Accessing a NetWare server GUI session remotely.

  • 10060342
  • NOVL39318
  • 07-Feb-2001
  • 13-Nov-2003

Archived Content: This information is no longer maintained and is provided 'as is' for your convenience.


Accessing a NetWare server GUI session remotely.


Novell NetWare 5.1

Novell NetWare 6.0

Novell Web Services - iManager 1.5


Many installs on NetWare 5.1 or 6.0 (like BorderManager and eDirectory) now require access to the server's GUI. This creates a problem for installing applications and upgrades on remote NetWare 5.1 or 6.0 servers.

This process has also been used to intall Novell Web Services on a NetWare 6 server.
A NetWare server runs Xfree86 as its graphical shell in order to run the server Java based GUI and ConsoleOne.  The files for GUI reside in SYS:/JAVA/NWGFX.  This display can be re-routed to a remote computer running Xwindows. This can be a Unix like machine running Xwindows natively, or a Win32 workstation running an Xwindows client like for example Hummingbird's Exceed ( or a free X11 port to Win32 (

There is a first quick method for temporarily redirecting the GUI display to a remote computer. It will not disable the local GUI on the server, but it will just not use it. The procedure is the following :

1. Make sure the server·s GUI is not already loaded. If it is loaded, stop it by using for example the commands :
java ·killall
java ·exit
Note that this will kill all java programs, including the non GUI programs
2. Use the following command sequence to redirect the display to a remote computer :
envset display=x.x.x.x:0

where x.x.x.x is the IP address of the computer you want to redirect the display to

If you get the error "java.lang.InternalError: Can't connect to X Server" you are using JVM 1.1.7 try envset display=x.x.x.x:0.0

To revert the display back to the local screen, use the command :
envset display=

If you want to completely avoid loading the server GUI and always redirect it to a remote computer, you can do this by editing the STARTX.NCF file found in SYS:/JAVA/NWGFX
To make it look like this :

env display = x.x.x.x:0
envset display = x.x.x.x:0
java -classpath $JAVA_HOME\lib\taskbar;$CLASSPATH com.novell.awt.nawt.taskbar.Taskbar
java -classpath $JAVA_HOME\lib\;$JAVA_HOME\lib\swing.jar;$JAVA_HOME\classes\background.jar SetBG

On NW 5.0 servers, this configuration file requires Support Pack 5 or later to be installed.


Note: The X-Terminal that you are directing the server GUI to may not allow outside devices to send to it. You will need to execute the following command on the X-Terminal to allow remote device access:

xhost name_of_the_remote_server_or_IP

eg: xhost

To allow any host when in a secure environment :

xhost +

To turn it off:

xhost -

An important security note.  Xwindows sessions are un-secure communications. Unless your LAN/WAN lines ore secure (i.e. IPSec) than your GUI interactions are subject to interception.

NOTE: This information is provided as a service to Novell customers and is provided AS-IS, the procedure itself is not supported by Novell Technical Support.