AUTOEXEC.NCF

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AUTOEXEC.NCF is one of the startup files for NetWare. In the default installation, and in most product installations thereafter, there are many entries in the script. Quite often people don't understand what each entry is and whether they can safely remove it or not.

This page is an attempt to assist people with understanding what the lines are and in what situations they can be safely removed or remarked. This page may also be a good place to start noting some best practises regarding the content of AUTOEXEC.NCF.

AUTOEXEC.NCF - line by line

Line(s) What does it do? Can it be removed? Notes
SET Time Zone = ART-2 This sets the time zone for the server. Your line may look different dependant on the time zone choice you made during the installation. No, removing this line is not advisable. This line MUST precede the server name.
SEARCH ADD SYS:\JAVA\BIN
SEARCH ADD SYS:\JAVA\NWGFX\BIN
SEARCH ADD SYS:\JAVA\NJCLV2\BIN
These are search paths for the JVM. No, removing these lines is not advisable.  
SEARCH ADD SYS:\NI\UPDATE\BIN This is the search path used by the Java GUI installer. No, but some installers are dumb and add multiple copies of this line to your AUTOEXEC.NCF. You may remove any duplications.  
FILE SERVER NAME NW-SRV-1 This sets the server's name. No.  
load conlog MAXIMUM=100 CONLOG.NLM logs the console log to SYS:\ETC\CONSOLE.LOG. The parameter sets the maximum number of lines that the log file may contain. Yes - However, note that without this line, you will not be able to check up on historical console activity very easily. To save historical information on a daily basis, you could use the switches ARCHIVE=YES NEXT=23:59:55.
sys:\etc\initsys.ncf Once you've run INETCFG once and transferred the bindings - it puts this line into your AUTOEXEC.NCF. It loads a script which sets up your network interfaces and other networking related configuration. No. You can remove it, but only if you know how to manually bind the interfaces when the server next reboots. It's not recommended.
LOAD ODINEB.NLM This is the ODI event bus driver. It is used to propagate certain events related to ODI drivers between different modules involved. It is mostly used for hot plug LAN adapters. Yes, unless you have hot plug LAN adapters. ODINEB.NLM is only effective if it is loaded before the LAN drivers. Otherwise, it does absolutely nothing.
MOUNT ALL This line mounts all volumes available. No, unless you know what you're doing.  
IPMINIT.NCF This is the script to implement the IP address changes scheduled theough IP Address Managamant. This is the script that actually updates the configuration files for the various services that may be impacted by the address change. No, unless you plan to never use IP Address Managament.  
SYS:\SYSTEM\NMA\NMA5.NCF This loads the SNMP management agent for NetWare. This provides access to SNMP information and the ability to set alerts. See this appnote to get more of an explanation. Yes. The path may be different if you've installed ManageWise or ZENworks for Servers.
BSTART.NCF This line starts BTRIEVE/Pervasive SQL database. No. This database is used in NetWare for managing the installed product list and is sometimes used by other applications. If you are using PSQL 8 or later, then this line must be before sys:\etc\initsys.ncf.
load nile.nlm This is the SSL library for HTTPSTK.NLM No, unless you don't want to use NRM over a secure connection.  
load httpstk.nlm /SSL /keyfile:"SSL CertificateIP" This line loads the HTTP/HTTPS stack that NetWare Remote Manager uses. Yes, but only if you don't wish to use NRM. Yes, you read it correctly, NRM does NOT use Apache.
LOAD PORTAL.NLM This line loads NetWare Remote Manager. Yes, but only if you don't want to use NRM. If you load PORTAL.NLM without HTTPSTK.NLM, NetWare will automatically load PORTAL.NLM without the extra command line options. In that case, only HTTP access to port 8008 will be available.
LOAD NDSIMON.NLM This line loads iMonitor (eDirectory monitoring and management tool). Yes, but only if you don't want to use it. Make sure NDSIMON.NLM is laoded after HTTPSTK.NLM (and PORTAL.NLM if NRM is being used). Otherwise, HTTPSTK.NLM will be loaded without command line options and secure access is not possible. NDSIMON.NLM will normally plug into NRM. However it can be loaded without POTAL.NLM in which case it replaces NRM.
