PC-NFS 3.0.1

Between a search engine and a friend, the search for PC-NFS 3.0 yielded a set of seven 360K floppy images of Sun PC-NFS 3.0.1. Hooray for the Internet, and thank you!

Judging by the timestamps, PC-NFS 3.0.1 was finalized in May 1989 but this particular disk set was sold in January 1991 or later. How can we tell? The files have timestamps of 05/18/1989, except for PCNFS.SYS, which is dated 01/30/1991. PCNFS.SYS is marked with a serial number. Without knowing exactly how Sun did it, it appears likely that the floppy sets were mass duplicated and then PCNFS.SYS individually serialized on demand. And it even works!

PC-NFS 3.0.1 on IBM DOS 4.01

Being on the older side, PC-NFS 3.0 does not support any new-fangled inventions like NDIS or ODI drivers, but does appear to support 3Com’s EtherSeries networking stack. It also comes with a set of its own drivers, supporting 3Com 3C501 (EtherLink), 3C503 (EtherLink II), 3C505 (EtherLink Plus), 3C523 (EtherLink/MC), Micom-Interlan NI5010, Ungermann-Bass NIC, and Western Digital WD8003. There was also a SLIP option using serial ports.

There’s a full-screen menu-driven installation and configuration interface which makes PC-NFS reasonably easy to set up…

PC-NFS Configuration Program

…at least for people who have some idea how to correctly fill in this sort of information:

PC-NFS network configuration

There is a command-line interface built around a NET command; it strongly resembles Microsoft’s MS-NET and LAN Manager, but at the same time it’s quite different:

PC-NFS NET command

Sun likely licensed the DOS redirector from Microsoft, and used that to present NFS mounts as DOS drive letters.

Unsurprisingly, PC-NFS was a mixture of DOS and UNIX. The classic ls command was provided, and unlike DIR, it could show long file names:

PC-NFS ‘ls’ showing long file names

PC-NFS 3.0 was more than just NFS though. There was also telnet, ftp, rcp, and rsh. Thus PC-NFS provided a good UNIX connectivity package for PC users.

30 years later, the 1989 PC-NFS 3.0.1 package has no trouble connecting to a Synology NAS, accessing NFS exports from DOS 3.x and 4.x. Bridging three decades in the world of computing is really not bad. Now the search is on for PC-NFS 2.0 or older.

This entry was posted in Networking, NFS, PC history. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to PC-NFS 3.0.1

  1. raijinkai says:

    “Sun likely licensed the DOS redirector from Microsoft, and used that to present NFS mounts as DOS drive letters”

    For this one wasn’t Sun but Locus Computing Corporation.
    They had a long story licensing MS sources and NDA documentation to use in many of their projects, with Merge/6300 and Merge386 being the most remarkable, but not the only ones.

  2. Wasnt locus behind some msdos emulation along with Lan manager on Unix stuff?

    The 3b2 should have Lan manager if I recall, but when I had to use them I crushed enough of Samba to run on the 3b2 so we could use tcpip..

  3. Michal Necasek says:

    Yes, Locus was behind Merge (the competitor to VP/ix), the DOS box for UNIX OSes. Locus also did AIX for PS/2 and for S/370.

  4. Fred says:

    I actually have the original package here, Michal. Mayb we should get those manuals scanned..

  5. Michal Necasek says:

    That would be cool! And any older PC-NFS version too, since PC-NFS goes back to 1986 apparently.

  6. Iain says:

    Hi – could you share a link the the images please?


  7. Michal Necasek says:

    Check vetusware. I think it’s there.

  8. bearwindows says:

    I was using/supporting a lot of Intel Desktop Boards – D101GGC D815EEA D815EEA2 D845GBV D845GERG2 D850EMV2 D865GLC D865GVHZ D915GAV D915GEV D945GCL D945GCNL D945GCPE D945GNTL D945GPM D945PVS D946GZIS DG31GL DG31PR DG33FB DG35EC DG41TY DG41WV DG43NB DG43RK DG965RY DH61CR DH61WW DH77EB DP965LT DQ43AP DQ67OW DQ67SW DQ963FX DQ965GF
    And most of them still used and working. Also planning to buy Intel’s 7- or 8- series motherboard if I can successfully find it.

  9. Michal Necasek says:

    The “business” Intel boards (Q chipsets) tend to be easy to find. I had no trouble acquiring DQ77CP and DQ87PG not too long ago.

    The “Extreme” boards can be nearly impossible to find and when they show up, can be surprisingly expensive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.