causes.

  • I understand why making a GPL version of Netware might be interesting, but is it really worth it? The one really nice thing about Netware is NDS, and we already have that for Linux, and most other major platforms. Novell seems to be betting the company on their NDS/Directory technology, not Netware, so wouldn't an open source GPL'd version of NDS be more interesting and perhaps more useful? (I have no idea if it'd even be possible to create a free NDS that's compatable with their version, but hey, it's a thought!)

  • by Pike ( 52876 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @04:38AM (#840617) Homepage Journal
    They should have named it MENOS as in "mas o menos." :-)

  • I could actually use something like this. Can't upgrade the clients past Win 3.11 because the software will only function under Win 3.11 with low-end hardware. Inherited the project with no documentation. And if there's any downtime on one machine, we lose three others. It's a spaghetti setup :)

    If there was an open-source LanMan replacement, we could probably streamline the updating of the macines.
  • Nuff said.
  • Yes. It's what constructs the elements and packaging for 'Man In A Can'.



  • I'm guessing they've left out the mouse, and are using a joystick?

    I wonder if they'll use Freud in their ads. "What do you want to do to your mother today?"

  • That the Master approves.
  • The screensaver is of a tall dark moustached man who resembles a reject from the Village People.

    Hey, I thought he looked more like Frank Zappa.

    "Keep those hands of fate at 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock on the steering wheel!"

    It was bad, real bad, but I still don't think it topped ``Pod People.''

    -pf, posting WhIlE tHe MaSTeR iS aWAy

  • .. which it very well may. How will Novell react? Ms likes to react by changing their API so only they can use it. Novell, selling their server software as server software more than an OS to develop a lot on. Will Novell cut down on their licensing fees? Will they try to take legal action?

  • [late one evening, after pizza and beer]

    "Hey guys, what should we call our new company?"

    "How about.. ummm.." [FART] "Oh, excuse me!"

    "Hey, that's it!! Now we just need to make it sound classy..."

    "Anal Thunderclap? Magnum G.I. Tract? Sousaphone Orifice? Timpani Gas?"

    "Timpanogas! Yeah.."

  • Manos, the Hands of fate is currently 3rd on the Internet Movie Database's Bottom 100 [] films list. I haven't seen this MST3K, but it must be a doozy.

    Has anyone found any specs on the options the os offers, other than the Netware compatability and DLL loading? Sounds like the exec got pissed at Novell and went off and did his own thing his way, taking Novell developed "parts" with him. Also, if they are looking for linux support, why give the ability to load win DLLs?

    Even the samurai
    have teddy bears,
    and even the teddy bears

  • My sincere apologies if I'm wrong, but wasn't Timpanogas formed by some former Novell employees who had been working on Novell clustering technology? Didn't they leave Novell, form a new company, and then immediately announce their own clustering software? Didn't Novell sue the hell out of them, search their homes, and essentially prove that they had stolen code that Novell paid them to produce?

    If so, is there any risk that they may still have some proprietary code that they intend to use for this project? Has any GPL'ed code ever been found to be in violation of someone else's copyrighted proprietary code?

    Again, maybe it was another company, and if so I apologize profusely.
  • I thought it might be a contraction of platypus compatible.
  • Milhouse?
  • by David A. Madore ( 30444 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @05:01AM (#840630) Homepage

    Why is it that every announcement on Slashdot made that is vaguely related to free software (or to something being GPL'd) is tagged with the GNU logo?

    This story has no relation to GNU whatsoever. Can someone come up with a "free software" logo for this sort of news?

  • Hallelulah! It's a miracle.

    Actually, that fits right in with ESR, because he's big on Ceremonial Magick and such.
  • > Face it. Unix is obsolete.

    It's irrelevant to my point: whereas a great proportion of the industry disagrees with you (support for UNIX, particularly the free unicies, is growing), Netware is going: people are migrating *from* netware. Maybe you were trying to goad me, but it wont work because I'm not a UNIX weenie ;)

    > This appears to be an OS that is being designed, not just reimplemented to mimic something 30 years old.

