NCDware installation (Under construction)

PrevUp [ 3.5 | 5.x | Customization ]

Obviously, the software has to be installed on some host, preferably running some *NIX. Descriptions below are for an AIX host, but should apply to other Unixoids as well.

NCDware 3.5

  1. Download 3.5 from NCD's archive. (I have no experience with original media).
  2. Unpack/install it in some convenient location, say /applfs/applb01/NCDware-3.5
  3. create a link to the boot file for the terminal type to be served:
    ln -s /applfs/applb01/NCDware-3.5/tftpboot/Xncd19c /tftpboot/Xncd19c
  4. create a link to the configuration directory:
    ln -s /applfs/applb01/NCDware-3.5/usr/lib/X11/ncd/configs /tftpboot/configs
    Note that the top directory, /applfs/applb01/NCDware-3.5, has to be NFS-exported because it will be accessed via NFS.
  5. Create a writable file where configuration parameters can be stored:
    touch     /tftpboot/configs/ncd_std.stp
    chmod a+w /tftpboot/configs/ncd_std.stp
  6. The generic configuration file /tftpboot/configs/ncd_std should contain:
    boot-tcpip-desired-server =
    ip-use-address-discovery = false
    read ncd_std.stp
  7. Create a terminal specific configuration file, named after its IP address (in hex), for example /tftpboot/configs/C0A80138 corresponding to IP address192.168.1.56. It should contain:
    ip-address-at-next-boot =
    read ncd_std

NCDware 5.x

From Original CD

(description to come, if I ever get hold of the original one)
Regular NCDware distributions come with a /usr/lib/X11/ncd/ directory which is going to be installed, so better place a link like
ln -s <ncdware-target-directory>/ncd /usr/lib/X11/ncd
prior to installation, otherwise the installation will trash the root disks /usr/lib/X11/ with NCD stuff, which is probably not what you want.

From saved archives

See the documentation section where such archives might be obtained from. Typically they are structured as follows:
  1. As root, on the host, choose an appropriate target directory, say /applfs/applb00/NCDware-5.1.140/.
  2. Install, i.e. unpack the archives.
  3. Create an extra subdirectory, ncd, which should contain at least:
  4. Place a link
    ln -s /applfs/applb00/NCDware-5.1.140/ncd /usr/lib/X11/ncd
    which is needed for the client terminal to read rgb.txt (the /usr/lib/X11/ncd/ path seems to be hard coded).
  5. nfs-Export /applfs/applb00/NCDware-5.1.140/ and /usr/lib/X11/fonts, read-only.
    ( On AIX, conveniently done via smitty)
  6. For bootp/tftp services places entries in /etc/bootptab, e.g. for an Explora X-terminal :
  7. In /etc/inetd.conf enable appropriate service:
    bootps  dgram   udp     wait    root    /usr/sbin/bootpd       bootpd /etc/bootptab
    and refresh the internet daemon:
    refresh -s inetd


Most, if not all customizations are controlled via the central configuration file, in this example /applfs/applb00/NCDware-5.1.140/ncd/configs/ncd_std.
For more detailed information see the documentation section.

Configuring a boot monitor upgrade

(tested on NCDware 5.x only !)
In the NCDware configuration file, enable the line specifying the location of the new boot monitor binary, for example:
boot-prom-update-file = "/applfs/applb00/NCDware-5.1.140/bootben.bpu.V_2_9_412"
For Explora hardware supporting boot PROMs (not just ROMs), the update will be performed during next reboot.
Since PROM update is a potentially dangerous operation, it is advisable to disable this line again asap.

Enabling name service

DNS is enabled in the configuration file, for example:
tcpip-name-servers = {
{ }
For hosts not served by the name server(s), or if no general DNS service is available, the functionality of the UNIX /etc/hosts/ file can replicated by similar entries in the configuration file, for example:
tcpip-name-local-cache = {
{a3000 0}
{a1200 0}

Offering login hosts

A convenient collection of default hosts is specified by (example)
login-default-hosts = {
{tcp hp9ka "HP 9000/712 HP-UX 10.20"}
{tcp hp9ke "HP 9000/425e HP-UX 9.1"}


Specify fonts, for example:
xserver-default-font-path = {
        { "/usr/lib/X11/fonts" }
        { "/usr/lib/X11/more-fonts" }
        { "built-ins" }
The font directories must be NFS-mounted as in this example:
file-service-table = {
{ "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/"      nil nfs "/applfs/applb01/NCDware-5.1.140/ncd/fonts/" unix 3 30 8192 8192 }
{ "/usr/lib/X11/more-fonts/" nil nfs "/applfs/applb01/more-fonts/"                unix 3 30 8192 8192 }

Last updated: 18-Nov-2012, M.Kraemer