The Novell Client and VMWare View

It’s no mystery that shops who are deep into the Novell weeds tend to have a little more difficulty with technologies that are more Microsoft Centric.  To Novell’s credit, they have built in some options for their clients that help facilitate a smoother transition into the VMWare View and Microsoft Terminals Services for enterprises who choose to use them.

The preferred method that I have found to use the Novell Client on Windows XP is to actually disable SSO and have the Desktop show the Novell Client login, this still has it’s limitations.  One thing that I have noticed is if you are at the Novell Login screen and you disconnect your session through a physical or software based client, the next time you try to reconnect to that same desktop, you will get a blue screen.  This blue screen will hang until there is a timeout period, which is not consistent, but eventually will go away.

Should you want to do SSO on Windows XP with the Novell client and over PCoIP you’ll need to setup the Passive Mode Login Function as defined in Novell’s documentation.  I have tried this method with mixed results, which is why I prefer to turn off SSO.

To enable passive mode login, set the following registry keys:
“PassiveModeNDSLoginSilent”=dword:00000000 or 00000001
“PassiveModeNDSLoginRequired”=dword:00000000 or 00000001
“nwscript=reg_expand_sz:loginw32.exe %username% /NA /CONT


Windows 7 is pretty straight forward as Novell implemented some features in their Service Pack 2 release to use a “Non-Novell Credential Provider;” they must have been feeling the pressure to make this work consistently.  This method is still considered a Passive Mode login, and is outlined here on Novell’s site.

In the Novell Client properties, under “Advanced Login,” Setting “Novell Logon” to “Off” and setting “Login With Non-Novell Credential Provider” to “On” achieves the desired SSO capability.

There are times in which the SSO doesn’t function, such as when you disconnect from the desktop but not the View Server, so to circumvent this, I would recommend disabling the CTRL+ALT+DELETE Sequence, and clear the LastLoggedOnUser registry key unless you have a policy not to.

Something to mention for certain circumstances where you need to disable SSO because of lab or kiosk.  Ive noticed that if I disable SSO through a Windows GPO for the desktops in which the above procedure has been applied, that the desktop doesn’t connect properly, it shows a black screen.  This may be another configuration issue that im not aware of, but i’ve yet to come across a resolution.

Posted in View, Vmware

How to access the Wi-fi Scanner in Mountain Lion

Over the years i’ve used many wifi stumber applications such as Kismac, iStumbler, and Meraki to gain a little more perspective on my surroundings; but no more.  Introduced in OS X Lion, the builti in Wifi Diagnostics tool has proved to hold it’s own, and now with the update to Mountain Lion, it’s only gotten better.  The main purpose of the Wi-fi diagnostics tool is to capture network data and generate logs for use in troubleshooting, but with a simple keystroke, or peek under the File menu, there are a few more tools to really geek out on.  The latest update includes a new Wi-fi scanner tool, a more advanced version of the contextual menu found under the wifi icon in the top right of your screen.  Here is how to use it.

First you’ll want to make the Wi-Fi Diagnostics app readily available by bringing it to LaunchPad or the Dock, to do that:

Method 1:

  1. From any Finder window, hit Command+Shift+G and enter the path: /System/Library/CoreServices/
  2. Locate “Wi-Fi Diagnostics” and drag and drop it into Launchpad or the OS X Dock for easy access

Method 2:

  1. Option+Click on the Wi-fi icon in your menu bar, and select “Open Wi-fi Diagnostics…”
  2. Once it opens move it to a new a new location in the dock or into Launchpad for easy access.

Now that you have the Wifi app in an easy to find location:

  1. Launch Wi-Fi Diagnostics and ignore the frontmost menu, instead hit Command+N to summon the new “Network Utilities” window.
  2. Click the “Wi-Fi Scan” tab to get started with the wireless stumbler tool

Under the Wi-Fi Scan tool, you will see all available network names and their respective BSSID, channel, band, protocol (wireless n, g, b, etc), security type, their signal strength, and the noise level of the signal.

The tool defaults to scanning once and displaying the found information, but you can turn on Active Scan or Passive Scan mode to constantly search for new network by clicking on the “Scan” pulldown menu in the lower right corner.

There are plenty of potential uses for this utility and the wireless stumbler, whether it’s optimizing networks, reducing interference and noise, or discovering those around you, but the wifi diagnostics app also includes many powerful features that allow you to capture network traffic, be it data that is sent from the computer in use or even all nearby wireless networks.




Posted in Mac, Tech