    It's a clone of Netware! It's being designed to mimic an old OS... a bit like Linux. Did you have a point?

    > I expected to see this kind of ranting before I even started reading the comments.

    You think that's ranting? I assume English isn't your first language then.

    [] intransitive senses 1 : to talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner 2 : to scold vehemently

    Those are my views on the subject, articulated in a measured manner. You don't like them? Fine, but I'm afraid it's no more of a rant than it is a rabbit.

    best wishes,
  • That the above comment was ever moderated up is sad... Until recently, free software was never about "mindshare" and IPO's. It was about programmers creating things they loved and believed in. RMS didn't start the GNU project because he though it would someday have a huge "mindshare". Linus, Alan Cox, and the other early Linux developers didn't start hacking on Linux for "mindshare". They did it because they believe in the project, and because it was something they loved tinkering with.

    Now I'm not saying that I'm unhappy about the commercial success that some companies are having with free software. I love the face that a greater percentage of the servers I work with are Linux servers.

    But free software isn't only about things like mindshare and marketshare. Sometimes it's just about a project you love and want to hack on. And it doesn't really matter what the "installed base" of your program is. It matters how much you love writing it.

    As long a there is a free software movement, as long as hackers write code for the love of learning, and the love of the challenge, there will still be room for more free OS's and other free software projects. The day there isn't, is the day that the "free" software movement has truely died.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
  • by alhaz ( 11039 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @05:25AM (#840634) Homepage
    Whoever they are, they don't know how to spell Timpanogos, that alone is pretty embarrasing.

    Maybe it's not their fault. See, it's the name of the tallest mountain around these parts. There are two trails to the peak, and the easiest one is the one maintained by the girl scouts of america. And since they're ignorant, they spelled the sign at the trail head Timpanogas. And since they're cheap, they never fixed the sign. But it's still embarrasing. It's spelled Timpanogos. Anyone who had to study it in elementary school knows that.

    So, aparantly, these guys have never hiked it (and it's almost a requirement to hike it at least once if you live here), or they've only hiked it the easy way.

    All that being said, there are facts to be pointed out.

    1: They've been mentioned here before. At that time i think it was netware support for linux or somesuch.

    2: Former Novell Execs are a dime a dozen. Honestly, being a Vice President at Novell is like being a middle-managment pencil pusher anywhere else. They have so many of them that the term no longer has any meaning.

    3: If they can't spell the name of the valley's most prominant landmark correctly I've absolutly no faith in them.

  • haha ok you got me... =)

  • Yes, it's true, I have a very small penis. Luckily I have big man boobs aka moobs which more than make up for my little pe pe.
  • Merkey was not a executive at novell, he did the first multi proc stuff in netware.. and it was a pile of shit... after a number of legal problems (he stealing code) this is his idea to put novell under... he writes shit code.. and this will not work for crap i am sure.
  • the "Hands of Fate" operating system?

    Cool! Think of the features:

    • The Torgo shell that minds the system while the master is away.

    Don't forget the Michael shell that was programmed by the master as a replacement for Torgo when the master got p*ssed off at Torgo...

    --M, who wonders if that's the only film that both Frank and Dr. Forrester apologized for...

  • The M stands for 'mean' as in 'Root Mean Square'. Or was it Richard 'Mean' Stallman
  • But WHY ?

    Well, probably for lots of good reasons. We in the modern world seem to have trundled down the path of "one OS can fulfill all our needs" [which ironically is the microsoft mantra as well] when really to get the absolute best out of a system you need to use an OS optimised for the job.

    Netware brings with it rock solid File and Print server capablities - far beyond what Linux or NT currently offer. As a fileserver I still believe that you can't get a better product than Netware. Then there's NDS which is a great tool for maintaing complex security on a large network and thats also had years of testing. IMHO implementing these features in a specialised open source OS is great as it then gives us a choice, MANOS for the file and print, linux on the desktops and DB servers and *BSD where a blindingly fast web/ftp/intranet server is required etc. That way we get the best of every aspect without a single OS become a jack of all trades and master of none [essentially the trap I believe MS have fallen into]


  • OK - first off I confess I like Novell's Netware - a lot. It really is a fantastic file & print server. Fast, reliable, efficient, all the things NT isn't. What it also isn't is an applications server. Sure it's got Oracle & some other packages that can run on the server, it's even got some great firewalling & cache server stuff (fastest cache server out there), heck it's even got a great Java implementation but for unwrap-the-box and stick-the-app-on-the-server it's not there, ain't gonna to be there, and frankly no one cares.

