Author Topic: from almost "abandoned-vintage OS" to almost "self bootable USB stick"  (Read 1397 times)

mauro

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Hi all, I'd like to resume the results obtained joining this forum in sept 2018 starting from a very basic iniztial knowledge, maybe someone will read something interesting to pick ideas.
OS2 was my first contact pc system, found preinstalled in a Hyundai pc, 1996. After 4 years I felt forced to switch to Windows XP due to the hardware/software requirements, which OS2 could not follow as needed at that moment.

I just kept remembering OS2 as a vintage old car which was nice to have owned once but with no more chances to drive it again on the today roads.
This till last summer, when on a Windows 10 usenet newsgroup an expert member told that it was not impossible getting an OS2 Warp 4.52 virtual machine full working for VirtualBox but just good to load and leave as-it-is, with not much more to do for real use, except some exciting WPS menu browsing to feel back in the latest nineteens.

Meantime I was aware of the most recent OS2 system adapted distributions; Ecomstation first and then ArcaOS, good to have but not freeware and not even cheap.

Then I found online a downloadable OS2 Warp 4.52 ready-to-boot virtual machine in its first-boot state: ready, go.

Tried to get help for updating/actualization on an OS2 usenet group nearly abandoned, where the only member listening suggested to join your forum.
Ready, go.

From its first-boot situation -I believe corresponding to 1998 HW/SW-, you here have lead me to implement and update much more than expected :  dedicated Guest Addition for VirtualBox including shared folders and display custom resolution, Yum-Rpm packages Manager, USB volume handling, printer configuration, scanning device capabilities (Tame2), XWorkplace, Firefox, VLC, Samba and Netdrive for browsing external directories, and other useful features.

Now, since I like very much  systems on a self-bootable USB stick, and also said that OS2 W4 cannot support itself such capability, I created a self-bootable fully installed Ubuntu 18.04 USB stick, and setted an autostart command for the OS2 Warp 4.5 guest machine (updated as above described) cloned and moved from the initial Win10 host system to the Linux VirtualBox application there.

This is the result: plug the USB stick in, turn the laptop on, select the usb volume to boot, wait about 90 secs, and OS2 Warp 4.52 full screen appears ready to use, you know that is a virtual machine hosted in Linux only for the 5 secs initial Ubuntu splash screen.

Cool.
Thank to you
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 04:26:09 pm by mauro »

Sigurd Fastenrath

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Congratulations! Something I tried years ago but could not get Ubuntu to automatically start the OS/2 box inside Virtualbox directly and so I failed. Maybe you can share your way to do this. Thanks!

mauro

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Congratulations! Something I tried years ago but could not get Ubuntu to automatically start the OS/2 box inside Virtualbox directly and so I failed. Maybe you can share your way to do this. Thanks!

with pleasure:
-from Virtualbox main panel, on "Machine" menu, select "Create desktop icon"
-once you have the desktop icon, open its properties and from the Command field, take (copy) its content entirely
-go on the Ubuntu system settings , find Application Startup preferences, in the opened panel click the Add gadget, you now have the empty Command field so just paste there the command you copied before, give it the name you prefer, confirm/close.
Next time you run Ubuntu, the virtual machine will automatically boot with same preferences you left last time as shutted down
« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 06:57:52 am by mauro »

Sigurd Fastenrath

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Vielen herzlichen Dank! Tante Auguri!

Valery Sedletski

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Quote from: mauro
Now, since I like very much  systems on a self-bootable USB stick, and also said that OS2 W4 cannot support itself such capability, I created a self-bootable fully installed Ubuntu 18.04 USB stick, and setted an autostart command for the OS2 Warp 4.5 guest machine (updated as above described) cloned and moved from the initial Win10 host system to the Linux VirtualBox application there.

OS/2 can boot from a flash stick. For that, I created the Universal OS/2 Boot disk (based on my FreeLDR bootloader). It can boot from any medium,
like CD, flash stick or a partition on a hard disk. It is available from here:

ftp://osfree.org/upload/rambootcd/ (the latest version is from Oct 21, 2016).

The disk exists for about 10 years. For installing onto the CD disk, you need to create an ISO image (just start tools/rambtcd.cmd script. Mkisofs
is included). To boot from a flash stick, or a hard disk partition, you need to copy contents of the ZIP archive to the root directory, and write a boot
block and MBR. For that, there is the installer in "tools/freeinst". Also, if your disk is FAT/FAT32/exFAT, then you can use "sysinstx" with fat32.ifs.
(it installs FreeLDR bootblock too). fat32.ifs supports FAT/FAT32/exFAT. And FreeInst supports more file systems: FAT/FAT32/HPFS/JFS.

If boot block and MBR are written correctly, FreeLDR should boot into its menu. From the menu, you should select the required options: Language
(LANG=en_US or ru_RU), video driver (GENGRADD/Panorama or SNAP. GENGRADD and SNAP SE are included. Panorama can be added easily by an eCS/ArcaOS owner), video resolution, kernel, boot loader, etc. If no options selected, it will boot into PM/WPS with GenGRADD and 800x600 resolution, kernel is 14.104a. Also, OS/2 kernel and QSINIT are included. Please, read details in readme.eng file.

PS: OS/2 can boot into three configurations:
1) Textmode with TShell
2) PM+WPS
3) PM+WPS+XWP

There are also options to boot DOS from a diskette, or chainload different GRUB versions (GRUB legacy, GRUB4DOS, GRUB2).
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 12:05:50 am by Valery Sedletski »

mauro

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cool!
The only thing which prevents me from trying soon (but I keep this task for my next spare time), is that I'm sure I'll need support in doing this, bothering you again with my newbie questions.

I meantime undarstood that  being a ramboot system, it's a kind of Live USB , not a full OS2 installation, right?

Thanks
« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 06:55:34 am by mauro »

Valery Sedletski

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It is ramboot for being independent from a file system from which it is booting. All files are located on an on-disk file system. Only a minumum number of files load from ramdisk. So, it is a full OS/2 installation. Though, it is stripped-down a bit, to fit to 300 MB. But I have a full-fledged OS/2 on a flash stick too, so you can enhance it if you wish. For details, read readme.eng file.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 07:52:57 pm by Valery Sedletski »