Linux Netstation HOWTO

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

     1.1 What's this document
     1.2 Todo
     1.3 Latest versions
     1.4 Copyright
     1.5 Disclaimer

  2. The Netstation Family

  3. Requirements

     3.1 Hardware
        3.1.1 Netstation Clients
        3.1.2 Changes in the new versions.
        3.1.3 Netvista Clients
     3.2 Software
        3.2.1 IBM Software.
  Netstation Software
  Netvista Software
        3.2.2 NFS Server.
        3.2.3 X Server.
        3.2.4 DHCP Server

  4. Setting up the Server side

     4.1 IBM Netstations using the AIX binaries.
     4.2 Not using the AIX binaries.
     4.3 The Netvista Linuxversions
        4.3.1 Upgrade for the IBM Network station Boot Monitor.
     4.4 The Linux Part
        4.4.1 Setting up the nfs server
        4.4.2 Setting up the X server
     4.5 Setting up Automatic Client configuration

  5. Configuring the Thin Client

     5.1 Auto Config
     5.2 Netstation Clients
        5.2.1 Setting up TCP/IP
        5.2.2 Setting Up the Boot Parameters
        5.2.3 Setting Up the Monitor
        5.2.4 Further Configuration
     5.3 Netvista Clients

  6. Misc Stuff

     6.1 Experiences (NC100)
     6.2 Connecting through a network into the NC (NC100)
        6.2.1 Port 5978
        6.2.2 Port 5999 CONFIGD
     6.3 Port 161/udp - SNMP Access
        6.3.1 Some general statement
        6.3.2 How to configure network management ?
        6.3.3 How to start managing?
        6.3.4 What do you manage?
     6.4 IBM Software Releases
     6.5 NetworkStation Manager
     6.6 Configuration file statements
     6.7 Printing
     6.8 PCMCIA Memory Cards
     6.9 Setup
     6.10 Images
     6.11 Time Sync
     6.12 Test Network
     6.13 BIOS
     6.14 Features

  7. Other Useful Documentation

     7.1 The IBM Website
     7.2 Mailing Lists
     7.3 Linux on the PPC40X

  8. FAQ

  9. Credits

  10. History


  1.  Introduction

  1.1.  What's this document

  Some unused piece of delicious hardware floating around on my desk.
  Screaming to be used. 40 MB of ram and a 403 PPC inside.

  So I decided to give it a try and connect it to my local Linux

  In this Howto we'll be dealing with an This Howto started out with a
  IBM Network Station model 8361-100, other models were added afterwards

  We also have some additional info about the other 2 models. The
  8361-200 (Model 300)  and the 8362-A23 (Model 1000).  More info can be
  found at your
  region here)

  I'm trying to describe how I setup the NC, there are probably lots of
  other ways to set up this machine, however this one works fine.  Any
  other remarks you might have from your own experience are welcome.
  (Hardware is also welcome ;-))

  This Howto is not trying to be the Bible on NC's and Linux, it's
  trying to get you started.  Contributions to this NC are most welcome.

  During the past year I have received numerous comments on the HOWTO
  and lots of help from other people (suprisingly a lot from inside
  IBM).   I've been busy, therefore now is the first time that I'm
  trying to do a real update of the HOWTO.  Most people are asking me
  about Linux binaries to extract the AIX distribution file.  I have
  heard about an internal IBM project that is going on there but I have
  no accurate info on that matter yet.

  1.2.  Todo

  Things we still have to implement in this Howto

  ·  How to export your homedir

  ·  How to run applications

  ·  How to run Java Applets

  Help is appreciated ;-)

  Since version 1.91 this Howto wil also document the more recent units
  like the Netvista 2200 and the Netvista 2800.

  1.3.  Latest versions

  Latest versions of this document can be found on the main website

  1.4.  Copyright

  This HOWTO is copyrighted 1998-2001  Kris Buytaert

  Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
  under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or
  any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
  Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover
  Texts. A copy of the license is included in the appendix entitled "GNU
  Free Documentation License".

  1.5.  Disclaimer

  Use the information in this document at your own risk. I disavow any
  potential liability for the contents of this document. Use of the
  concepts, examples, and/or other content of this document is entirely
  at your own risk.

  All copyrights are owned by their owners, unless specifically noted
  otherwise.  Use of a term in this document should not be regarded as
  affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

  Naming of particular products or brands should not be seen as

  You are strongly recommended to take a backup of your system before
  major installation and backups at regular intervals.

  2.  The Netstation Family

  As far as I know there are currently 3 differerent kinds of situations
  when talking about Linux and the Netstation famlily.  The first type
  is the IBM NC 100, 110 and 300 series. (I`m still waiting on
  confirmation on the fact that the 110 series indeed do boot Linux
  ;))).  These babies don't run linux as far as I know.  This HOWTO
  however describes how to ingetrete it into your Linux environment.

