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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:

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.

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

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 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:.

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)

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).

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.

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.

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: /netstation/prodbase/configs/defaults.dft

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 URI:


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, /netstation/prodbase/configs/standard.nsm).

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.

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