Arca Noae announces GUID for OS/2 Type 1 GPT partitions

In our last post concerning GPT in ArcaOS, we discussed the first phase of support and how our specification allows for multiple partitions up to 2TB in size. As every GUID (Globally Unique Identifier) partition type requires a GUID, we have set:

90B6FF38-B98F-4358-A21F-48F35B4A8AD3

as the GUID for OS/2 Type 1 partitions.

Any GPT partition using this GUID should ultimately be recognizable by any GPT-aware operating system as belonging to ArcaOS.

Although this is now just a simple proclamation, it is, in point of fact, a major advancement for the platform, and sets the stage for our initial GPT support, currently planned for release with ArcaOS 5.1 in 2021.

Arca Noae makes no guaranty as to availability of GPT support for ArcaOS 5.1. When available, GPT support will be an ArcaOS feature only, with no plans to make the technology available for other OS/2 distributions.

Don’t have ArcaOS yet? Now is a great time to pick up a license or two and replace those aging Warp 4 or eComStation installations and get to know what’s new and improved. If you’ve never run OS/2 before, you’ll be amazed. If you last used OS/2 in the 1990’s, you’ll be even more amazed. ArcaOS runs the vast majority of existing OS/2 Warp 4 software, because it really is OS/2 – just better. ArcaOS supports more modern hardware than any other OS/2 distribution available today, making hardware upgrades much easier than ever before. An ArcaOS 5.0 license now means steep discounts on future upgrades, including 5.1.

Arca Noae’s plan for supporting GPT disk layouts in ArcaOS

Through the release of ArcaOS 5.0.6, all OS/2 distributions have only supported MBR (Master Boot Record) partitioning schemes, that is, up to four partitions on a disk, with the possibility of creating multiple logical volumes in one extended partition. This partitioning scheme is also limited to a maximum of 2TB per disk.

The GPT (GUID Partition Table) breaks out of these restrictions by supporting an almost unlimited number of partitions (without the need for logical volumes) and disks exceeding 2TB.

Supporting GPT is another major step for multiboot configurations where the disk has already been partitioned using this style, which will allow ArcaOS to install alongside other GPT-aware operating systems (Windows 10, modern Linux distros, etc.), without the need to install a second MBR-partitioned disk or to wipe, re-partition, and reformat all volumes on the existing disk.

Arca Noae’s approach to supporting GPT will be multi-phased, with the first phase of development currently underway and anticipated for release with ArcaOS 5.1. The design specification of our initial GPT support is to allow for partitions up to the current 2TB maximum size, with multiple partitions of this size possible on disks larger than 2TB. Our specification further provides that ArcaOS be able to create, delete, and modify GPT partitions which are identified by their GUIDs as being “OS/2-type” partitions, and lastly, that GPT support be available for both traditional BIOS (for data volumes) and UEFI-based systems (for boot and data volumes).

Arca Noae makes no guaranty as to availability of GPT support for ArcaOS 5.1. When available, GPT support will be an ArcaOS feature only, with no plans to make the technology available for other OS/2 distributions.

Don’t have ArcaOS yet? Now is a great time to pick up a license or two and replace those aging Warp 4 or eComStation installations and get to know what’s new and improved. If you’ve never run OS/2 before, you’ll be amazed. If you last used OS/2 in the 1990’s, you’ll be even more amazed. ArcaOS runs the vast majority of existing OS/2 Warp 4 software, because it really is OS/2 – just better. ArcaOS supports more modern hardware than any other OS/2 distribution available today, making hardware upgrades much easier than ever before. An ArcaOS 5.0 license now means steep discounts on future upgrades, including 5.1.

Have a question? Be sure to read our FAQs

We’ve discussed the wealth of specific information available in our wiki pages in previous blog posts here and here, but there is still another resource available to get quick answers to “how do I…” and other questions: the Arca Noae FAQ.

Searching the FAQ is easy: just type one or more terms into the search box at the top. To browse questions and answers by category, select one of the available categories from the list, and scroll. Another way to search the entire Arca Noae website is to just use the site search box to the right of most pages.

If a FAQ answer has been helpful, please be sure to let us know by clicking the appropriate feedback link at the bottom.

If you happen to find something which doesn’t seem quite right (outdated or perhaps in need of further explanation), please drop us a note to let us know. If you have a suggestion for something to add, please tell us. We continually add questions as they are asked more frequently (hey, it’s a FAQ, after all), and we’ll be sure to consider any suggestions.

Just as the links to the wiki and the ticket system, the FAQ is available from the Support dropdown on the main menu.

Further progress on Arca Noae’s UEFI support for ArcaOS

The UEFI ForumIn our last post on this topic,we reported that much UEFI development work remained to be completed, primarily regarding DOS and Win-OS/2 sessions. Today, that work has advanced considerably, with more DOS and Win-OS/2 apps and games now running under ArcaOS on a wider range of systems than ever before. In fact, on systems which are incapable of providing usable DOS and Win-OS/2 sessions when booted in BIOS mode, DOS and Win-OS/2 run splendidly when booted in UEFI mode, thanks to the environment we create. This should provide a truly amazing experience for all retro-gamers seeking the ability to run classic DOS and Windows games in a native environment without the overhead of a virtualization layer.

