Retro Dos Web Server.

Introduction: Retro Dos Web Server.

About: Bytesize articles instead of a trilogy in one post.

One of my special projects is to help keep older computer equipment viable. This can be especially important for those who are less privileged.   Your goal is to make a networkable pentium one computer act as a home web server.

Thought about experimenting do home automation or other things with the parallel port that the web server can act as an interface to for control, but have not made time to do that.

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Step 1: Software.

We need to install freedos on the hard disk so we have a place for all the software we will need.  We will also need the ethernet card driver,  Well then what other software might one need?  A TCPIP stack basied on Trumpet winsock. and then the web server.  We can download that. Secondly we need a way to serve out a web page. I vaguely remembered a web server for dos called Boa.  it is still around but pretty much just in C source code format. Do not really want to have to deal with all of that. Fortunately, I happened across a program called Webserv.


Step 2: Hardware.

You will be using and Intel Pentium I system that has a floppy drive, 3com network interface card, and a two gig hard drive. You will get to use a monitor just long enough to set up the system. You also  need some blank floppy disks. Access to a cdrom writer and a cd to write to  is a plus.

Step 3: OS Install.

Download Freedos and create either the floppy or the cdrom iso disk and then create those on your desktop system.
Boot with the Freedos disk or cd. It will prompt you for the installation of the system. (cdrom is better).

Remove the floppy drive and reboot. Make sure your install worked.

Note: You may have to change your bios settings to boot from the cd rom. Check your motherboard manual for sure. There are also floppy disk images you can download to boot from cd via floppy if you bios does not support direct cd boot.

Step 4: Getting the Server Up and Running.

First you want to make a directory to hold the three main programs.

Programs needed:

You will need the network interface card (nic) driver, the packet driver and the web server software now. in my case with a 3com card 3c90xpd. ( or your driver disk.

You need the packet driver. (comes with the webserver program zip ifle) npktdrv.exe. You will need the details of your network and an unused ip adress..
npktdrv -ip=192.168.x.40 -gateway=192.168.x.1 -netmask=

Lastly, you need the web server Webserv itself. Available at: Expand that into the same directory. You well need to extract all the files to the ws directory.

You will create a batch file to get it all together.

npktdrv -ip= -gateway= -netmask=

To run it:
c:\ws> start

Go to another machine and use your web browser to pull up the server's web page.

Note: dos web browsers;

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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is cool! It's good to know their are other people wanting to keep old machines alive and of practical use!