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OpenStep on VirtualBox?

 
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kjt



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:53 am    Post subject: OpenStep on VirtualBox? Reply with quote

I installed VirtualBox 3.1.4 on Windows XP Pro SP3. I then installed OpenStep 4.2 with User and Developer Path 4. OpenStep is running, but I can't get much to happen by way of drivers. It may be that VirtualBox can't virtualize my real hardware (display nVidia GeForce 8400, network Intel Gigabit Ethernet, audio AC97).

Are the "Enable PAE/NX" and "Enable VT-x/AMD-V" options in VirtualBox significant? I've tried this with the options set and also unset. Is the "Enable IO APIC" option significant? I have it unset.

Any help with the following would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Display:

VirtualBox is configured for 32MB of display memory, without 2D or 3D acceleration. OpenStep works with "VGA" (640x480) and "Generic SVGA" (800x600x2), but these are too small to be usable. Others report that "VESA VBE" should work, but on booting I get told that the display has no VBE modes and the driver reverts to VGA. I tried "S3 Display", but on booting this reports that "S3 unit 0" does not exist. I tried "S3 Generic PCI" but on booting it reports that it cannot set the refresh rate (e.g. 60 or 75 Hz) and then fails horribly.

Is there some trick to getting a better display driver to work?

Network:

VirtualBox is configured for the "PCnet-FAST III" with NAT, and OpenStep for "AMD PCnet-32 PCI". OpenStep even claims to detect this device (the boot log reports Am79C970 revision 0x2625003). However, it doesn't appear to do anything.I cannot ping anything from OpenStep, cannot ping OpenStep from the host PC, and cannot perform DNS lookup in OpenStep. I have the OpenStep PC configured for IP address 192.168.1.20 and router address 192.168.1.253 (the settings I would use on my subnet if this were a real machine). Is there some problem with this?

Audio:

VirtualBox is configured for "Windows DirectSound" and "SoundBlaster 16". In OpenStep I tried "SoundBlaster 16" and "SoundBlaster 16 PCI", but neither appears to do anything (though the boot log reports SoundBlaster16 version 4.5, DMA channel 1, IRQ 5). I don't even get the usual beep on booting.

Floppy:

I actually have a USB floppy, though it pretends to be drive A. This was good enough to install OpenStep. However, when OpenStep is running then VirtualBox refuses to mount plain DOS floppies in drive A saying "not supported". I also can't mount ".img" files in this way, though ".vfd" files are OK. In passing, I think VirtualBox is incorrect in asking me if I wish to force an "unmount" (instead of "mount").
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kjt



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did quite a lot more experimentation, but unfortunately have had to give up on this. In case it helps anyone, I've added some notes below. I concentrated on the two most critical aspects.

Display:

Use of VESA/VBE doesn't work with OpenStep. When OpenStep requests modes from the emulated card, it reports the card is not in VBE mode and gives up. Although there is a way of using (custom) modes in Linux, I can't find any way of doing this with OpenStep. I tried faking the PCI ID and mode for several OpenStep display drivers, but none of them work. Actually, VirtualBox is quite vague about what display it emulates. I don't know if VirtualBox is simply incompatible with OpenStep VESA/VBE, or whether VirtualBox should (but does not) report VBE modes.

Network:

It appears that it should be possible to say something like:

Code:
VBoxManage modifyvm "OpenStep 4.2" --natnet1 "192.168.1.0/24"


to give the emulated PC an IP address of 192.168.1.15, a router of 192.168.1.2 and a DNS server of 192.168.1.3. However, I still could not get networking to behave.
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pan1k



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 91
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got Openstep working great under VirtualBox on my Mac. I have the VBE driver working, and Ethernet, but no Audio. I installed Openstep, and applied the Openstep patch 4, which got VBE working, then went into the Network settings, gave myself an IP address, router and subnet. You may have forgot to add DNS settings, create a file:

/etc/resolv.conf

and add your dns servers:

nameserver xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
nameserver xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

save and reboot!
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kjt



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply. I think my problem is trying to use Windows a host. I suspect that MacOS and Linux are OK.

Did you have to do anything special to get VBE working? I've installed and tried the OpenStep VBE20 driver. On Windows I get nothing back when OpenStep probes the video "card", and there's no default mode.

