FreeDOS help system (hhstndrd 1.0.8 en)[nfs]

Networking FreeDOS - NFS

This document describes how to set up NFS networking on a DOS system with a network card, so that a DOS drive letter is mapped to a directory path on an NFS server (UNIX).


This has been tested on a server (486dx2-66s) running Red Hat Linux 5.2 (kernel 2.0.36), using DOS clients on 4.77mhz 8088s, some 80286s, and various higher level machines, with NE2000 generic clone network cards. They all work fine. Network was a 10base2 over coaxial cable, with 10-20 systems on it, and one 10baseT hub for more recent machines.


Software was XFS. In the XFS80286 directory, find a FreeDOS file-set that runs on 80286 and above machines. In the XFS8088 directory, look for a 8088 file-set that runs on the oldest PCs.

NFS server

On the Linux server, you will need to create (or modify) the /etc/ exports file to export the necessary directory paths. For example, to share the /home/dos directory as read-write for all clients: /home/dos (rw,insecure) In order to support remote printing, you will also need to start rpc.pcnfsd. You may need to modify the /etc/rc.d/init.d/nfs script so that rpc.pcnfsd starts automatically at system boot. Note that pcnfsd is a small C program written by Sun, and is freely available on the Internet. If your server does not come with a version of pcnfsd, you will need to compile it and install into the /usr/sbin directory (use the same permissions as rpc.nfsd).

DOS client

80286 and above From the XFS software, look in the xfs80286 directory to support systems with an 80286 CPU and above. Copy this whole directory as-is to a directory on your hard drive. You will have to edit HOSTS, XFS.BAT - and perhaps AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS - to use the correct path to XFS. To start your network, type: XFS You will see a character in the upper-right corner of your screen which indicates what XFS is trying to do: A running ARP request to get an IP address, > sending packets to the network, < receiving packets from the network 8088 From the XFS software, see the xfs8088 directory for 8088-specific support, and copy these files to your hard drive. Edit HOSTS and XFS.BAT to use the new paths. The oldest 4.77 MHz 8088 PCs work just fine. However, a special driver is needed on the 8088, because the original Crynwr packet driver makes three 80286 instructions.) I patched that driver and renamed it Load the new driver. You also need files from a special 8088-only version of the XFS package ( Originally, there was an NE1000 card for 8088s. These have all but disappeared. All the NE2000 cards we tested worked just fine on the 8088, even when the 16-bit card is inserted in an 8-bit ISA slot. Some of the newer NE cards may need to be set up in a 80286 or above before being put into 8088s. Only tested with MS-DOS; FreeDOS COMMAND.COM does not support 8088 CPUs. MS-DOS versions 3.20, 5.00, and 6.22 all tested ok.


Most problems we experienced were due to bad network cables or inter- rupt problems. Before starting, ensure your network is available (test using ping from one Linux box to another.) On the DOS boxes, we set all the NE2000 cards to the 0x300 address, and then picked an unused interrupt and set the card and the driver line to match (please see the "ne2000" line in XFS.BAT.) With a little playing around, you should have your first DOS client using NFS very quickly. For other problems, see the documentation in the XFS191.ZIP and files. Most Linux servers have similar documentation about NFS, which may help set up the server. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Copyright (C) 2007 Ulrich Hansen, Mainz (Germany), modified 2010 by W.Spiegl. For more information see here. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License 1.2".