Author Topic: Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?  (Read 2351 times)

Li Keqing

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Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?
« on: December 28, 2021, 06:31:41 am »
While there are tons of extenders can be used to run 32-bit programs on DOS, is there any extenders can be used to run 64 programs on OS/2?
It should be technically possible since Mac OS X 10.5 supports running 64-bit apps upon a 32-bit kernel, but what about OS/2.

Dave Yeo

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Re: Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2021, 06:48:17 am »
No. The only way I could see it working, like on the Mac is if that 32 bit kernel has some 64 bit support.

Li Keqing

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Re: Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2021, 07:00:08 am »
No. The only way I could see it working, like on the Mac is if that 32 bit kernel has some 64 bit support.
Maybe a driver can help via injecting some codes into kernel...?

Ibrahim Hakeem

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Re: Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2021, 09:58:33 am »
I feel the OS/4 project may be touching on this to an extent. The results are somewhat impressive but far from stable.

In my personal opinion: OS/2 will live on as a purely 32 bit OS because that's the purpose it best serves. The entire software library of OS/2 is 32 bit, all the major developers have a 32 bit mindset, and so on. If you want to run 64 bit software whilst also using OS/2 on a regular basis, your best bet may be to install it in a dual boot solution or a virtual machine.

It may also be worth mentioning, from what Arca Noae has said, anything touching the kernel seems to fall into some kind of odd legal territory with IBM and won't always be allowed.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2021, 10:04:25 am by Ibrahim Hakeem »

Li Keqing

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Re: Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2021, 10:05:22 am »
Would it be pretty cool if OS/2 can run 64 bit programs? ;D

Li Keqing

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Re: Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2021, 10:13:12 am »
It may also be worth mentioning, from what Arca Noae has said, anything touching the kernel seems to fall into some kind of odd legal territory with IBM and won't always be allowed.
Well... I want to know whether I just hook and insert some functions while running instead of patching the kernel offline in binary form is illegal...

Andi B.

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Re: Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2021, 10:59:02 am »
Would it be pretty cool if OS/2 can run 64 bit programs? ;D
Why? Which programs? Which 64 bit program will work in the given 4GB address space? Moreover which 64 bit program is of any use in our restricted address space?

Guess you need to think a bit more about the constraints of our OS before dreaming about running 'any' 64 bit programs on OS/2. And think a bit more about the advantage of this specific 64 bit program which you think you need on OS/2.


Li Keqing

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Re: Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2021, 11:44:03 am »
Would it be pretty cool if OS/2 can run 64 bit programs? ;D
Why? Which programs? Which 64 bit program will work in the given 4GB address space? Moreover which 64 bit program is of any use in our restricted address space?

Guess you need to think a bit more about the constraints of our OS before dreaming about running 'any' 64 bit programs on OS/2. And think a bit more about the advantage of this specific 64 bit program which you think you need on OS/2.
Exactly there is no 64 bit program on OS/2 yet, but more and more softwares on other platforms is dropping 32 bit support, and the most common used Linux distros are also dropping x86-32 support.
Some of the greatest developers are porting Qt5-based browser to OS/2 platform, right? AFAK the blink engine used in that browser is a giant memory eater, will 4GB address space be enough for future usage?
It's not necessary to support 64 bit or some other 'new' technology although, Arca Noae is working on UEFI support even while there are lots of virtualization solution to run OS/2 on modern PCs. Should OS/2 just stick to 4.52 and say 'yeah, we don't need to move on'? I can't agree.

Andi B.

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Re: Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2021, 01:29:49 pm »
Would it be pretty cool if OS/2 can run 64 bit programs? ;D
Why? Which programs? Which 64 bit program will work in the given 4GB address space? Moreover which 64 bit program is of any use in our restricted address space?

