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Article by Alex
Taylor ©March 2001
I ran up against this myself at work, where I inherited the task of certifying
several OS/2 machines as Year 2000 compliant. These machines had had various conflicting
versions of various OS/2 components installed on them at various times, and I quickly
discovered that none of their components were at the service levels I expected.
Imagine OS/2 Warp 4, except with User Profile Management (but no LAN Requester or
Peer) at the Warp Server level, and MPTS at the Warp Connect level.
Well... on second thought, don't.
In an effort to make sense of it all, I did a lot of digging: in FixPak documentation,
on IBM's website, in some other informative websites, in the newsgroups, and by
setting up a test OS/2 PC and just playing around with various FixPaks. My findings
took the form of quasi-geneological diagrams, hand-scribbled at first, then later
drawn up in MS Paint -- with a fair bit of added commentary.
I think it was reasonable to guess, given my own experience, that other people
had or would run up against the same tangle. Hence, this article. I originally published
it as a web page, and the latest version should generally be available through my
computing website at http://eddie.cis.uoguelph.ca/~alex/computing.html
What follows is an attempt to demystify the available upgrade paths for OS/2
Warp's networking components.
The underlying network subsystem in OS/2 Warp is called the Multi-Protocol
Transport Services, or MPTS. (Under earlier OS/2 versions, this product
was also called LAN Adapters and Protocol Support, or LAPS.) MPTS contains all of
OS/2's networking protocols, such as TCP/IP, IEEE 802.2, and NetBIOS. It is also
responsible for managing Network Interface Card (NIC) drivers for LANs and WANs.
However, networking services (applications which provide the functionality that
makes protocols useful) are not part of MPTS. Each set of network services, such
as LAN, NetWare, or TCP/IP networking, has its own separate software package. And
each of these packages has its own set of FixPaks and service updates -- as does
The two most important services are LAN domain (or workgroup, if you prefer Windows
parlance) networking, and TCP/IP (Internet-style) networking.
The software package which allows LAN domain networking is made up of a number
of smaller components. These include: LAN Server (for defining and managing a LAN
domain, only available in the expensive server editions of OS/2), LAN Requester
(the client side of side of LAN Server), User Profile Management (for creating and
authenticating LAN users), and Peer (a kind of "poor man's" server, only
available in the client editions of OS/2).
The software package dedicated to TCP/IP networking is called, not surprisingly,
TCP/IP for OS/2. TCP/IP networking is what is used to operate and access the Internet,
as well as similar, smaller internets and intranets. You need TCP/IP installed if
you want to access the Internet yourself.
The following sections describe the possible upgrade paths available for each
of these three networking products:
These pages cover all versions of OS/2 from OS/2 Warp Connect and up. The original
OS/2 Warp 3 (non-Connect) does not include any networking components, except for
a stripped-down version of TCP/IP v2.0 which only allows network access through
a modem or other serial port connection.
Once you know which version level you are upgrading, just follow the arrows as
far as you like. To upgrade to the latest level, follow the arrows as far as they
will go, and ignore any detours.
You can only follow the lines in the direction the arrows are pointing. If the
line is unbroken (i.e., continuous), then you can upgrade directly to the last revision
level to which it points. If, however, a line "breaks" around a particular
revision level, then that revision level must be applied before following the arrows
Many of the diagrams use additional visual keys, such as colour, in order to
indicate certain details. These are explained in the text accompanying the diagrams.
Oliver Rick's excellent Warp Update Summary
covers these topics in much greater detail, although the sheer volume of information
on his site can be overwhelming. I've tried to present the information in as simple
and as readable a manner as possible, at a sacrifice of some of the more obscure
The information here was mostly obtained through careful reading of the documentation
accompanying each fixpak, as well as some experimentation.
Alex Taylor's: http://eddie.cis.uoguelph.ca/~alex/computing.html