Author Topic: OS/2 in VirtualBox  (Read 578 times)

Travis Thoms

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OS/2 in VirtualBox
« on: February 16, 2020, 07:34:12 am »
HI!  Well, I've been experimenting with OS/2 4.5 in Virtualbox (for Linux) for a few months now.  Native OS/2 apps that aren't dependent on DIVE seem to work okay.  DOS and Win 3.1 apps that don't have sound or heavy graphic are also fine (if not slow), but the sound in any of the VDMs is horrible.  It's scratchy, and often cuts out before the sound finishes playing, which is disappointing for me. No MIDI at all.  I'm using FTP to bring files in and out of the virtual machine, or using virtual CD images.  Man, that is a pain in the butt. I was hoping that I'd be able to use my OS/2 virtual machine as a reliable DOS multitasking environment, but so far that hasn't worked out.

I've tried loading OS 4.5 to run natively on a Dell Dimension 610. It loads and runs, but starting a DOS or WIN session crashes it.

I'm probably going to hold out for AN 5.1.  It  would be great if it ran well in a KVM-QEMU session, but I'm not holding my breath.

Valery Sedletski

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Re: OS/2 in VirtualBox
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2020, 05:55:51 pm »
Hi, for VBox, instead of using ftp to transfer files, you can use shared folders. My "unofficial" version is here:

ftp://osfree.org/upload/vbox/additions/VBoxAdditions-os2-x86-5.0.51.r218.zip

The support topic in os2world forum is here:

https://www.os2world.com/forum/index.php/topic,1905.0.html

Also, there is official VBox additions by Knut/Oracle, which can be found on official additions CD. Both versions have some
defects atm. Knut's version doesn't work with WPS Drives folder. Mine almost works, but not fully correct, though, it mostly
working. The defect is that all files on the shared folder have only one "Icon" tab in properties notebook. (should be five tabs,
including "File" tab). But file browsing, copying files, starting .exe's mostly work. Also, there is an incompatibility with VBox
6.x: When doing operations with files, the current folder becomes read only (you can remove the readonly bit with e.g., FC/2).
This is observed only with VBox 6.x. No such problem with VBox 5.x (as my additions are built for version 5.x).

Regarding QEMU/KVM, OS/2 runs in QEMU mostly fine. Except the trap in os2lvm.dmd and non-working netbeui.os2 and
tcpbeui.os2. The problem with os2lvm.dmd is because QEMU closely follows the intel spec, which is incorrect. The spec says
that 16-bit SGDT instruction behaves the same like in i286 processor. But it's not true, it behaves like i386 instruction. So, QEMU
emulates SGDT 16-bit instruction incorrectly. OS2LVM.DMD uses 16-bit SGDT instruction and it hits the problem. But there's a
patched version of OS2LVM.DMD by _dixie_, you can change it to the patched version and everything will work. The link is:

ftp://212.12.30.18/public/OS2LVM_QEMU.ZIP

> I've tried loading OS 4.5 to run natively on a Dell Dimension 610. It loads and runs, but starting a DOS or WIN session crashes it.

On my ThinkPad T420 (model released in 2011, Sandy-bridge-based), DOS starts fine. I am able to run both DOS window and Win-OS/2.
With my OS/2 additions, it's possible to use shortened file names on a shared folder. Though, some DOS apps crash the VBox VM. E.g.,
Volkov Commander 4.99 crashes the VDM. But Notron Commander and DOS Navigator run well.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 06:08:08 pm by Valery Sedletski »

Martin Iturbide

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Re: OS/2 in VirtualBox
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2020, 06:30:46 pm »
Hi Travis

You need further tweaking to your VirtualBox settings and OS/2 Warp 4.52 machine.

I recommend installing Valery's VirtualBox Client addons also.

And some time ago I wrote this about configuring ArcaOS for a VM. maybe it can give you more hints.
https://www.os2world.com/wiki/index.php/ArcaOS_5.0.x_as_a_VirtualBox_5.2.x_Guest

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Martin Iturbide
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Dave Yeo

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Re: OS/2 in VirtualBox
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2020, 06:54:26 pm »
Hi Travis, what soundcard are you using under VBox? Usually the SB16 is the best choice

Travis Thoms

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Re: OS/2 in VirtualBox
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2020, 07:10:32 am »
Thank you all! 

To answer Dave's question, I do have the audio controller set to Soundblaster 16.  And the main OS sound is passable, it's the DOS and Win-OS/2 sound that is horrible.   I'll try the other suggestions, and report back.

Thanks again.

Dave Yeo

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Re: OS/2 in VirtualBox
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2020, 08:20:42 am »
Don't know anything about the SB16 drivers but do remember on real hardware that there was only one combination of IRQ and DMA (10 and 5 respectively) that sounded good with the PAS16  here and of course the DOS driver and OS/2 driver had to be using the same IRQ and DMA channel. Luckily the PAS16 came with a DOS program to allow testing the different interrupts and DMA channels. WinOS2 I set to use the soundblaster clone on the PAS16 so sound worked simultaneously on OS/2 and Windows.

Lars

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Re: OS/2 in VirtualBox
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2020, 08:45:06 am »
Sound does not properly work with OS/2 as a guest.
This is true for SB16 as well as for USB audio adapters.
Every second or so,part of the sound is cut out,therefore it sounds really choppy.
It must be a bug in the audio emulation.
With USB audio,there is no problem with sound on a native OS/2 installation, I don't have SB16 HW.

Travis Thoms

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Re: OS/2 in VirtualBox
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2020, 09:21:03 am »
So I set up the virtualbox additions; they worked beautifully.  I was able to bring over the DOSBOX for OS2 WPI from my host easy-peasy and set it up.

Then, upon reboot, the VirtualBOX additions in the Config.sys could not be found.  I'm guessing that the DOSBOX install overwrote some of the libs from the VBOX additions, and now the additions don't work anymore...  So, I have no mouse at the moment.

Update:  Nope, I'm an idiot.  I copied the directions straight from the readme, which had the config.sys statements going to the D: drive.  So as long as I had the additions cd installed, it worked.  Fixed that, and all seems to be well.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2020, 10:07:12 am by Travis Thoms »

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Re: OS/2 in VirtualBox
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2020, 12:56:08 pm »
Hi Travis.

It is good that you Vbox OS/2 guest is running better.

I also found it useful on OS/2 Warp 4.52 to check for duplicated libc dll files with xworkplace (english) on the libpath and path from time to time.

I attached some pictures.

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Martin Iturbide
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Travis Thoms

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Re: OS/2 in VirtualBox
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2020, 04:40:19 am »
Thanks!  I'll look into it.  Still haven't cleaned up the VDM sound yet.  Perhaps Lars is correct; its a flaw in the emulation.