Guess you need to think a bit more about the constraints of our OS before dreaming about running 'any' 64 bit programs on OS/2. And think a bit more about the advantage of this specific 64 bit program which you think you need on OS/2.
Exactly there is no 64 bit program on OS/2 yet, but more and more softwares on other platforms is dropping 32 bit support, and the most common used Linux distros are also dropping x86-32 support.
Some of the greatest developers are porting Qt5-based browser to OS/2 platform, right? AFAK the blink engine used in that browser is a giant memory eater, will 4GB address space be enough for future usage?
It's not necessary to support 64 bit or some other 'new' technology although, Arca Noae is working on UEFI support even while there are lots of virtualization solution to run OS/2 on modern PCs. Should OS/2 just stick to 4.52 and say 'yeah, we don't need to move on'? I can't agree.

I now think you don't wanted to ask 'Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2' but 'can OS/2 be extended with a 64 bit *nix compatible subsystem'. Or 'can 64 bit *nix applications which are 64 bit for good reasons be ported to OS/2'. --> No.



Li Keqing

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Re: Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2021, 02:17:28 pm »
Would it be pretty cool if OS/2 can run 64 bit programs? ;D
Why? Which programs? Which 64 bit program will work in the given 4GB address space? Moreover which 64 bit program is of any use in our restricted address space?

Guess you need to think a bit more about the constraints of our OS before dreaming about running 'any' 64 bit programs on OS/2. And think a bit more about the advantage of this specific 64 bit program which you think you need on OS/2.
Exactly there is no 64 bit program on OS/2 yet, but more and more softwares on other platforms is dropping 32 bit support, and the most common used Linux distros are also dropping x86-32 support.
Some of the greatest developers are porting Qt5-based browser to OS/2 platform, right? AFAK the blink engine used in that browser is a giant memory eater, will 4GB address space be enough for future usage?
It's not necessary to support 64 bit or some other 'new' technology although, Arca Noae is working on UEFI support even while there are lots of virtualization solution to run OS/2 on modern PCs. Should OS/2 just stick to 4.52 and say 'yeah, we don't need to move on'? I can't agree.

I now think you don't wanted to ask 'Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2' but 'can OS/2 be extended with a 64 bit *nix compatible subsystem'. Or 'can 64 bit *nix applications which are 64 bit for good reasons be ported to OS/2'. --> No.
No, I think the '*nix compatible system' and EMX are both s*ck, it should only be a temporary transient proposal in my opinion. Why don't I use Linux, BSD or Mac directly?

In fact I just be inspired by the rare 'OS/2 Warp 3.0 PowerPC Edition'.
It uses an advanced microkernel design, it's portable like *nix and Windows NT, it can run DOS and Win16 applications, it uses the de facto standard and extendable ELF format instead of the proprietary LX which can only contain 32 bit codes.
It's a pretty powerful OS/2 with tons of bugs and glitches, but I do really really like it.
I hope it can do more than it currently can, 64 bit computing is a direction I think.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2021, 02:40:36 pm by Li Keqing »

Ibrahim Hakeem

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Re: Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2021, 02:21:24 pm »
Li - first off, as a personal user who uses ArcaOS 5 as a portable driver, I would go wild at the idea of a 64-bit release, but I also know it is not feasible nor reasonable for that matter.

I do know that the browser situation is quite difficult and the only real pushing factor, but it is not enough to uproot the fact that OS/2 has been a 32 bit OS since day one and serves that purpose on an industrial scale - no major company which relies on OS/2 has a use for 64-bit functionality.

It is also a bit surprising that you assume we're stuck in 4.52 days, I don't know if you've recently ran an ArcaOS installation but there has been leaps and bounds since then. Just because there hasn't been a move to 64 bit operation, it doesn't mean OS/2's dead in the water, far from it.

What you are demanding has been discussed multiple times by many different parties with varying levels of influence across the spectrum. There isn't a truly valid reason to be developing a 64-bit kernel for ArcaOS when all of it's uses have always been possible within the 32-bit spectrum. in the end of the day, Arca Noae has stated that ArcaOS will be limited to 32 bit functionality, and that's for no small reason.

