Word & Excel for MIPS

Years ago when I’d bought Office 4.2 for Windows NT, it only included i386 & Alpha builds of Word and Excel in the box, and a coupon for MIPS and PowerPC.

About the only thing interesting is that it actually ran under Win32s.

But today looking at term24‘s uploads on archive.org, I saw two CD-ROM images:

I quickly fired up Qemu MIPS NT, and confirmed that both do in fact contain a MIPS version! Excel does have the PowerPC version as well.

As far as I know the only RISC platform to get apps from Office 97 was the Dec Alpha, but at least MIPS users can rejoice now, knowing that they too have been blessed with 32bit Office 4.2 apps!

One of the amazing things about NT & portable apps is that visually, they look identical. So other than me telling you that these are the MIPS native versions, there really is no way to tell.

Well, other than there is no ntvdm running. There is no WOW needed here!

100% native.

I guess the only other question is that since the Word is 1994, and Excel is from 1995, did they have earlier versions for Windows NT? It seems like everything was finally coming together for RISC NT, except the users. Would a release of 64bit Windows 2000 on Dec Alpha save the platform by bringing a strong 64bit platform with integrated JIT i386 WoW built in? (AXP64 Windows 2000 didn’t use !FX32). I guess we’ll never know.

Adding multiple PCnet NIC’s to a Windows NT 4.0 Terminal server under Qemu

So this is probably nothing that exciting for most people, but for me, I wanted to have a Terminal Server onto a DECnet network. Sure I could have probably just done one nice with tun/tap, dumped all the protocols on there, and called it even. But for some reason I wanted 2 NICs to keep the IP on one side, and DECnet on the other.

One thing I wanted was an internal bridge for DECnet only traffic, and since I just need MSRDP access, SLiRP can handle a single TCP port redirect.

The flags are as always pretty simple once you work them out:

qemu -vga std -cpu pentium -m 384 -vnc :0 -net none \
-hda nt4tse.vmdk \
-device pcnet,netdev=slback \
-device pcnet,netdev=decback \
-netdev tap,ifname=tap1,id=decback,script=/root/nt4tse-up,downscript=/root/nt4tse-down \
-netdev user,id=slback,hostfwd=tcp::3389- \
-cdrom Windows\ NT\ 4\ All-In-One\ (Workstation\,\ Server\,\ Terminal\,\ Enterprise).iso

And the two network scripts starting with nt4tse-up:

echo starting $1
ip tuntap add mode tap tap1
ifconfig tap1 up
ifconfig tap1
brctl addif decnet0 tap1
brctl show decnet0
echo done with tuntap

And the nt4tse-down:

echo shutting down $1
ifconfig tap1 down
brctl delif decnet0 tap1
brctl show decnet0
ip tuntap del mode tap tap1
echo done shutting down $1

for completeness here is the bridge config in /etc/netplan/50-cloud-init.yaml

            - SOMETHING/24
            gateway4: SOMETHING
                macaddress: 00:f4:c1:56:40:7e
        dhcp4: no
        addresses: []
        dhcp4: no
    version: 2

This way I have an IP bound bridge for things that talk IP, and a raw bridge, decnet0 that has my non IP decnet stuff on there. Naturally it’ll have my SIMH VAX on there:

# brctl show decnet0
bridge name     bridge id               STP enabled     interfaces
decnet0         8000.aede9f227e7b       no              tap0

Also the ability to mount directories as fake fat drives had it’s syntax change as well

 -drive file=fat:rw:win95cd

into something like this:

-drive file=fat:rw:dos,id=fat32,format=raw,if=none -device ide-hd,drive=fat32

Not as fun as Win64 Itanium, the earliest AMD64 Windows I can find

It does feel a lot like Windows XP for the Itanium, that strange half world of existence. It’s also from September 2003, the release image being named: 5.2.3790.1069.srv03_spbeta.030905-1850_amd64fre_client-professional_retail_en-us-AB1PXFRE_EN.iso

I’m sure if you google around you can easily find it.

