Quite a while ago there was a discussion on this site about NetWare support for OS/2 versions prior to 1.3. Finding reliable information is difficult, especially when one doesn’t know exactly what to look for.
Spurred by the discovery of Novell NetWare 2.15 ELS II in my basement (obviously I knew it was some NetWare stuff, but until I learned much more about NetWare 2.x I didn’t realize it was a complete NetWare 286 server kit), I started pondering the question again. The NetWare release I had included a separately packaged NetWare Requester for OS/2 version 1.2 from May 1990.
It is very unclear from the documentation what the version of the Requester itself is, or if it even has one, but it’s crystal clear that it’s for OS/2 1.2 only, not any earlier version (and OS/2 1.3 had not been released yet). It relies on NWIFS.IFS, an Installable File System, which means it can’t possibly work with OS/2 1.0 or 1.1, as there was no IFS support in those versions.
Once I had some idea what I was looking for, I established that the NetWare Requester for OS/2 1.2 survived online in several places, for example here. The NetWare Requester for OS/2 1.3 (February 1991) survived as well.
And when I knew where to look, I found other stuff. Like this document which turns out to be the NetWare Requester for OS/2 manual “For NetWare Version 2.1 and Above and OS/2 Versions 1.0 and 1.1” from January 1989 (shortly after the release of OS/2 1.1 SE).
So NetWare definitely did support OS/2 1.0 and 1.1 clients. It’s unclear how this was distributed; quite possibly it came with NetWare 2.11 or 2.12, which is nowhere to be found. It may have been also distributed electronically through channels that escaped archiving. There are hints that the 1.1 Requester was $200 for unlimited copies, and there are reports that it was released in September 1989. There are mentions of the initial NetWare for OS/2 Requester (for OS/2 1.0 only?) shipping in late 1988.
It’s worth noting that the NetWare Requester for OS/2 v1.2 was a licensed package sold by Novell, but the licensing conditions permitted more or less unlimited redistribution. It’s unclear whether the older NetWare OS/2 Requesters had similar licensing conditions or something more restrictive.
It’s also worth mentioning that the OS/2 Requester always used modular ODI style drivers, while the DOS NetWare Shell at the time used pre-linked monolithic IPX modules.
Someone on this planet probably still has the old NetWare OS/2 Requester disks. But who and where? The best bet may be NetWare 2.x server disk sets older than 1990 (2.15C was available in early 1990), or possibly even original NetWare 386 kits.