OS/2 2.11 SMP Bootable CDROM 10 Minute Installation Hack into VirtualBox

There was, still is, something appealing about OS/2 -- it was ahead of its time, Warp indeed -- The Integrating Platform. I came across some relevant resources and created an OS/2 2.11 Bootable CDROM media for VirtualBox -- as I heard, through the grapevine, that it was undoable. :))

OS/2 enabled me to learn Unix by utilizing the GNU/Linux utilities ported by OS/2 hackers. Accordingly, once IBM orphaned the OS/2 -- and the executives even balked at our multiple petitions to have the OS open sourced -- the transition to Linux was relatively painless. As a matter of fact, while creating this hack I had to bring my old ported GNU/Linux utilities, alternating between OS/2 2.0, 2.1x, and even Warp 3, environments so as to alleviate the shortcoming of 640x480 resolution.

Due to the scarcity of information, I usually operate by inductive reasoning. Notwithstanding, I came across the following 'nugget':
OS/2 has supported SMP for quite a while in special editions of OS/2. The first version was 'OS/2 2.11 for Symmetrical Multiprocessing'...
The diffences between the single-processor OS/2 and the SMP version are very small: 2 APIs for controlling the CPUs, an extra index for DosQuerySysInfo() and 4 APIs for dealing with spinlocks. I know that the 'SMP addendum' mentions a lot of other things, but they are server things, not SMP things.

'OS/2 2.11 SMP' supports up to 16 processors,...

Yet my build of VirtualBox, from source, under a Metztli Reiser4 Debian environment can only go up to 8 processors/cores and :no: higher resolution than 640x480...

(Once the video player has started, right selecting (or 'clicking') your device (or 'mouse') will show menu option, 'Open video in new tab', which will enable larger screen size. Alternatively, the video with larger screen size may be shown in the Calli, i.e., 'Home', collection front page)

Update 12-18-2022 : my personal development computing environment can only go up to eight(8) cores; however, I installed another Oracle VirtualBox 7.0.4 -- although 'headless' -- in one of my remote Metztli Reiser4 servers. I made use of VNC to make connection and although Remmina experience a buggy pointer (or mouse) I was able to bring up the SMP Monitor. I could not delay this event as it is not everyday that an OS/2 for Symmetrical Multiprocessing (SMP) Version 2.11 is seen running on 16 CPU/Cores!

OS/2 for SMP Version 2.11 remote instance accessed via VNC

(Once the video player has started, right selecting (or 'clicking') your device (or 'mouse') will show menu option, 'Open video in new tab', which will enable larger screen size. Alternatively, the video with larger screen size may be shown in the Calli, i.e., 'Home', collection front page)

View OS/2 for SMP v2.11 Reference
View OS/2 for SMP v2.11 Reference
OS/2 for SMP v2.11 Reference at Hobbes but requires OS/2 INF VIEW.EXE utility or 'INF READER'


Platform Specific Drivers (PSDs)

In OS/2 for SMP V2.11, all of the platform specific code has been removed from the operating system, and placed into a Platform Specific Driver. These drivers provide an abstraction layer for the underlying hardware by allowing the operating system to call generic functions to perform platform-specific operations without worrying about the actual hardware implementation. This allows OS/2 for SMP V2.11 to support new MP hardware platforms without modifying the operating system.

PSDs are 32-bit flat DLLs specified in CONFIG.SYS by using the PSD= keyword, and must conform to the 8.3 file naming convention (e.g. PSD=BELIZE.PSD). They cannot contain either drive or path information because OS/2 cannot process such information at the stage of the startup sequence when the PSD statements are processed. The root directory of the startup partition is first searched for the specified file name, followed by the \OS2 directory of the startup partition. If drive or path information is included in a PSD statement, an error is generated.

PSD parameters may be specified after the PSD's name, and may be a maximum of 1024 characters long. The parameter string is not interpreted or parsed by OS/2, but is passed verbatim as an ASCIIZ string when the PSD's Install function is invoked.

If multiple PSD statements are encountered, OS/2 will load each PSD in the order listed in CONFIG.SYS, and call the PSD's install function. The first PSD which successfully installs will be the one OS/2 uses.

PSD statements are processed before BASEDEV, IFS, and DEVICE statements."



NOTE: If you want to acquire this OS/2 2.11 SMP Bootable CD/ISO image hack, it comes in a bottle opener USB stick:

Bottle opener USB stick
Bottle opener USB stick

and includes the IBM base OS/2 2.1 floppy images on which the hack was loosely based.

Device Drivers and MultiMedia
Device Drivers and MultiMedia


OS/2 2.1 installation diskettes
OS/2 2.1 installation diskettes

1 EDM/2 SMP - Symmetrical Multiprocessing

OS/2 2.11 SMP in VirtualBox 6.1.32
OS/2 2.11 SMP in VirtualBox 6.1.32
Jose   ,   05:05:00 am
Categories: OS/2

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