To install you apparently need an early AMD 64 processor, otherwise it’ll trap on the installer. Back in 2004, I got a newly refurbished AMD Athlon 64 3200+ processor, from Tiger Direct. The machine was only a few months old, and I was able to get an early XP build for it. Oddly enough it’s simple enough to install on Qemu. I was able to use 0.90 & 7.20, jumping at extremes, although the PCI NIC IRQ’s do jump around on 0.90 preventing the networking from working.

I had a LOT of trouble getting a bootable hard disk image out of this for some reason. So I’ve found keeping C around 2,000 Megabytes, and installing MS-DOS 5/6 got me a bootable system. Also preserving the FAT disk. Not sure why but doing formats of FAT or NTFS always seemed to result in a non bootable disk

qemu-system-x86_64w.exe -cpu Opteron_G1-v1 -hda 2g.vmdk -m 512 -M pc-i440fx-2.0 -net nic,model=rtl8139,netdev=f00 -netdev user,id=f00,hostfwd=tcp::5555-:3389 -usb -usbdevice tablet  -accel tcg,thread=multi

Special thanks to RoyTam for the suggestion of the USB tablet & turning TCG multithreaded for v7+ of Qemu

Setting up is pretty normal.

You do get 360 days to use the beta. More than enough for simple testing. I’ve seen that the timebomb doesn’t work correctly so it may work forever. But it’s so rough around the edges, I can’t see anyone trying to run this native in 2023.

Notice it’s all AMD branding. Intel officially didn’t have their EMT64 Pentium 4’s, although IBM was pushing Intel hard to get them out the door. And I think they held off on a larger x86_64 launch as Intel had not publicly caved.

And in no time you are up and running. I find the mouse really weird on Qemu, so I always enable the remote desktop function and find it much easier to deal with.

One of the advantages of RDP is that audio redirection does work, so you can play pinball!

One annoying thing (to me) is that the SysFader process will hang all the time locking explorer.exe . Along with that it’ll leave phantom UI elements haning around like the Run… above. Yes, its annoying!

The solution is of course System Properties, and Performance, and either disable the Fade elements, or just turn off all the ‘eye candy’ which basically doesn’t really exist for this release anyways.

While there is some DirectX support, it is most likely just simple GDI passthrough, and of course no acceleration as the OpenGL screensavers run incredibly slow.

And thanks to betawiki.net for some hints & tips. I haven’t tried the VMware path, since AFAIK there is no other NIC drivers for this release.

As mentioned, hardware support is VERY limited. The single audio driver is a MPU401 port. This obviously was meant for an exceptionally limited audience.

The one thing I cannot find, is any version of a Platform SDK that targets AMD64 so early. The earliest I can find is version 14 from 2005.

The 2005 compiler does have this note:

The Microsoft® C/C++ AMD64 Processor Family-targeting compiler is a cross-compiler targeting the AMD64 processor family. The compiler runs on an x86 or AMD64 computer running Microsoft Windows® XP or Microsoft Windows® Server 2003. It is the compiler used for Microsoft® internal development and is used for building Microsoft Windows NT®, Microsoft SQL Server®, and other major applications. For debugging we suggest the use of WinDbg for AMD64. Visual Studio Whidbey will support the use of the Visual Studio debugger for debugging AMD64 applications.

2005-06 – 2944.0 – Platform SDK for Windows Server 2003 SP1 (April 2005 Edition)

With the compiler being:

Microsoft (R) C/C++ Optimizing Compiler Version 14.00.40310.41 for AMD64
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

If anyone knows of anything earlier, I’d love to know! If only for the sake of messing around with it.

Networking on AIX 4.3

Well oslevel says, but you get the idea.

You’ll need to have the ethernet driver handy, or better loaded. Since I had disabled the NIC on install it’s not loaded. And since I’m still using a cellphone for internet I extracted the file somewhere else and copied in some patches. I’ve managed to reproduce this twice now, so I guess it’s good to go. Apparently, this just works in later versions, but this is very touchy.

