Networking FreeDOS - TCP/IP applications
We heard in the "History of DOS networking" how popular TCP/IP
applications for DOS were in the eighties and nineties of the last
century. This era ended when Microsoft introduced Windows 95: It
provided TCP/IP and other networking functions under an easy, user
friendly interface. With their customers many commercial network
applications for DOS vanished. But public domain software, freeware and
shareware programs were preserved by the upcoming internet. Some are
still developed today. Even new software has been written.
DOS TCP/IP applications include classic networking tools as ping,
lpr or finger as well as SSH and NFS clients, FTP servers, webservers,
mail and news software or web browsers. There is even a complete peer-
to-peer networking solution called "Network Enhanced Operating System"
(NeOS - see: http://ftp.carnet.hr/pub/pc/networking/NeOS/README (*01))
which was developed 1995-2000 as part of European Union's "EUREKA"
project (see: http://www.eureka.be/inaction/AcShowProject.do;
(*02)). Now it is postcardware.
Michael Bernardi has collected a list of more than hundred TCP/IP
applications (see: http://www.dendarii.co.uk/FAQs/dos-apps.html (*03))
available for DOS. There are also other lists here (see: ftp://ftp.
(*04)), here (see: ftp://ftp.cac.psu.edu/pub/dos/info/tcpip.
packages (*05)) and here (see: http://www.fdisk.com/doslynx/
(*06)), which may contain additional information.
A recent and constantly updated resource for DOS networking applications
is the British "DOS Solutions" (see: http://www.dossolutions.pwp.
blueyonder.co.uk/network.htm (*07)). Links to other DOS resources are
collected in FreeDOS technote 157 (see: http://www.freedos.org/freedos/
news/technote/157.html (*08)). I also found the nostalgia site oldskool
.org (see: ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/tvdog/internet/ (*09)) pretty
A lot of information can still retrieved from usenet newsgroup
comp.protocols.tcp-ip.ibmpc (see: http://groups.google.com/group/
comp.protocols.tcp-ip.ibmpc (*10)), especially from their FAQ, which is
posted in parts one (see: http://www.uni-giessen.de/faq/archiv/
ibmpc-tcp-ip-faq.part1-3/msg00000.html (*11)), two (see: http://www.
and three (see: http://www.uni-giessen.de/faq/archiv/ibmpc-tcp-ip-faq.
It is not possible to cover all TCP/IP applications in this document.
But here are some remarkable examples:
(Picture of a screenshot of Arachne)
"Arachne" is a graphical web browser for DOS. It was created in 1996
by Czech programmer Michael Polak and his company xChaos/Arachne Labs
(see: http://www.arachne.cz/ (*14)). In 2002 Michael Polak decided
to make Arachne free software. The new license is the GNU GPL
(see: http://home.arachne.cz/archive/v01.n1917 (*15)).
The browser supports various picture formats. Tables and frames are
shown correctly, it renders HTML 4 and CSS 1.0 and versions 1.90J3 and
newer even understand UTF-8. Other Arachne services include FTP, NNTP,
IRC-Chat, RSS, POP3 and SMTP. Look here (see: http://web.archive.org/
(*16)) for a complete history of the software.
Arachne is still actively developed - programmers are invited to join
a mailing list (see: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ArachneDevelop
ment/ (*17)). The latest version can be found at the site of Glenn
McCorkle (see: http://www.glennmcc.org/ (*18)). Read more about it
(Picture of a screenshot of EZ-NOS2)
"EZ-NOS2" is one of the descendants of Phil Karn's KA9Q. It is
currently developed by DOS Solutions (see: http://www.dossolutions.
pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/eznos.htm (*19)). The software suite includes a
webserver, a FTP-server and a bootp server as well as an email client.
As all KA9Q descendants EZ-NOS2 is licensed with the GNU GPL. The
source can be downloaded as ez_src.zip (see: http://www.dossolutions.
(The screenshot shows a closed SSH session to a Debian server.)
"SSH2DOS" is a SSH, SFTP and SCP client for DOS. These services more
and more replace the classic Telnet- and FTP-services, which are
regarded as less secure.
SSH2DOS was created by Hungarian developer Nagy Daniel in 2000 and can
be downloaded at Sourceforge.net (see: http://sourceforge.net/projects/
sshdos (*21)). It is released under the GNU GPL. It uses code of the
PuTTY SSH client as well as the WatTCP kernel library.
Copyright (C) 2007 Ulrich Hansen, Mainz (Germany), modified 2010
and 2020 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".