  The second type is the IBM NC 1000, as of november 2002 these do run
  Linux , although I haven't had the time to document this clearly you
  can download the required software from

  All of the above types are PowerPC based devices.

  The third type of Netstations are the 2200 and the 2800 series. These
  are Intel based devices and have been designed to run Linux by
  default.  You will find some basic documentation on HOWTO install
  these machines in the howto.

  3.  Requirements

  3.1.  Hardware

  3.1.1.  Netstation Clients

  An NC, connected to your local Network, most likely by a UTP
  connection , thus via a cross-cable or HUB connecting to an Server -
  in this case a Linux Box Basically the NC is Made to work with either
  AS/400 , Windows NT or AIX Servers. These are all expensive solutions,
  however working with thin clients doesnt have to cost that much.
  (Token Ring versions are also available)

  The model I have at my disposal is an IBM Network Station model
  8361-100, On the inside you can find an 403PPC chip, some S3 vga
  components, an PCMCIA slot, and normal 72 pin (parity ??) simms.  I
  found 8+32 Mb in my edition.

  Actually those 40Mb were major overkill.  In full operation modes
  with lot's of configuration panels a couple of telnet sessions and a X
  -query open only took up about 4Mb of ram.  )   So taking out the 32Mb
  showed absolutely no significant loss of speed.

  Well, after working more with the Netstation, specially with Navio I
  found out Navio uses  as much 27-30 Mb.  So those 40 Mb`s really
  aren`t that much hoverkill

  We proved it was no problem setting it up on a Linux only network.
  You'll need a server that can provide you both with about 25Mb of free
  diskspace for the software, and the capacities to run an X -query.
  In the setup overhere we used a 486DX50 with 8Mb as a fileserver and I
  switch between another  486DX266 (PS/2 85) with 32Mb, and my Multia
  with 48Mb as the X server Of course, the faster machines the better.

  3.1.2.  Changes in the new versions.

  The new version comes with a new kernel and some changes in the
  applications.  The kernel  can now be downloaded as a compressed file
  which speeds up the process.

  Starting with the Network Station 3.0, you need a new Boot Monitor or
  boot PROM (aka Firmware) with the version 3.0.x or later. Your
  NetworkStation won't work with a older boot PROM (aka Firmware) and
  the new Network Station 3.x kernel.  If you buy a new NetworkStation,
  you always get one of the latest PROMs Older versions can be
  automatically updated from a boot server, from which the new boot PROM
  get's downloaded. (Could somebody please confirm me that these devices
  are the 110 versions with a PPC 403GC(X) in it !!!!)

  There also is a new layout of the Setup Utility where you define you
  basic network settings of your Network Station.

  3.1.3.  Netvista Clients

  The Netvista Clients (2200 and 2800) have been designed to run Linux
  natively, those thin clients are not based on PowerPC Chips but on an
  Intel Chipset therefore running linux on those devices is quite

  3.2.  Software

  3.2.1.  IBM Software.  Netstation Software

  NC kernel, fonts etc.

  In order to boot the NC you will need its Kernel and fonts.  About
  25Mb of files are needed on the server.  They can be found on an AIX
  4.X with the Netstation modules installed.  Or from the IBM Netstation
  Download Page  Netvista Software

  3.2.2.  NFS Server.

  A working NFS server, like in every default Linux distribution.
  Approx 85Mb of diskspace has to be exported to the NC. (this includes
  a lot of documentation which you don't acutally need)

  3.2.3.  X Server.

  Any machine running XDM with enough memory, processor power will do.
  You don't need to have X configured on the machine itselve, it can be
  a head-less server. Basic X Windows install will provide you with the
  necessary deamons.

  There is the possibility to run a local X11 server which may avoid
  some network traffic.  The new version supports a standard X11  and a
  Motif X11 server.  Using  a configurable menu or by allowing telnet
  sessions you may access other computers/servers on the network.

  You may also be able to export applications to your Netstation display
  withouth actually using XDM . You might want to run an extra window
  manager.  This can be done by telnetting into the remote box and
  typing export DISPLAY=nc_ipnr:0 and afterwards running the application
  you want to use.


  3.2.4.  DHCP Server

  If you have multiple NC's, you may wish to distribute the IP Adresses
  by using a DHCP Server how to obtain and configure a DHCP server can
  be read in the DHCP Mini Howto on sunsite

  4.  Setting up the Server side

  You found all the software you needed.  Now let's install them.