Some of the classic DOS and Windows games which work well under current ArcaOS betas in UEFI mode include (note video modes and environments listed, as well):

  • 1869 (VGA 320×200)
  • Caesar 2 (VESA)
  • Many CGA games
  • C&C: Red Alert (VGA 320×200)
  • Civilization 1 (EGA/VGA 320×200)
  • Civilization 2 (Win-OS/2)
  • Colonization (VGA 320×200)
  • Commander Keen
  • Conquest of the New World (VESA)
  • Fallout (VESA)
  • Heretic (VGA 320×200)
  • Heroes of Might and Magic 2 (VESA)
  • High Seas Trader (VGA 320×200)
  • HomeAlone (VGA mode-x 320×200)
  • King’s Bounty (VGA 320×200)
  • King`s Quest II, IV (EGA 320×200)
  • Legions (Win-OS/2)
  • Lemmings (CGA/EGA 320×200)
  • Master of Magic (VGA mode-x 320×200)
  • Master of Orion (VGA mode-x 320×200)
  • Master of Orion 2 (VESA)
  • Merchant Prince (VGA 320×200)
  • Outpost 1 (Win-OS/2)
  • Outrun (CGA/EGA 320×200)
  • Planet X3 – (VGA 320×200, CGA 320×200, CGA 640×200)
  • Pool (CGA/EGA 320×200)
  • Quake (VGA 320×200)
  • Settlers 2 (VESA)
  • SimCity (EGA)
  • SimCity 2000 (VESA)
  • Space Quest I, III (EGA/VGA 320×200)
  • TES: Daggerfall (VGA 320×200)
  • Tie Fighter (VGA 320×200)
  • WarCraft (VGA 320×200)
  • Wolfenstein3d (VGA mode-x 320×200)
  • X-COM: UFO (VGA 320×200)

In addition, same very popular development and office titles are running quite well, such as:

  • Borland C 3.1
  • Boralnd Pascal 7.0
  • Image Alchemy
  • MS Word 5.5
  • Multimate 4.0
  • Lotus 1-2-3 3.4 and 4.0
  • Lotus Symphony
  • Q&A Write
  • QPV 1.7 (image viewer)
  • Quattro Pro 5.6
  • WordPerfect 6.0
  • WordStar 7.0

Both full screen and windowed DOS, Win-OS/2, and OS/2 sessions are operable, and OS/2 applications continue to run fine under UEFI in our testing, as well.

Installation in UEFI mode has also advanced considerably. Current betas install under traditional BIOS or UEFI from the same media, whether DVD or bootable USB stick. The current mode of the system is auto-detected without the need for user intervention. When released with ArcaOS 5.1 (anticipated sometime in 2021), this should provide for a truly effortless installation.

ArcaOS 5.1 will be an upgrade from ArcaOS 5.0. For a more complete list of planned enhancements for 5.1, please visit our ArcaOS Roadmap page. ArcaOS 5.1 will also continue to fully support traditional BIOS-based systems; UEFI is meant to expand device support for the latest generations of hardware.

Don’t have ArcaOS yet? Now is a great time to pick up a license or two and replace those aging Warp 4 or eComStation installations and get to know what’s new and improved. If you’ve never run OS/2 before, you’ll be amazed. If you last used OS/2 in the 1990’s, you’ll be even more amazed. ArcaOS runs the vast majority of existing OS/2 Warp 4 software, because it really is OS/2 – just better. ArcaOS supports more modern hardware than any other OS/2 distribution available today, making hardware upgrades much easier than ever before. An ArcaOS 5.0 license now means steep discounts on future upgrades, including 5.1.

Visited the Arca Noae wiki pages recently?

A few months ago, in another blog post, we discussed some things to do before opening a support ticket, including visiting the wiki pages to check for the latest technical and how-to information for your product.

These pages are regularly updated, so even if you’ve looked over them before, they’re worth a re-read.

Web searches are fine, but unfortunately, much of the available information pertaining to OS/2 is either dated or more specifically related to non-ArcaOS distributions or non-Arca Noae drivers. Your first, best place for information on Arca Noae products is right here.

If you happen to find something which doesn’t seem quite right (screenshots or directions outdated), please drop us a note to let us know. If you have a suggestion for something to add (a tip, how-to, or even a missing wiki), please tell us. We keep a running list of pages to update and add, and we’ll be sure to consider any requests we receive.

As always, and as frequently mentioned here, before opening a trouble ticket, be sure to check the wiki pages (self-help is often the best help).

New driver packages released

Arca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of updates for ACPI, JFS, FAT32, and Panorama to match what is in the recently released ArcaOS v5.0.6.

If you updated to ArcaOS 5.0.6 you already have these updates. These updates are recommended for everyone.