To start how I’m running qemu:

./qemu-build/ppc-softmmu/qemu-system-ppc -M 40p -bios q40pofw-serial.rom -serial telnet::4441,server -hda disk0.vmdk-post-install -vga none -nographic -net none -device pcnet,netdev=ne -netdev user,id=ne,hostfwd=tcp::42323-:23 -cdrom /mnt/c/temp/pcnet-aix.iso

With aix booted, extract the tar file from the cdrom:

mount /cdrom
mkdir /pcnet
cd pcnet
tar -xvf /cdrom/pci.tar

Fix your terminal up… if needed (it probably is)

export TERM=vt100
stty erase ^?
export LIBPATH=$LIBPATH:/usr/lib
export PATH=/usr/local/bin:$PATH

Now run smitty -> devices -> after ipl

Change the directory to /pcnet , and let it run It will give errors but thats okay. All being well it won’t crash AIX, otherwise you’ll want to restore your hardisk. You did make a backup beforehand right?!

I don’t think it matters but I run this afterwards:

odmchange -o CuAt -q "name=ent0 and attribute=busio" /cdrom/lance_ch.asc
odmget -q "name=ent0 and attribute=busio" CuAt
shutdown -h now
halting does take forever

As tempting as it is to kill the emulator, wait for it to complete. Otherwise you may have to do the whole thing agian.

For me the value attribute was never preserved, so we get to do it again on reboot/restart:

odmget -q "name=ent0 and attribute=busio" CuAt
mount /cdrom
odmchange -o CuAt -q "name=ent0 and attribute=busio" /cdrom/lance_ch.asc
rmdev -l ent0
mkdev -l ent0
ifconfig en0
ping -c 1

If everything went well this time you should get a ping reply! Great! Now to configure the system for real.

smitty -> communication -> tcpip -> minimum -> en0

simple slirp

As always I configure my system for slirp. We’re almost there! Now to pad the DNS records for slirp:

cat >> /etc/hosts slirp slirpdns

And now you can reboot!

If everything goes well, you will have a patched up pcnet driver that works (well mine does)

It works!

The big test is to of course reboot. Then you’ll know for sure.

I have tried this a few times, and yeah it can crash when adding the drivers, so I had to restore a few times. I would say 1/3 times worked flawlessly. So be patient. And backup!

Revisiting AIX 4.3 on Qemu

I had gone over the install a while ago, but I wanted to re-install on a newer machine. And going from GCC 7 to 11, well a number of things changed. And I found with experience that letting Qemu select as much as it wants leads to numerous dependencies that end up being problematic.

jsteve@piorun:~/atar-boot/qemu/ppc-softmmu$ objdump -p qemu-system-ppc | grep NEEDED
NEEDED libvdeplug.so.2
NEEDED libncursesw.so.6
NEEDED libtinfo.so.6
NEEDED libz.so.1
NEEDED libxml2.so.2
NEEDED libpixman-1.so.0
NEEDED libutil.so.1
NEEDED libnuma.so.1
NEEDED libnettle.so.6
NEEDED libgnutls.so.30
NEEDED libfdt.so.1
NEEDED libgthread-2.0.so.0
NEEDED libglib-2.0.so.0
NEEDED librt.so.1
NEEDED libstdc++.so.6
NEEDED libm.so.6
NEEDED libgcc_s.so.1
NEEDED libpthread.so.0
NEEDED libc.so.6

So using the same atar qemu git dump, I found the newer config string a bit more refined:

./configure --target-list=ppc-softmmu --disable-sdl --disable-vnc --disable-gtk --disable-gnutls --disable-nettle --disable-gcrypt --disable-spice --disable-numa --disable-libxml2 --disable-vde --disable-werror --disable-seccomp --disable-capstone --disable-vhost-net --disable-vhost-crypto --disable-vhost-scsi --disable-vhost-vsock --disable-vhost-user --disable-tpm --disable-live-block-migration

Another fun think is that there is submodules from other servers, and it seems their certs have expired.. Which also means it’s inevitable at some point this will become impossible to build. Be sure to set this environment variable in order to build:

export GIT_SSL_NO_VERIFY=true

As always Qemu will try to sneak a few things in there that we don’t need like audio support. As an example here is what I trimmed from config-host.mak:

