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Lesson 7Mars
ObjectiveDefine and install Mars.

Installing Linux Mars

Mars is similar to Samba in that it allows DOS NetWare 3.x clients to connect to your Linux server and access the server's resources. Mars provides NetWare bindery services, which enable clients to access other resources on the NetWare network, and it provides file and printer services.

Mars programs

The Mars package uses four programs to integrate your NetWare network with Linux:
  1. nwserv, which initializes the NetWare system for other Mars programs and listens for NetWare packets
  2. ncpserv, which handles NCP connections
  3. nwconn, which helps ncpserv manage communications with NetWare clients
  4. nwbind, which provides the NetWare bindery services

Installing Mars

To install Mars, you must follow four steps:
  1. Install the Mars RPM, mars-nwe-(version).(arch).rpm. As with Samba, you should replace (version) and (arch) with the appropriate values. For example, mars-nwe-0.99pl17-7.i386.rpm is version 0.99pl17-7 for the Intel architecture.
  2. Create a directory for Mars, usually /home/netware.
  3. Configure Mars by editing /etc/nwserv.conf.
  4. Launch Mars by typing nwserv.
Once you install Mars, you can find its documentation in /usr/doc/mars-nwe-(version). The simulation below gives you a chance to practice the first two steps of installing Mars.

Installing Mars

The IPX protocol

NetWare uses the IPX protocol, and consequently so does Mars. Red Hat Linux provides RPMs to enable you to use the IPX protocol and other NetWare-related utilities. These utilities can be useful in a NetWare or Mars environment:
  1. ncpfs, which are client-side utilities for working with NetWare volumes and bindery objects
  2. ipxutils, which are command line utilities for configuring IPX networks
The Linux Documentation Project's HOWTO is a good place to find introductory information on the IPX protocol. In the next lesson, you will learn how to configure Mars.

Historical Note to visitor:

Question: Is Mars still being used on Linux to provide the same functionality as SAMBA, or has it been phased out?
Answer: What has happened is the Netware software has been phased out. Without Netware, there are no software components to use Mars with.
Mars was an access for DOS based NETWARE and without Netware, there is no use for Mars software either.
Netware 3 running on IPX stack is almost non-existent except for some legacy, long forgotten systems here and there. There are probably well under 100 alive systems worldwide and not interconnected with Linux.