Oracle VM VirtualBox


VirtualBox officially supports OS/2 guests, however, there is currently no ArcaOS-specific machine configuration available. The following directions apply to VirtualBox 6 on a Windows 7 host, though Linux and Mac OSX hosts configure similarly, as does VirtualBox 5 on these platforms.

VM configuration

The following assumes the use of the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager GUI.

  1. Create a new VM. Select IBM OS/2 as Machine Type, and Other OS/2 as the Version. SetMemory size to 1024MB (minimum recommended: 512MB).
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  2. Configure a virtual hard disk of 2GB (dynamically allocated is fine), and of either VDI, VHD, or VMDK. (Additional virtual disks may always be added later.)

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  1. Once the VM has been added to the list in the VirtualBox GUI, select Settings, and then System. On the Acceleration tab, ensure that VT-x/AMD-V is enabled (checked). This should be the default setting for an OS/2 machine type. Leave all other System settings at their defaults.
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  2. Select Display, and set the video memory as desired. Usually, the 6MB default is sufficient. Do not enable 2D or 3D acceleration, as these will likely provide no performance improvement.
  3. Select Storage, and make note of the storage attachments to the IDE controller, as these will need to be reattached to the SATA controller.
      1. Right-click the IDE controller and from its context menu, select Remove Controller (or press <Del>).
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      2. Right-click in the Storage Devices list to access its context menu (or click the Add Controller button below the list) and select Add SATA Controller.
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      3. Click the Add hard disk attachment button to the right of the SATA controller in the list, and select the option to Choose existing disk.
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      4. From the list of available drives, select the virtual disk which was previously attached to the now deleted IDE controller. This will still show as Attached (to a controller) because no changes have been saved as yet.
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      5. Back at the Storage Devices list, click the Add optical drive attachment button to the right of the SATA controller, and select the option to Choose disk.
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      6. Click the Add button above the list of available drives, and browse to the ArcaOS installation ISO. Select the newly added ISO and click Choose.
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  4. Select Audio, and change the Audio Controller to Intel HD Audio. Ensure Enable Audio is checked at the top of that page and that Enable Audio Output is checked below the adapter settings.
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  5. Select Network, and on the Adapter 1 tab, ensure that Enable Network Adapter is checked and click Advanced. Change the Adapter Type to one of the available Intel PRO/1000 variants listed (e.g., Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop). Set the attachment (Attached to) as desired (see the VirtualBox documentation for more information regarding attachment types). Generally, NAT or Bridged Adapter are sufficient.
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  6. Select USB, and then enable the USB controller. If the VirtualBox Extension Pack has been installed, you may select the USB 2.0 (EHCI) controller option. Add USB device filters as desired (see VirtualBox documentation for how to utilize USB device filters). A good starting point is to just add an empty filter (upper USB device filter button), which will match any connected device.
  7. Click OK to return to the VirtualBox Manager. It is now time to start the VM and install ArcaOS. (Reminder: No guest additions are available during the installation process. This means that in order to release the guest control of the mouse and keyboard, it is necessary to press the Host key, usually <Right-Ctrl>.)

ArcaOS Installation

  1. At the DVD boot menu, select the option to boot with menu for own values. In the preboot menu, make the following changes (note that the mouse is not available in the preboot menu; the images here use the host mouse pointer for illustration purposes, only):
    1. On the System Type page, ensure that Modern Hardware (ACPI compatible) is selected and that the option is set to enable ACPI support. Note also that GENGRADD and SMOUSE should be selected for video and mouse drivers, respectively.
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    2. On the Devices page, change the first storage controller to AHCI SATA (OS2AHCI). Confirm the USB host controller configuration based upon what was selected for the VM, earlier.
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    3. On the Network page, ensure that the Intel(R) PRO/1000 Legacy Network Driver (MultiMac-MMLEM) adapter has been selected. This should be auto-detected based upon what was selected for the VM, earlier.
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    4. On the Boot Options page, set the Country, Keyboard, and Codepages as desired. Leave other settings at their defaults, and press F10 to confirm changes and boot into the Installer.
  2. Once the Installer starts, proceed to the Installation type page and select either a Predefined personality or a Custom installation. Here, we’ve selected the latter. Click Next to continue to the Target volume(s) page.
    Installation type
  3. At the Target volume(s) page, the Disk Utility will run, and determine that there is no partition table on the disk. Click Fix Problems, and follow the prompts to reboot the VM. Use Ctrl-Alt-Ins to reboot when prompted. Restart the installation exactly as before (including the settings in the preboot menu), and return to this page.Fix Problems
  4. Note the empty System Volume dropdown. Click Manage Volumes… to start the Installation Volume Manager to create a bootable volume.Create volume
  5. For the purposes of this example, we will create a single bootable volume, assign drive letter C:, name it, and use all the available space in a primary partition. When done, close the Installation Volume Manager and save your changes.Volume type Volume letter and name Volume size and partition Volume ready
  6. Leave all ancillary volumes set to Use system volume, and click Next to set the locale and timezone on the Location page. Note that because VMware ESXi currently lacks VMware Tools for OS/2, it may not be possible for the VM clock to be set by the host. Check Enable internet time synchronization here and configure for a local or internet time source after the installation completes. Click Next to proceed to the Software selection and Hardware pages.Locale
  7. At the Hardware page, ensure that no extraneous hardware has been selected (e.g., SCSI or audio adapter). Click Next to proceed to the Confirmation page to review your settings. Click Next to begin the installation.

Leave the Reboot automatically checkbox set, and allow the installer to complete Phase 1, count down, and reboot into Phase 2. Allow Phase 2 to boot from the newly-formatted hard disk, and continue copying files. Again, leave the Reboot automatically checkbox set, and allow Phase 2 to complete and reboot into Phase 3.

Phase 3 presents the finished ArcaOS desktop. Once the process completes, configure the video resolution and/or color depth from the Screen object in the System Setup folder. Note that the ArcaOS VM must be rebooted in order to apply the new resolution and/or color depth.

Your ArcaOS installation is now complete.

This entry last updated: by Lewis Rosenthal