Unless someone is about to cough up the ludicrous amount of money, work-hours and legal logistics required to pull it off in a manner which is not only stable, but can also be supported by AN and possibly others, you're honestly SOL.

So, as you said... why don't you use Linux, BSD or OSX directly? A lot of us do already.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2022, 11:11:50 am by Ibrahim Hakeem »

Sean Casey

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Re: Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2021, 05:02:10 pm »
I would love to see OS/2 supporting the x86 processor's 36-bit memory addressing, to provide OS/2 access to 64 GB of memory.  36-bit Page Size Extension was grafted onto Windows NT and most of the operating system was unaware of PSE-36, making it much easier for Microsoft to implement. 

It could be implemented as a kernel driver (like a RAM disk driver) that could do 4 MB page directory table remapping above 4 GB.  Memory hungry applications, like our new QT Web browser, could then utilize the PSE-36 driver to benefit from the added memory.

A dream...



Sergey Posokhov

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Re: Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2021, 05:21:48 pm »
A dream...

...but OS/4 kernel offers RAMFS drive above 4GB.

So it's possible to run MySQL or DB2 with flat tables in memory and even with transaction isolation.

Doug Bissett

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Re: Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2021, 08:14:07 pm »
Quote
It could be implemented as a kernel driver (like a RAM disk driver) that could do 4 MB page directory table remapping above 4 GB.

That already exists, and has been around for a number of years now. QSINIT can make memory, above 4 GB, available for other things (not just for a RAMDISK), but nobody has expanded on that capability, to actually make that memory usable by anything except the RAMDISK (it needs an API, to make it usable by other things).

ArcaOS uses the QSINIT base for a number of things, including UEFI support (not, yet, released) and a RAMDISK (I am using a 12 GB RAMDISK, formatted as JFS). Writing an API is not for beginners, and the very few people who might know what is needed, are far too busy trying to keep the base OS running on newer hardware.

FWIW, it should be possible to use the QSINIT memory support, without an API, but it means that somebody, who knows what they are doing, needs to actually do it.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: Can 64-bit programs run on OS/2?
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2021, 08:40:47 pm »
Hi

Ohh, the eternal discussion about the 64-bit kernel for OS/2  ;D ;D

My opinion in my limited knowledge on this subject is that, for a long time strategy for the OS,  it should be simpler to grab an existing 64-bit kernel and run OS/2 over it being interpreted. People tells me that the OS is the kernel, and that if you change the kernel you are using a different OS, technically they are right but I disagree. The OS is also the user experience, our experience with OS/2 are CMD, PM and WPS, plus all the apps we run over it. If with a different kernel we can get the same experience (or 80% of the experience) it will just be OS/2 for some of us.

I liked the Project 2ine idea. But instead of trying to replace CPI and PM in one shot to interpretate OS/2 apps over linux, it would be better to try a different approach of running the same OS/2 IBM components over a different kernel, so that components will think they are still running over a OS/2 kernel instead of a different one. 

My very uninformed guess will be that it will require three main components.
1) The OS/2 binary interpreter over a 64-bit kernel. So the new kernel understand how a OS/2 binary is, that is implemented on the 2ine project for Linux.
2) The Fake CPI interpreter. To connect all CPI calls to the new kernel. It will require a developer with good knowledge of CPI functions and the tools and APIs available on the new 64-bit kernel to choose.
3) The $Fake driver layer.  To connect the common drivers calls to whatever the 64-bit driver has as drivers. (MOUSE$, CLOCK$, etc). I will also require a high level of knowledge of the 64-bit kernel and the OS/2 drivers. So, it is not a very easy to find skill.

I'm attaching a picture of my very poor understanding on how it should be to run OS/2 interpreted over Zircon (Fuchsia OS) for example.

This is my "very uninformed guess" since when I write about this topic, instead improving the idea,  proposing a different idea or even trying little prototypes, people start to rage saying it is impossible or that will require an army of people to do this. And some others just say.... "you better let OS/2 rest".

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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... just share the dream.