Running applications from the command prompt

In a thread that reported problems I was having installing Warp Server 4, I happened to mention that I thought that OS/2 might have a decided advantage in efficiency running applications like Lotus Domino, that runs in console mode, since OS/2 could run without the overhead of the GUI interface, unlike the Win NT family where the only documented command mode is the Safe mode which was severely constrained. In a thread that reported problems I was having installing Warp Server 4, I happened to mention that I thought that OS/2 might have a decided advantage in efficiency running applications like Lotus Domino, that runs in console mode, since OS/2 could run without the overhead of the GUI interface, unlike the Win NT family where the only documented command mode is the Safe mode which was severely constrained. I have since come upon some information that I think justifies that this become an independent thread.

Peter G. Magid and Ira H. Schneider, lead developers of the OS/2 Workplace Shell, published a volume in 1995, titled, OS/2 Warp uncensored. This volume contains one of the better explanations of the object model that OS/2 developers followed in designing OS/2. In Chapter 10, "CONFIG.SYS Options Affecting the Workplace Shell," the authors explain that the CONFIG.SYS allows the flexibility of starting either the PMShell program to establish a GUI, multitasking environment, or a non-PM shell program.

Here is their direct explanation:

Starting the user interface
The user interface in OS/2 Warp normally consist of two programs" The Protected Mode Shell and the Workplace Process.

The Protected Mode Shell is the first program started after System Initialization. It may be either a Presentation Manager application program or a non-PM program. The characteristics of the system are vastly different for these two different types of shells.

  • PM shell program: The shell program is responsible for initializing the Presentation Manager environment. When the program creates the first PM message queue, Presentation Manager automatically starts the Session Manager (which is the support for multiple sessions), starts the Window List (which allows you to control any running program), and starts the Workplace Process. In this environment, you may have multiple sessions, PM and non-PM programs, DOS and protect-mode programs, and a graphical user interface.
  • Non-PM shell program. In this environment, you may have only a single session, run protect-mode programs only, and have a test-only environment. The shell can invoke other protect-mode programs, but OS/2 Warp will not provide any mechanism for switching between them--that is the responsibility of the shell program.

PROTSHELL= statement<br>The PROTSHELL= statement tells the system what program to start as the Protected Mode Shell. If you are using the Workplace shell, this is \OS2\PMSHELL.EXE on the boot drive.

You can specify PROTSHELL=D:\OS2\CMD.EXE if you want a simple, single command line interface. This statement may be useful if you want to start the system at a command prompt, make some changes to the system (for example, change a dynamic link library containing a Workplace Shell object class or change the OS2.INI file), and then start the normal Protected Mode Shell by invoking PMSHELL.EXE from the command prompt.

You may also change the PROTSHELL= statement if you want to use an alternative user interface. For example, you can use a text-mode shell to run your system A text-mode shell may be usefull in a memory constrained system in which you want to use only text-mode programs.

(Magid and Schneider, OS/2 Warp uncensored, p. 445/6.)

I am interested in experimenting with Lotus Domino, the server part of Lotus Notes, which can run in console mode. You could use this configuration to run any application that can run in console mode. Domino, for example, as a server can run in console mode and be administered from a remote Notes client or from a browser.

Once I get Domino installed on a Warp Server, I will try to do some benchmarks of tasks running on Windows 2000, Warp Server and Domino running on Red Hat 7.3. When I have some results, I will publish them here.

Brian Wallen


There are some comments to this article in the old forum and it can be found here - but for new comments, please use the new comment feature.

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