    What saves Novell's butt outide of the file-&-print world is NDS. Directory Services done right. No crappy NT wierdness, no bizarre limitations, this thing is a true distributed object-oriented directory you can stick about anything into. Novell took all of that time in the field and learned what SysAdmins really want : the ability to manange everything from one point fast, easily, reliably, and in quantity. No six-tools-piped-together-then-hand-added-to-each-s ystem, no custom-scripts-only-their-writer-understands-&-he- left-last-year, no scramble to find & close accounts when someone jumps ship, no you-do-it-this-way-here-and-that-way-there - instead all in one easy to read, easy to architect, very flexible directory. User information? Here. Maiden names? There. Desktop prefs? There. Printer settings? There. Printer drivers? Over there. Notes account? There. AIX acounts? There. Phone numbers? Here. Fax box? There. Billing center? Here. AOL Chat? Here. All there - everywhere.

    Unfortunately Novell hasn't figured out how to make this wonder universal. Sure it runs on a couple of platforms but there's little to encourage new folks to move to it. If any product ever needed at 200-user-&-90-day free trial this is it. Let the masses get a taste and they'll want more. Unfortunately Novell hasn't figured out how to do so.

    What they have done is put out a few lame Netware-drivers that rely on IPX (remember IPX? Secure, smart, but not TCP/IP) and were closely tied to specific kernels. They want to let other folks in but are afraid of loosing the jewels. NDS on open-source boxes - their fear is how to get them to pay for the intellectual property (& Novell has staked their fortune on developing NDS!) Most of the /.'ers just want their hands on tech they don't want to pay big upfront license fees for but when that's the only model you have then you're stuck. Sell support? Not much use in a business like directory services. Charge for development tools? Yeah - developers don't need anyone that much anymore.

    Anyway, this crew from Novell helped develop & pre-market the Novell's next-gen clustering technology and when it was about baked jumped ship and started telling folks they were going to sell pretty much what they'd been developing at Novell. Lawsuits ensue and these folks find out that you can't just walk out the door with the tech. Big bills are paid and so they decide to go off in the Utah desert & reinvent Netware. Unfortunately they hadn't noticed 'till recently that no one needs another Netware, particularly a third party one that couldn't run what apps Netware already has and is only compatible with an obsolete (4.11) version.

    So now they're offering is drivers to read Netware file systems (nice but not an overwhelming need in most quarters) and a new OS that can use Linux drivers under a new "MANOS" kernel to integrate with Netware environments. Oh, and there's some talk of an open source NDS clone but no one has seen any evidence of this (at least that I'm aware of.) This of course all has to be done without violating the legal decisions against them from their last run-in with Novell where they had to agree not to use or release any secrets.

    Yay. Another open source OS, albiet from a good developer, whose sales feature is the ability to integrate with a platform that's not growing and a promise to deliver an open-source version of NDS - something that has taken a lot of very bright folks a lot of time to develop & tune, all without infringing on trade secrets or legal agreements. Oh, and this thing will be like Netware - no apps for it (the ability to read DLLs and such is interesting but without the infrastructure to host them not much good.) Just what the world needs.

    Here's an idea: someone develop a good set of open-source libraries for an NDS clone. Or someone figure out a model for Novell to release theirs yet still make money on them. But please, lets not tie them to another limited-application OS. Enough reinventing the wheel - we're at the point where everyone just wants components that an be added a la carte to their favorite and/or most appropriate OS.

