NetWare 2.x

Novel NetWare was an early and powerful network/file sharing operating system. It was first released in 1983 and supported DOS and CP/M clients and was initially unique in that it shared individual files rather than entire disk volumes. Initially servers ran on a proprietary Motorola 68000 system but quickly changed to IBM PC where it supported a very wide variety of third party hardware. It used a cooperative tasking server environment and had some advanced features usually only found in mainframe products.

During the late 80s and early 90s, NetWare was very popular with large enterprise businesses. The first releases of DOOM used NetWare's IPX protocol for networking support. Later NetWare versions added TCP/IP support in addition to its native IPX protocol.

NetWare competed against larger networking systems such as DEC Pathworks, and smaller systems such as Banyan VINES and Lantastic. In the mid 1980s Microsoft introduced their own LAN system, Microsoft LAN Manager. NetWare was largely displaced In the late 90s, as Microsoft LAN Manager was integrated in to Windows NT.

The last version, 6.5SP8 was released in May 2009.

NetWare 2 supported native protected mode operation on the Intel 286 CPU.

2.x included advanced features such as system fault tolerance, on-the-fly bad block re-mapping, software RAID1,. and a transaction tracking system.

Early versions of NetWare 2.x were copy protected, requiring an ISA card with a hardware key.

Product type
Release date
Minimum CPU
User interface


Download Name Version Language CPU File type File size
Novell NetWare 2.15 (3.5-720k) 2.15 English x86 3½ Floppy 3.23MB
Novell NetWare 2.15c (5.25-360k) 2.15c English x86 5¼ Floppy 2.92MB
Novell NetWare 2.2 (1991) (3.5-1.44mb) 2.2 English x86 3½ Floppy 3.52MB


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