$ diff -ruN config-host.mak config-host.mak-cutdown
--- config-host.mak 2022-11-08 09:37:41.104441392 +0000
+++ config-host.mak-cutdown 2022-11-08 09:37:25.084441253 +0000
@@ -27,8 +27,8 @@
@@ -72,7 +72,6 @@
@@ -164,7 +163,7 @@
LIBS_QGA+=-lm -lgthread-2.0 -pthread -lglib-2.0
POD2MAN=pod2man --utf8

And this cuts down the needed dll’s to:

jsteve@piorun:~/atar-boot/qemu/ppc-softmmu$ objdump -p qemu-system-ppc | grep NEED
NEEDED libncursesw.so.6
NEEDED libtinfo.so.6
NEEDED libz.so.1
NEEDED libpixman-1.so.0
NEEDED libfdt.so.1
NEEDED libglib-2.0.so.0
NEEDED libm.so.6
NEEDED libgcc_s.so.1
NEEDED libc.so.6

which is a bit better. I’m still annoyed at it’s reliance on pixman despite not having any framebuffer support, I’m guessing I could amputate it if I looked further.

AIX 4.3 booted!

Since nothing has fundamentally changed, I can still use my original bootflags:

./qemu-system-ppc -M 40p -bios q40pofw-serial.rom -serial telnet::4441,server -hda disk0.vmdk-post-install -vga none -nographic -net none -cdrom /mnt/c/temp/xlc13-gzip.iso

And for the heck of it, this is the steps I used to get xlC 1.3 up and running:

restore -f /tmp/xlc/xlccmp2
restore -f /tmp/xlc/xlccmpmE2
chmod +x /usr/bin/xlc
chmod +x /usr/lpp/xlc/bin/xlcentry
chmod +x /usr/lpp/xlc/bin/dis
cp /usr/lpp/xlccmp/inst_root/etc/xlc.cfg /etc
cp /tmp/xlc/cpp /usr/lib/cpp
chmod +x /usr/lib/cpp

and with that all in place we can compile a simple hello world!

# cat mt.c
#include <stdio.h>
void main(){
printf("hi from C\n");
# xlc -v mt.c -o mt
exec: /usr/lpp/xlc/bin/xlcentry(xlcentry,mt.c,mt.o,mt.lst,-D_ANSI_C_SOURCE,-D_IBMR2,-D_AIX,-D_AIX32,-qansialias,NULL)
exec: /bin/ld(ld,-H512,-T512,-bhalt:4,-o,mt,/lib/crt0.o,mt.o,-lc,NULL)
unlink: mt.o
# ./mt
hi from C

xlC is also capable of building a running GNU Chess. And I updated the git so that book building works. Not that I expect anyone to care.

Compiling book, please wait…
186 games added, 3384 positions added, 3383 total positions in book

It has the same desire to move pieces back and forth for thousands of moves, but it’s doing a heck of a lot more than any modern C compiler.

Since we don’t have any networking, Everything is on the console. I’ve found making CD-ROM images being a much easier way to get data in, and I’m still using uuencode to get data out from the console. I guess I should setup Z-modem at some point but that’s very futuristic. Or just break down and learn how to use C-kermit.

My go to quality of life startup is:

export TERM=vt100
stty erase ^?
export LIBPATH=$LIBPATH:/usr/lib
export PATH=/usr/local/bin:$PATH

Sure not perfect but it makes it slightly more usable. As a follow on, I got networking working here: Networking on AIXI 4.3

Re-visiting an install of 386BSD 0.0

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood,
            and I ---
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
       "The Road Not Taken" [1916] -- Robert Frost

I didn’t want to make my last post exclusively focusing on 386BSD 0.0, but I thought the least I could do to honor Bill’s passing was to re-install 0.0 in 2022. As I mentioned his liberating Net/2 and giving it away for free for lowly 386/486 based users ushered in a massive shift in computer software where so called minicomputer software was now available for micro computer users. Granted 32bit micro computers, even in 1992 were very expensive, but they were not out of the reach of mere mortals. No longer did you have to share a VAX, you could run Emacs all by yourself! As with every great leap, the 0.0 is a bit rough around the edges, but with a bit of work it can be brought up to a running state, even in 2022.

