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17. Some Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find commercially supported IPX software for Linux ?

The Caldera Corporation offers a fully licensed and fully supported Netware 3.x and 4.x client. You can obtain information about it from the Caldera Inc Web Server.

Does the IPX software work with Arcnet/Token Ring/etc. ?

The Linux IPX software does work with ArcNet and Token Ring interfaces. I haven't heard of anyone trying it with AX.25 yet. Configuration is the same as for configuring for ethernet except you will have to substitute appropriate device names in place of 'eth0' and appopriate hardware addresses where necessary.

How do I configure more than one IPX interface ?

If you have more than one interface in your machine you should use the ipx_interface command to manually configure each one, you should not use the `plug n play' configuration.

How do I choose IPX addresses ?

IPX networking is similar, but not identical to, IP networking. A major difference is the way that addresses are used. IPX does not use the concept of subnetworking and so the sort of associations that you have between network addresses and networks is different. The rules are fairly simple:

  • Every IPX network address must be unique on a wide area network. This includes Internal Network Addresses. Many organisations using IPX over a wide area network will have some sort of addressing standard that you should follow.
  • Every Host address on an individual network must be unique. This means that every host on each IPX network must have a uniquely assigned address. In the case of ethernet network this isn't difficult as the cards each have a unique address. In the case of IPX/PPP this means you must ensure that you allocate unique addresses to all hosts on the network, irrespective of which end of the link(s) they are connected. Host address do not need to be unique across a wide area network as the network address is used in combination with the host address to uniquely identify a host.
What are frame types, which should I use ?

There are a variety of frame types in use over which you can run IPX. The most common of these are described in the 'common terms' section of this document (under the `Frame Type entry').

If you are installing your machine on an existing network then you must use whatever is already in use to allow you to interwork with the other hosts on the network, but if the installation is a brand new network you can use any of a range of protocols to carry your IPX traffic. My recommendation if you are configuring a brand new network and you need to carry both IPX and IP traffic is to use the Ethernet_II frame type.

My Windows95 machines mess up my frame type autodetection ?

Apparently they can, yeah. I could make nasty comments, but instead I'll just suggest that you use the manual frame type configuration instead of the automatic one. It is probably the better way anyway.

Why do I get the message `invalid argument' when I configure IPX ?

You are probably not running a kernel that supports IPX, either recompile your kernel so it does, or double check that you have actually used lilo to install and run the new kernel.

Why do I get the message `package not installed' when I configure IPX ?

You are probably not running a kernel that supports IPX, either recompile your kernel so it does, or double check that you have actually used lilo to install and run the new kernel.

Why do I get the message `IPX support not in kernel' from pppd ?

You've probably compiled IPX as a module and not ensured that it was loaded before started pppd.

How do I NFS export a mounted NCP filesystem ?

To use NFS to export an NCP filesystem you must mount it using the ncpmount -V option. This option allows you to mount only one volume of a fileserver instead of the usual mounting of all of them. When you do this your NFS daemon will allow you to export that filesystem in the usual way.

Why doesn't slist work when I have an internel network with mars_nwe ?

You must have the get nearest server enabled. That is, entry 401 in /etc/nwserv.conf should be 0 unless you have a reason for not responding to get nearest servers. If you just want slist to work and not respond to every get nearest server request, include your internal network and node number in /etc/nwserv.stations and set entry 401 in /etc/nwserv.conf to 2.

Does ncpfs package work with mars_nwe ?

Martin and Volker's code is slowly beginning to converge. Recent versions of mars_nwe have an option to enable it to work with ncpfs. You must enable the WITH_NAME_SPACE_CALLS in the mars_nwe config.h file.

Is there any free DOS software to work with mars_nwe ?

A contrived question deserves a contrived answer. I'm glad you asked, Martin has a package that he distributes alongside his mars_nwe package that offers free DOS client support for the mars_nwe server. You can find it at the same sites as the server, and it will be called mars_dosutils-0.01.tgz. It includes C source code for programs such as slist.exe, login.exe, map.exe etc. The source is compilable with Borland(tm) C.


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