Hi all,

> >> files from MS Client...

There is a DOS version of the Linux smbclient, a FTP style
Samba / "Windows network neighborhood" client... You could
also make something which runs in the background and gives
you a drive letter for the remote drive, but it would use
a lot of RAM. Actually MS Client uses much RAM, too ;-).
Of course you could try to solve this by using protected
mode. A DJGPP port maybe.

> > How hard would it be to port Linux's TCP/IP stack to Freedos?

There already are some nice TCP/IP stacks for DOS, like the
Wattcp and Watt32 ones. Note that they are NOT part of the
kernel in any way. It WOULD be nice to have a driver which
keeps running, but afair, the current Watt32 stack is just
a library which is loaded each time when you start a program
compiled for Watt32 use. The problem here is that this means
that the config has to be processed each time. Maybe somebody
could modify Watt32 so that it allocates some shared area of
DOS memory to store the current config? Then it could re-use
this config for the whole DOS session until you reboot. That
would make starting of networked DOS apps faster and it would
avoid flooding your DHCP server with requests while using DOS.

> > a very simple, albeit limited OS.  For some things such as
> > kiosks though, a network booted dos would be very nice.

That is easy - the Arachne browser supports various network
things such as web browsing, FTP, news, email... in DOS :-).

> > freedos 1.1 progresses I'd like to see a free replacement
> > for Microsoft Client get developed.

This client is usually meant for sharing drive letters and
printers with other Windows computers, so it is completely
different to a typical kiosk activity such as web surfing.

> IMHO MS Client is useful for two things:
> 1. Accessing SMB shares from a DOS machine.


> 2. Using a NDIS driver for TCP/IP networking (with DIS_PKT).

This part is alledgedly very simple: I think it would be
very good to write a free replacement for DIS_PKT! While
we are at it, there should also be a free replacement for
ASPIDISK which uses SCSI/ASPI interface to access a disk
and give it a DOS drive letter. Note that there already is
a free ODI PKT driver which lets you use ODI drivers for
TCP/IP networking in DOS :-).

> Everything else is already there, as free software or public domain:
> A TCP/IP stack (internal: WatTCP, Watt-32 (LGPL); external: NTCPDRV
> (PD)), packet drivers and packet driver shims, and last but not least
> a lot of useful packet driver based TCP/IP applications.

> The other idea is to write a free replacement for MS Client.
> I think this would be a big task, so let's ask ... is it
> needed?

The DIS_PKT thing would be really good. The network drive thing
could wait a bit longer: In the meantime, you could use the
smbclient to fetch some files into a ramdisk at boot time if
you want a DOS "diskless client" :-).

> *Drivers*: How are other peoples experiences with modern network
> cards? Are there still packet drivers or at least ODI drivers
> included? Or is NDIS2 the only DOS driver left...

It seems that Ghost (disk imaging / backup) is still popular so
vendors still include ODI or NDIS but no packet drivers today?
I noticed that even several nForce chipsets come with DOS drivers
for ODI or NDIS. Unfortunately newer versions of the driver CDs
drop the drivers even though they still work. Instead, you only
get 1 Vista and 1 XP CD and have to fetch anything else online?

> by manufacturers? Then you need indeed at least PROTMAN.DOS,
> PROTMAN.EXE and NETBIND.COM or free replacements for these
> three files to get the network up.

I am not sure that you actually need all three to get DIS PKT up.
Maybe you or Alain already know more :-).

> But what, if they even stop to support NDIS2?

Then Ghost users will be unhappy ;-).

> Then FreeDOS had to write its own free drivers,
> like people do for GNU/Linux.

Not FreeDOS but all DOS in general. Drivers from the
crynwr collection already are free and open source.
Some vendors use them when writing DOS drivers for
their new hardware, but some fail to make the result
open source after that...

> Instead of NDIS, wouldn't it be better
> to write packet drivers then, which are already a free standard

I would already be happy with a free DIS PKT :-)

> So FreeDOS would need another "packet driver king".

There are some nice driver collections out there, for example
the Crynwr and Georg Potthast Sioux ones :-).

> Or can GNU/Linux network drivers somehow be used in FreeDOS?

Depends on their "layers". You do not want to port a driver
which is connected to complex aspects of Linux at many places.
But newer Linux is often quite modular, so you might be able
to get only the part needed for DOS. For another example, I do
NOT think that we should port Alsa sound drivers. Instead, a
port of only a SMALL number of small generic drivers like the
MPXPLAY AC97 and HDA sound drivers would be better. Because
many DOS games do not access drivers (they access the hardware
directly instead) for sound, some "virtual SB16" module for
JEMM386 would be needed to grab the sound data from the game
and then send it to some AC97 or HDA DOS driver module.

> configure Samba in a way that we don't need to talk about security
> afterwards, as there isn't any left.

MS Client is very old, so it does not support any useful security...

> So is this really worth the effort?

Depends on how badly you want to use SMB drives, and which
alternatives are possible. There are FTP and HTTP clients,
things like filemaven and interlnk, maybe even NFS clients.
There is also Novell network, I guess. And there is the
possibility to port more Samba to DOS... We already do have
a networked version of the SHSU cdrom drivers (can mount a
remote cdrom or a remote ISO file) but that one is written
in Ada and nobody has a lightweight DOS Ada compiler today
so nobody seems to be able to do updates of this thing now?

You are right that DOSEMU is a good place to look when you
need to code for making virtual packet drivers or even a
virtual SB16 soundcard :-).


SF.Net email is sponsored by:
Check out the new SourceForge.net Marketplace.
It's the best place to buy or sell services
for just about anything Open Source.
Freedos-user mailing list

Reply via email to