ACPI

  • The power manager in the daemon was enhanced to better handle multiple CPUs.
  • ACPICA was updated to the current version.

JFS

  • The boot loader has a fix that prevents an IPE if the boot volume has empty directories that are read before the IFS is loaded.

FAT32

  • Improved cache performance and stability.
  • Better conformity with standards when formatting media.
  • Improved messages for errors and utilities, including cache control.
  • Improved disk check handling for mismatched FATs.

Panorama

  • The Custom Resolution module was enhanced to better handle some types of Intel BIOS if patching is necessary.

For more information, please read the ReadMe for the specific package.

if you have problems with any of these drivers, please read the wiki first. If your problem cannot be resolved with the information in the wiki or the ReadMe, then the problem should be reported in the ticketing system.

If you have ArcaOS, these driver packages are available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of the Support & Maintenance subscription for your ArcaOS product. Please log into your account and see your ArcaOS order details page to access your software.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, these driver packages are available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

If you are still running OS/2 and/or eComStation systems and haven’t yet purchased a software subscription, this is a great reason to do so now. It may also be a good time to consider moving up to ArcaOS.

ArcaOS

ArcaOS 5.0.6 now available

Arca Noae is pleased to announce the general availability of ArcaOS 5.0.6, the sixth maintenance release of ArcaOS 5.0 (Blue Lion).

ArcaOS 5.0.6 includes refreshed content and fixes since 5.0.5 was released. If you have experienced difficulty installing previous releases of ArcaOS on your hardware, 5.0.6 may address your issue(s). If installing from USB stick, the image may be created using any major operating system at hand (Windows, Linux, MacOS, and of course, OS/2, eComStation, and ArcaOS). Once built, the USB stick can be inserted into any USB port in the target system to boot into the ArcaOS installer/updater.

For a complete list of updates in this release, see the ArcaOS wiki. Be sure to review the README.TXT, as well, as this contains critical information to ensure that you get up and running fast, and includes tips for getting things adjusted right away.

This update is included with your valid ArcaOS Support & Maintenance subscription at no additional charge. To download your fresh ISO, simply visit your customer portal page, select the Orders & Subscriptions link on the navigation panel to the left, then click on the order for your ArcaOS license. Once there, click the download link to request a fresh ISO, and wait for your notification email.

If your ArcaOS Support & Maintenance subscription has already expired, and you missed your window of opportunity to renew at regular rates, you may still renew at less than the cost of a new ArcaOS license.

USB driver package version 12.07 released

USBArca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of release 12.07 of our USB stack.

This release has improvements to device enumeration that will fix some problems with devices getting missed during boot. It also fixes another defect in EHCI isochronous handling and has some other cosmetic updates.

As usual, this release is update only. It will only update an existing installation. It will not install USB support and it will not break existing XHCI support if you have it. More information about the USB drivers can be found in the wiki.

If you have problems with any of the drivers in this release, please read the Troubleshooting Guide in the wiki first. If your problem cannot be resolved with the Troubleshooting Guide, then the problem should be reported in the ticketing system.

If you have ArcaOS, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of the Support & Maintenance subscription for your ArcaOS product. Please log into your account and see your ArcaOS order details page to access your software.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

If you are still running OS/2 and/or eComStation systems and haven’t yet purchased a software subscription, this is a great reason to do so now. It may also be a good time to consider moving up to ArcaOS.

Extended service outage due to Tropical Storm Isaias

All systems are back online as of 5:00am EDT, following a blackout which began at approximately 2:25pm EDT, yesterday.

Power, fiber optic broadband, and even wireless communications were impacted by yesterday’s passing of Isaias, rendering even the best of contingency plans inadequate. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

ArcaOS 5.0.5 updates for 2020-06-26

Dynamic IconsOne package included in ArcaOS 5.0.5 has been updated or refreshed today, and is now available as part of the Support & Maintenance subscription for your ArcaOS product. Please log into your account and see your ArcaOS order details page to access your software. Specifically, this is:

  • Network Adapters and Protocol Services (NAPS) 1.1.7 (refreshed)

The NAPS package shipped with ArcaOS 5.0.5 did not update the installed version properly. Fresh 5.0.5 installations did receive the correct binary, however. Minor updates to the online help have also been added in this packaging refresh. We recommend downloading and installing this package on all ArcaOS systems (new installs, updated systems, and those not-yet-updated) to set the package version correctly in the WarpIN database.

NAPS is a replacement for IBM’s MPTS utility to add, remove, and configure LAN adapters and networking protocols. NAPS is open source, licensed under GPLv3, with full source code available (see the NAPS wiki for more information).

Packages listed on the order details page as UPDATED are new or refreshed since the latest ArcaOS ISO release.

If you are still running OS/2 and/or eComStation systems and haven’t yet moved up to ArcaOS, this is a great reason to do so now. If you’ve already made the switch, but haven’t renewed your support subscription, this is also a good time. Not sure what’s coming next? Have a look at our product roadmap pages.