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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 diskspace.

4.2 Not using the AIX binaries.

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

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  ]


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

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.

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 by Josef 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.

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 side.

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