  4.1.  IBM Netstations using the AIX binaries.

  Before making the tarball on the aix machine, make sure you run
  /usr/netstation/bin/agree in order to make the kernel in a usable
  format.  Probably you will have to do the same thing with the tarball
  you get from the IBM website.  So finding the kernel separatly might
  be another solution.  Find a drive with about 25Mb of free diskspace,
  I use /usr/netstation/, and unpack the tarbal either from the IBM
  website or from an AIX machine.  There is no need in using the approx
  60Mb from /usr/netstation/doc on the disk if you don't have enough

  4.2.  Not using the AIX binaries.

  This section has been contributed by Ken Collins and still have to be
  crosschecked by me.

  ·  Download nsmsetup.exe from

  ·  I don't have NT set up, so I moved it over into a Win98 partition
     and tried executing nsmsetup.exe. It extracted properly, then
     choked on the install and removed all the install files. Then I
     tried opening it with WinZip, and that worked. I just extracted
     everything into my Windows partition under the directory

  ·  I then copied everything from C:/netstation/prodbase to my linux
     box. I set everything up in /usr/netstation, which I think was a
     mistake. I ran strings on parts of the package, and it looks like
     /netstation/prodbase is compiled into various programs. I'm going
     to try it again with installing in /netstation/prodbase

  ·  Booting the kernel worked fine. I'm not sure how much of the rest
     of it worked, since I've never seen a working netstation. I'm
     getting a lot of error messages, but an X server comes up, and I'm
     able to telnet and start Mwm.  I was able to set up xdm and log
     into my Linux server, until I botched something. Now I get an IBM
     login screen that doesn't allow me to log in.

  Some readers have helped out here.  What you need to do is create a
  file new file that will be included in your standard.nsm or modify
  that file.


  You can create a file called local.nsm with the following contents
  ( is your Linux Box)

  set exec-startup-commands = { {"login"} }
  set xserver-access-control-enabled = false
  set tcpip-name-server-protocol = dns
  set tcpip-name-servers = {{ } }

  and you add

  read local.nsm

  to standard.nsm.

  An alternative is to change a single line in
  /netstation/prodbase/configs/required.nsm from { actlogin } to { login
  } to get an xdm chooser or { login xx.xx.xx.xx } to do a direct xdm
  query to your linux box.  There's a third way but we haven't got
  confirmation on this.

  { actlogin -authserv xx.xx.xx.xx }

  Philip Tait wrote to tell us this : "From the directory tree extracted
  from nsmsetup.exe using WinZIP classic, copy the entire tree  under
  "Prodbase" to /netstation.  Export /netstation, and proceed as for the
  following sections.

  Bram Piket  wrote in with even a better version.

  After downloading the nsmsetup.exe file you should run this file.
  There will be a probe to install the NetworkStation under this win-
  system.  That does not succeed (in my case?).  Don't click the last
  error-window away. Then there is left a tempory NetStation-directory:
  "Ixp000.tmp".  Copy the subdirectories to the linux-dir "/netstation".
  Rename "x11" to "X11", "en_us" to "EN_US".  Then edit the file
  "/netstation/prodbase/configs/required.nsm" to reflect

  set exec startup-commands=(
  ( mcuis )
  ( login )

  where is the LINUX-server address.

  4.3.  The Netvista Linuxversions

  Download the NetVistaLTC.tar.gz file from the IBM web pages., untar
  the file and run (we are going for the RedHat
  distribution here)


  Welcome to the IBM NetVista Thin Client RedHat Linux Installer

  After the installation has finished, the install log files will be located
  in ./tmp.
  If there are problems, please look at the following files.
          install.log     - messages from the IBM install
          rpm.log         - messages generated during install of the rpm's
          rpm.err         - errors from the rpm install (most of these can
  be ignored)

  Please select Installation type:
    1. Local CDROM
    2. NFS
  Enter Selection: 1
  Mount Point for CDROM [/mnt/cdrom] ?

  1) Caldera Open Linux  3) SuSe Linux          5) Other
  2) RedHat Linux        4) TurboLinux
  Which Linux distribution are you running on this server? 2
  Client Installation Directory [/nstation/linux] ? /opt/NetVista
  Client Installation Directory does not exist. Create /opt/NetVista? y
  Client Machine Specific Directory [/nstation/machines] ? /opt/NetVista/machines
  Client Machine Specific Directory does not exist. Create /opt/NetVista/machines? y
  Machine specific directories based on MAC address or IP address [ MAC ] (IP/MAC) ?
   1) Thin clients authenticate to server (DEFAULT)
   2) No authentication to server
  Select the mode you want for server booted clients? 2

