(note this is a guest post from Tenox)
I have been working with Linux since around 1992, both at home and at work. I have probably seen it all with exception of item in the title. Lurking around my files, there was a screenshot of a beta version of Caldera Linux. As time passed I somehow never managed to see it with my own eyes so for me it’s features were always covered by myths and legends.
Recently I came across install media for the OS and decided to to see how was it like for real. The system installed just fine through series of tubes^H^H^H err dialog based setup steps which were common at the time. However as I wanted to see the GUI in action there was a problem – 640×480 VGA mode, or rather lack of better video mode to work with.
Unfortunately neither VMware nor VirtualBox do not support anything better than the crippled VGA mode. They do it for all other devices, like network card, mouse, ide and atapi cdrom. But somehow not for graphics. Fortunately the other virtualization engines are bit better. QEMU supports Cirrus Logic and Virtual PC supports S3 Trio.
I have spent several hours trying to convince the ancient Xfree86 to work with QEMU, to no avail. All I managed t o get was this:
Out of options I have decided to try Virtual PC. Unfortunately the system would not install due to disk errors. Upon some research I’ve found the issue was IO-APIC which I promptly disabled in the kernel (noacpi). It did not help the install much, but allowed me to run a qemu-installed and converted disk image. This is a bit of shame that the best virtualization engine to run ancient Linux was Microsoft VPC. Anyway to my amusement I’ve got this:
And I was able to explore the GUI a little bit more:
Apart from that Caldera is loaded with tons of ancient software. Pretty much everything there was available on Linux these days and all working out of the box. Neozeed will be happy to see Neko in action (see the last screenshot)!
Michal Necasek of OS2 Museum has fixed XF86_SVGA so that it works correctly with Virtual Box in higher resolutions as well. “You’ll have to set up the X so that it uses the XF86_SVGA server and tell it to automatically detect the graphics hardware. Then it should be just a question of selecting some sensible monitor and creating a few modes. If things are configured properly, you’ll see something like “SVGA: chipset: boxv” in the X server output.“. Download it here. (It’s binary only, no source. Sorry).
I have scanned a Looking Glass User Guide