Why Trust Techopedia

What Does JavaStation Mean?

JavaStation is the name of a model line of network computers (NCs) built by Sun Microsystems between 1996 and 2000. The JavaStation NC was designed to run only on Java applications, and its hardware design was based on the Sun SPARCstation series, a Unix workstation.


The JavaStation runs on the Java OS but can support Linux and NetBSD operating systems as well.

Between 1996 and 1998, network computers were hailed as the next big thing in computing. Thin client NCs were expected to replace conventional PCs, also called fat clients.

Techopedia Explains JavaStation

JavaStation was built as a low-cost terminal option intended for use only on Java application platforms. It was a regarded as a successor to the Xterminal 1 and was succeeded by the SunRay, although all three machines are very different.

The JavaStation NC was a thin client that consisted of a 100 MHz processor, which lacked a hard drive, floppy or CD-ROM. This is because the JavaStation received the OS, applications and data files entirely through the network. Thin clients such as JavaStation NCs generally run full-scale graphical programs such as a Web browser, a Java application or a legacy-connectivity program that allowed for the display of Microsoft Windows applications.

Some of the advantages of the JavaStation NC include:

  • Easy access to all Web-based apps, including legacy Xterminal and Microsoft Windows applications
  • No administration required
  • Easy software upgrades
  • Lower total cost of ownership
  • Reduced form factor
  • Runs for a long time

One of the major concerns with JavaStation NC is that it did not allow local access to data files. JavaStation NCs also require fast and stable networks.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.