Networking FreeDOS - MS Client

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MS Client 3.0

Where to find it

Microsoft's programs "LAN Manager" and "MS Client 3.0" can be downloaded from Microsoft's ftp-site and are free for "internal use", but not for distribution.

Links

There are numerous webpages about the installation and usage especially of MS Client 3.0:

MS Client as Server

Workgroup Add-On for MS-DOS

It is possible (but not officially supported) to use a Microsoft update to add server functionality to MS Client. This Update is called WG1049.EXE and can be downloaded here:

ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/softlib/mslfiles/wg1049.exe

In effect this adds features comparable to those of the "Workgroup Add-On for DOS", which is not longer sold by Microsoft.

Critics

The integration of a DOS machine into a modern Windows XP or GNU/Linux SMB Workgroup is limited though. For instance it doesn't seem to be possible to access a DOS share from GNU/Linux using smbmount. And the use of TCP/IP as protocol in MS Client consumes much memory and may lead to an unstable DOS system.

Steven Baker critically remarks, that, while the core TCP/IP protocol remained stable over the years, Microsoft's SMB protocols changed from upgrade to upgrade and exist "in a dozen different dialects". So compatibility is an issue. Other problems can be caused by the authentication methods that are used by Windows or Samba.

Apart from that it can be considered a good thing that Microsoft still allows to legally download and use this software. Some files from the "MS Client" package are also essential for the use of TCP/IP applications over today's common NDIS drivers.

Alternatives

  • NFS
  • EtherDFS
  • You could use a FTP server on DOS which runs in the background (as Datalight Sockets, which is explained here and a tool to map a FTP server to a drive letter (for Windows f.i.: netdrive) to integrate your DOS machine into a network. GNU/Linux can even mount FTP servers without an extra tool.



Index

Novell Netware <--- MS Client ---> TCP/IP applications