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Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?

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Rich Walsh:
JTA, a certain understanding of the OS/2 scene should be emerging: most people in this forum (and most hobbyists generally) want to run OS/2 on bare metal. Period. Once AN releases AOS v5.1, that should remain a viable option for some years. I've been running the beta on this 10th-gen i7 box for 18 months now: UEFI-only, Secure Boot, GPT, NVME, etc. No virtualization needed. WiFi or Bluetooth don't work but we're used to it  :)

Some may have compelling reasons to virtualize OS/2, e.g. on a laptop used for other purposes, but on my trusty desktop it's just too much effort. Generic "productivity" isn't an issue - OS/2 does most of what I currently need to do. And, if OS/2 can't do it natively I'd rather reach for my phone than deal with an OS that I spent years avoiding or one that leaves me cold (I have both installed).

As to software... The days when the lone "gentleman programmer" could turn out boffo native apps are long gone. I've probably written more native software in the last 5+ years than anyone else on the platform, yet almost none of it involves stuff you'd actually want to _do_. For that we have to rely on ports. And who wants to run an OS/2 port of a Linux app in an OS/2 VM on their Linux desktop? Too much fun for me...

No issues with any of the above ... both Ivan & Rich have detailed their methods of getting around issues or remaining shortcomings in OS/2, either by dealing with it in a creative way (KVM switch, LAN, X amount of machines), or choosing not to deal with it (if it ain't on OS/2, ...). Both work well for them, so kudo's! I now have several accounts of "we don't use virtualization" ... exactly what I asked for.

I note that ArcaOS 5.1 may indeed solve *one set* of the posting grief that I see in the forums, which is "run OS/2 physically on *someone's particular set of* hardware", when it gets here. More hardware choices = more opportunities to use OS/2 the way a person wants. A good thing, enabling that set of opportunities ...

Note also that A5.1 perhaps didn't solve the *other* set(s) of issues that I see in various postings, which could roughly be lumped into *x64*, and *where's the app I need* or *when is it going to get here*. Progress is being made ... OTOH, virtualization does solve these, now.

Advancements in technology (hardware, virtualization, etc.) are there to be used, or not used, per the beholder's wishes ...

Still hoping others will chime in with their virtualization stories ... and note that one of the other recent threads did have an account of virtualization in the home lab/network. Or, it may be that I'm one of the few doing it ... in which case maybe it needs more exposure. I'm not opposed to OS/2 on physical, I just don't want ANY os I'm working with to be on physical (except Host-OS).

Virtualization is no longer high-end (enterprise); it's main-stream for the masses. MS and Hyper-V in win10/11. Even my Synology NAS is offering up virtualization (it can host an OS or three) ... are we embracing and capitalizing on virtualization, in an OS/2 way, to solve existing sets of problems?

Doug Bissett:
I have been reading most of this stuff. I keep thinking "Here we go again. a newbie trying to tell us old timers how to use OS/2". Or is it that you are trying to tell us that we shouldn't be using OS/2? In either case, you have a lot to learn. Pay attention.

X64 is, so far, a non starter. Period. Even those who have been hacking the OS/2 kernel, for years, haven't attempted to mess with that. Running in a VM, under a 64 bit system, doesn't change the fact that. OS/2 is, and probably always will be, a 32 bit system. If somebody wins the BIG jackpot, and donates gobs of money, that may change, but you would need to find somebody who has the interest in doing it. Not to mention that the OS/2 kernel has a whole lot of parts, that nobody seems to know what they do. BTW, only Arca Noae has permission from IBM, to distribute modified versions of any of their OS/2 parts, and then the modified versions can only be, legally, used with ArcaOS. Many argue otherwise, but that is what the contract between Arca Noae, and IBM says. Arca Noae will never, knowingly, cross the boundaries set by that contract.

I find virtualization to be pretty much a dead end (I have been playing with it, for many years). Even windows 7, running in VBox under windows 10. Is not even close to running it on bare metal. I have never bothered trying to run windows 10 in VBox. I do have windows 7 (32 bit) running in VBox under OS/2 (ArcaOS). I find that to be more useful than running OS/2 under VBox in windows 10, but it does take some very careful setup, or it will use too many system resources. I have played with Linux, but I just can't see why I would want to use it.

