Installing Xenix 2.x on Qemu

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Xenix 2.3.4 on Qemu

As of Qemu 0.14.0 you can actually install Xenix version 2. This works for both the i386 & the i286 versions.

I've documented it here on my blog.

The whole thing hinges on changing the boot strings so that instead of detecting the media type, it is instead forced to use the actual media type. For example, using the 3 1/2 inch diskette the boot string goes from:

fd(64)xenix root=fd(64) swap=ram(0) pipe=ram(1) swplo=0 nswap=1000 ronly

Into this:

fd(60)xenix root=fd(60) swap=ram(0) pipe=ram(1) swplo=0 nswap=1000 ronly

Things to keep in mind is that the largest IDE hard disk that Xenix 2.x can support is 500MB.

media table

Device Name Description Major Minor
fd0135 3 1/2" diskette 2 60
fd0135ds18 high density 2 60
fd0135ds9 low density 2 36
fd048 5 1/4" diskette 2 4
fd048ds8 2 12
fd048ds9 2 4
fd048ss8 2 8
fd048ss8 2 8
fd048ss9 2 0
fd096 2 52
fd096ds15 2 52
fd096ds18 2 60
fd096ds9 2 36

Hopefully this will make some sense.. Esp with the floppy driver being very touch, but at least with the device table at hand you can hard code /dev/install and friends so that things will 'just work'. The big thing to watch for is high density vs low density....

I've also demonstrated how to do this in a video.