Author Topic: Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?  (Read 3942 times)

JTA

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Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?
« on: January 12, 2023, 07:25:35 pm »
In relation to physical or virtualized OS/2. Are you:

1. not using it at all (OS/2 on physical hardware, and/or no intention to virtualize OS/2 as a guest)
2. running [Virtualbox, VMware, ...] on an x64 host-os, and OS/2 (any version) is a guest VM (among others)
3. virtualization of a different kind (OS/2 is physical, ???/2 used to vm something within OS/2)
4. feel free to opinionize on any aspect of the subject, as in (physical-only OS/2 or bust)
5. any other kind of slice and dice, such as Linux is much better than Win as Host-OS, because ...

I'm successfully using: HostOS=win10x64 on i7/32gb, Vbox=7.04, OS/2=vm's(ArcaOS 5.0.7, OS/2 4.52), many other vm's.

OS/2 runs very well for me in a vbox VM, and affords many testing features (backup via vm files, snapshots for testing changes, experimenting, etc.). I see other posts, over time, where folks have had varying levels of grief. Hopefully, there's much less grief these days, with all the newer virtualization packages and features (Type-2, Type-1).

Trying to get a feel for how everyone else uses or doesn't use virtualization in some form with OS/2 ...

Thanks!


Dariusz Piatkowski

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Re: Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2023, 10:22:29 pm »
Nope, not using any virtualization.

For a while it was getting hard to continue running on bare metal...but I would say that changed over the last few years as the multi-core CPU software solutions have matured.

Therefore, while I am certainly giving up a bit of flexibility (not running the 'latest & greatest' hardware), I simply prefer to run just OS/2.

...and to address the gap(s): well, simple RDP connection to a Win box that does all the other stuff for me. Given the awesome functionallity of solutions like FreeRDP, which literally allows me to run a Win machine based software side-by-side with my native OS/2 apps, on the native OS/2 platform, I plan on continuing that way.

Umm...OK, maybe a hardware upgrade would be nice...I mean who doesn't get a kick out of setting up a new box with all the bells and whistles????

JTA

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Re: Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2023, 10:34:43 pm »
Side note: As I rummage through postings on OS2World, going back in time,  I can't help but notice those that include some form of "OS/2 (dev) is dead, it's dying, the population is getting older, can't do anything with it, ..."

This is far and away different than my experiences with it ... rather, I think technology is changing in such a way that ALL OS's will morph into something new ... into virtualization! In other words, why let MS be in control of my equipment at the physical level? Or, in control of my data, or ...

A Type-2 (host-os + virtualization software like VirtualBox, or similar) or Type-1 (virtualization OS like VMware, or similar) package will:

  - "free" the machine from the grip of MS or any other OS!
  - contain an "unruly" OS to a single VM, and really lock down on what they can do (to me).
  - breathe new life to older OS's
  - free OS's like ArcaOS to do even more than before
  - explore new/old things that one has not seen before (most anything can run in a VM)

Once ArcaOS is up and running, in a VM, with little to no boot, special hardware, device driver issues, etc., it's available to explore ... old stuff, new stuff, stuff that's never been done before!

How about ... 64-bit apps, right now (and I leave this as a bit of a tease, or homework exercise, for everyone to chew on)? Hint: no X-Windows, no VNC/RDP, but ... virtualization makes it possible!

JTA

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Re: Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2023, 10:59:56 pm »
...and to address the gap(s): well, simple RDP connection to a Win box that does all the other stuff for me. Given the awesome functionallity of solutions like FreeRDP, which literally allows me to run a Win machine based software side-by-side with my native OS/2 apps, on the native OS/2 platform, I plan on continuing that way.

This is excellent for a solution, in that one can spend some time setting up X-Windows (hopefully problem free) or FreeRDP (or VNC) on both sides, and you can get at another box (linux, windows) on the network. This obviously qualifies as an answer to running 64-bit apps from within OS/2 (folks have been doing this in some form for years/decades). The network will need to be running, other machines will need to be up, but ... reasonably done in today's world. If I were traveling, would this still be available to me? Possibly, with some effort ...

What else?

ivan

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Re: Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2023, 09:40:44 am »
Hi JTA,

I have been running OS/2 on real hardware since I got version 1.20 in 1989.  Today I run ArcaOS on real hardware MSI B550-A PRO motherboard with a third generation AMD RYZEN processor.  On my local network I have a few more OSs each for a reason, Linux Mint for its Firefox browser, Win 7 as an interface to a data logger ( said data logger won't run on vBox or any other virtualization because it requires real hardware ).  I can also display what each OS is doing on my main 28 inch monitor via a 4k USB KVM switch. backup goes to two NAS boxes every night.

That basic layout has been running without problems for the last 15 years and does everything I ask it so why change. 

Rich Walsh

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Re: Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2023, 11:56:48 am »
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...

