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This chapter is from the book

Setting Up Workstations in the Tree

Before you can start really managing the workstation, you must create Workstation objects and associate them with physical workstations. This step is not necessary if you do not want to manage the physical device, but instead want only to manage the desktop. For example, if you only want to deliver applications to the workstation and apply Microsoft policies to the desktop when a user is logged into the workstation, it's best to associate a user policy to the particular user. However, if you want to manage the physical inventory in addition to managing the workstation accounts, you must first have the Workstation object.

The following sections describe the automatic workstation methods of importing a workstation into the tree.

To get the system up and running, you must first have an Import Policy active in your tree and the agents running on the server and workstations. You must do the following to get a functioning Import Policy in your tree:

  1. Activate workstation agents.

  2. Activate server agent (only for automated workstation import).

  3. Create a policy package (User package for manual, Server package for automated).

  4. Turn on the Import Policy in the policy package.

  5. Associate the policy package.

  6. Set the Registry keys or DNS host file on the workstation through an application package to notify the workstation which eDirectory tree or Middle Tier to use as its primary tree.

  7. Enable login cycles to register the workstation to the tree and have the server agent automatically create the Workstation object and associate it to the device.

  8. Associate other policies to the Workstation objects to affect management.

Activate Server Agents

If you want to have automated workstation import in your network, you should have installed the automatic workstation agents onto the server as part of the installation process.

These agents on the workstation get into contact with the agents on the server through DNS services. You must either have a DNS server in your network with the DNS name of the automatic workstation import server registered (you gave the name at installation time) or each workstation must have the DNS name and address in the host file. The hostname must be zenwsimport, because the agents will be doing a hostname lookup with that name to find the IP address of the server with the service. This can also be done through a Registry key on the workstation (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Novell\ZENworks\zenwsreg with the string value of ImportServer=DNS or IP address of the import server).

The agents must be running on the server. You accomplish this by executing the ZENWSIMP.NCF file for NetWare or by having the install process install the automatic workstation import service on the NT/2000 servers.


A NoSuchMethodError event can occur when workstations attempt to register the agent if you do not have the latest JNCP.NLM and NJCL.JAR files loaded on the server before running the automatic workstation import agent. You can also look in the WSREG32.LOG file in the root drive of the workstation for additional clues. The correct versions can be found on the ZENworks for Desktops 4 CD under the companionCD/NJCL directory or from http://www.novell.com.

Creating a Policy Package

To begin the automatic workstation process, you must have a workstation import policy activated and associated with the server that is running the import agents. This is done by creating a Server Policy Package, activating the import policy, and then associating the Server Policy Package with the server via a container, server group, or direct association. Follow these steps:

  1. Start ConsoleOne.

  2. Select a container to hold the Server Policy Package object.

  3. Create the Server Policy Package in the container.

  4. Go through the Policy Package Wizard and select a Server Policy Package for the type of package and name the object. Follow the wizard and associate the policy package with the container that has the Server object with the import agent running. Remember that these policies are effective in sub-containers as well, so you can associate the policy package high enough in the tree to affect as many servers as desired.

Creating a Workstation Import Policy

Now that you have created the Server Policy Package and associated it with a container that holds the server, you need to activate the Workstation Import Policy in the package. To activate the Workstation Import Policy, do the following:

  1. Start ConsoleOne.

  2. Browse to the container that has the Server Policy Package you want to administer.

  3. Select the Server Policy Package and bring up the properties on the object.

  4. Select the Workstation Import Policy from the list of policies available. When you select and activate the import policy, the check box will be checked.

  5. Perform details of the Workstation Import Policy if desired.

  6. Select OK and close out the dialog boxes.

Once you have created a Workstation Import policy, the workstations that have not been registered with the tree will attempt to contact the workstation import agent on the server when rebooted. If a connection is made, the agent receives information from the workstation (to help in the naming), and then creates the Workstation object in the tree and returns that object name back to the workstation. The workstation then stores that information in a secure portion of the Registry and it is associated with that object in the tree.

In the preceding Step 5, you had the option of modifying the details of the Import Policy. Let's discuss briefly some of these options. If you decide to take the default Import policy, when you create workstations, they will be located in the same container as the Server object and will be named by the concatenation of the computer name and the MAC address of the network card. You can change the Import Policy to identify under which container you want the Workstation object to reside (can be absolute or relative to server or policy container) and to name the Workstation object.

Associations of Policy Packages

The ZENworks for Desktops system always starts with the relevant User, Server, or Workstation object, depending on the feature being executed. Once the User, Server (for agents), or Workstation object is located, the system will walk the tree until it locates the first policy package it can find. Generally once a package is found the configuration set in that policy is applied to the system, and the ZENworks for Desktops feature is activated.

Some features, such as the Microsoft Windows desktop policies, are an accumulation of several ZAW/ZAK policies to which the user can be associated. These policies require that the search proceed until the root of the tree.

Walking to the root of the tree for policy packages can be time- consuming, especially when the tree spans across a WAN link. Therefore, ZENworks for Desktops introduced the search policy that is contained in the Container Policy Package. This search policy limits the levels of containers that all processes search to find their policies.

Novell Workstation Registration and Object Creation

If the import policy has been created and associated with the Server object and the workstation import agents are running on the server, when a user logs into the system, it activates a workstation registration process. Based on the policy, it might take several logins before the registration occurs.

The registration process includes an agent running on the workstation attempting to resolve the DNS name of zenwsimport. It uses that address to contact the automated workstation import process running on the server. Alternatively, the agent will use the Registry key (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Novell\ZENworks\zenwsreg) with the string value of ImportServer=DNS or the IP address of the import server. The server process receives information about the workstation and the user and then, based on the naming description administered in the import policy associated with the server, it creates a Workstation object for the workstation. Once the object is created, it returns the distinguished name of the Workstation object back to the registration process on the workstation. The workstation then stores the workstation DN information in a secure portion of the Registry and it becomes associated with the given Workstation object.

You can un-register a workstation by running zwsreg -unreg from the workstation (it was installed when the agents were placed on the workstation) that you want to disassociate with an object. The initial rules of Workstation object creation go into effect and a new object is created at the proper time and given to the workstation.


Once you have your users associated with their appropriate policy packages, you can create other policies in that package and have them affect the user's environment. This is also true with Workstation objects and their associated policy packages.

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