But talking with my muse about legacies, and the impact of this release I thought I should at least go thru the motions, and re-do an installation, a documented one at that!

Stealing fire from the gods:

Although I had done this years ago, I was insanely light on details. From what I remember I did this on VMware, and I think it was fusion on OS X, then switching over to Bochs. To be fair it was over 11 years ago.

Anyways I’m going to use the VMware player (because I’m cheap), and just create a simple VM for MS-DOS that has 16MB of RAM, and a 100MB disk. Also because of weird issues I added 2 floppy drives, and a serial & parallel port opened up to named pipe servers so I can move data in & out during the install. This was really needed as the installation guide is ON the floppy, and not provided externally.

VMware disk geometry

One of the things about 386BSD 0.0 is that it’s more VAX than PC OS, so it doesn’t use partition tables. This also means geometry matters. So hitting F2 when the VM tries to boot, I found that VMware has given me the interesting geometry of 207 cylinders, 16 heads, and a density of 63 sectors/track. If you multiply 207*16*63 you get 208656 usable sectors, which will be important. Multiply that by 512 for bytes per sector you get a capacity of 106,831,872. Isn’t formatting disks like it’s the 1970s fun? Obviously if you attempt to follow along, obviously yours could be different.

Booting off install diskette

Throwing the install disk in the VM will boot it up to the prompt very quickly. So that’s nice. The bootloader is either not interactive at all, or modern machines are so fast, any timeout mechanism just doesn’t work.

As we are unceremonially dumped to a root prompt, it’s time to start the install! From the guide we first remount the floppy drive as read-write with the following:

mount -u /dev/fd0a /

Now for the fun part, we need to create an entry in the /etc/disktab to describe our disk, so we can label it. You can either type all this in, use the serial port, or just edit the Conner 3100 disk and turn it into this:

vmware100|VMWare Virtual 100MB IDE:\
:dt=ST506:ty=winchester:se#512:nt#16:ns#63:nc#207:sf: \
:pa#12144:oa#0:ta=4.2BSD:ba#4096:fa#512: \
:pb#12144:ob#12144:tb=swap: \
:pc#208656:oc#0: \

As you can see the big changes are the ‘dt’ or disk type line nt,ns and nc, which describe heads, density and cylinders. And how 16,63,207 came from the disk geometry from above. The ‘pa’,’pb’… entries describe partitions, and since they are at the start of the disk, nothing changes there since partitions are described in sectors. Partition C refrences the entire disk, so it’s set to the calculated 208656 sectors. Partition A+B is 24288, so 208,656-24,288 is 184,368 which then gives us the size of partition H. I can’t imagine what a stumbling block this would have been in 1992, as you really have to know your disks geometry. And of course you cannot share your disk with anything else, just like the VAX BSD installs.

With the disklabel defined, it’s now time to write it to the disk:

disklabel -r -w wd0 vmware100

And as suggested you should read it back to make sure it’s correct:

disklabel -r wd0
wd0 labeled as a custom VMware 100

Now we can format the partitions, and get ready to transfer the floppy disk to the hard disk. Basically it boils down to this:

newfs wd0a
newfs wd0h
bad144 wd0 -f
mount /dev/wd0a /mnt
mkdir /mnt/usr
mount /dev/wd0h /mnt/usr
(cd /;tar -cf - .)|(cd /mnt;tar -xvf -)
umount /mnt/usr
umount /mnt
fsck -y /dev/rwd0a
fsck -y /dev/rwd0h

Oddly enough the restore set also has files for the root, *however* it’s not complete, so you need to make sure to get files from the floppy, and again from the restore set.

One of the annoying things about this install is that VMware crashes trying to boot from the hard disk, so this is why we added 2 floppy drives to the install so we can transfer the install to the disk. Also it appears that there is some bug, or some other weird thing as the restore program wants to put everything into the ‘bin’ directory just adding all kinds of confusion, along with it not picking up end of volume correctly. So we have to do some creative work arounds.

