Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

OS X WebDAV Problem

I’m having a problem with WebDAV in Leopard, and I’m hoping that someone knows something I can do to get it working.

The university gives its staff members off-site access to their shared drives via FTP and WebDAV, as well as a web interface; all three use Novell NetStorage (the university’s IT system is based around an interesting mix of Novell, Sun, Microsoft and Linux server technology). Now the WebDAV service works fine in Windows XP’s Network Places system and I’m able to view my files with no problems. But on OS X, specifically Leopard, it rejects my username and password, no matter what possible combination I provide (whether it’s the username on its own or the username appended with the Novell tree that I belong to).

The NetStorage system we use does support SSL, but I’ve tried it with and without SSL and it still doesn’t work (SSL support was added in OS X Tiger/10.4). But it does work in XP, which is why I’m confused. And, naturally, any options to configure WebDAV are hidden away by the operating system.

I’d appreciate any light that anyone can shed on this, as being able to access files from home would be useful. I can use FTP but WebDAV integrates much better with the Finder.


  1. I have a problem with OS X WebDAV involving versioning and today I am working on using MacFUSE ( ) and WBFS ( ) to give me WebDAV filesystem access for some of the work I do that doesn’t destroy versioning.

  2. Hmm, I have no issues logging into a HTTPS WebDAV server. I do have MacFuse though, maybe this is helping in the background.

  3. I have MacFUSE but not the WebDAV add-in, so I’ll check out Jonathan’s link.
    I spoke to my insider person in Novell and they said that Mac OS X is not a supported platform, so if it’s a bug in their software then they won’t fix it. It could also be that they intentionally block OS X, because it’s unsupported.

  4. I’ve had some problems with WebDAV on Leopard as well. I’m connecting to an MS Exchange box via WebDAV (similar to what OWA does) and the first time I try to connect it rejects my password. If I just resubmit the password again, though (without changing anything), it works. Haven’t tried webdav against anything else yet.

  5. The _major_ problem with OS X connecting to WebDAV on Novell is that the server implementation (Novell) requires cookies to be used in HTTP requests whereas the client (OS X) doesn’t put cookies into its requests.
    It is broken on both sides – IIRC, the WebDAV specification doesn’t actually allow cookies (which is why OS X doesn’t use them, and Novell shouldn’t) but then just about every client implements them (and OS X should.)

  6. I have exactly the same problem here. The only solution offered by my institution is to use Goliath (interestingly, I’ve also tried another client, Transmit, and that gets rejectd by the server as well). But I would really like to access my files with the Finder, not with a separate application.

  7. exactly same problem here, same settings of Netstorage, and same problem. after reading this post I know why, I ll try fuse