OS/2 2.0 on VMware Player

Well this has been driving me crazy for the longest time.  The ‘latest’ drivers for the AMD Pcnet card I can find for VMware is 4.08.  They load up on VMware like everything is normal but it doesn’t work.  But now I have my super awesome GNS3 test bed, so I can take a deeper look.

December 2000
NDIS2 driver for OS2 – Readme
Version 4.08

Changes made in this version 4.08:
The receive buffer size has been increased from 1518 to 1536.
Changes made in this version 4.07:
Slow network performance when using Interrupt Sharing has been fixed.
After heavy stress for a few hours, a drastic reduction in data transmission was observed. This problem has now been fixed.
The maximum number of Transmit Buffers that the driver can support has now been increased from 16 to 32.

I’m using OS/2 2.0 with the XR06100 fix, along with TCP/IP 2.0 with UN64092 fix and MPLS WR06000 (I never did find a fixpack for this).

I installed AMD’s MSLANMAN OS2 driver, as MPLS picks this up, and lets me use the nice UI to add in the network card.  But it never seemed to matter, as the blasted thing didn’t work.


MPLS all configured

Which is a pretty simple configuration.  It’s just a simple lan adapter with TCP/IP.  I’m not even going to try to do anything fancy, like trying to get the wildly incompatible NetWare client working



Now much to my surprise the machine does send gratuitous arp on the wire, to assert it’s ip address.  Well that is interesting.

Pinging the gateway

Pinging the gateway

And as you can see, there is no ARP reply. Very strange.

Broken Arp

Broken Arp

So messing around with every possible option, I tried changing “PermaNet Server feature” in the network card settings.


Set PermaNet Server feature to TRUE

And much to my surprise, it worked!




So yeah, this is pretty awesome!  Now I just have to decide what to do with my BBS, maybe bring it home, and run it on ESXi.

Talking to the SIMH Vax through GNS3

Talking to the SIMH Vax through GNS3

As a strange update, I upgraded from OS/2 2.0 to 2.11 and then applied XR_B108 update to OS/2 2.11, and amazingly the value psfeature in protocol.ini had to be set to false.  Obviously this later kernel in the XR06200 fixpack better supports PCI hooks.

I updated OS/2 because things like Qbasic were able to hang the system.  I even tried the MS-DOS version of Qbasic thinking that somehow it was trying some weird hook to the BIOS for ROMBASIC, but that wasn’t the case, as both Qbasic from MS-DOS 5.0 and 6.22 hung the system by hitting alt+f.  So with the upgrade in place it seems to be working fine now.

5 thoughts on “OS/2 2.0 on VMware Player

  1. Thank you so much for this!

    I got the AMD PCnet-Family driver running in OS/2 1.3 (VirtualBox) with this setting.


    Does someone know if IBM TCP-IP 1.3 works with ADSM 1.2 (Now IBM TIvoli Storage Manager)?

    Would be nice to save my OS/2 1.3 Installation to my TSM home setup.
    If someone knows where IBM TCP-IP 1.3 can be located.

    • Cool! Good to here are are at least 2 of us running ancient OS/2 ..!

      I think I’ve seen TCPIP 1.3 somewhere, but I had no interest as I didn’t know anything that would work with it, and by comparison OS/2 2.0 is so much more capable than 1.3 …

    • No major updates as of yet, however VMWare Player is still available, they just renamed it to VMWare Workstation Player. A horribly confusing name for sure, and they bumped it up to version 12 to match the workstation product version.

      But rest assured it’s there!

      I’ll give it a shot, I have PDS somewhere around here, so I assume it ought to run on OS/2 and the OS/2 subsystem of NT up to Windows 2000.. It doesn’t peek/poke so it ought to be fine.

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