So we mount the ‘h’ partition next as it’s the largest one and will have enough scratch space for our use:

mkdir /mnt/bin
mount /dev/wd0a /mnt/bin
mount /dev/wd0h /mnt/bin/usr
cd /mnt/bin/usr

Now is when we insert the 1st binary disk into the second floppy drive, and we are going to dump into a file called binset:

cat /dev/fd1 > binset

Once it’s done, you can insert the second disk, and now we are going to append the second disk to binset:

cat /dev/fd1 >> binset

You need to do this with disks 2-6.

I ran the ‘sync’ command a few times to make sure that binset is fully written out to the hard disk. Now we are going to use the temperamental ‘mr’ program to extract the binary install:

cd /mnt
mr 1440 /mnt/bin/usr/binset | tar -zxvf -

This will only take a few seconds, but I’d imagine even on a 486 with an IDE disk back then, this would take forever.

The system is now extracted! I just ran the following ‘house cleaning’ to make sure everything is fine:

cd /
umount /mnt/bin/usr
umount /mnt/bin
fsck -y /dev/rwd0a
fsck -y /dev/rwd0h

And there we go!

Now for actually booting up and using this, as I mentioned above, VMware will crash attempting to boot 386BSD. Maybe it’s the bootloader? Maybe it’s BIOS? I don’t know. However old versions of Qemu (I tested 0.9 & 0.10.5) will work.

With the system booted you should run the following to mount up all the disks:

fsck -p
mount -a

I just put this in a file called /start so I don’t have to type all that much over and over and over:

Booting from Hard Disk, under Qemu

On first boot there seems to be a lot of missing and broken stuff. The ‘which’ command doesn’t work, and I noticed all the accounting stuff is missing as well:

mkdir /var/run
mkdir /var/log
touch /var/run/utmp
touch /var/log/wtmp

Will at least get that back in action.

The source code is extracted in a similar fashion, it expects everything to be under a ‘src’ directory, so pretty much the same thing as the binary extract, just change ‘bin’ to ‘src’, and it’s pretty much done.

End thoughts

I think this wraps up the goal of getting this installed and booting. I didn’t want to update or change as little as possible to have that authentic 1992 experience, limitations and all. It’s not a perfect BSD distribution, but this had the impact of being not only free, but being available to the common person, no SPARC/MIPS workstations, or other obscure or specialized 68000 based machine, just the massively copied and commodity AT386. For a while when Linux was considered immature, BSD’s led the networking charge, and I don’t doubt that many got to that position because of that initial push made by Bill & Lynne with 386BSD.

Compressed with 7zip, along with my altered boot floppy with my VMware disk entry it’s 8.5MB compressed. Talk about tiny! For anyone interested here is my boot floppy and vmdk, which I run on early Qemu.

And there we go!

Revisiting Windows NT 4.0 MIPS on QEMU

(This is a guest post by Antoni Sawicki aka Tenox)

This was previously well covered by Gunkies and Neozeed, however as almost a decade passed, some improvements could be made and annoyances fixed.

Firstly NT MIPS now works in 1280×1024 resolution under QEMU. It previously had issues with mouse tracking, but this is now fixed. So the new image has a higher resolution.

Secondly the old images were made with FAT filesystem which I didn’t like too much. The reason for that is the infamous RISC NT osloader needs to be placed on a FAT partition. Then, if NT is installed on a second NTFS partition the default drive will be D:\, C:\ being the just the osloader drive. This was super annoying in practice. So a common procedure was to just have one FAT partition for both osloader and winnt. I have fixed it by supplying a pre-partitioned disk and specified the second partition for osloader and the first for NT.

Also I only had just a bare/vanilla image with no additional software installed. The new image includes most of the available apps, including IE3, some editors, Reskit and Visual Studio.

Lastly I wanted to figure out all the right settings and flags for qemu as they were discrepancies between different sources and nothing seem to work smoothly. The correct flags seem to be:

qemu-system-mips64el -hda nt4.qcow2 -M magnum -global ds1225y.filename=nvram -L . -rtc "base=1995-07-08T11:12:13,clock=vm" -nic user,model=dp83932

The -rtc flag is not really needed if you are ok with having the current date in the guest.