  Please insert the RedHat 6.2 CD

     Press <ENTER> To Continue

  Installation of Server Boot RedHat 6.2 Linux client for IBM NetVista thin
  clientCurrent selections:
     Server IP address:
     Client boot directory:  /opt/NetVista
     Client SPECIFIC directory:  /opt/NetVista/Machines
     Client SPECIFIC directory type:  MAC

  Do you wish to continue, restart, or exit installation? (c/r/e) c

  When it completes with 100% install it will show you a screen like this

  Create  /opt/NetVista/etc/fstab file
  Modify /opt/NetVista/etc/inittab to call rc.sysinit.IBM_NS.sboot
  Rename services not needed for IBM NetVista Thin Clients
  Add new Common Files
  Add RedHat 6.2 Specific Files
  Link files to RAM disk
  Backup var directory
  Setup Xserver files - XF86_SVGA and XF86Config

  Added /opt/NetVista to /etc/exports
  Added /opt/NetVista/Machines to /etc/exports
  Stripping binaries

  Client Directory Setup complete

  Installation is Complete

  Starting NFS services:                                     [  OK  ]
  Starting NFS quotas:                                       [  OK  ]
  Starting NFS mountd:                                       [  OK  ]
  Starting NFS daemon:                                       [  OK  ]


  4.3.1.  Upgrade for the IBM Network station Boot Monitor.

  You can download the most recent bflash images from Just point
  the device to boot from the bflash images you downloaded and your
  firmware will upgrade itselve !.

  4.4.  The Linux Part

  4.4.1.  Setting up the nfs server

  Edit your /etc/exports, add the line


  Where is the IP address you want to give to the NC.  Restart
  your nfs deamon.

  [root@velvet sdog]# ps auxf |grep rpc
  sdog      4145  0.0  5.8   828   384  p1 S   03:55   0:00          \_ grep rpc
  root      3120  0.0  5.7   944   380  ?  S  Feb 27   0:00 rpc.mountd
  root      3129  0.0  1.5   880   100  ?  S  Feb 27   0:10 rpc.nfsd
  [root@velvet sdog]# kill -9 3120 3129 ; /usr/sbin/rpc.mountd ; /usr/sbin/rpc.nfsd

  or on a RedHat-like system easier (5.X)

  [root@velvet init.d]# pwd
  [root@velvet init.d]# ./nfs restart
  Restarting NFS services: rpc.nfsd rpc.mountd done.
  [root@velvet init.d]#

  Your NC should now be able to mount the /usr/netsation by NFS.

  Bascially if you don`t need X-Windows this is as far as it gets.  You
  can easily telnet from your NC with nothing more installed.  However
  the beauty of this thing is it`s X capability.

  4.4.2.  Setting up the X server

  Next we have to set up the X server.  Basically I didn't need to set
  up anything, all of my machines that ran X-Windows were configured to
  accept connections.  I just started up the NC for the first time and
  it showed me all the machines that ran an XDM (cfr running an X
  -indirect).  So any machine that can run xdm can be used as X Server.
  Just make sure XDM is So any machine that can run xdm can be used as X
  Server.  Just make sure XDM is started.

  4.5.  Setting up Automatic Client configuration

  This part has been contributed byJosef Hill

  what I'm including is the line for using the NS1000 with no
  configuration done on the box.  (defaults.. everything is left blank)


  tftp dgram udp wait nobody /usr/sbin/tcpd in.tftpd /QIBM

  then create a directory /QIBM/ProdData/NetworkStation/

  and copy the contents of the prodbase directory in the winzip sfx
  nsmsetup.exe which you can download from (you may
  need to create an account to access this.. it's free and requires no
  real information.)  note that this download is 90some MB

  At this point, if you've done the 3 requisite steps, your netstation
  will boot.

  ·  set up DHCP

  ·  enable TFTP to the QIBM directory

  ·  copy the contents of the prodbase directory to the proper path

     Note: It will probably help an awful lot if you have xdm set up
     (speciffically for xdmcp sessions).

  If you use this approach you can obviously skip the next part ! ;-)

  Everything on the server side should be setup now.  Lets try the NC

  5.  Configuring the Thin Client

  5.1.  Auto Config

  If you have setup autoconfig as described above you shouldn`t be
  reading this part unless it doesn`t work

  5.2.  Netstation Clients

  Unplug the network cable from the NC. Then boot it up.

  After checking its Memory, VGA etc, it will boot into the  IBM Network
  Station Setup Utility.  Basically you can manage everything from this
  menu system.  The main parts will be described here.
  5.2.1.  Setting up TCP/IP

  Section 5 (F5) : Your network setup should look something like this :

  IP Addressed From                                NVRAM
  Network Station IP Adress              
  First Boot Host IP Adress              
  Second Boot Host IP Adress             
  Third Boot Host IP Adress              
  Gateway IP Adress                      
  Subnet Mask                            
  Broadcast IP Adress                    
  Ethernet Standard                                Version 2

  Resembles my setup.  The NC itself has While is the
  NFS Server, is a secondary NFS server, just in case.

