OS/2, eCS & ArcaOS - Technical > Hardware

OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports

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I have some old industrial tools that has Pc with OS/2 warp 4 with a multiple serials ISA board interfaced with a 8 rs232 hub. I need to replace it with a windows7 pc host with virtualbox and OS/2 guest. The VHD clone of the original HD works, but I cannot manage more than 4 COM ports (limit of emulation softwares).
I see boards PCIe or serial hub with USB connection, but none has Os/2 drivers.
Does someone know a solution of this ?

Neil Waldhauer:
I worked extensively with this problem at several industrial sites. There is no reasonable solution. You must have OS/2 on bare metal to work with more than four serial ports.

What does it mean OS/2 on bare metal?
Means that OS/2 cannot be virtualized if needs more than four serials?
Sorry I’m Italian...

Hi Daniele,

Having worked for many years with OS/2 controlled machine tools all I can say is that you need an OS/2 computer to run most of the programs and connect to the machinery - virtualized will not work if you need more than the standard number of ports i.e. Com1 to Com4.

That usually means a very careful look at what is available in the way of components that will allow you to assemble a computer that will do what you want.  You shouldn't need to look for the necessary OS/2 drivers if you are moving from a working OS/2 system because they will be already installed.

In the past we were able to update the base computer with a new version of OS/2 and then copy the necessary drivers to it with the control program and after a few adjustments the equipment was back in operation - it can get much more complicated when the main control program is on a server connected to several slave machines.


Martin Iturbide:
Hi Daniele

I would love too know more about the industrial machine that you are using with OS/2. I want to document the industrial solutions on the OS2World wiki. Type of machinery, Machine models and even pictures are welcome.

About a reply to your question, I also think it may be hard to virtualize OS/2 with 8 COM ports, but you may check some other VirtualBox forum when they play with the idea of adding Serial USB adapters. But it will require a lot of experimentation from your side.

It may be interesting to try ArcaOS on that type of machinery (with real hardware) and remain using the OS/2 software with the 8 serial ports. I think that for the kind of industrial business they run, a license of ArcaOS business will not be that much.

My only advice is to please, save a copy of the OS/2 HDD image while you experiment, some of the OS/2 software and drivers it has may be hard to find. It may be good to have some different hard drives on that machine to experiment.



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