Overall, I find virtual machines to be a huge step backwards, and they are another thing to manage.

Martin Iturbide:

--- Quote from: Doug Bissett on January 13, 2023, 06:56:49 pm ---I have been reading most of this stuff. I keep thinking "Here we go again. a newbie trying to tell us old timers how to use OS/2".

--- End quote ---
...and that's in part why we don't have newbies.

I want to insist that we have different kind of users, the ones that runs ArcaOS and OS/2 on VMs, the ones that runs it on bare metal and the ones that enjoy both !! There is even OS/2 users that only want it to run his old Microchannel computer as a hobbie.

If someone is using ArcaOS or OS/2 for something I don't share or understand, I don't have any right to judge. I can only share an opinon and let that person be. I don't have to insist on my point of view or have the final word.  I just move on to the next thread.


Without sounding argumentative (and I may fail at that) ...

Please note that I've been installing & using unix, dos, win, and os/2 since the early '80s, and linux since the early '00s, as a sysadmin and as I moved from company to company, and as each of these OS's came about. At Sematech, I had IBM'ers all over me, over 5 years, as we all sat around and worked out all the offerings of each version of OS/2 and how to use it; then I went on to being an SE for OneUP Corp, again, going around and helping folks with IBM offerings, including OS/2.

I know my way around an OS, and over the decades, I've learned how to get them to do what I want, vs what the vendor of the OS wants me to use them for. I end up with new or creative solutions to the current problems of the day.

You could call me a  "newbie" WRT ArcaOS, which I've recently "discovered", and which solves some problems for me. That's exciting!

I appreciate all the efforts that folks are making in various attempts to rework a kernel underneath OS/2 that I read about on these forums ... licensing issues aside, I think it's great when folks push the boundaries of the current box. To avoid licensing issues, and 32-bit limits, we may have to think outside of the box. And, virtualization helps with that ...

I appreciate all the efforts of those folks who are working hard & tirelessly to get things "ported" to OS/2. I contributed devbucks to BWW, & made a license purchase to ArcaOS, both of which further increase my options to get working solutions assembled.

One may not like virtualization, but it seems harder to argue with all those that are doing it, either at the enterprise level, or now, at the home level. One can always choose not to use it, when assembling a solution ...

If an issue is strictly performance, there's all kinds of arguments with speeds and feeds, choices in hardware/software, configurations, etc., and with folks that love to split hairs. All are constraints and choices that hold back solutions. If an issue is, rather, "how can I solve a particular problem", or "how do I do this right now", given what's all around us, then things should open up.

If one is running OS/2 on a physical box, yes, one would be limited by constraints/choices and OS/2 at 32-bits, and to something that is possibly augmented by X-windows, RDP/VNC. If running Win7 under vbox under os/2, resources would, understandably, be limited. I don't say this *for* anybody, of course ... these are others' constraints/choices, not mine. I don't tell anybody how to do anything, but there are *other* possibilities, and other *choices*. If one is running OS/2 virtually, then options open up ...

Again, it is possible to use virtualization to run x64 apps from within OS/2, under your control, against OS/2 datasets, and not via X/RDP/VNC ... I'm doing this right now (beefy PC, Host-OS, v-layer, OS/2 in vm, other vm's) ... all I did was re-assemble the parts and pieces of today's technology, to solve a problem that others' posted about. It's fast ... all the vm's are fast. The solution is fast. I didn't program (not really, although programming might make the solution even better), and I didn't violate anybody's current licensing schemes (as I've looked into them). x64 CLI, x64 GUI ... yep, against OS/2 datasets, under OS/2 ... simple plumbing.

I *might have* thought outside of the box, and amazingly, it just works ... initially, this post was to see who else was using virtualization, and if the solution was already apparent to all. Perhaps it isn't ... I'm not sure yet what that tells me.

I've learned over all these years never to say I *can* do it, until I *have* done it. And if I've learned anything, it's to not abandon the enthusiasm, for a new day, and a new way to do things, with OS/2 or with any new technology ...


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