1989 Networking: OS/2 NetWare Requester 1.1

When I wrote about the pre-release NetWare Requester for OS/2, the oldest archived officially released NetWare OS/2 Requester was version 1.2 from 1990. In the meantime, version 1.1 of the requester showed up, although I only became aware of that very recently.

Technically the 1.1 Requester does not appear to be vastly different from the 1.0 pre-release. Which is unsurprising, because the OS/2 1.1 kernel was not that different from OS/2 1.0; the big news in OS/2 1.1 was the Presentation Manager GUI, but that was not something Novell cared about at the time.

The Requester was shipped on three disks, labeled SYSTEM, PUBLIC-1, and PUBLIC-2. As the names suggest, the PUBLIC-1 and PUBLIC-2 disks were meant to be copied on the server, whie the SYSTEM disk needed to be installed on each OS/2 workstation.

Unlike the pre-release, the 1.1 Requester came with an actual installer, although what it did was a little underwhelming.

NetWare OS/2 Requester installer

The installer copies files but does not actually change CONFIG.SYS at all. Instead, Novell provided a template which can be appended to the existing CONFIG.SYS and edited to enable the desired components (SPX, named pipe support, NetBIOS).

The user also has to pick the right driver. Novell provided a good selection of drivers, for Ethernet (Novell NE1000, NE2000, 3Com 3C501, 3C503, 3C505) as well as IBM PC Network, Token Ring, and Novell RX Net.

When the system is booted, one is greeted by familiar (to OS/2 users) colorful Novell banner messages:

NetWare OS/2 Requester 1.1 booting

There’s the LSL, an ODI driver, IPX protocol driver, and finally the requester itself.

The PUBLIC disks included OS/2 versions of all core utilities like LOGIN/LOGOUT, SLIST, or MAP, as well as several full-screen tools like FILER and SYSCON.

SYSCON running in an OS/2 1.1 window

It was possible to run those utilities in OS/2 console windows as shown above.

The NetWare OS/2 Requester 1.1 was released in September 1989, same time as NetWare 386 (aka NetWare 3.0). Because NetWare 2.x version at the time didn’t support OS/2 clients, Novell shipped the PUBLIC-1 and PUBLIC-2 disks with the Requester. Later on, the OS/2 Requester was shipped with NetWare.

Technically the 1.1 Requester differs in one key aspect from its 1990 follow-on, the version 1.2 Requester. The latter uses the Installable File System (IFS) technology introduced in OS/2 1.2, but that did not yet exist in OS/2 1.1.

The user experience with the NetWare OS/2 Requester 1.1 is extremely similar to DOS. Most of the utilities look and work the same between DOS and OS/2. All in all, it’s a nice little package that makes it easy to integrate OS/2 1.1 workstation into a NetWare network.

This entry was posted in NetWare, Networking, OS/2, PC history, Virtualization. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to 1989 Networking: OS/2 NetWare Requester 1.1

  1. Rich Shealer says:

    I would think I would remember how I used Netware and OS/2 better than I do.

    I remember initially using Warp (3) and not having the requester to connect to NetWare 3.11 in 1994. I sort of remember chasing a lot of clues for a free download in the early days of consumer Internet. In the end, I had to buy the disks. Not being able to find it for free is what I most remember about it.

    I think I tried to get it to work in a real MS-DOS session using DOS drivers with some success, but I don’t think it worked in a Win-OS2 session.

    At my next job in 1995 I was using Warp 3 and Netware 3.12 in the office. Again, I don’t remember much about the requester, I might have used the one I bought at my previous job. We upgraded to Netware 4 and I don’t remember needing anything special. I think the requester was included with the clients in Netware 4.

    I never supported OS/2 for clients, and I was the only one using it in the office. The fact that I don’t remember dealing with it tells me that it just worked. For MS-DOS clients I always had to do a lot of tweaking to get maximum memory available.

    Eventually I moved to NT 4.0 to get Win32 support for vendor tools I had to use.

  2. Michal Necasek says:

    Warp Connect came with the NetWare client on the installation CD. Novell had the OS/2 client available for free download since 1990 or so, but I’m not sure how easy it was to find in those days.

    And yes, NetWare 4.0 and 3.12 (so 1993) shipped with the OS/2 client too. Actually even NetWare 3.11 did, but that was the OS/2 Requester version 1.3 which did not support 32-bit OS/2. So people who did not yet have NW 3.12/4.x had to get the 32-bit OS/2 client from elsewhere.

  3. David Goodwin says:

    Guess that just leaves Requester 1.0 for OS/2 1.0 to be found if the manual is to be believed and Requester 1.1 doesn’t work on OS/2 1.0.

    NetWare clients for NT 3.1 are another other challenging one – all that seems to have survived is a very early pre-release from Novell. None of the later pre-releases from Novell or the beta client from Microsoft (NWCS) are online anywhere obvious that I’ve been able to find.

  4. Michal Necasek says:

    I’d have a pre-release Novell NT Client for Intel/Alpha/MIPS from November 3, 1993. Is that of any interest? Or is that the early one?

    And yes, there should have been an OS/2 1.0 Requester released by Novell sometime in 1988. The 1.1 requester does not work on OS/2 1.0 because NWREQ.SYS errors out with “NET0119: Incorrect OS/2 version.” The LSL/ODI/IPX drivers load fine though.

  5. David Goodwin says:

    Yes, that one is of interest! So far the only one I could find anywhere was the 30 January 1993 pre-release. According to my notes the 3 November 93 pre-release is the first to include Alpha and MIPS support and the first to support both ODI and NDIS drivers (earlier versions used only ODI somehow). There were at least two more pre-release clients for NT 3.1 (3 March 1994 and October 1994) and then I guess they switched focus to NT 3.50 and gave up on supporting NT 3.1 and any non-x86 platforms.

    As for OS/2, any idea if the public utilities from v1.1 work any better than the v1.2 utilities against that old developers release?

  6. Michal Necasek says:

    The Nov ’93 NT 3.1 client should be here: http://vtda.org/docs/computing/Novell/Novell_NSE_1994.zip (in the DOWNLOAD directory, NWNT?.EXE). Yeah maybe they were so late that they ended up releasing the 3.50 client instead. It’s not like NT 3.1 was a big seller.

    It looks like Alpha/MIPS forced Novell to support NDIS drivers because ODI wasn’t an option there, and then there was no reason to not support NDIS on i386.

    I’ve not tried combining the 1.1 Requester with the pre-release, but I doubt it’ll work.

  7. David Goodwin says:

    Thanks for that! I’d not spotted that version of NSE before. With the way things appear and disappear from them over time its a shame there is no complete archive of them anywhere.

  8. Richard Cranium says:

    (sorta off-topic)
    I’m really disappointed the post title isn’t “Network like it’s 1989: …”. 😀

  9. Michal Necasek says:

    Maybe next time!

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