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Installing eDirectory on Windows and Linux

Articles and Tips: article

Jeff Fischer
Research Engineer
Novell, Inc.

01 Aug 2003

Last month Kevin talked about how to access the Directory from the JNDI Application Programming Interface. Kevin has done an excellent job covering the topic of eDirectory in this column. Just recently I was given the assignment to take over this column. It is my hope to begin where he left off and to continue to provide you with important content about eDirectory.

An Eye Toward Multiple Platforms

As I begin this column, I plan to talk about eDirectory in the context of running it on multiple platforms. I think most people who are familiar with eDirectory have run it on NetWare. Now, with Novell's current cross-platform strategy, I will detail how to install, run and manage eDirectory from Windows and Linux.

For those eDirectory experts who have run eDirectory on NetWare for years, it will be very important to learn the differences on how to run eDirectory on Windows and Linux. In fact, the environment I will use in preparation for this column each month is an eDirectory 8.7 tree with a NetWare server, a Windows 2000 server, and a Red Hat 9.0 Linux server. I will concentrate my thoughts on running the Directory on all three platforms.

To begin the column this month, I will walk through an installation of eDirectory on Windows and Linux. I will then talk about the new features of eDirectory 8.7 that will help you optimize your Directory tree. Following these discussions, I will talk about how to write applications that leverage the Directory.

Requirements for Putting eDirectory on Windows

Installing eDirectory on Windows is a great way to add directory capabilities to your Windows network. This gives you all the advantages of using the directory, but with the capability to use software packages that may not run on the NetWare platform.

When you install eDirectory on Windows, you must remember a few things. First of all, in a production environment you must have the necessary hardware to give you acceptable performance. While 256 MB of RAM is recommended, but I would not install eDirectory on Windows on a box without at least 512 MB of RAM.

The reason is that eDirectory is very I/O intensive. That seems obvious, right? The point of a directory is to store and retrieve information, which produces a lot of read and write operations. The ideal performance from eDirectory comes when you can cache all or most of the Directory into available RAM. eDirectory tries to cache itself in order to increase I/O performance, so if you can allocate more memory to eDirectory, the better performance you will see--especially when running on Windows.

Next, you will need a user with administrative rights, the latest service pack from Microsoft, and a static IP address, since this box will be a server. If you are installing the server into an existing eDirectory tree, you will need Supervisor rights to [Root] in order to extend the schema and place the server object into the tree.

You can install eDirectory on Windows NT and 2000, but not XP. You must also install eDirectory on an NTFS partition, which provides for a more stable and secure environment for the directory.

As you think about the hardware requirements for your eDirectory box, consider this scale as a rough estimate for the space you will need. A base installation of eDirectory with no extra schema additions will require about 74 MB of space for every 50,000 objects. As you add attributes to the schema and fill out existing property values, the space required will grow from there. You can use this as a guide as you consider how much memory and hard disk space your eDirectory server will need.

Installing eDirectory on Windows

Enough about requirements--let's install eDirectory on Windows. You can download eDirectory from Novell at . The installation program for eDirectory isn't that different from an eDirectory installation on NetWare or a typical Windows installation for any other Windows program. You need to specify whether to create a new tree, an existing tree, and specify the license as well as the ports you'll want the server to use for administrative services and for LDAP services.

To install eDirectory on Windows, follow the steps below:

  1. Download eDirectory 8.7 from Novell's web site.

  2. Extract the contents of the ZIP file to a directory on your computer.

  3. Browse to the NT directory and launch the setup.exe file.

  4. Mark the box to install Novell Directory Services and ConsoleOne. You can install an SLP DA (Service Location Protocol Directory Agent) at a later time if you need SLP services on the Windows box.

  5. Click Next.

  6. Click I Accept.

  7. Mark English as your language and click Next.

  8. Select the path where to install eDirectory. The default is fine.

  9. I selected Install into an Existing Tree since I already have a NetWare 6 server running as shown in the Figure 1.

    Installing eDirectory for Windows into an existing tree.

  10. Fill out the information for your tree name and context for the server object.

  11. Click Next to select the LDAP ports as shown in the Figure 2.

    Configuring the LDAP ports.

  12. Select all methods of authentication for NMAS.

  13. Click Finish.

Continue and install ConsoleOne so you can manage eDirectory on the Windows platform. With those things done, you have now installed eDirectory on Windows.

eDirectory on Linux

Running eDirectory on Linux has many strong points. First, Linux is a great, stable operating system. It is excellent at managing its hardware resources. eDirectory does not make quite the foot print on Linux that it does on Windows. Also, Linux is a cheaper alternative to Windows.

