ncpfs project

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jcalcote-p40
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ncpfs project

Postby jcalcote-p40 » Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:11 am

A Problem

Over the last 20 years, the Church has invested heavily in technology for the sake of the Kingdom. Networking, and networking software has always been a part of this movement - it's all about moving information around, you see. In the early days of networking, there was only one name to consider - Novell NetWare.

While the Church is actively embracing newer technologies like Linux, there is currently a significant investment in hardware and software for the existing Novell NetWare infrastructure. This NetWare infrastructure must inter-operate with the newer Linux systems that have been installed in the last few years.

To this end, the Church Network Monitoring team uses an open source software package called ncpfs to mount NetWare drives on Linux systems, and to perform NDS authentications to NetWare eDirectory servers. For the most part, this works very well.

One significant problem we've noticed is that ncpfs does not handle NCP "Server Busy" messages properly. As you may be aware, NCP is a message-oriented protocol. Often, when a client requests a connection to a NetWare server that is under some load, the server will return an NCP "Server Busy" message, at which point, the client should retry with an exponentially growing delay between requests, until the request is granted. The ncpfs package simply ignores the "Server Busy" reply and continues to wait (in vain) for a connection to be granted.

A Project

We're asking for help here from someone who understands the NetWare core protocol, and has a desire to work on open source for the benefit of the Church and the Kingdom.

The current maintainer of the ncpfs project is Petr Vandrovec, and the source package itself is hosted on a server in Czech Republic: http://knihovny.cvut.cz/ftp/pub/linux/ncpfs. Petr has not made any obvious changes to the package for over a year now, which leads us to believe that he's probably moved on to other projects at this point.

A potential contributor should download the latest tar.gz package - currently ncpfs-2.2.6.tar.gz found at this link: http://knihovny.cvut.cz/ftp/pub/linux/ncpfs/ncpfs-2.2.6.tar.gz, create a patch for the problem described above, and submit the patch to both Petr and to Adam Augustine of the Church ICS Department Monitoring Team.

If you're interested in this project, let us know, and we'll tell you how to submit your patch.

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:12 am

What does a person need to do this development? I would expect that they need access to Netware and Linux? Any specific versions?

Also, those of you in the community. Mention this project in your wards, etc. We could really use some help with this project. Since the program is an open source project and not one by Novell, Novell has not offered to help out so we do need the help of the community to figure this out.

Tom

jcalcote-p40
Church Employee
Church Employee
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Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:30 pm

Postby jcalcote-p40 » Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:27 pm

Hi Tom. A potential developer would need access to a linux machine and a netware machine. The linux machine would be configured to load ncpfs with appropriate settings in it's configuration file to mount the netware machine's file system.

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:53 am

Great! Anyone have access to Netware that can help out with this project?

Tom


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