Author Topic: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?  (Read 14442 times)

Doug Bissett

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #135 on: May 08, 2017, 06:08:27 am »
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I just saw the basic install screenshot of ArcaOS5 and noticed the multiple desktop manager. Will Object Desktop 2.0 still run on ArcaOS? I currently have it on my eCS 1.2MR install.

I know nothing about Object Desktop. I need to ask what you mean by "multiple desktop manager". If you mean XPager, yes it is part of XWorkplace, so it is included. If that is compatible with Object Desktop, it should be okay. If not, then you have the choice to leave out XWorkplace, although that will eliminate some of the nice things.

None of this is new, although there are updates to XWorkplace that may cause an incompatibility, but I suspect that the updates are more likely to fix an incompatibility. Try it, it is already available at HOBBES (without the Arca Noae exclusive parts). Look for XWorkplace Lite, it is almost identical to the ArcaOS version.

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whether ArcaOS can identify more than 4GB RAM on a 32-bit and if it will work on semi-new machines.

OS/2 has not changed. It never did, and it probably (most definitely) never will, support more than 4 GB of memory (actually closer to 3.5 GB). However, there is a RAMDISK that uses memory above what OS/2 can normally use. I am running ArcaOS beta on multiple machines that have more than 4 GB of memory, and they all work well. Two of them are UEFI BIOS, running with Compatibility (Legacy) mode enabled. You must have that to run OS/2 on a UEFI BIOS machine.

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Otherwise, I am watching carefully.

I am not too sure what you think will be in ArcaOS, that doesn't already exist. The big change (other than the installer) seems to be that there is a new kernel, that better supports upper shared memory, but it appears that that is still not perfect. Upper shared memory has nothing to do with memory above the 32 bit address capabilities.

Mathias

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #136 on: May 08, 2017, 09:36:48 am »
@ Doug Bissett:
Yes, I've heard about the 4 GB barrier and the ram disk that reaches beyond this limit. Afaik Lewis Rosenthal said so @ Warpstock, but he did not mention the limit beyond that limit. ; )
How big can this ram drive become?
I am running virtual machines that are stored on ram drives, currently on Linux and Windows. (depending on what the customer needs). So, when I heard him saying 4 GB of RAM will be the limit, I was quite disappointed, but then he continued saying "but we DO support RAM drives beyond that 4 GB barrier". So.. this made me quite confident, still he left open HOW big this drive can become. Do you know more?

Kevin Nunn

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #137 on: May 08, 2017, 04:22:51 pm »
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I know nothing about Object Desktop. I need to ask what you mean by "multiple desktop manager". If you mean XPager, yes it is part of XWorkplace, so it is included. If that is compatible with Object Desktop, it should be okay. If not, then you have the choice to leave out XWorkplace, although that will eliminate some of the nice things.

Thanks for the reply. I figured the desktop manager was Xpager, I remember using XWorkPlace, but soon replaced it with Object Desktop (which wasn't free, but is really good). https://www.stardock.com/products/od20/preview/whatsnew.htm

Once I get ArcaOS5, I'll try out XWorkPlace for a bit and see if it is better than OD2, if not I can install OD2 and go with that.

Greg Pringle

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #138 on: May 08, 2017, 04:34:55 pm »
It would seem to me that the statement "new kernel, that better supports upper shared memory, but it appears that that is still not perfect." is a real problem. This should have been the highest priority. What good is a fantastic installer when the system crashes at will. I have used OS/2 since 2.1 and have put up with that behavior for years. It was not bad until the latest crop of applications started needing high memory. Now, any extended use of those applications will cause system failure. Not a production OS for users. I have servers running with OS/2 with no problem as long as they do not push the use of high memory. That cannot continue if OS/2 wants to continue.

Olafur Gunnlaugsson

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #139 on: May 08, 2017, 07:34:15 pm »
Once I get ArcaOS5, I'll try out XWorkPlace for a bit and see if it is better than OD2, if not I can install OD2 and go with that.

I think you will find that most of the OD2 package has been made outdated by the features of XWorkPlace and other utilities shipped with eCS and presumably ArcaOS, but since OD can be installed in a modular fashion you can install just the utilities you need from the package and skip parts like Object Center that can clash with XWP.