  5.2.2.  Setting Up the Boot Parameters

  Section 6 (F6): Looks like this in my setup.

  Boot file                               kernel
  TFTP Boot Directory                     /usr/netstation/
  NFS Boot Directory                      /usr/netstation/
  Configuration File                      /usr/netstation/configs/standard.nsm
  Configuration Directory                 /usr/netstation/configs
  TFTP Order                              2
  NFS Order                               1
  MOP Order                               Disabled
  Local Order                             Disabled

  Where /usr/netstation is the directory export on

  5.2.3.  Setting Up the Monitor

  Section 7 (F7): You can choose the right resolution / refresh rate
  from a nice menu.  I have mine running on an old 14" VGA Screen
  running in 1024x768 @60Hz

  Basically that's all you need to install.

  Just plug in your Network cable again. And Reboot the NC.  After
  testing the  Video / DRAM, the NC will search the Host system and
  request the startup information, download the Kernel from the NFS and
  boot up.

  In some cases, the NC might download an updated Firmware from the
  When starting the graphical Console you should get a menu bar and a
  screen where you can select the X Hosts.  You are now in the CLE
  (Common Login Environment): it's a desktop from where you can start
  all sessions, either telnet or X .  It uses a local window manager
  which is a small window manager based on MWM.

  Your NC is  now setup. Congratulations !

  5.2.4.  Further Configuration

  Further configuration of the NC can be done e.g. be setting the
  colors, window sizes, default keymaps etc.  I'm not going to describe
  these in detail.  If you have troubles finding your way through the
  menu system. The IBM Network Station Runtime Environment for RS/6000
  User's Guide  which can be found in either .pdf or .ps at and will provide you
  with detailed information.

  5.3.  Netvista Clients

  Newer versions of the Setup screen might look like this

  ·  F2 = View Hardware Configuration

  ·  F3 = Set Network Parameters

  ·  F4 = Set Boot Parameters

  ·  F5 = Set Configuration Parameters

  ·  F6 = Set Monitor Parameters

  ·  F7 = Set Language Parameters

  ·  F10 = Set Verbose Diagnostic Message Disabled

  With F3 you get a panel to set the IP adresses of the Station, the
  boot server and the gateways as well as the subnet mask. With F4 you
  get a panel to set the boot kernel name and path and method (tftp or
  NFS). F5 brings you to a panel to set your configuration files and

  6.  Misc Stuff

  6.1.  Experiences (NC100)

  Using the NC as a plain terminal with multiple consoles.  The Built-in
  Motif extensions are a lot easier to use than the default setup ;-)
  Pressing the Pause/Break key will pop up the NC Menu at any time.
  6.2.  Connecting through a network into the NC (NC100)

  The network station allows configuration access via telnet sessions on
  several ports. The ones I know are by default configured like this:

  ·  port 87,     service SerialSD,  (raw - serial daemon)

  ·  port 5964,   service ParallelD, (raw - parallel daemon)

  ·  port 5976,   service FILED,     (raw - file manager)

  ·  port 5977,   service PREFD,     (raw - user preferences)

  ·  port 5978,   service DIAG,      (raw - diagnostics)

  ·  port 5979,   service CONFIGD,   (raw - configuration)

  ·  port 5996,   service FILED,     (telnet - file manager)

  ·  port 5997,   service PREFD,     (telnet - user preferences)

  ·  port 5998,   service DIAG,      (telnet - diagnostics)

  ·  port 5999,   service CONFIGD,   (telnet - configuration)

  You can easliy access the TCP ports by using a telnet session telnet
  NC-IPaddr port.  Be careful whether there is a password check enabled.
  The passphrase 'public' (without quotes) worked for me.

  6.2.1.  Port 5978

  Remote Logging It's the same as the messages console in your CLE.

  The format of each entry stretches over 2 lines.

  + DD:HH:MM:SS NSKxxxx: ...

  The first line covers date using the string that counts days, hours,
  minutes and seconds since boot time. The second line starts with an
  message identifier and the english plain text message after a
  separating colon, e.g.:

  + 25:17:31:43
  NSK5641: unable to get current time from
  + 26:03:29:10
  NSK4708: automatic powerdown to Suspend state after 40 minutes idle time
  + 26:03:49:10
  NSK4708: automatic powerdown to Powerdown state after 60 minutes idle time
  + 26:07:22:38
  NSK8001: accepting DIAGD connection from

  6.2.2.  Port 5999 CONFIGD

  Use this port to do remote configuration for the NC by an telnet
  session (telnet NC-IPaddr 5999).