I did add resolv.conf, but I think the problem is more basic than that. On trying to use the network (e.g. with ping) the network icon shows no activity, suggesting that at the "hardware" level it isn't working.
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pan1k



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 91
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing special. I just installed the patch, went back to configure.app and selected VBE and a resolution, like 1024x768, saved the config and rebooted

make sure you have the right mask. it took me ahwile to figure it out again..
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kjt



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We seem to be seeing something different. I installed OpenStep User Patch 4 and Developer Patch 4. The former has:

Code:
-rw-------+ 1 kjt 20259277 06-Aug-1999 19:58 4.2UserPatch4.tar.Z


and is presumably where the VESA driver comes from.

I then selected the VESA VBE 2.0 driver (VBE20DisplayDriver) in Configure.app. However it says it has no display modes, and indeed choosing "Select" gives me nothing. There is some advice at the following URL, but that didn't help me:

http://support.apple.com/kb/TA45370?viewlocale=en_US

Given that we should be using the same driver, I wonder what causes the difference.

Thanks for the advice.
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kjt



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gosh! I deleted the VirtualBox machine and started again with the same disc image. I checked that the VESA VBE 2.0 driver was correctly installed. I was still offered no video modes.

I reinstalled User Patch 4 again, but was still offered no video modes. I rebooted and tried to choose this driver again. Now I got offered video modes!

I've no idea what caused this change, because I'd tried selecting this driver on multiple occasions without success. I see I accidentally told VirtualBox this time I was installing DOS. Could that be the difference? Anyway, I now have 1280x1024x32 so that's a big step forward. That just leaves the network driver to get sorted out.

Many thanks pan1k. You inspired me to try again Very Happy
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pan1k



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 91
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Give me the settings in configure.app for your NIC.
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kjt



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks for the offer to look at my networking issue. My configuration details are below.

With the default VirtualBox setup, I cannot ping or telnet anything besides the OpenStep PC. There is no evidence of network activity on the VirtualBox network icon when I ping.

In VirtualBox, setting "natnet1" to 192.168.1.0/24 (my real subnet) makes things rather better. I can then ping 192.168.1.2 (VirtualBox router), 192.168.1.3 (VirtualBox nameserver) and remote systems. I can also telnet to remote systems.

My initial attempt at /etc/resolv.conf had 192.168.1.3 (VirtualBox nameserver) and 192.168.1.253 (my network router nameserver). However, this didn't work. If I use my ISP's DNS servers in /etc/resolv.conf then hostname lookup works.

However, I cannot ping or telnet any machines on my subnet such as 192.168.1.11 (the host PC) or 192.168.1.253 (the real router). The VirtualBox documentation suggests there are limitations on its support of ICMP, so that might be expected.

If I try telnet from OpenStep to an Apache server running on my host PC, it fails to connect. I have Windows firewall correctly set up because I can telnet to this server from elsewhere on my subnet. I need to be able to connect from OpenStep to the host PC.

Is a possible cause that VirtualBox considers OpenStep to be 192.168.1.15 rather than 192.168.1.20 that I assigned to it? Do I need something other than NAT in VirtualBox to be able to connect to other systems on my subnet? None of the other options look suitable. According to Windows, the "Ethernet adapter VirtualBox Host-Only Network" has IP address 192.168.56.1. I don't see that this would work if I tried host-only networking as this IP address isn't in my subnet.

Finally, sound has now started working on OpenStep without me doing anything different. Like my VESA problem, this another mystery - but I'm not going to complain that it's now OK.

Any inspirations would be welcome. Thanks!

Code:

Real Subnet:

  192.168.1.X with netmask 255.255.255.0 [this, rather than 192.168.0.X, was
  imposed by my network router]

  Host IP address 192.168.1.11

  Network router 192.168.1.253

VirtualBox Settings:

  NAT

  Adapter PCnet-PCI II (Am79C970A) or PCnet-PCI III (Am79C973), MAC 080027E06AFD
  [I tried both as OpenStep seems to think this is an Am79C970 adapter]

OpenStep Settings:

  AMD PCnet-32 PCI Ethernet Adapter (4.00), no DMA/port/memory/IRQ

  /etc/hostconfig:

    HOSTNAME=clam
    INETADDR=192.168.1.20
    ROUTER=192.168.1.2 [also tried 192.168.1.253 as my real router]
    IPNETMASK=255.255.255.0
    IPBROADCAST=
    YPDOMAIN=-NO-
    NETMASTER=-YES-
    TIME=-AUTOMATIC-

  /etc/resolv.conf:

    domain boa.org
    nameserver 212.159.6.9 [also tried 192.168.1.3]
    nameserver 212.159.6.10 [also tried 192.168.1.253]

  ifconfig en0:

    en0: flags=63<UP,BROADCAST,NOTRAILERS,RUNNING>
    inet 192.168.1.20 network fffff00 broadcast 192.168.1.255
Very Happy Very Happy
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pan1k



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 91
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put 192.168.1.255 as your broadcast address. Save & Restart.
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kjt



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd kept it as "automatic" but had also tried it explicitly as 192.168.1.255 too. As the last line of my post shows, it seems to be the default. However, making it explicit is probably a good idea.