Having said that, the last time I installed it I only found Keyboard Launchpad and Object Packager to be worthy of an install, all other enhancements having better more modern replacements and in reality I think I have not seen any real use even of those two in years. Object Advisor remains interesting but I never figured out a user case for it.

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #140 on: May 08, 2017, 08:00:01 pm »
It would seem to me that the statement "new kernel, that better supports upper shared memory, but it appears that that is still not perfect." is a real problem. This should have been the highest priority. What good is a fantastic installer when the system crashes at will. I have used OS/2 since 2.1 and have put up with that behavior for years. It was not bad until the latest crop of applications started needing high memory. Now, any extended use of those applications will cause system failure. Not a production OS for users. I have servers running with OS/2 with no problem as long as they do not push the use of high memory. That cannot continue if OS/2 wants to continue.

I'd want this too, but it can't really be done and also support existing OS/2 programs. It's also way, way, way beyond available resources. I haven't yet tried the new support, but if it solves normal usage scenarios, then I think its useful.

The new installer will be quite a bit short of fantastic, but if most people can install with it, I'm happy.

I'm thinking ArcaOS 5.1 will be the one to support OS/2 users in the long term. This release will prove that the lights are still on. Really, just having the current set of  features on one install DVD is pretty great.
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Doug Bissett

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #141 on: May 09, 2017, 07:51:20 am »
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How big can this ram drive become?

To be honest, I don't know. At the moment, it supports HPFS, FAT32, and FAT16, file systems. HPFS is  limited to 64 GB (I think), but you can have more than one RAMDISK, so I suppose that two 64 GB disks would be the limit. I can't test that however, because I don't have that much memory in my machines. In fact, RAMDISKS are not all that useful. About all that you can do with them, is put the %TEMP% stuff on them. FAT32 is not all that useful, and FAT16 is limited to 2 GB. There is a feature that will attempt to retain the contents over a warm boot, but it depends on far too many things to depend on that working every time. HPFS seems to be the best option, because it can be more than 2 GB, and is pretty high performance. It is possible to format a HPFS RAMDRIVE as JFS, but there are some 'gotchas' to look after, if you do that (Please ASK, if you want to try it, but I suggest that you stick to the supported stuff, for a while).

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I am running virtual machines that are stored on ram drives,

Hmmm. I am not sure that you can do that. There is a project to update Virtual Box for OS/2, but that is outside of the ArcaOS project, at the moment. so far, that can only run operating systems that do not need the virtual machine assist support. The allocated memory still needs to be inside real (4 GB) memory. If they can get the virtual machine assist stuff working, it will be more useful. It makes more sense to use the real disk, with cache, than to use a RAMDISK anyway.

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It would seem to me that the statement "new kernel, that better supports upper shared memory, but it appears that that is still not perfect." is a real problem.

Well, yes, and no. It is a problem, that I am sure will be solved, eventually, but it is much better than what eCS 2.2b2 supported. At the moment, I don't know if it is an upper shared memory kernel problem, or if it is an upper shared memory Apache OpenOffice problem. If you use the AOO Quickstart program (which keeps AOO in memory), there is no problem (at least I haven't seen a problem, yet). Loading Firefox in upper shared memory seems to work okay too (which is a huge step forward). I will note, that there is a new version of CLAMAV in the netlabs experimental repository (for RPM/YUM), which uses huge amounts of upper shared memory (if you use the CLAMD.EXE program). That also works okay, as long as you set VIRTUALADDRESSLIMIT=3072 in CONFIG.SYS. 2048 might work, but it is pretty close to not enough.

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The new installer will be quite a bit short of fantastic, but if most people can install with it, I'm happy.

The new installer is going to be a bit disappointing to a lot of people (especially those at Arca Noae), but it does work okay, as long as you pay attention to what you are selecting to do. Pay particular attention to the confirmation page, and if you go back to fix something, be very sure that all of your selections stick. The installer is scheduled for a major upgrade, but, from what I understand, it isn't going to happen for the GA. At least it looks like the dangerous parts are fixed. Be sure to READ the README, and have a GOOD backup of your whole system, before you try it. I would suggest, when possible, to use a test machine, or a virtual machine, to try it, so you can see how it works, before committing to updating a real machine.