  Here are some first commands and hints that seemed to me to be useful.
  You can apparently configure the NC remotely - online.  The
  configuration files use the same format, but do allow only an offline
  configuration.  As an alternative you may use the the setup function
  from the NC menu window.

  First of all you will need to login if you defined a password.
  Logging into the NC should show you a sequence like:

  *** NCD X Terminal Configuration ***
  Invalid Password
  Password: public

  Being logged in, you can start configurating.  The configuration
  syntax is identical to /usr/netstation/configs/  the setup files.  Be
  aware that the behaviour within this command line interface is the
  same as using the gui, i.e. when you set (you may omit this keyword)
  some parameter you need to apply it.  Otherwise you will not see any
  effect.  There is a /usr/netstation/configs/configd.doc documentation
  file (- more precisely I would call it a reference script -) delivered
  with the netstation software.  (The links are configured for the
  RS/6000 installation.)

  You probably want to start straight into the matter.  So for learning
  it the hard way, I recommend some commands to start with:.

  ·  help - shows you all possible commands with some really short
     explanation.  Some commands concerning locking should be used with

  ·  get groups -  tells you which groups of configuration options are
     available.  These are the subjects in the setup browser of the NC
     menu.  You may think of them as section headers.  These group names
     are also the first token in the name of the configurable items
     within it.

  ·  get boot ... slow in answering and shows you how the boot
     parameters of the NC are currently set.

  ·  get tftp - again some basic boot parameters.  On my NC all are read
     only statistics

  ·  get tcpip -  most useful for reading some TCP statistics, less
     useful for changing the IP setup, i.e. name servers, local DNS
     cache, ARP configuration.

  ·  get file - again slow response.  A long list of parameters.  Most
     of them are again self explaining.  Be careful when changing the
     port parameters, since you might have problems to find them later
     on. Also some important boot parameters can be found here.

  ·  get nfs - shows NFS configuration.  You most likely will only need
     it, if you use a memory PCMCIA card.  Otherwise you will have
     little to import or export.

  ·  info - shows you NAME, ACCESS, and PROTECTION of a given or all
     variables.  Helpful, if you work with protect

  6.3.  Port 161/udp - SNMP Access

  You need some network management software to work with it.  Among the
  most famous commercial ones are (Tivoli) NetView and HP OpenView.
  They provide an easy-to-use user interfaces.  For linux you usually
  use cmu-snmp for command line and TCL/TK-based scotty for visual
  frontend.  (I like command line and that's what I am going to explain)

  6.3.1.  Some general statement

  The network station is completely configurable as already noted.  In
  allows examinations and alterations while being used.  The changes
  take effect either immediately, at session startup, or at boot time
  (see configd.doc).  All reads from the network station do not unveal
  the users display contents, and therefore the users' privacy is
  respected (if the application itself respects it as well).  Only the
  configuration may be retrieved, but not the window contents (at least
  not this way).

  6.3.2.  How to configure network management ?

  There is a file in ASN.1 called  snmpmib.txt  in the installation
  directory of the recent releases that allows your network management
  console resolve the mib symbols.  Otherwise you see dot-separated
  sequences of numbers only.  So best is to append this file (comments
  start with double minus "--") to the  mib.txt file of your SNMP
  software.  You can use snmpwalk, snmpget, snmpset to browse and modify
  the symbols you have retrieved.

  6.3.3.  How to start managing?

  Simplest way to start managing is to execute the commands

  snmpwalk NC-IPaddr public system
  snmpget NC-IPaddr public system.sysDescr.0
  snmpset NC-IPaddr public system.sysContact.0 s"MailTo:Kris.Buytaert@advalvas.b$
  snmpwalk NC-IPaddr public system

  Sit back and think a little bit about it.  It is easy to work with.

  If you never had experience with SNMP commands you should read some
  SNMP documentation, take reference to configd.doc.  For more details
  refer to SNMP-HowTos.

  6.3.4.  What do you manage?

  It works nearly the same way as the telnet session to the
  configuration port, except that each command is transferred separately
  to the NC using UDP.  The advantage is that you do not have to work
  interactively, you work with UDP instead of TCP, which avoids retries
  to network stations that are down.  you must have the privileges for
  being successful - 'public' is a good community for reading...

  6.4.  IBM Software Releases

  IBM Has a special program for upgrades and documentation about the IBM
  Netststation releases.  It includes CDs and printed documentation

  It can  be ordered freely from IBM from the following url

  (Thnx to Herman Bos (hermanb@xs4allnl) for this info)

  6.5.  NetworkStation Manager

  The NetworkStation Manager is a piece of software running on the boot
  server. It has a web interface and allows you to administrate all your
  NetworkStations from a single point.  You can define users and groups
  and provide a customised desktop for each of them.

