NetWare administrators looking to use Linux are to be offered the same access controls and rights that are already available in NetWare. The company will include them in Nterprise Linux Services, whose initial implementation is expected to ship this week.

Access controls specify which users or groups within an organisation can access files or folders and what they can do after accessing them. When access controls are assigned to users or groups of users in NetWare, they are known as trustee rights, permissions, access privileges and access rights.

Novell says it will release Novell-style file management/file services on Linux in two releases next year. This release includes access rights and privileges, trustee rights and permissions.

"In the early release we plan to make a lot of the management capabilities, including the access control lists and some of the management tools available on existing Linux file systems, such as ReiserFS and ext3," says Ed Anderson, vice president of product management for Novell.

"Later in 2004, we are planning on releasing full file and print services for Linux," Anderson says. "In the second release, we plan to have the Novell File System running on Linux's Network File System."

In NetWare, access rights for files and folders are classed by the permission they involve - Access Control, Create, Erase, File Scan, Modify, Read, Supervisory and Write. Users can be assigned to groups, and within groups users can have different rights. In Linux, there are only three access rights - Read, Write and Execute - which, by contrast, are less detailed and flexible and don't let IT administrators create as secure file access.

Anderson says this is not the first time Novell has tackled the problem of rights assignment. With its NetWare for Unix product introduced in 1989, Novell mapped NetWare file services on top of Unix, whose access rights correspond to Linux.

In the second half of 2004, Novell will again revise Nterprise Linux Services by adding support for Novell's NetWare Core Protocol (NCP). NetWare file servers use NCP to process workstation requests and handle file and directory access.

The other task customers will be able to perform with this release is to bring up a Linux server and mount a newer Novell Storage Services (NSS) or NCP volume on it, so existing file volumes can run on Linux. NSS was introduced with NetWare 5 in 1998.