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HEXABOOT (Announce) (Announce)

posted by Torsten(R), 29.07.2017, 04:01


I've discussed it quite often, and it is finally out. HEXABOOT can be found at 21 MB. It's readme file is in!!! (see below).


________________ HEXABOOT.!!! 5194 bytes 2017/07/01 12:01 ________________
HEXABOOT Image File for QEMU, VirtualBox and other emulators

HEXABOOT.dd 41.803.376 bytes 2017/07/01 contains customized installations of
Caldera DR-DOS 7.03, Enhanced DR-DOS 7.01.08 WIP, FreeDOS Build 2042 2016/05/16
with FreeCom 2014/07/19, MS-DOS 7.1 Version 7.10.2400, IBM OS/2 4.5 text mode
with DOS emulation, and IBM PC DOS 7.1 Build 1.19.Y2K 2002/07/15.

Japheth's HX DOS extender 2.17 is enabled for any DOS version, or can be loaded
manually from within virtual machine boot sessions in OS/2 (VMBs, two images
provided). FAR Manager 1.70, File Commander/W 2.20, Midnight Commander 4.1.36,
the Lynx 2.8.6rel.1 browser, NcFTP 2.3.0 and several utilities which rely on
HX' Win32 emulation are included, as well as a HX-enabled version of NDOS,
Paragon's DOS IFS driver. Links 2.13 for DOS has it's build-in DOS extender,
but uses the same TCP/IP configuration file as HX's stack (WATTCP.CFG). As the
RAM disk reserves 60 MB of memory, sufficient total memory should be provided.

In addition to packet driver-based TCP/IP, network connnections can be
established via NetBIOS. A driver for Intel PRO/1000 (i8254x chip-based)
network interface cards is configured for both protocols. The hostname is
"Quadra" (matched HEXABOOT's predecessor QUADBOOT), IP

When the CPU is already in protected mode, i.e. in secondary shells under
FAR, FC/W, with DR-DOS' EMM386 or in OS/2 VMBs, HX usually requires unstripped
binaries. The included UnZip 5.20 or other packers, NcFTP and an unstripped
build of Japheth's httpdASM 0.92 meet this requirement. E.g., the complete
UnZip.exe allows to open Zip archives in a File Commander/W panel, which is
impossible with it's stripped counterparts.

Numerous native DOS applications are present as well, e.g. diagnostic programs,
Herwig Feichtinger's DOS memory defragmenter, Andrew Schulman's file handles
tool, a LFN-enabled build of 4DOS 7.50, editors, disk imagers, packers and more
recent developments, such as UPTIME 2.40 and Enhanced DOSKEY 2.7. Available
documentation and source code can be found in !*.ZIP files at the topmost
position in each directory. Annotations and some messages are in german.

The HEXABOOT image has been tested with QEMU (v1.1.0, 1.2.0, 2.0.0 & 2.7.0),
VirtualBox (v4.0.4 & 5.0.2) and Bochs 2.4.6. It may run in other environments
(Virtual PC, VMware) as well. For Bochs, basic compatibility was checked, i.e.
the image has been adjusted to meet Bochs' requirements. Most DOS applications
work fine in both QEMU and VirtualBox, including Win32 apps under DOS/HX, or
multitasking DR-DOS 7.03. In VirtualBox, the UMB area E000-EFFFh is used by
Intel PRO/1000's PXE Boot ROM, which cannot be disabled (it is hard-coded in
/usr/lib/virtualbox/ Total upper memory available to UMBPCI 3.87
is thus limited. This is the more annoying as the E1000.DOS v3.62 driver uses
as much as 43536 bytes of DOS memory, younger versions even more.

Network connections can be established in VirtualBox ("Bridged adapter"
networking mode) by issuing "[LH] NET START". This loads the protocol manager,
the Intel PRO/1000 driver and attaches Dan Lanciani's packet driver converter
DIS_PKT to it (a generic packet driver, E1000PKT 0.5 is included, but it
failed to load in VirtualBox). The utility "WSTEST <hostname>" shows whether
other hosts can be accessed. Running HTTPD from whithin DOS presents a sample
page to the world outside. Under QEMU, networking didn't work, probably due
to configuration issues.

While any DOS version works in both QEMU and VirtualBox, the latter depends
on hardware virtualization (AMD-V, Intel VT-x) to run the OS/2 kernel. QEMU
permits to run OS/2 on every CPU supported by the host, but several drivers
(OS2CDROM, NETBEUI, and E1000.OS2) fail to load, the respective services are
thus not available. This text mode installation uses the BOS2SHL task manager.
Additional sessions can be started from the menu, the Alt-Esc hotkey switches
among sessions. On Windows host systems, QEMU cannot reserve this hotkey to
the guest, so pressing Alt-Esc always switches among host sessions. On Linux
hosts, after pressing Ctrl-Alt ("mouse grab"), Alt-Esc is available in OS/2.

This collection contains copyrighted software. It's pieces were obtained from
their vendor's sites (IBM, Microsoft, Caldera, Symantec or other web servers).
The idea was to show how historical software works with recent developments,
and what can (still) be done in DOS today. I.e., HEXABOOT is provided for
demonstration or educational purposes only. It must not be used in any
production environment, without consent from the respective copyright holders.
The HEXABOOT maintainer provides it on an "as is" basis without warranties of
any kind, either express or implied, including warranties of fitness for a
particular purpose. You hereby acknowledge that you use it at your sole risk.

HEXABOOT is dedicated to Japheth, who was surprised to learn that Info-ZIP
group's Zip compressor worked twice as fast as a Win32 (PE) executable in a
OS/2 DOS/HX session, compared to it's native OS/2 32-bit (LX) counterpart.
The very first image file had a wrong geometry, Japheth could not start it.

__________________ End of HEXABOOT.!!! readme 2017/07/01 _________________


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