I had a note from a reader last week with a question that hadn\u2019t occurred to me. Daniel Blake asked: \u201cWill Novell's Linux servers be able to run NLM's?\u00a0 We have a great deal of money invested in software that runs on NetWare that we can't just throw away and start over again.\u201d (Read on, Daniel, I gave you misinformation.)I had a note from a reader last week with a question that hadn't occurred to me. Daniel Blake asked: "Will Novell's Linux servers be able to run NLMs?\u00a0 We have a great deal of money invested in software that runs on NetWare that we can't just throw away and start over again." Read on, Daniel, I gave you misinformation!I hadn't thought of it because for years we've bemoaned the fact that there were few applications and services designed to run as NLMs on NetWare. Still, over time, we've all accumulated a few - or for some of us many - NLM-based applications. While it wouldn't make sense to port those that are only used to monitor the health of a NetWare server (since there are other, Linux-based monitoring tools for that system) we all probably have commercial, shareware, freeware or homegrown NLMs running that do real work and have no Linux counterpart.So I asked a contact at Novell and he promptly replied with three possible solutions to this problem:* VMWare can be used to run NetWare+NLMs on a Linux box.* Open Enterprise Server (OES) greatly enhances users' ability to implement and manage mixed NetWare\/Linux environments.\u00a0 This enables OES customers to continue to benefit from the value of having NetWare in their environments while introducing the benefits of using Linux for the foreseeable future.* An NLM-to-ELF (Executable and Linking Format) conversion tool is available.\u00a0 Customers can use this tool to convert NLMs into Linux executables.VMWare allows you to simultaneously run multiple operating systems or multiple instances of one operating system in a single hardware box. So you could upgrade to Novell's forthcoming OES, run Linux with NetWare Services for Linux as your primary operating system then run a small implementation of NetWare to provide a platform for the NLMs. Sounds reasonable, but how long will VMWare support NetWare? You'd still need to plan a migration of the services those NLMs perform.The second option, running both NetWare and OES on your network, is simply the same as the VMWare solution but uses more hardware. While there's nothing inherently wrong with running multiple operating systems on your networked servers, still you would like to consolidate around a single system if only for economies of scale.The third option, an NLM-to-ELF conversion tool, was very intriguing. You can get more information at the link below but Linux developers should avoid looking at the source of these files! The ELF format is what's used to create whatever portability there is between various Linux distributions as well as between Unix and Linux. I'd known about a nascent "ELF to NLM" conversion project (part of https:\/\/www.tldp.org\/HOWTO\/NLM-HOWTO.html), but hadn't seen anything that went in the opposite direction. But before lambasting Novell for not publicizing this tool, I went looking for it. And didn't find it. Because there really isn't one. Someone deep inside the bowels of Novell product marketing had misunderstood the question as I was actually referring to the "ELF to NLM" tool. So I'm sorry, but that option doesn't currently exist. Maybe it should, though.Perhaps you think there should be a relatively easy to use tool to convert NLMs to ELFs, or perhaps a Linux-based environment that could run NLMs natively just as WINE and Linspire (formerly Lindows) run Windows apps on Linux. If you do, then you need to let Novell know about it.Browse to https:\/\/www.novell.com\/products\/netware\/ and scroll to the bottom of the page, click on the "feedback" link and write your note. Product marketing does read this feedback and if enough people request an NLM to ELF tool it's just possible resources will be put to work developing one. Stranger things have happened.