  This is required if you don't use a windowmanager provided by Linux.
  It basically works by parsing and writing the configuration files.
  However, Linux is not a supported plattform of this software. So as a
  workaround you have to change the configuration files by hand or have
  an OS/390, an AIX or a Windows NT do the job for you. Please be aware,
  that for the personalisation in users and groups of your
  NetworkStation Desktop, you need the login daemon running on your boot
  server. This daemon is not available on Linux. So personalisation has
  to be done by naming the configuration files according to the user
  sitting at the Station.

  There is an actual Redbook about the Network Station,

  Network Station Manager V2R1

  , IBM PubNumber SG24-5844-00.  For the use with Linux it may be
  helpful for you to read IBM Network Station - RS/6000 Notebook, IBM
  PubNumber SG24-2016-01.  It explains the use with the RS/600 AIX
  System (an interesting flavour of Unix).

  6.6.  Configuration file statements

  Here are some configuration file statements that I found useful:

  set boot-prom-force-update = true With this setting, the Network
  Station will check for a new boot PROM (aka Firmware) and download it
  if available.

  set xserver-access-control-enabled = false Will allow all XClients to
  connect to the XServer running on that Network Station.

  6.7.  Printing

  (contributed by Bram Piket)

  To get printing work you have do two configuration steps.  One on the
  Netstation and one on the printsystem of the server.

  On the Netstation :

  Pop up the IBM Network Station User Services window (standard with
  Alt-Shift-Home) or reboot the Netstation terminal.

  As stated on page 184 of the named IBM Redbook:

  In Setup -> Changes Setup Parameters, choose Print:

  Add in Lpr-Servers: Server: localhost Queue Name: PARALLEL1 Datastream
  type: ps (postscript)

  Save with Apply and as a file.  Add this file to:

  On the printer side

  Assumed is a cups printsystem.  You have to be root to administrate
  cups.  Within a webbrowser open the cups-setup (localhost:631).  In
  Administration -> Add Printer Name your printer and give the device


  where ppp.qqq.rrr.sss = IP-adress of the Netstation.

  There is a Redbook about printing, 'IBM Network Station Printing
  Guide', IBM PubNumber SG24-5212-00. Redbooks can be found at

  6.8.  PCMCIA Memory Cards the author of this paraphrase.

  I have tested memory cards manufactured by Centennial (IBM gives you a
  more complete list of memory cards that work with the NC).  I
  recommend a minimum capacity of 20 MB.  If you have less you will have
  less functionality on the card.  Even 20MB is hardly sufficient.  Once
  a NC is installed with a memory card it can serve as peer booting host
  for other NCs in its network vicinity.

  You need to connect to the file manager port 5996.  Keep a eye on your
  access protections in your configuration files.  If you use the memory
  card with the network station for the first time, you need to format
  it.  You should mount it and export it.  once you have exported it
  (showmount -e NC-IPaddr) you can mount it to your boot server (mount
  NC-IPaddr:/local /mnt) and transfer  the setup directory( cp -r
  /usr/netstation/* /mnt).  Be careful not to forget some necessary
  files, particularily some X11 files are needed.  The full directory
  will not fit on the card.  Avoid erasing on the chip card, claiming
  the freed space isn't easy and wastes space.
  For more detailed information you have place an PRPQ at IBM (whatever
  this means), contact some IBM representative or contact

  6.9.  Setup

  It seems the "user preferences" are stored in NVRAM, while "quick
  setup" and "setup parameters" are read from the boot server (in NFS,

  6.10.  Images

  The screensaver and background reads XBM images, Linux/BSD/*nix users
  can use XV to export to this format.  The screensaver image shown will
  be inverted.

  6.11.  Time Sync

  The units don't use NTP, instead inetd's built-in unix time (37/udp)
  support, I'd personally recommend using xinetd.

  6.12.  Test Network

  This is User Sevices Console version of ping.

  6.13.  BIOS

  Setting a global password will password-protect the "BIOS" setup.
  According to Matthew Poertner

  You can reset the NVRAM on the netstations (tested on 110 and 300
  types) using the following commands:

  >From Setup Utility:
  Are you Sure? Yes
  Reboot and Reconfig

  However if this doesn't work yet, you can always try to ...

  1. Power Off
  2. open it, everything attached
  3. above the pcmcia slot, right hand there are two blank metal spots,
  about 1 mm square, connect them (e.g. with a screwdriver) and power on the
  4. watch the boot sequence, some when it should say sth. like "NVRAM
  cleared or so"
  5. Power Off, close it, and everything should be wonderful!

