NCPFS chgpwd

As I’ve noted before, my remaining problem with using Linux in
a Novell Netware 4.x environment was changing my Netware
password. You may remember that I’m using the NCPFS utilities
to login to our Netware server and mount the volumes I am
authorized to access. This mini how-to assumes you have
successfully been able to get logged in and have mounted said

The NCPFS utilities (as of this writing I am using version
2.2.6) include, among other things, something called nwpasswd
that provides a way to change your Netware password. However,
partly due to a sketchy MAN
and partly due to my lack of understanding of
how Netware logins work I have not been able to get nwpasswd to
run error free. The error I keep getting refers to an unknown
server error (0x89F0). I tried Googling for reasons why I would
get this error and found one site that said nwpasswd doesn’t work
if the server is on a different sub-net from the client that is
trying to login. I believe this is the situation on our network
so this may be why I can’t use this utility. If you can get it to
work, great. If not, you may want to read on.

In searching for another utility, I found that NCPFS also
includes, but does not install by default, a program called chgpwd.
It is located in the /contrib/tcl-utils directory of the default
NCPFS 2.2.6 install. I don’t know why there would be two NCPFS
utilities to change passwords but there you go.

However, under the default Xandros distribution, I couldn’t
find this utility nor even the directory it’s supposed to be in
(perhaps because NCPFS was installed using Xandros Network). So I
downloaded the full NCPFS 2.2.6 package, untared it, changed into
the NCPFS-2.2.6 directory that was automatically created, did a
./configure, make, make install-dev, changed into the
/ncpfs-2.2.6/contrib/tcl-utils directory and then did a make chgpwd. Two
notes: I did not do a make install in the /ncpfs-2.2.6 directory
because I did not want to run the chance of installing a new
version of NCPFS over the one already installed by Xandros
Network since this could break something that wasn’t broken. The
second note is I did try to make install chgpwd, but got an error
saying the default install directory for chgpwd existed but was
not a directory (!?!?!). So, I just left the newly created binary
in the /ncpfs-2.2.6/contrib/tcl-utils directory where it was.

At that point, I tried using the chgpwd utility and ran into
problems because, now wait for it, the sketchy documentation. All
I can say is you have to try the various options (taking care to
observe upper and lower case) to see what works for your network.
For mine, I needed the -S server name, -c context_name, -o object
name, and of course, -P old password and -n new password. Note:
if you use the -S server option, do not also use the -T tree
option. One or the other, but not both.

For the record, using chgpwd would look something like this
for our network:

./chgpwd -S DOWNING -o BOND -c AREA51.MI6.UK -P james
-n moneypenny

Where DOWNING is the server name, BOND is the user name used
to login to the Netware server, AREA51.MI6.UK is the context on
the NDS tree for the
object BOND, james is the current password and moneypenny is the
new one.

Be aware that this utility does not give you any feedback
unless something goes wrong. YMMV. Insert disclaimer here.


One response to “NCPFS chgpwd

  1. Mind boggling! All this just to change a password? Yeah – typical Linux. “We do IT in a hammock – standing up.”

    When are the Linuxen going to wake up to the need for a Linux version of InstallShield? Or is that too complex for the Linuxen to cope with? Sheesh.

    I’ll give up Win2K Pro when you pry it from my cold dead hands.