Thanks to Neozeed for figuring out the network settings! Unfortunately the old/legacy -net nic -net user is no longer working while the new -device doesn’t like dp83932. The documentation was quite helpful.

Thanks to reader Mark for pointing out the correct NVRAM settings! See comments below.

The new image with all the apps preinstalled is here and a plain “vanilla” here.

Curiously this now works right out of the box on QEMU 6.1 and is pretty smooth and stable compared to what it was before. Good job QEMU team and thank you! Just in case I still keep the old binaries for Windows made by Neozeed here.

Update: I built Yori for NT MIPS! You can download here!

Re-visiting Gopher on A/UX

Rather unintentionally some 7 years ago (to the day!) I was playing with an early gopher server on Linux, musing that one day it’d be cool to run it fully on A/UX (what is it anyways?!). And thanks to Qemu’s 68040 support the time is at hand.

First off I need to run this on Linux so I’ll need to build the appropriate branch myself. Thankfully Cat_7 has boiled it down to a really simple formula:

git clone -b q800.upstream https://www.gitlab.com/mcayland/qemu q800-upstream
cd q800-upstream
./configure --target-list=m68k-softmmu --enable-gtk --enable-sdl

In my case I remove the gtk and sdl as I’m running this headless.

Now onto the OS itself. While I had numerous images built over the years for Shoebill there was one major issue when compared to Qemu, and that is Shoebill loads the kernel directly while Qemu emulates the hardware so it will boot MacOS 7 directly. While on the surface this is mundane that does mean however that none of my images will actually work on Qemu as they don’t include a blessed copy of System 7. Not that I care that much I could always do a simple dump/restore [ dump.bsd 0f – /dev/rdsk/c0d0s0 | (cd /mnt; restore xf -) ] of my A/UX stuff that I care about anyways. Luckily since I had added that SCSI file support to Cockatrice I could still partition out some disks and install from there.

Now for the further bit of bad news for me is that I found that the 68020 based Shoebill ran 3.0.0 far more stable than 3.0.1 or 3.1. So I’d built everything around 3.0.0. And of course trying to boot 3.0.0 on a Quadra 800 just gives you a hard lock up. I don’t have the setup disk for 3.0.0 but mounting the CD-ROM gives you access to the disk tool (the 3.0.0 version doesn’t check for the Apple string on SCSI ROMS so you can partition with that as well). Anyways too much time thinking I’d done something wrong until this had to be pointed out to me:

Compatibility matrix from penelope

That’s right, 3.0.0 doesn’t run on the Quadra 800. Much longer ago I had a Quadra 950, fantastic beast of a machine, and yes it ran 3.0.0 just great. So shockingly running the right versions got me up to a working system just fine.

Now of course back in the Shoebill days I got ‘3.0.1’ kind of working by cheating. The /mac programs didn’t work on Shoebill however I could copy them over from 3.0.0 to get a working system. Could I substitute a 3.0.1 kernel & /mac directory onto a 3.0.0 system?

So first up the System 7 install from A/UX 3.0.0 is too old for a Quadra 800. Obviously just use the one from 3.0.1. Great.

This lead to a problem where the root filesystem always needs to be checked in single user mode. Something that is shockingly hard to do when your Quadra runs so fast as you have less than a second to hit the ‘top’ button to halt the autoload.

Naturally the standalone runs fine, with no errors.

Thinking that it’s the start-up scripts I remove all the fsck’s and then get this message:

Great a kernel panic. ialloc: dup alloc. Thinking that maybe it’s confusing the UFS, I go ahead and format the disk in SYSV and restore the image onto that.

This gets me another kernel panic, this time no root filesystem. Surprise the SYSV filesystem was made optional in a default install. I run ‘newconfig sysv’ from 3.0.1 and copy that kernel back, and for good measure the shared libraries from 3.0.1. Now I get a different error:

Interesting, I try to hit restart, and instead I get dumped into text mode!


