(This is a guest post by Tenox)
This is follow up to a previously posted challenge to virtualize VenturComm Venix/86 so that it can be run on a modern machine under an emulator. The competition was a huge success and the rest of this post is an entry by the winner – Jim Carpenter. Enjoy!
Install MAME/MESS 0.164 and get the “at386” machine running. Standard issue ROMs.
Create a new hard drive image with “chdman createhd -chs 615,4,17 -c none -o hd.chd“. This is only 20MB. You can certainly use larger drives but make them a standard type, something that is a defined drive type in the BIOS. I’d stay away from user defined types.
Start the emulator, configure the first floppy drive to be DD and the second to be HD. Restart so it takes effect. Attach XFER.IMG to the first floppy and your hard drive image to the hard drive. Restart again. (Venix uses the BIOS for *everything*. So if you attach without rebooting, chances are the BIOS missed your hard drive which means Venix won’t see it either.)
We wish to prepare the winchester hard disk:
We’ll let it come up the partition sizes:Now let it create the file system for /usr:
It now wants to restore something we don’t have. Let it try and then abort it (press ‘a’):
And now the file system for root:
Again, let it try to restore and error out. When it halts, reboot back into XFER:
Now for the fun part:
We want to get our partitions mounted and ready for a restore. Type:
mount /dev/w0.sys /usr
mount /dev/w0.usr /usr/usr
If your emulator can’t handle DD media in HD drives, type “tar xvf1 /dev/rf0“. When told to change floppies, attach fa_devs.img to the first floppy drive. Change back to XFER.img when told to.:
You’ll now have /usr/dev/rh1 which gives you access to your HD second floppy drive:
Time to restore the backup floppies. Type either “tar xvf9 /dev/rh0” if you’re able to do DD/HD with only one drive, or type “tar xvf9 dev/rh1” if you have to use my hack above. (Mind your slashes when typing the device paths!) Attach BACKUP1.IMG when asked for USER 1:
And then attach BACKUP2.IMG, etc. (Ignore those spurious unknown interrupts.):
Eventually all disks will be restored. When it asks for the XFER disk, put it back it and hit enter. (Two drive setups can just hit enter.)
You’re done restoring. Sync the disks and reboot:
Detach all floppies and it should boot off the hard drive:
That error at the bottom is just because it’s configured for a second hard drive that isn’t attached.
For those who want a ready mage disk image here
Original floppy disks provided by Frode van der Meeren here
For those hard core hackers and archaeologists, check out /usr/jr directory.