  If that still doesn't work I don't have a clue ;(

  6.14.  Features

  Most units (8361-110 for sure) features not only support for X (as an
  Xterminal) and NC (Windows NT Terminal Server) usage, it's built-in
  console also has support for serial (locally attached and dial-up
  using PPP/SLIP, also telnet connections.

  7.  Other Useful Documentation

  7.1.  The IBM Website

  The IBM Website lots of documentation on the NC, most of it can be
  found in PDF  format.

  The latest updates can be found at including

  ·  IBM Network Station Runtime Environment for RS/6000 Users's Guide

  ·  IBM Network Station Runtime Environment for RS/6000 System
     Administrator's Guide

  ·  IBM Network Station Runtime Environment for RS/6000 System Navio NC
     Navigator Browser Guide

     Or from

  ·  IBM Network Station Setup and Use

  7.2.  Mailing Lists

  There is a mailing list available called The NetVista thin Client
  Linux Forum it can be found on
  , the archives can also be found there.

  7.3.  Linux on the PPC40X

  There are a lot of new resources online about Linux on the PPC40X.
  Here is a small list of them.
  it seems like some of the Netstations contain a 403GC[X] on this page
  you can find a Linux kernel for that PPC.  If anybody succeeds please
  contacte me !
  Montavista Software is doing a nice job in porting the Linux kernel to
  the IBM PowerPC 405GP based Walnut System:

  More recently we established a Wiki to discuss the development of
  Linux on the Netstation, you can find it on The effort actually worked out
  and there is a totally new project on SourceForge where you can
  download the required software to boot Linux on an IBM NC 1000.

  8.  FAQ

  ·  Q: Can you run a Linux kernel on the Netstation A:  Depending on
     the type you have you can get linux running.  Both 2200 and 2800
     models are running Linux out of the box.  As of november 2002 we
     have a succesful boot of a linux kernel on an IBM Netstation 1000.

     I'm waiting for feedback on the 110, 300 types.  The 100 is not
     running linux at the moment, it has no MMU so therefore the Linux
     port is a bit more difficult.
  ·  Q: Are there any mailing lists about the Netstation A: Take a look
     to the Other Usefull Documentation part in this howto ..

  ·  Q: I have a 2200 or a 2800 and the instructions in your HOWTO don't
     work QM  The 2200 and 2800 are not based on the PPC architecture
     anymore , they have a more frequently used chipset which is
     supported by Linux and these things run Linux natively.

  ·  Q: I have no AIX available how can I unpack the kernel A: There is
     a new section in the howto that describes how to use another way to
     do this.

  ·  Q:  I get an Invalid Kernel Type while trying to boot the NC.  A:
     You didn't run the agree script on your aix machine.

  ·  Q: I log in at the remote host and my keyboard settings are
     incorrect.  A: I use no  /.Xmodap when working on the NC.  This
     keeps my keyboardsettings perfect.

  9.  Credits

  Lots of thanks must go out to Wouter Cloetens, for getting me started , additional info from
  Boas Betzler, Andreas Neuper and Herman Bos.   Thanks for updates in
  v1.00 must go to Matt Peterson and Ken Collins and Philip Tait for the
  setup using a Win98 machine instead of an AIX box. Josef Hill for the
  automatic configuration description.  Niels H Sondergaard , John
  Kaiser and  Joern Allmers also belong to the crowd of smart people
  that mailed me with extra info for the HOWTO

  and to Bart Geens , for rereading this howto and
  findin uot lost of splelling errosr

  Also thanks to all the different people that wrote me with hints and
  help although I might have forgotten to include some of their
  comments,  if you think your part is missing, please mail me ;-)

  10.  History

  ·  v0.98p14 19980222   First Release

  ·  v0.99p15 19990501   Some fixes

  ·  v0.99p16 19991004   Major updates including feedback from Boas
     Betzler,  Andreas Neuper and Herman Bos

  ·  v0.99p18 19991226   Updates after feedback from readers.

  ·  v1.00    20000624   Updates but now also a sollution without AIX,
     this might be a good time for 1.0 ;-) It Also seems like the howto
     is not listed under mini anymore

  ·  v1.01    20001103         Updates for the not using AIX sollution
     (Philip Tait)

  ·  v1.02    20010813   Lost bios passwords by Matthew Poertner

  ·  v1.12    20011023         Lots of modifications , Client Auto
     configuration by Josef Hill

  ·  v1.13    20011207         License Change

  ·  v1.15    20030107   NC 1000 booting Linux

  ·  v.1.16   20030210         Printing explained

  ·  v.1.17   20040315   Changed some links , thnx to David Gilles

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