So here we are a 3.0.1 kernel with a 3.0.0 userland! I’m going to use this as a server anyways so I don’t really care about the Mac UI. Naturally so many twists and turns I’ll just skip to the end. Networking didn’t work correctly. Maybe I should have copied all the network stuff from 3.0.1 over but at this point it’s basically a 3.0.1 system so why even bother?

So the next thing of course is just to setup Qemu to listen on a loopback and add some disks. A lot of disks.

./qemu-system-m68k \
-L pc-bios \
-m 256 \
-M q800 \
-vnc \
-serial stdio \
-bios Quadra800.rom \
-net nic,model=dp83932,netdev=ne -netdev user,id=ne,hostfwd=tcp:,hostfwd=tcp:,hostfwd=tcp: \
-drive file=pram-aux.img,format=raw,if=mtd \
-device scsi-hd,scsi-id=0,drive=hd0,vendor="SEAGATE",product="ST225N",ver="1.0" \
-drive file=scsi0.vmdk,media=disk,format=vmdk,if=none,id=hd0 \
-device scsi-hd,scsi-id=1,drive=hd1,vendor="SEAGATE",product="ST225N",ver="1.1" \
-drive file=scsi1.vmdk,media=disk,format=vmdk,if=none,id=hd1 \
-device scsi-hd,scsi-id=2,drive=hd2,vendor="SEAGATE",product="ST225N",ver="1.2" \
-drive file=scsi2.vmdk,media=disk,format=vmdk,if=none,id=hd2 \
-device scsi-hd,scsi-id=3,drive=hd3,vendor="SEAGATE",product="ST225N",ver="1.3" \
-drive file=scsi3.vmdk,media=disk,format=vmdk,if=none,id=hd3 \
-device scsi-hd,scsi-id=4,drive=hd4,vendor="SEAGATE",product="ST225N",ver="1.4" \
-drive file=scsi4.vmdk,media=disk,format=vmdk,if=none,id=hd4 \
-device scsi-hd,scsi-id=5,drive=hd5,vendor="SEAGATE",product="ST225N",ver="1.5" \
-drive file=scsi5.vmdk,media=disk,format=vmdk,if=none,id=hd5 \
-device scsi-hd,scsi-id=6,drive=hd6,vendor="SEAGATE",product="ST225N",ver="1.6" \
-drive file=scsi6.vmdk,media=disk,format=vmdk,if=none,id=hd6
Yeah well… great!?

One nice thing is that since we are on Qemu I don’t have to use raw disk images, I can zero stuff out and use VMDK’s. Nice. I guess I could bridge the VM later, but for now NAT is fine enough as all I need is telnet & gopher. So I grab gopher2_3.1.tar.gz, rebuild and move over my gopher site from Linux into A/UX and I’m up and running in no time. It was shockingly easy. I update a few things to reflect it running on A/UX now.

Currently 2 days of uptime!

And just like that I took my semi popular gopher site, and moved it to A/UX seven years after thinking that this would be a ‘good idea(tm)’. I’m sure it won’t backfire spectacularly.

I don’t know if any of this is useful or interesting but it was to me. It’s been nice that Qemu has been able to keep uptime in several days, I had 3 days of uptime before I took it down to max out the storage so I could possibly do more with it.

Naturally it’s still available as gopher://gopher.superglobalmegacorp.com

Qemu’s Macintosh Quadra in alpha usability! (runs A/UX!)

I’m being a bit unfair as far as Alpha’s go it’s rough to get going but wow it’s GREAT! For starters it’s a Quadra 800 so System 7.1 through 8.1 will work. Also this has full 68040 capabilities so yes that means MMU and YES A/UX (and NetBSD!) will run

As always you can find more on emaculation, the best source for news and info on emulating the Mac.

Additionally you can find the setup guide here.

Many of my Shoebill/Cockatrice III images didn’t work at all. Some at least were picked up as blank disks. I had less luck with freshly created raw/vmdk or qcow2 disks. Not sure at all. My minimal 7 2gb disk worked fine as a donor, and even converting to a vmdk was fine. Sooo YMMV. But hey it’s an Alpha and YES IT CAN WORK.

Another plus is that the idle loop works fine so it won’t burn 100% of your CPU. This could possibly be a great gopher server!? Time will tell.