NetWare File Services

For many years, NetWare was considered the operating system of choice for providing file and print services. Although that might no longer be the case, many people in the IT industry still see NetWare as primarily a file and print server platform.

NetWare uses a file sharing system in which all areas of the disk are available to all users who have permissions. There is no concept of share points as with Windows server operating systems, although it is possible for a user to connect to a specific folder on the server if necessary. Instead, users can map a drive to an area of a disk called a volume. Only the areas of the volume to which the user has been assigned permissions are available to that user.

Novell offers compatibility with various client operating systems by using special software drivers known as name spaces to make drives available to clients. Most commonly, the driver that mimics the file properties of Windows clients, which is called "long," is used, though NFS is also enabled by default in NetWare 6.x.

File system security on NetWare is the most sophisticated of any of the popular network operating systems. In addition to a full set of file permissions, NetWare also accommodates file permission inheritance and filters to cancel out that inheritance. For those who are unfamiliar with the various features of NetWare file system security, it can all seem a bit bewildering. When you are used to it, though, you realize that it allows an extremely high level of control over files and directories.

At the core of NetWare file system security are the basic permissions. These permissions can be assigned to individual files or, where appropriate, folders. The file system rights available on a NetWare server are listed in Table 2

Table 2 File Permissions on a NetWare Server




Supervisoryimplies all rights


Allows the file to be read


Allows the file to be written to


Allows new files to be created


Allows files to be deleted


Allows the attributes of the file to be changed


Allows the file to be viewed

Access Control

Allows the file permissions to be manipulated

In addition to file permission rights, on a NetWare server, files can also be assigned a range of attributes. These attributes include options such as Rename Inhibit and Delete Inhibit.