    Please, before folks start posting how they recall with disfavor their experiences with Netware in '86 or whenever recall what the competition was also like back then. Also, if you haven't used Netware 5.0 then you really should be quiet - these days it's very different from what you recall; very sophisticated, very polished, and very good at what it does. Frankly if I could use Netware for my file & print serving, Linux for my application hosting, and NDS to tie everything together they'd kick.

  • I vote for "Monkey"
  • Netware was my favouritte until Win95's came. It was fast, stable, doing its work, *only* its work, and doing that well...

    I think they won't have to deal with too many drivers (who needs sound card support for their file server?). Anything essential may be borrowed from Linux kernel (power of GPL!). Also some sode has been implemented in the MARS-NWE project. What's left: stabilization and integration of NDS, and some utilities.

    I like this kind of projects... If it ever becomes mature enough, i can kiss NT's goodbye...

  • If these guys worked on NetWare, how can they create a competing OS without violating trade secret and copyright laws? Every other OS built to directly compete with another commercial OS uses clean-room techniques to ensure that the code is not tainted.
  • Half the problems attributed to Windows95 were problems integrating it with Novell networks. Who wants obsolete IPX traffic gacking up their network? Novell's never implemented TCP/IP properly, they did far worse than Microsoft ever did, trying to make it propietary and lock in that customer base.

    Want to triple the service calls for workstations on your network, at the same time acheiving a four-fold drop in system response time? Simply install Novell's Network Client on an NT Workstation.

    I worked for one of the best Novell shops in town, and my job was converting networks to NT and cleaning up the crap Novell left behind. I left to pursue NT, and the company stuck with Novell. Less than two years later they've folded.

    Linux does NOT NEED to be dragged down to the level of a Novell network. It can do everything Novell can do faster and better, except run propietary software that requires a Netware server. That's not software anybody needs.
  • The one really nice thing about Netware is NDS

    Not one, two!!! Their filesystem is incredibly well though-out and fast. They use a very weird memory architecture (half a dozen specialized pools) and the security attributes are much more detailed than in *nix. I'd sure love to see that code.

  • Anyone else thinks this looks like a "sleezy" OS? I don't know, I just got that first impression. That is the first word that came to my mind when I seen their home page. I haven't used it and am pretty sure it isn't "sleezy".

    But I felt kinda dirty looking at the web site, when a co worker walked by I quickly closed the window, like it was porn. I don't do that with any other OS web site, including Microsoft and Sun's, well expect for the p0rn OS [] homepage.

  • Pod People was a tour de force. It's BAD but it has a je ne sais quoi about it that makes me LIKE the flick.

    Manos is just torture.

    Maybe it's because it was filmed in El Paso.

  • I thought netware was it's own OS already.
  • by DaveHowe ( 51510 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @07:20AM (#840650)
    Hmm. I assume the problem here is that you are tied to the Novell DOS stacks.
    I have a couple of similar apps (they require the DOS level IPX stack to operate, and a VLM login) and it took a fair while to find out that, yes, you CAN run the old 16-bit stack under Win95. it isn't easy (and you have to login from the autoexec.bat before bringing up windows) but there is a "shim" NIC driver that will allow you to run standard DOS Novell drivers under a Win95 machine, and still have a Microsoft standard TCP/IP stack for the other stuff.
    If you want a *really* strange solution, you can also run a machine with *two* network cards, one for windows95 and one for the DOS drivers. Provided you don't use the Windows95 PNP management stuff, you will be surprised how well it works.......
  • C:\> deltree MANOS THe MAsTer WouLDN't AppROvE!
  • Hmm, I watch Pod People again last week...still no sign of a pods, or for that matter, people. The "maiden-voiced" kid isn't even close.

    But, back to Manos...there used to be a windows screensaver that would have across the screen. One of the settings for how fast he'd go was "Runnin' from the master". It'd play the "torgo theme song" with random barking throughout. I wish there was a linux version of that...I'd set up a server box in my office with that running 24x7!

  • Maybe some people *LIKE* the novell NDS architecture instead of winnt. With this they can modify it for any use they want. Why is win2k more like NDS than the old domain style? I thought all the linux zealots preached freedom of choice (freedom of only their choice).
  • Well, it was just you until I crossed my eyes and kinda blurred up my vision. Now there's at least two people that see an eagle that's proud of his erection.