LOAD ACPISBD.NLM This is the hot plug PCI driver for ACPI based systems. No, unless you want to disable hot plug PCI on your system. You will only find this line in your AUTOEXEC.NCF if your hardware supports hot plug PCI.
LOAD NICISDI.XLM
LOAD SASDFM.XLM
These lines load up the NICI and SAS crytography frameworks for NetWare. No.  
LOAD NAMED This line loads the DNS server for NetWare. Yes, if you don't wish to host DNS services.  
AFPSTRT.NCF This loads support for Apple File Protocol over IP, enabling access to NetWare volumes from Apple Mac's. Yes, if you don't have any Mac's around or any intention of allowing them access. By default this is installed and enabled. If you don't need it, remark it out.
CIFSSTRT.NCF This loads support for SMB/CIFS, enabling access to NetWare volumes from Windows PC's that don't have a Novell Client on them. Yes, if you don't wish to allow access to Windows PC's without a Novell Client installed. By default this is installed and enabled. If you don't need it, remark it out.
nfsstart This loads support for NFS, enabling access to NetWare volumes from Unix/Linux PC's using NFS. Yes, if you don't wish to allow access to anything that uses NFS. By default this is installed and enabled. If you don't need it, remark it out.
SYS:/BIN/UNIXENV.NCF This loads the modules to allow Unix-style commands at the NetWare console. Yes.  
LOAD PKI.NLM This loads up the PKI cryptography substructure in NetWare. Yes, but it's not recommended to do so.  
LOAD NLDAP.NLM This loads up the LDAP interface to eDirectory on NetWare. Yes, but then any LDAP applications directed to this server will not work.  
PSA This is the "Posix Semantic Agent", a special caching module for NSS which is supposed to improve performace in accessing static web pages through Apache2. Yes, always remove this module. It is very problematic and only gives marginally better performance. The NetWare installation will only put PSA in your AUTOEXEC.NCF if it thinks you don't use it with any conflicting other products.
SCRIPT.NCF This is for PHP, Perl and Novell Script scripting on NetWare. Yes, if you do not wish to allow scripting on the server or for Apache on the server.  
SEARCH ADD SYS:\APACHE2
ADMSRVUP
This sets up the search path and then loads up the administration instance of Apache on the server. This instance is the part that's available on port 2200 via HTTPS. Yes, if you don't need that administration server. It's essentially just a collecting point for links to other stuff anyway. Note that not running this does not affect the other instance of the Apache server that's started by iFolder or AP2WEBUP.NCF. It is also not required for NRM operation.
SEARCH ADD SYS:/tomcat/4/bin
tcadmup.ncf
These setup the corresponding Tomcat instance for the administration server. Yes, if you don't want the admin server. If you are loading the administration instance of the Apache server, then you should also load this. Note that not running this does not affect the other instance of Tomcat that is started with TOMCAT4.NCF. This is also not required for iFolder or NRM operation.
SMSSTART.NCF This starts the backup substructure for NetWare. No, unless you have a non TSA backup solution like yosemite, rsync, etc.  
LOAD EMBOX.NLM This is the eMBox API for eDirectory. It allows SOAP access to eDirectory, generally used by Novell. Yes, but some Novell management tools that work against eDirectory may not work properly against this server if you do.  
openwbem.ncf This loads the components to provide OpenWBEM support for NetWare. Yes, unless you have a management tool that reads OpenWBEM information from the server. The NSS, NFAP and NCS plugins for iManager use OpenWBEM to communicate with the server. If OpenWBEM is not loaded, file access to the _ADMIN volume is used instead.
LDRCONAG This loads the RConsoleJ agent securely. Yes, but only if you do not require remote access to the server.  
LOAD DHCPSRVR This loads the Novell DHCP server. Yes, but only if you don't plan to support DHCP services with this server.  
SLPDA This loads the SLP Directory Agent onto this server. Yes, but only if you have made alternative arrangements for SLP on your network.  

Best Practises