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  1. Introduction
  2. Network Model
  3. Topology
  4. Physical Media
  5. Wireless Media
  6. Network Card
  7. Modems
  8. Outside Connections
  9. Wide Area Network Connections
  10. Repeaters, Bridges, Routers
  11. Network Types
  12. Ethernet
  13. Token Ring
  14. ARCnet
  15. AppleTalk
  16. FDDI
  17. Architecture Comparisons
  18. Categories
  19. TCP/IP
  20. IPX/SPX
  21. NetBEUI
  22. AppleTalk
  23. SNA
  24. Others
  25. Suites and Network Layers
  26. Installing Drivers
  27. DNS
  28. Network Operating Systems
  29. Applications, mail, groupware, DBMS
  30. Backing up the network
  31. Troubleshooting
  32. Web, SNMP, admin, firewalls
  33. Networking Terms and Definitions
  34. Credits

Network Operating Systems (NOS)

Network operating systems typically are used to run computers that act as servers. They provide the capabilities required for network operation. Network operating systems are also designed for client computers and provide functions so the distinction between network operating systems and stand alone operating systems is not always obvious. Network operating systems provide the following functions:

  • File and print sharing.
  • Account administration for users.
  • Security.

Installed Components

  • Client functionality
  • Server functionality

Functions provided:

  • Account Administration for users
  • Security
  • File and print sharing

Network services

  • File Sharing
  • Print sharing
  • User administration
  • Backing up data

Universal Naming Convention (UNC)

A universal naming convention (UNC) is used to allow the use of shared resources without mapping a drive to them. The UNC specifies a path name and has the form:


If I have a Linux server called "linux3" with a folder named "downloads" with a file called "readme.txt" in the folder, the UNC is:


Network Operating System Examples

  • Windows NT server and workstation - Can use multiple processors and run on Intel or RISC computers. Performs preemptive multitasking.
  • Windows 95 - Cannot use multiple processors or run on RISC computers. It cannot use NT drivers, but it can use older drivers.
  • OS/2 - supports preemptive multitasking and multithreading and protects applications from each other. It runs on Intel or RISC computers. Supports 1 processor. Requires a minimum of a 386 and 8M of RAM. Some DOS drivers will work for OS/2. Won't run on DEC Alpha systems.
  • MacIntosh - supports cooperative and preemptive multitasking and uses a windows, icons, mouse environment for system control.