ArcaOS is definitely a step up from eCS 2.2b2, but don't expect miracles. They come later.   :D

ivan

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #142 on: May 09, 2017, 09:17:15 am »
Doug, a quick question.

You mention making a good backup of an existing system, that should be standard practice, but my question is have you, or any of the testers, tried this on a brand new unused physical system and if so what are the problems?

Mathias

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #143 on: May 09, 2017, 09:46:46 am »
@ Doug Bissett:
Yep, HPFS would then be the FS of choice. Question is, would that missing caching be a problem on a RAM drive? RAM is quick, so why cache anything at all? (And wouldn't caching slow down the I/O on a ram drive?)

On Linux and Windows I found out, that VirtualBox is slowing down I/O for large files, but small ones are accessed, written, read extremely fast. Appears to be a VirtualBox internal problem.
I've ran benchmarks inside and outside of VBoxes in both Linux and Windows for ram drives. Outside of a VM the performance was (of course) god like, even on huge files. Inside of such a box however, I never could cross the 90 MB/s on huge files' transfer from and to the same virtual hard drive. Other story for small files. Even inside the box, these use to be uber fast, as expected of a ram drive stored virtual drive. ( : - So the benefit of running an OS on a ram drive stored VM is still great imo, compared to benchmarks when the VM is stored on a (Raptor) physical HDD.



DB> There is a feature that will attempt to retain the contents over a warm boot, but it depends on far too many things to depend on that working every time.

Cool feature!! oo* But in production use, rebooting is not an option. This thing needs to run until the next maintenance window. The stuff on the ram drive will then be moved off the drive, and back onto after maintenance.


DB> The allocated memory still needs to be inside real (4 GB) memory. If they can get the virtual machine assist stuff working, it will be more useful.

Ahh I see. 1 GB for the operating system and 2,x GB for the guests is quite small indeed. - In this case I'll be following the news about the mentioned VM assist support before taking any actions. : )

Big thanks for your explainations!!

Kevin Nunn

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #144 on: May 09, 2017, 02:59:14 pm »
Once I get ArcaOS5, I'll try out XWorkPlace for a bit and see if it is better than OD2, if not I can install OD2 and go with that.

I think you will find that most of the OD2 package has been made outdated by the features of XWorkPlace and other utilities shipped with eCS and presumably ArcaOS, but since OD can be installed in a modular fashion you can install just the utilities you need from the package and skip parts like Object Center that can clash with XWP.

That is true, I usually don't install everything. Mainly Control Center and Tab Launchpad. But I am looking forward to trying out XWorkPlace.

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Having said that, the last time I installed it I only found Keyboard Launchpad and Object Packager to be worthy of an install, all other enhancements having better more modern replacements and in reality I think I have not seen any real use even of those two in years. Object Advisor remains interesting but I never figured out a user case for it.

I think I mainly still use it for nostalgia purposes. That is what I used when I was running my BBS back in the 90s and when I set it all back up, I was going for that retro feel. But, if there is something better, I would love to check it out.

Just patiently waiting for ArcaOS5 to be released :)

Doug Bissett

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #145 on: May 09, 2017, 11:50:49 pm »
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have you, or any of the testers, tried this on a brand new unused physical system and if so what are the problems?

I haven't actually done it with a "new" system. I did put a spare 500 GB disk into both my Lenovo ThinkPads (T510, and L530), and restored them to "factory" status. Then, I installed ArcaOS. The main "problem" is to get the partition sizes reduced to make room for ArcaOS, AND, to make LVM happy. Shrinking the main windows C: is easy enough, but the recovery partitions (may) extend past the last full cylinder, so you also need to shrink the recovery partition. The tool that is supplied needs a button, to shrink it by the smallest possible amount, but all it has is a large slider, and it is difficult to do a small amount (which you cannot expand again, if you take too much). I recommend that you use the tool, booted from the ArcaOS installation DVD, so that there is no chance that it will use the wrong partitioning scheme. I used a 500 GB disk, so there was no problem with the geometry. Larger disks may need to be wiped clean, partitioned by the ArcaOS tools, then restore whatever was there before. You MUST use a proper backup program. If it simply restores the whole partition image, it will likely end up exactly the way that it started. The ONLY windows program, that I know of, that will do it properly, is Acronis. That includes the reduced function Acronis, known as Seagate Disk Wizard, but you need a Seagate, Maxtor, or Samsung, disk to be able to use it (the disk can be in an external USB enclosure).

