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OS fingerprinting via TCP

I have searched online about this topic and the only information I got is that TCP SYN/ACK can be used to know the type of the target OS. If that is true, I don't understand how this occurs? Does TCP ...
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Does Nmap requires a closed TCP port to do OS fingerprinting?

I was checking the security of a server by running Nmap. Last time it gives me the following results, indicating that OS could not be fingerprinted: PORT STATE SERVICE VERSION 21/tcp ...