    Slashdot- Eagle pr0n for nerds.

  • If they are doing this with Novell's "general approval," then there is no problem.

    If they do this without Novell's approval, then, well, "I'll have my lawyers talk with your lawyers." They're likely to get snarled up in legal wranglings regardless of the precise correctness of their actions.

  • Seeing as how the company's Partners [] includes Novell, the Canopus Group, and Caldera, it seems reasonably likely that the enterprise comes with the "blessing" both of Ray Noorda and of Novell.

    I'm sure the lawyers have "already talked," and were perhaps even involved with the initial establishment of Timpanogas...

  • Yes, you and I read lkml, and I'm sure (I hope) some of the /. staff... But do you really expect every reader of /. who clicked through on that story to read lkml? I don't think so...

    The slashdot crowd as a whole isn't as technical as it once was... I have some complaints about the recent quality of slashdot postings just like the next guy, but I solve it by reading the ones I like and ignoring the ones I don't - somebody likes the ones I don't, and I don't begrudge them their stories.

  • Have you LOOKED at Novell's product lines recently? There's a new game in town... NDS eDirectory for Linux will do just what you are talking about. Sure, you need to pay Novell for the NDS licenses, but TAANSTAAFL.

    NDS eDirectory is Novell's latest full-service directory - a 'standalone, cross-platform LDAP directory service that powers e-businesses ( [])'. A new version is coming soon, with more functionality than I can address here. Among other things, eDirectory blows away NDS' old scalability issues - Novell has demonstrated eDirectory trees with over a billion objects... Alongside eDirectory (and causing quite a bit of confusion, from what I've seen) is NDS Corporate Edition. The best explanation of the difference between the two products that I've been able to come up with is this: eDirectory is for EXTERNAL users, CE is for INTERNAL users. EITHER version can be HOSTED from Netware, W2K, NT, Solaris, or Linux platforms (with FULL communication between NDS databases hosted by different OSes, also Tru64 support is reported to be coming soon) but a Corporate Edition license permits user authentication against NDS FROM NT, Solaris, Linux, etc. For example, NDS eDirectory for Linux provides an NDS database running on a Linux box. NDS Corporate Edition for Linux adds user authentication pieces (including PAM modules!) permitting an authorized NDS user to login on any authorized Linux workstation.

    As for the questions raised in your last paragraph:

    First, note that eDirectory has a native implementation of LDAPv3. If the application you wish to host on Linux supports LDAP authentication, you are DONE but for the configuration. Licenses start at $200 for 100 users, dropping in per-user price for higher quantity of course ( pricing.html []). If your application requires local Linux ID authentication but supports PAM - you will need to purchase more expensive Corporate Edition licenses. Also please note that Novell DOES provide extensive trial versions of their main applications. You can find eDirectory evaluation software at ds/evaluation.html [], including downloadable software or instructions on ordering a CD.

    Second, you mention Netware 5.0 - yes, 5.0 is better than prior versions. Netware 5.1 is better yet... The bundled and/or integrated applications include Oracle 8i, IBM WebSphere Application Server 3.0 Standard Edition, NetWare Enterprise Web Server, WebDAV support, MS O2K support, loadable servers for FTP, News, Search, and Multimedia, integrated DHCP/(dynamic)DNS, a Certificate Server permitting you to operate your own CA, etc. Check out a full feature list at netware/details.html [].

    Novell IS partnering agressively with other developers to permit development of applications that support NDS. The future is directory-enabled applications - I believe that it will include NDS as a lynchpin.

    --- Andy Deckowitz, speaking only for myself
  • What episode did they do "Manos: the hands of fate"? I've seen the movie sitting on the very bottom of the IMDB's worst 100 list for years, and apparently I've missed an important episode of my favorite show (Ok, the Joel years were awesome, the Mike years left something to be desired). Anyone know the episode number???