A lot of skepticism surrounds Linux because it is different. People say it is not as intuitive as Windows and not quite as user friendly. While many strong Linux advocates will fight these claims to the death, the truth of the matter is that using Linux and specifically running eDirectory on Linux is a little different, especially if you have never used a Unix version before. Even though NetWare borrows many aspects from the Unix world, working with Linux is still quite a bit different than NetWare or Windows.

Linux is known for running on small and even outdated hardware. While I would not put a machine into a production environment that didn't not have sufficient hardware, you could run eDirectory sufficiently on less of a machine than a Windows box. For a production environment, I would still follow the recommendations to put sufficient amounts of RAM, high processor speed (above 1Ghz), and hard disk space (as covered in the Windows section).

I'm going to install eDirectory 8.7 on a Red Hat 9 system with the latest patches from Red Hat. I am using GNOME as my desktop manager, but KDE will be fine too. In fact, we will use a terminal window for about everything.

Follow the steps below to install eDirectory on Linux.

  1. Download eDirectory for Linux from Novell's web site. Save the file to a home directory as well as the license file.

  2. Open up a terminal window. You can do this by opening up the desktop menu and going to System Tools > Terminal.

  3. At the console window, type


    to login as the root user.

  4. Type in the password.

  5. You should now see root@ on the terminal window.

  6. Type


    to change to the directory where you downloaded the eDirectory file.

  7. Type

    gunzip eDir_file_name

    (Replace eDir_file_name with the name of the file.)

  8. Type

    mkdir edir

    to create a new directory where you want to extract eDirectory.

  9. Type

    mv eDir_file_name_with_tar edir

    to move the .tar file to the edir directory.

  10. Type

    tar xvf eDir_file_name

    to extract the contents of the tar file to the edir directory.

  11. Type


    to list the contents of the directory and you should see folders such as documentation, Linux, and nmas.

  12. Type

    cd Linux/setup

    to change to the setup directory.

  13. Type


    to list the contents of the directory. You should see a file called nds-install as shown in Figure 3.

    Installing eDirectory on Linux.

  14. Type


    to begin the installation process. The period and the slash are important in the Linux world.

  15. Press Enter to begin.

  16. Press q to view the bottom of the license instead of having to page the whole way down the screen.

  17. Press y to accept the license.

  18. Type 1,2,3 to install all three applications.

  19. Enter the path for the license. My path is /home/jfischer/edir/edlic .

  20. Watch for a few minutes while eDirectory is installed.

  21. Select English as the language.

  22. Type 8 to install all the snap-ins for the ConsoleOne utility.

  23. If you don't have a JRE installed on your Linux box, you will want to install it. I already have it installed so I selected n to not install the JRE.

  24. When the prompt finally returns, you have installed eDirectory but not inserted the server into a tree. That is next.

  25. Notice the note on the screen to update two environment variables. You will need to update these variables before we go on.

  26. To update the variables, open a new terminal window and type


    and login as root again.

  27. Type

    vi /etc/profile

    to open the profile file in the vi text editor.

  28. Hit the letter i on your keyboard to change to insert mode.

  29. Use the arrow keys to scroll to the bottom of the file.

  30. At a new line, type the two lines as shown on the previous terminal window.

    export PATH
    export MANPATH
  31. After typing the lines above, hit Esc to leave Insert mode.

  32. Hit the Shift key and a colon .

  33. Type


    and hit Enter .

  34. Type


    and hit Enter twice to exit the terminal window and return to the other terminal window.

  35. At the original terminal window, type

    ndsconfig add
  36. Enter the full context of your eDirectory admin user and the password.

  37. Enter your tree name.

  38. Enter the context for the server object.

  39. Watch as eDirectory is configured.

  40. Type


    to confirm that eDirectory is running. You should see the tree name, server name, eDirectory version, and replica depth on this output as shown in Figure 4.

    As you run NDSSTAT, you should see the tree name, the server name, eDirectory version, etc.

This month, we have installed eDirectory on Windows and Linux. Next month, we will begin a discussion about how to run and use the eDirectory tools on Windows and Linux such as ConsoleOne, iManager, iMonitor, and DSRepair, DSTrace, and others.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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