JTA

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Re: Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2023, 03:52:14 pm »
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

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Re: Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?
« Reply #7 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". 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

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Re: Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2023, 10:01:26 pm »
Hi
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".
...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.

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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... just share the dream.

JTA

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Re: Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2023, 10:24:19 pm »
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 ...

Doug Bissett

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Re: Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2023, 06:58:02 am »
I don't want to argue. I also don't want to say that you don't know what you are talking about. So far, all I've seen is a sales pitch, no suggestions about what would improve things. A couple of years ago, somebody promised us that he was going to "fix" OS/2. He has gone away, never to be heard from again. Why? I don't know, but I suspect he was all talk, and no knowledge. Your suggestion that virtual machines are the answer has been hashed around, for years. It is NOT the answer. It is  a fall back, when nothing else works.

So, here is the challenge.  Offer to help with solutions, and we will see if you really do know what you are talking about.

Personally, I have OS/2 working well, and it does almost everything that I need to do. The biggest problem is "modern", so called (I don't believe it) "secure" web sites. Our ancient Firefox is becoming less useful every day. Dooble has some improvement, but it is far from being usable, and some web sites won't accept it because it isn't based on Google Chrome (one of the main "spyware" programs). That sort of thing is the main "problem" with OS/2 today. Most of that is outside of our control, and it does take time, and a lot of effort, to catch up.

OS/2 still has a couple of ancient programs that are better than anything any other OS has available today. Another part of the "problem" is that users seem to think that ported programs are preferable, and that is partly driven by older OS/2 software being "abandoned" by their creators (usually by death), but not being released to the world, or passed on to somebody else.

I find it interesting that programs got a lot bigger, when programmers started being paid by the number of lines of code produced, rather than the quality of the final result. That is complicating the porting process. One other problem, is that many companies produce something new, and they won't tell us how it works, so we can't produce support (especially drivers). We can get some, but not all, of that from the *NIX world, with some serious work.

The bottom line is that we don't have many (enough) good programmers, who know what they are doing, and that makes it difficult to do anything useful.

So, what is the solution?

Paul Smedley

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Re: Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2023, 09:10:41 am »
Personally, I have OS/2 working well, and it does almost everything that I need to do. The biggest problem is "modern", so called (I don't believe it) "secure" web sites. Our ancient Firefox is becoming less useful every day. Dooble has some improvement, but it is far from being usable, and some web sites won't accept it because it isn't based on Google Chrome (one of the main "spyware" programs). That sort of thing is the main "problem" with OS/2 today. Most of that is outside of our control, and it does take time, and a lot of effort, to catch up.
I hate to break it to you, but Dooble uses qtwebengine, which uses chromium as it's engine - same as Chrome....

Andi B.

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Re: Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2023, 12:13:42 pm »
Quote
to use virtualization to run x64 apps from within OS/2
That's not true. Either you still don't understand the whole thing or you're spreading false information intentionally. You can't run 64 bit applications from within OS/2. You can ran it side by side with 16 and 32 bit OS/2 applications when you use virtualization. If you've a 64 bit host OS then they run on them. Not within OS/2. And OS/2 ist just 'another' application running under this host (abstracted by a virtualization layer). If you're running OS/2 as a host and run some 64 bit app within a guest (don't think that this even works but ...) you never could get the advantages of this 64 bit app. 

More and more I think JTA is not more than a test for an AI. He/she/it floods this forum with a lot of text which is hardly related to any of the questions asked here. Answers to questions to him/her/... are very long, but most of the time not don't get to the point. Here you have another few you can deal with - JTA who's behind you? Where are the specific answers to the questions asked before? Which OS/2 application do you use? Which specific program do you think runs better under ArcaOS than on other OSes? For which tasks are you using OS/2 beside testing if it work in a VM? How did you circumvent the problems an ArcaOS installation gives in VBOX 7?

JTA

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Re: Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2023, 03:17:50 pm »
I get the feeling this is an "OS/2 on hardware" place ... virtualization & methods using it become inflammatory on this site, which means I've wasted too much of everyone's time. It only took a few postings to figure that out ... my apologies to those who are very happy with OS/2 on physical.

The correct pieces are listed for my solution in those few postings, but the sales pitch fell short ...

I will look for other sites/forums on virtualization ...

Andi B.

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Re: Virtualization & OS/2 - How are you using it (if any)?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2023, 03:36:17 pm »
I get the feeling this is an "OS/2 on hardware" place ... virtualization & methods using it become inflammatory on this site, which means I've wasted too much of everyone's time. It only took a few postings to figure that out ... my apologies to those who are very happy with OS/2 on physical.

The correct pieces are listed for my solution in those few postings, but the sales pitch fell short ...

I will look for other sites/forums on virtualization ...
I've to say I don't completely understand all your postings. Probably because my English is not well enough. But why don't you answer the few questions above? Is it cause you're programmed to leave a forum whenever someone realizes your an AI?