    "You'll die up there son, just like I did!" - Abe Simpson
  • OK, so it won't have all those little features that netware had (has?) maybee it will work properly (We've got NW5+Groupwise 5.5 at the moment, so I'm kept quite busy at the moment).

    If any replacement is as good as Linux is for the branded Unix OS's it might even take off.

  • Have you LOOKED at Novell's product lines recently? There's a new game in town... NDS eDirectory for Linux will do just what you are talking about. Sure, you need to pay Novell for the NDS licenses, but TAANSTAAFL.

    Which is all part of the business failings of Novell. The organizations that have the need and financial wherewithal to pay the "Novell Tax" might actually be interested in paying for NDS licenses. But lots of places look at the single purchase they make for an OS as the only purchase they need to make -- increasing the per seat costs beyond what many smaller organizations will pay. I'd like to see $1000 for 1-1000 users, $2000 for 2-5k, and $5000 for 5k and up. At those prices they could own the market because EVERYONE would buy it.

    Don't get me wrong, I think NDS is really great, and I use it every day. I just think they're missing the mark with their licesning fees. Short of Redmond falling into the ocean, a LOT of places are going to call ActiveDirectory "good enough" and not bother with NDS, especially shops that are largely NT anyway (all NT with some Linux for webservers but no end-user access).

    You can make all the arguments you want about how AD sucks, NDS rules, a grand directory saves money, etc, but the bottom line is that those extra licensing costs show up on the bottom line and the "savings" from a centralized directory really don't. If we lived in a world where IT bugdets didn't grow at a double-digit rate just to keep up with storage/networking needs those "savings" might show up in front of the CFO. As it stands now only the licensing costs for buying NDS show up and given the spiraling expenses generally, that stuff is tough to sell to people who think a directory is a list of golf buddies their secretary calls when the weather is nice.

    Second, you mention Netware 5.0 - yes, 5.0 is better than prior versions. Netware 5.1 is better yet... The bundled and/or integrated applications include [...] But what do you do when you're not interested in half those applications and the other half suck? I've been around Netware long enough to know that "Novell bundled applications" often means "stuff we threw in to make it look good next to NT" and does not necessarily mean usable, high-quality applications. The problem is that there aren't any replacements -- Novell Netware is NOT a going platform for general purpose services. The market just doesn't provide applications for it, and by and large (as the previous poster noted) this is what's REALLY hurting Novell.

    If they had a general purpose server they could use it to underwrite NDS on other platforms. Since Netware sales are in the toilet, they have to charge a lot for NDS on other platforms which means poor sales, limited adoption, and no market inertia.

  • hear hear.
    I am so f**king tired of trying to diagnose rights and printer issues under NT. Netware is far easier, and with the advent of the graphical configuration manager in 5.0, I have no issues with it.
  • I wonder if this is going to be a "new OS" or simply a Linux distribution with Merkey's NetWare-specific patches and userspace stuff included. If anything, it allows for a migration plan from NetWare to SMB/NFS/etc and Linux applications.

    The problem with this plan is that the only NetWare shops left are the true believers who have bought into Novell's product line from top to bottom. Everyone else has completed or is somewhere in the middle of an NT migration. Something catastrophic would have to happen to NetWare for those folks to want to move off of it.

    As a final note, Novell tried this before back when they had an 80% marketshare. UnixWare was supposed to combine the filesharing power of NetWare and the application serving of Unix. Well, the customer base didn't buy it, and instead fled to NT to find an application server on x86 hardware. The question is, if the NW base didn't want Unix 6 years ago, why would they want it now?
  • Don't know if anyone mentioned it yet, but MS's next gen active directory services are startlingly similar to NDS and in fact there is a direct migration path between the two. The point of this is.. what chance will a GPL'ed OS have (with less features) when the other "Big Boy" on the block has already co-opted a fix for most of the compatability issues?
  • FYI, Novell already successfully sued these guys once for stealing their clustering technology and attempting to sell it as a 3rd party product.
  • "Novell's never implemented TCP/IP properly"
    until now, check out Netware 5.0
    "Linux does NOT NEED to be dragged down to the level of a Novell network. It can do everything Novell can do faster and better, except run propietary software that requires a Netware server. That's not software anybody needs.
    Down? Netware is a major networking OS, easy to configure and support remotely, and very stable. With it's widespread acceptance, I would think you want Linux draged UP to Novel's level. If you think it SUCKS, it's probly just the fear of an OS you don't understand.
  • Here [] is the screensaver... :-)


  • Can someone come up with a "free software" logo for this sort of news?