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Yep, HPFS would then be the FS of choice. Question is, would that missing caching be a problem on a RAM drive? RAM is quick, so why cache anything at all? (And wouldn't caching slow down the I/O on a ram drive?)

Actually, the cache is a bit of a problem, because it is not missing. The cache is extra overhead, and slows the disk down. HPFS cache cannot be reduced to less than 64 MB. If you use the file system with real disks, you need to use a larger cache for them, or lose performance, but it is still used with the RAMDISK, because there is no way to isolate them from the rest. JFS has the same problem. I have been using HPFS for the RAMDISK, and JFS for the rest. All I have tried, so far, is reducing the HPFS cache to 64 MB. Some other settings may also reduce the cache usage. In fact, the fastest is FAT16, but that is limited to 2 GB. FAT32 is slow, like all other implementations of FAT32. HPFS works pretty well, and it is much faster than any real disk (a fast SSD may keep up). Of course, there are a lot of things that can affect the speed.

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On Linux and Windows I found out, that VirtualBox is slowing down I/O for large files, but small ones are accessed, written, read extremely fast. Appears to be a VirtualBox internal problem.
I've ran benchmarks inside and outside of VBoxes in both Linux and Windows for ram drives. Outside of a VM the performance was (of course) god like, even on huge files. Inside of such a box however, I never could cross the 90 MB/s on huge files' transfer from and to the same virtual hard drive. Other story for small files. Even inside the box, these use to be uber fast, as expected of a ram drive stored virtual drive. ( : - So the benefit of running an OS on a ram drive stored VM is still great imo, compared to benchmarks when the VM is stored on a (Raptor) physical HDD.

In VBOX, under windows, you have the option to use the host system disk cache, and you can mark the guest drives as being SSD. You can also use AHCI, which speeds it up. Some, or all of that makes a lot of difference to virtual disk performance.  I would guess that VBOX under any version of OS/2, will never perform well enough to be using it that way, but I don't know a lot about that project. What would be really good, would be if they could use the memory above what OS/2 can normally use. The RAMDISK memory support actually opens that window, but a lot of work is required to flesh it out so it can be used.

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Ahh I see. 1 GB for the operating system and 2,x GB for the guests is quite small indeed

It depends on the guest OS. If it will run with a small memory, you can use more guests. Fine tuning that stuff is probably more of an art, than a science, and what works with VBOX under windows, may not work under *NIX. AFAIK VBOX under OS/2 is currently limited to one guest (but that is supposed to be fixed).

Currently, I would suggest that OS/2 works much better as a guest, than as a host, for virtual machines.

Andreas Kohl

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #146 on: May 10, 2017, 02:55:02 pm »
Actually, the cache is a bit of a problem, because it is not missing. The cache is extra overhead, and slows the disk down. HPFS cache cannot be reduced to less than 64 MB.
It sounds unbelievable. With parameter /C: the amount can be 2048 kB at the utmost. It has more effect to adjust the cache record length (/CRECL) to fit better with the used HBA. Additionally it's possible to enable or disable the lazy write and read ahead features with the OS/2 command CACHE which also handles MAXAGE, BUFFERIDLE and DISKIDLE time.

Eric Erickson

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #147 on: May 10, 2017, 06:21:58 pm »
A little off-topic, but I was looking at the Arca Noae Website and the last post about release said it was delayed until April 15, well its almost May 15th with no further updates that I can find. Anyone have any info on the potential release date?

Doug Bissett

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #148 on: May 10, 2017, 08:28:26 pm »
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Anyone have any info on the potential release date?

Nothing official, and I don't speak for Arca Noae, but they are having a terrible time trying to get the installer working properly. It seems that every time they fix something, two other things break. Once they get past that, it should be ready to go.

I suspect that they have been looking at it for long enough, that they couldn't see a problem if it jumped out and grabbed them by the throat.

Doug Bissett

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #149 on: May 10, 2017, 08:31:28 pm »
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the amount can be 2048 kB at the utmost.

Sorry, I meant 64 KB.