Yes, I’m nostalgic. Before I started using Linux, I was using OS/2. I went to it from DOS/Win3.1… skipped Windows95 altogether. OS/2 was the absolute best OS back in the day (as far as I’m concerned) and being a nostalgic (and sometimes bored) idiot, I decided to pull out my Warp 4 CDs and see if I could install it in Parallels. I succeeded… to some extent. Now that I have OS/2 installed I can honestly say I have no idea what I would ever use it for anymore. I also couldn’t get the (what should be) the simplest things installed (i.e. OS/2 builds of Firefox, even something as simple as lynx was crapping out on me). Granted, I didn’t spend too much time tweaking it (I’m not that bored).

At any rate, here’s a quick rundown of the things I had to do in order to make it work. Had to do a bit of googling to find all the bits, and this is what worked for me (note, this is Parallels on OS X)…Ok, here’s the steps:

  1. Copy the disk images from the Warp4 CD; in particular you want DISK0.DSK, DISK1-CD.DSK, and DISK2.DSK, in the /diskimgs/os2/35/ directory
    1. rename each of these files to a .dmg file (i.e. DISK0.DSK becomes disk0.dmg) — make sure you can mount each of them in the Finder
    2. if you can mount them, unmount them and rename them to .fdd (i.e. disk0.dmg becomes disk0.fdd)
  2. Create the new virtual machine, set the OS type to OS/2. Set the primary drive to be 2GB (I used 1.9GB to make sure OS/2 could read it)
  3. Set the CD drive to /Library/Parallels/Tools/vmtools.iso
  4. Set the floppy drive to ~/Desktop/disk0.fdd or wherever you saved your floppy disk images
  5. Make sure the machine is set to boot from the floppy first, then boot the machine. You’ll make your way through the three floppies; when the installer asks for the next floppy, just use *Devices->Floppy->Connect Image* and pick the disk it’s asking for
  6. When the installer wants the OS/2 CD inserted, do the same thing and use *Devices->CD/DVD-ROM 1>->[Drive name]* to have it use the physical CD-ROM (I tried with a disk image created via Disk Utility but it didn’t work)
  7. Use the advanced install and format your drive to HPFS
  8. You’ll probably have to reboot and go through all these steps again (stupid installer) after you create the filesystem and partition the drive
  9. When you’ve got everything installed, use the *GENGRADD* SVGA driver for the graphics card
  10. For the TCP/IP settings, when it comes to it, connect the floppy device to /Library/Parallels/Tools/vmtools.fdd to have it pull the network driver off the image; this should be the “RTL8029 PCI Ethernet Adapter” (PCIND.OS2).
  11. Once the install is complete, reboot, and use the vmware tools installer once you’ve brought OS/2 up in order to install the mouse driver (D:\DRIVERS\MOUSE\OS2\INSTALL.CMD) I must admit, I find it pretty neat that I have OS/2 running again. It looks awful, the UI is horrid, but it’s the OS/2 I fondly remember (although I don’t remember it looking quite this bad). At any rate, I spent a bit of time trying to download stuff off of hobbes to get installed and pretty much none of it worked, and I didn’t have the patience to try and figure out what I needed to do to make it work. It was enough that I got it installed. I had tried once a few years ago in VMware and couldn’t make it work. So, if nothing else, I spent an evening tinkering, did absolutely nothing productive, but now I can show it to my kid and make her thankful for good UIs like GNOME and Aqua.

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