    How about a photo-montage-blend of RMS and ESR, with an Alan Cox patch?

    Bingo Foo


  • What episode did they do "Manos: the hands of fate"? [...] Anyone know the episode number???

    Not offhand, but I can tell you that it's one of the ones that was released on "official" videotape. I got my copy in a boxed set with "Gunslinger" and "Poopie" (an outtakes reel).

  • It may be going away, but it's not dead yet. I had no experience w/ Novell systems until earlier this year when I started working for a consulting firm - 75% of their clients run Netware. (Yes, they have more than 4 clients). Some of those are switching to NT, but most are staying w/ Netware (they've heard too many NT horror stories). Unfortunately (for them) this company refuses to consider Linux or FreeBSD ("It's Freeware, who wants to run Freeware?"). It's kind of sad really - many of the clients could be better served by a Linux or FreeBSD server (they only use "vanilla" email, but they end up buying Exchange + X copies of Outlook! Ouch - big hit on the pocketbook).

    For any "OpenSource" project to succeed it's got to find and educate a user base. Linux and *BSD are good examples of this - although they still have a ways to go. If this project can provide a viable alternative to current Netware users, and is able to inform those users then it will succeed. Unfortunately the kind of communcations skills that are required to convince someone (esp. a "non-techie") that the product is a viable solution are very rare in the OpenSource world.

    And before I get jumped on here - that's an observation, not an absolute. It seems that, unfortunately, for every person who is capable of clearly explaining the benefits of XY (be it Linux, *BSD, Apache, etc) there are 100 people who are only capable of shouting "It's better!" at the top of their lungs.
  • I know FreeBSD and BSD/OS are Netware capable. Both can be configured as a Novell file/print server. IPX/SPX are supported. As well as IPX to TCP/IP gateway services on the BSD/OS side. FreeBSD can as well just


    There are some other tools in /usr/ports for NDS, etc.

    I'm not sure about Net/Open, never used them extensively.

  • "Jeff V. Merkey" wrote: > > Actually, > > > > You're wrong. > > > > There are four spellings used for timp: > > > >

    Fine. But the one you picked still sounds stupid.

    And fsck in the kernel is a lousy idea that shows way too much microsoft mentality.

  • MS's next gen active directory services are startlingly similar to NDS

    Only in a very superficial sense. What they tried to do with ADS, to make switch from Domain architecture as painless as possible, was attempt to cast Domains as X.500 OU's (organizational units) and then somewhat automate all of what used to be trust relationships.

    I think the biggest problem with this implementation is the size of their Directory's database. I looked at one of the late ADS betas for a org similar to mine (16 node WAN with 56K Frame, 5-10 user objects per node, 8 other objects, each site is an OU, the local server holds a replica of an NDS partition built around the local OU plus a corporate office with approx. 50 user objects and 60-70 assorted other objects). The ADS database was massive comparitively, ranging from approx 12 times the size of the NDS db for each OU to 9 times the size for the root partition. And with all the associated extra traffic across my puny 56K WAN, it just did not sound fun, much less efficient.

  • [Rewind the clock about six or seven years...]

    With Linux, our intent is to support existing Windows applications (with Wine) on an optimized OS kernel that provides comparable performance metrics to today's Unix product lines.

    That's all very nice to hear, but when you take a look at the current server market (and the market shares, of course) you will notice that Unix's share is decreasing very rapidly. Despire the fact that their NOS is a very robust and stable one, it is obvious, juding by the statistics, that the people want something else (more) nowadays. One could speculate on why people seemed to loose interest. IMHO, one of the reasons is their own 'special' way of supporting SMB, but that's besides the point.