I've re-read the VirtualBox networking chapter. It looks as if NAT should allow me to contact the host PC, but I can't be sure if that's the right interpretation of the manual. I just tried Bridged but that doesn't seem to work properly (and even seems to interfere with real host networking).

This is probably now into VirtualBox rather than OpenStep territory, so I'll try posting a question on the VirtualBox forum.

Thanks again.
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kjt



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I may have finally got to the bottom of my networking problem.

I had done the "obvious" thing and configured OpenStep to have an IP address on my real subnet (192.168.1.20). That's how I'd set up Virtual PC for OpenStep quite some time ago. When OpenStep networking didn't work, I then had to configure VirtualBox to set "natnet1" for my subnet (192.168.1.0/24). OpenStep networking then worked, but I couldn't contact any machine on my subnet.

I wondered if the problem was that VirtualBox was then trying to run the same subnet as my real one. I now used the standard VirtualBox subnet (10.0.2.0/24) and gave OpenStep an arbitrary address on this subnet (10.0.2.111). Now OpenStep networking worked, and I could also contact machines on my subnet. The only small downside is that I can't ping OpenStep from the host PC because the guest PC pretends to be my host PC to my subnet. However, I've now got to the point where networking seems to be usable.

It's been quite a battle: getting the VirtualBox BIOS to report VESA modes (many attempts before it started working for no apparent reason), getting OpenStep audio to work (ditto), getting OpenStep networking to work (accidentally my own fault). Hopefully the notes in this post will help someone in future.

Whew!
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pan1k



Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 91
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My virtualbox is set as bridged. Can you ping other machines in your local subnet? Can you ping out into the real world?
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pitz



Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 122
Location: Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kjt wrote:
I think I may have finally got to the bottom of my networking problem.

I had done the "obvious" thing and configured OpenStep to have an IP address on my real subnet (192.168.1.20). That's how I'd set up Virtual PC for OpenStep quite some time ago. When OpenStep networking didn't work, I then had to configure VirtualBox to set "natnet1" for my subnet (192.168.1.0/24). OpenStep networking then worked, but I couldn't contact any machine on my subnet.

I wondered if the problem was that VirtualBox was then trying to run the same subnet as my real one. I now used the standard VirtualBox subnet (10.0.2.0/24) and gave OpenStep an arbitrary address on this subnet (10.0.2.111). Now OpenStep networking worked, and I could also contact machines on my subnet. The only small downside is that I can't ping OpenStep from the host PC because the guest PC pretends to be my host PC to my subnet. However, I've now got to the point where networking seems to be usable.

It's been quite a battle: getting the VirtualBox BIOS to report VESA modes (many attempts before it started working for no apparent reason), getting OpenStep audio to work (ditto), getting OpenStep networking to work (accidentally my own fault). Hopefully the notes in this post will help someone in future.

Whew!


I think if you want to run your virtual subnet the same as your real subnet, you have to use bridged mode. In this case, your virtual hosts become regular hosts in your real subnet (talking to your real router, DHCP, etc).

If you use NAT, hosts in your virtual subnet can talk to its outside world, but the outside world cannot initiate a connection to a host inside the virtual subnet. An analogy would be how most home routers are configured to use NAT, using 192.168.x.x as the home subnet, and your home PCs can connect to the Internet, but the Internet hosts cannot access your home PCs (unless you have some sort of IP forwarding in your home router).

Further, if you use NAT and configured your virtual subnet to be the same as your home subnet (e.g., 192.168.x.x), and you try to reach something in your home subnet from your OpenStep host, NAT will not send your packet out of the virtual subnet because it thinks that the host you are trying to reach is within your virtual subnet already.
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kjt



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks for the clarification, which makes sense. I got derailed because I imagined VirtualBox behaved like (say) VirtualPC in simply emulating a network adapter. In fact it's doing something more complex that is more like emulating a virtual subnet and router as well.

I did try Bridged at one point, but I had overlapping virtual and real subnets at this point. My apparent failure was probably due to this rather than to anything intrinsically wrong with Bridged mode.
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