Netware 3.12 on the Raspberry Pi

After successfully booting Windws 1.01 – 95 on the Pi, for the next feat I decided to try and get Netware 3.12 booting.

This proved a challenge and took quite a few hours to get working. Initially I used the same method I did for the booting of Windows but when trying to get Netware running there were loads of abend issues when mounting the SYS volume.

The install was successful on Virtualbox but I ran into problems with the ATA driver – when using this and mounting the SYS volume there were disk errors would I tried to repair with vrepair but they just kept returning.

After reading through How To: install Novell Netware 3.x on VMware I decided to try loading the latest patches.

Update Netware 3.12

A good few hours later with the system patched I then used the IDEATA driver instead of the ATA driver and now the SYS volume was successfully mounted in VirtualBox!!!

I then copied over the vdi file to the Pi and ran under qemu.

Abends when the SYS volume was mounted! Agghh!!!

After retrying with the latest qemu (1.1.2) which still gave issues I then decided to give bochs a bash
Bochs is another open source emulator which luckily is already package so no need to compile. The latest version I used was 2.4.6-5

apt-get install bochs

A few more hours later after figuring out how bochs works – you need a .bochsrc file.

This site was helpful for the config of bochs.

Here’s what mine looks like:

romimage: file=/usr/share/bochs/BIOS-bochs-latest
display_library: sdl
log: bochsout.txt
ata0-master: type=disk, path=”netware.vdi”, mode=flat, cylinders=243, heads=16, spt=63
ata0-slave: type=cdrom, path=”Installation.img”, status=inserted
floppya: 1_44=”Disk1.img”, status=inserted
boot: disk

I then tried to run the vdi file with bochs….only to find out bochs doesn’t support vdi files. Luckily there is a VirtualBox tool that lets you convert the file to .img

vboxmanage clonehd source.vdi destination.img --format RAW

Changed the .bochrs file to
ata0-master: type=disk, path="netware.img", mode=flat, cylinders=243, heads=16, spt=63

Started bochs and waited a few mins….and what do you know. SYS vol mounted and Netware 3.12 booting!!!

Bochs seems a lot slower than qemu but as least its working (Takes about 8 mins to startup Netware)

I did some editing on the video and speeded some parts up.

Jump forward to see the Netware snake – should bring back some good memories for some.


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    • Hermann Roemer on January 13, 2015 at 16:32
    • Reply

    Hi, Greg

    At first, my congratulations for this Project.

    I was looking at google for exactly this.
    Well, one of my colleagues ( and meanwhile good friend) is going into retirement.
    He has been the admin of our Novell Servers for many years.
    Of course we want to prepare some surprisees and some Gifts for him, an so we thought of a Raspberry Pi running Netware. I didn’t think that it would be possible to run it in qemu, so i thought, maybe i’ll find some nwbind package which could run on RasPi.
    I was very surprised (and glad) finding your blog.
    I wonder if I could hve the sd-card Image (or at least the virtual machine) from you? Netware 3.11 license should no longer be a Problem by now ( and we still have an amount of 3.11, 3.12 and 4.1 Licences) and it will be used – of course – only as a Gag.
    It would be very kind of you, if you could contact me.

    Best Regards, Hermann

    1. Hi Hermann,

      I’m afraid I no longer have the SD images, but the Netware files can be downloaded from here:

      Not sure if its vapour/freeware but this site has all the old pieces of software.

    • Mitja on April 19, 2017 at 09:28
    • Reply

    Hi do you have Licecence Disk for Netware 3.12?

    1. Nope – afraid not.

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