Towards a better Novell proxy login experience on Linux

Submitted by Falken on Fri, 05/14/2010 - 11:43

For a long time I've been using the excellent cl4others utility to keep my Linux desktop machine logged into the corporate Novell firewall, so that programs don't get their expected updates (etc.) turned into a HTML password request page.
The offical Novell client packages are still a nightmare to install and configure, and don't actually authenticate me for some reason anyway.

However, since upgrading to OpenSuSE 11.1 (and also now 11.2) I have found that even a freshly compiled version of cl4others will stop working several times an hour and spew a lot of "Could Not Send NCPX Packet 5 err code" messages.

I spoke over email to the author, and unfortunately he has stopped work on the project, and no longer has access to a Novell environment, so I've had to make my own changes.

Firstly, cl4others no longer goes into the background itself, and secondly it will exit when it sees a code 5 error.
You use the attached '' shell script to restart cl4others, bouncing the configured NCPFS mount point as well (as that seems to be the cause some of the time).

Using this method I get a much more reliable experience. Alternatives like killing cl4others and restarting every ten minutes from cron were fragile and over the top.
This solution only restarts when cl4others hits what looks like a non-recoverable error.

From the command line you can do

sh /mnt/network/proxy/

or from your systems start up scripts you can do

screen -d -m /root/bin/ /mnt/network/proxy/ &

to have it run in the background.
Use 'screen -r' to check on it (CTRL-A D to close and leave it running, CTRL-C to kill it).

As well as the script, I've also attached the modified source, a patch to the latest release, and a 64 bit binary for OpenSuSE 11.2.