(Note this is a guest post by Antoni Sawicki aka Tenox)
Enter 1988… around that time Microsoft just released MS-DOS 4.01 and IBM shipped OS/2 1.1. Compare to the other two, this QNX was years ahead of its time. Pretty much on every aspect. Now, some 25 years later QNX2 is still found running industrial machinery, clean rooms, avionics and military hardware. Some people report systems up and running non-stop for 15 years and longer!
It took me similar amount of time to acquire usable media set. QNX is an embedded system and never really seen life on a desktop machine, so finding these floppies was rather hard and expensive adventure. Fortunately I can finally let it see some daylight. Let’s examine how the system will install on a modern hardware under VMware Workstation.
The install is rather straight forward. Floppy boot comes with a login prompt.
After you log in as qnx you need to swap the floppy disk to Boot Utilities and run install. The script guides you through setup steps.
First you need to select the disk controller. For compatibility mode QNX 2 provides access via int 13 (real mode).
Then you partition the disk. QNX partition type is either 7, 8 or 9. You will be asked to mark it bootable later on.
Then you have to select the kernel. QNX can operate in real mode and protected mode on AT286.
The install script copies all the data from distribution floppy disks, asks about boot loader and active partition. Finally you get to choose some video options.
The system also asks about networking options. Unfortunately it only works with custom Arcnet cards so I skipped this. Once complete you are asked to remove the boot floppy disk and reboot the machine. This is what comes up after first hard disk boot.
I guess what is in the system will be the a topic of another post.