    So I wonder why they want to focus on a complete new OS, which is based on a fading one (Unix), instead of supporting the currently available OSes even better? Sure; a Unix based OS which can also run Windows applications sounds nice but not necessary; if I need Windows support I'd just setup another server running Windows; it comes with the PC, remember?

    As for the Windows part; if I'd have to choose between a (proven) stable NOS like Windows NT or a new (free) product on the market I'd choose Windows. That is how it works when running a business.

    Don't forget that they plan to developing into 2000 and beyond. How many Unix users will be left then? No one can predict this for sure but I really don't think it will be enough to make this whole product commonly accepted. It would take time, much effort and a lot of people supporting it.

    [For the clue impaired: Everything the original poster says about NetWare can be applied almost verbatim to Linux six years ago. Funny how point-of-view makes such a difference, eh?]
  • by DragonHawk ( 21256 ) on Monday August 21, 2000 @02:09PM (#840675) Homepage Journal
    Half the problems attributed to Windows95 were problems integrating it with Novell networks.

    Indeed. But is that a problem with Windows95 or with NetWare? Given the deliberate brain-damage in Microsoft's "Client for NetWare Networks", and their past track record in general, I know who I would blame.

    Novell's never implemented TCP/IP properly...

    While they were dragged in screaming, fighting tooth and nail, Novell finally did wake up and smell the Internet. NetWare 5.0's IP stack is actually pretty good.

    Want to triple the service calls for workstations on your network, at the same time acheiving a four-fold drop in system response time? Simply install Novell's Network Client on an NT Workstation.

    A short version is, IMO, "Simply install NT Workstation."

    I left to pursue NT...

    But you're not biased or anything...

    Linux does NOT NEED to be dragged down to the level of a Novell network.

    Regardless of which way Linux would be dragged, it is worth pointing out that this project is only tangentially related to Linux. It is mainly a project to implement an ABI compatible NetWare clone under an Open Source license. I don't remember Open Source being declared limited to Unix.
  • This is my 1st post so bare with me..
    Yes Novell is no longer NOS market leaders, when they were, NOS meant file and print services. Now NOS means a lot more. Does this mean Netware is dead? Perhaps Netware is dead/ing (I do not think so), but Novell!=Netware.
    Multiplatform NDS is Novell and their recent products reflect this.

    1) What I have observed about organizations with IT departments..
    If the IT group responsible for server services does not have close ties to the IT group responsible for desktop services, you are more likely to run *nix (if the admin is smart and the manager has balls) otherwise M$.
    IF this is not the case and the two groups have close ties or are one then suddenly netware+NDS+ZenWorks is a compelling solution for file and print services. Now with NDS on linux and Solaris it is possible to have one login+password for each user for ALL services.

    2) I work in a "Netware Shop", we are not committed to Novell, (we only run Netware) email is unix, web is unix, Oracle is on unix. Each system is a separate userID+password. Yes we started with Netware 2.x to 3.x to 4.11. We are contemplating moving to nw5.x. For over a year I have been researching our upgrade options (for FILE SERVICES, to replace Netware 4.xx)
    One of the key requirements is a Journaling File System.
    NW5.x has NSS. A journaling filesystem which now has quota support (a requirement).
    Linux has ReiserFS. It works great, but the lack of VMM that understands Journaling FSs is not an acceptable compromize. (I had high hopes for lk2.4)
    NT has NTFS. It is NOT a journaling FS, enough said.
    All the other considerations aside..
    The lack of desktop management tools comparable to NDS+Zenworks (on Linux) tips the scales in favour of Netware (for our environment).
    3) eDirectory is the only multiplatform directory. Directories are not about savings, i.e. CFOs may not notice the saving but CIO will notice the ubiquity, get it?
  • heh too funny.. you gave that title to your self..
  • My apologies for my ignorance - perhaps if your company didn't make a point of proclaiming it's compatibility with Netware 4.11 I wouldn't be mis-informed.

    Since you're here - can you shed ony more light on your Open-Source NDS? Licensing? Current status? Projected release date? Beta programs?

Due to lack of disk space, this fortune database has been discontinued.