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eComStation Logo
eComStation Screenshot
Company / developer Serenity Systems, IBM, Microsoft and other various developers
OS family OS/2
Working state Current
Source model Closed source
Latest stable release 1.2R / November 2005
Latest unstable release 2.0 RC7 Silver / August 2009
License Proprietary
Website eComStation

eComStation or eCS is a PC operating system based on OS/2, published by Serenity Systems. It includes several additions and accompanying software not present in the IBM version of the system.


Differences between eCS and OS/2

The original version 1 of eComStation released in 2001 is based around the OS/2 v4 client originally released by IBM in 1996 with the following additions amongst others:

  • IBM supplied updates of software and components that had shipped with the 1999 release of the WSeB server but had not been made available to users of the client version. These include an updated kernel, a 32bit TCPIP stack and associated networking utilities, firewall, JFS file system, Logical Volume Manager and more.
  • IBM supplied updates to the operating system that had been made available as updates but had not been offered as an install option. These include updated drivers, system components, newer versions of Java, SciTech SNAP Lite and system utilities.
  • IBM supplied updates that had previously only been offered to enterprise customers with maintenance contracts such as a new USB stack.
  • Bundled applications including the Lotus Smartsuite office suite and some smaller graphic programs.
  • Utilities and drivers licensed from third parties including scanner support and drivers for multiple serial cards.
  • System improvements developed by Serenity itself including a new installer, user interface improvements implemented as WPS classes and a rapid deployment system based on Serenity Managed Client.
  • Open source utilities from the Unix world.
  • A host of system configuration changes, small utilities and drivers developed by all and sundry. These include a switch to classic REXX from Object REXX for better compatibility with legacy code and a number of storage system drivers developed by Daniela Engert.

V2 of eCS adds amongst other things:

  • Bootable version of JFS
  • ACPI support
  • A new generic graphic card driver called Panorama.
  • On-the-fly resizing of hard drive partitions.
  • SAMBA port.




When it became clear that IBM would not release any new version of the OS/2 Warp client operating system after version 4 in 1996, users began to consider other alternatives. IBM released a final version of its server edition, IBM OS/2 Warp Server for e-Business or WSeB, internally called version 4.5. IBM also continued updating the client and merged parts of it with the server, so it was proposed by Bob St. John of Serenity Systems, that an OEM company could and should create its own client, using the existing OS/2 client with IBM enhancements and adding its own improvements where needed[1]. But Serenity as an IBM business partner had done a similar thing with OS/2-based vertical applications like the Serenity Managed Client, a rapid deployment OS based on Warpspace On-Demand, and Ecomstation Server, a managed server based on WSeB.[2][3] The OS/2 software vendor Stardock made such a proposal to IBM in 1999, but it was not followed through by the company.[4]

Next, Serenity itself in conjunction with Kim Cheung of Touchvoice Systems created on 2000-04-29 a discussion group for the purpose of discussing the OS/2 community's interest in a "new Managed Client for eBusiness using components of WSeB" called eComStation to replace the one based on WoD, the idea was brought up to also create a new non-remote boot client — in effect an OEM version of the OS/2 client.[3][5] Although Serenity's initial response to a suggestion of a thick client was negative[6], the response was positive enough from the community and from IBM to get things moving, and just a few months later the first eCS preview was shipped.[7]

Current status

eComStation is currently developed by IBM, Serenity, Mensys, various third party companies and individuals. Although OS/2 is no longer sold by IBM, eComStation will be developed and sold as long as it remains profitable, according to Serenity.[8] The last full release of the system was in 2005 with the 1.2R release, but the eCS team as Mensys has been working on release 2 for a few years, and announced in June 2009 that the upcoming RC7 Silver release would be the last one before the General Availability (GA) of version 2,[9] the RC7 Silver release was then delivered on the 10th of August and the GA version is expected to follow later in the autumn.


Date of last edition taken from the installation CDs, the official release dates may be different.

  • 2000-09-29 - eComStation Preview
  • 2001-07-10 - eComStation 1.0
  • 2003-04-18 - eComStation 1.1
  • 2004-08-12 - eComStation 1.2
  • 2005-11-04 - eComStation 1.2R (media refresh)
  • 2008-07-04 - eComStation 2.0 RC5
  • 2008-12-06 - eComStation 2.0 RC6
  • 2009-08-11 - eComStation 2.0 RC7 Silver

Other versions

There is also a Server Edition, based on IBM OS/2 Warp Server for e-business.


External links


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