By Harry Fuecks

Novell NetDrive: Webdav client for Windows

By Harry Fuecks

Got to offload this tip from OSCOM before I forget. NetDrive is a free client, provided by Novell, to allow access to Webdav servers from Windows, by mapping a drive.

Quite a few of the CMS’s presented as OSCOM make use of Webdav to allow easy update of content, including eZ publish and Typo for PHP (plus PEAR::HTTP_WebDavServer).

Personally don’t have much first hand experience with Webdav but talking to those that have at OSCOM got reports of patchy client implementations on Windows, that don’t play well with anything but Microsoft’s own server technologies. Apparently it’s bad enough for projects like Life CMS to implement their own Virtual File system, by overriding Linux filesystem calls (which is a long way to go if you’re trying to build a CMS!).

The NetDrive tip is thanks to Ivan Ristic, who PHP coders may know from PHP Traveller. Got more to say later, about what Ivan’s been doing with mod_security, which is a great project.

Anyway – personally hadn’t heard of NetDrive before and wasn’t the only one surprised to hear of it. Strikes me Novell have a real problem getting their message out there. Danese Cooper gave an insightful talk on the impact corporate blogs are having at Sun – perhaps Novell could learn something? The Novell / Suse / Ximian thing seems to be happening pretty quietly which is surprising given the potential…

  • Alan Knowles

    If this works, it would be awsome – you can not imagine the power of sticking subversion as a backend to it.
    For alot of offices this would simplify backups, finally solve alot of deleted files issues..

  • Markus Wolff

    Another project that would benefit from this is the new Mozilla Sunbird project – it reads/writes calendar entries as iCal files, which could easily be served from a WebDAV drive. This way, a simple PHP groupware project could use Sunbird as a frontend by providing a WebDAV interface … add to this IMAP and LDAP on the server side and kick out ye olde rusty MS Exchange Server ;-)

  • Would be very interested to hear feedback on how well NetDrive works. Will experiment with PEAR::HTTP_WebDAVServer when I get a moment.

  • Actually, this concept is not new. There’s a product called WebDrive that’s been able to do it for years. Not to mention the (admittedly patchy) implementation of WebDAV through Web Folders on Windows.

    Most users of Zope have heard of these at some time or another, as WebDAV is a common way to get files in and out of the Zope object repository. I’ve also recently been thinking that a WebDAV mapping to a Subversion repository would make a very nice transactional filesystem, although SVN only supports a subset of WebDAV.

    That said, WebDrive isn’t free. So if NetDrive does much the same kind of thing then it’s a no-brainer. Personally I’ve always been a little puzzled that there aren’t more products out there like this (or that they’re so badly promoted, perhaps)

  • don

    I am trying to set up NetDrive with https. It constantly rejecting user with
    Digest: missing user, realm, nonce, uri, digest, cnonce, or nonce_count in authorization header
    Any idea?

  • leyeti

    Are you sure that we can use netdrive for free ?
    We didn’t need any licence ?

  • Wow. This program _IS_ Webdrive, sans ssh2/scp support.



  • zlatan

    I have been using WebDav for about 6 months. I love it because by implementing 5 lines in httpd.conf and setting httpd user I can have a server access to any folder. This is much nicer solution that ftp server. Also if used on https more secure.

    I think XP has issues with webfolders thoug that is why it is nice to use NetDrive.

  • YoPapa

    Well, NetDrive, just like WebDrive, is *not* free software. It comes with Novell NetWare 6 and may *only* be used legally if you already have a NetWare 6 license.

  • R

    Well Well, after reading the ‘Licence en Fran

  • Andrey

    It works just fine. I have Novell NetDrive at my college and a few FTP sites and they all perfectly fine with NetDrive. What it does is create a virtual SMB server with a UNC path of \NetDriveShareName so windows treats it like a real network share. If you go to disconnect network drive they are all listed there…

  • Helge

    NetDrive seems to have problems when connecting through a proxy. If the WebDav folder is accessed by https, NetDrive seems to contact the proxy with SSL as well. This is rejected by proxies like Squid.

  • Jeremy

    I’ll just chime in with the others who say this is *not* free software in any sense of the word, and in fact the download link on Novell’s site is no longer valid. What’s especially odd is that a quick google search turns up several universities that are offering unrestricted access to download the application – what’s the deal?

  • Anonymous

    Many Universities run Novell Netware networks so they are making to NetDrive client available to their staff/students. NetDrive also supports iFolder which lets users have remote access to their network drives.

  • knowledge

    To put all of you at ease, Novell says search the Web and download. See: Apparently there is no restrictions…

  • Anonymous

    NetDrive is not free. The agency I work for considered using NetDrive in a project, this is the message I received from Novell customer support:

    You must have purchased or purchase Netware 6 or iFolder in order to use Novell NetDrive. Call me if you need further help and we can connect you with a Tech Specialist.


    Melissa Niu
    Government Inside Sales
    Novell, Inc.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Concerning my WebDAV needs I’m very happy with BitKinex.

  • John

    I am very happy with Netdrive I used it to connect to our Open-Xchange server and it works like a charm

  • not happy

    There are problems with the authentication in netdrive. I could not get it to work with BarracudaDrive, which is very strict when it comes to authentication.

  • WebDrive

    NetDrive is not a free utility. It may only be used in conjunction with a valid NetWare 6 license.

    NetDrive is based on a very old version of WebDrive from South River Technologies (the developers of WebDrive). It was licensed to Novell for use within the NetWare 6 environment and was not intended to be freely distributed.

    If you are looking for a product with a more mature WebDAV/HTTPS implementation, use WebDrive instead.

  • Traveller

    You can download 2008 versions of NetDrive can be found at site.

    I like it that it’s free for personal home use.

  • FG

    Searching doesn’t seem to be supported with NetDrive – this is a bit of a handicap.

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