At first I tried version 2.0 and it just reboots once it is going to start the installer, (I haven’t tried a pre-installed disk image yet) but for the heck of it I shoved in an OS/2 1.1 boot diskette, and it came up! So all excited I tried 1.21 and it worked as well! The caveat is that OS/2 cannot partition or format the disk. I didn’t try giving it a HPFS volume, but rather setup for a DualBoot with MS-DOS, and that worked fine.
Some of the cool things about PCem is that it runs REAL firmware, so you get the real XT/286/386/486 experience. Also it is cycle accurate so things are SLOW like they were back in the day. I’ve noticed that disk IO is really slow. Again just like it was back then. Things like DOOM take forever to load on a 386. Just like the real thing!
If you have the ROMs the CGA/EGA & SVGA emulation is pretty good. Again this is largely from running the actual firmware.
Work has slowed on PCem, but there is a source repo here. I haven’t tried to build it yet.
The only thing I’d say is missing is some kind of ethernet adapter. It would be cool to get this onto the internet. But at the same time I’ve got to say this is pretty cool, especially if you want to enjoy the PC experience from 20 years ago, this is the way to go! Although after a few minutes of running a 286 at 6Mhz, you’ll want to push for the fastest 486 it can emulate!