Freesco On Virtualbox

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Postby effo » Wed Dec 26, 2007 4:16 pm

I am playing with 038 using <a href='http://www.virtualbox.org' target='_blank'>virtualbox</a>. This is pretty much the same as vmware, but it's free and even comes in an open source flavour. I have tried using the pcnet32 driver, and sometimes the FREESCO image boots at it should, but sometimes it dies when it tries to load the modules. Does anybody else have any experience from running FREESCO on this VM? Are there any other good VM:s to use? Of course there are vmware, but it is not free...
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Postby Slowpoke » Wed Dec 26, 2007 5:39 pm

VMware Workstation (which is meant to run on top of the Windows workstation OSs (XP, Vista, etc...)) is not free; this is true.

VMware Player IS free (which you can create VMs for using small utilities available for free, or (I think) there is a website that will create the text that needs to go into the configuration file for the VM, or you can (if you're really good) write the configuration file by hand with Notepad), as is VMware Server (which requires either a Windows Server OS as a Host, or any Linux distribution).

INFO:
<a href='http://www.vmware.com/products/player/' target='_blank'>http://www.vmware.com/products/player/</a>
<a href='http://www.vmware.com/products/server/' target='_blank'>http://www.vmware.com/products/server/</a>

DOWNLOAD:
<a href='http://www.vmware.com/download/player/' target='_blank'>http://www.vmware.com/download/player/</a>
<a href='http://www.vmware.com/download/server/' target='_blank'>http://www.vmware.com/download/server/</a>


I have a box (Compaq TaskSmart 1U server, $118.00 from eBay + extra parts from my shelves - P3-933, 1G ECC RAM, 120G HDD) running CentOS + VMware Server to host my VMs. I run FREESCO in a VM (using the lance.gz net module) without any problems whatsoever.
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Postby Lightning » Wed Dec 26, 2007 7:25 pm

I suspect you will just have better luck in general using the lance.gz rather than the pcnet.gz driver. At least in VMware there is an option for what type of network card to emulate.
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Postby Slowpoke » Wed Dec 26, 2007 9:29 pm

Lightning wrote: At least in VMware there is an option for what type of network card to emulate.

Not in the versions I've seen, or am using currently (I think I'm 1, possibly 2, minor versions behind the current for VMware Server)... The only thing about the network you can control is whether it should be Bridged, NAT, or Host-Only. The network card type is fixed as an "AMD PCNET Family PCI Ethernet Adapter".
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Postby Slowpoke » Wed Dec 26, 2007 9:46 pm

OK, this was bothering me that I didn't know I could change that in VMware, so I did a little looking and found that the "changeable NIC type" applies to VMware ESX Server, not the free VMware products that I mentioned or am using. The free Server, as well as the Player, is fixed as AMD PCNET.
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Postby Lightning » Wed Dec 26, 2007 10:41 pm

Hehe, I never stated which version of VMware that I have. :P
But the purchased version gives you three choices including an Intel eepro1000 nic.
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Postby effo » Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:35 pm

According to the manual, virtualbox simulates AMD PCNet cards. I have tried both the lance and the pcnet32 drivers with about the same result: sometimes the VM boots, sometimes it crasches. I don't know the reason for this... maybe it's the old kernel of FREESCO, it looks like virtualbox only supports Linux 2.2 and newer for guests :unsure:
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Postby Slowpoke » Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:09 pm

The free versions of VMware have a similar quirk to them with FREESCO: If you disable acceleration, FREESCO won't boot - if you leave it on, it runs fine. I always chalked it up to FREESCO running an older 2.0.x kernel...

(I guess that makes FREESCO a speed demon, and it won't settle for anything less! :lol: )
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Postby dilberts_left_nut » Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:10 pm

FWIW I run the free VMWare Server on WinXP pro and use the lance.gz driver for FREESCO without any probs.

(Also run virtual Win98, Ubuntu, Smoothwall - gets a bit slooow if they are ALL running :D )
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Postby effo » Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:07 pm

I had a go on this with VMware player. I created the vmx using an online service and then modified it a bit. The recipe:

* Create a VMware image using one of the online services, i.e <a href='http://www.easyvmx.com' target='_blank'>EasyVMX</a>. Set memory to about 32MB, add a small (500MB) HD and a floppy.
* Download the generated files and put them in a directory on your drive.
* Open the *.vmx-file and edit the floppy0 section to include
Code: Select all
# Settings for physical floppy drive
floppy0.present = "TRUE"
floppy0.startConnected = "TRUE"
#floppy0.autodetect = "TRUE"
floppy0.fileType = "file"
floppy0.fileName = "freesco.038"

This will mount the FREESCO diskimage as a virtual floppy inside the VM.
* Download FREESCO and the related modules-package from <a href='http://freesco.sourceforge.net' target='_blank'>SourceForge</a>
* Unpack to a local directory
* Mount the FREESCO diskimage (<span style='font-family:Courier'>freesco.038</span>) using the loopback-trick:
Code: Select all
$ mkdir floppy
$ mount -t auto -o loop ./freesco.038 ./floppy

* Copy network driver to mounted floppy image:
Code: Select all
$ cp /path/to/modules038/modules-2.0.39/net/lance.gz ./floppy/router/drv

* Unmount the image:
Code: Select all
$ umount floppy

* Now copy the FREESCO diskimage into the same directory that you put your generated VMware files.
* Start VMware player and load the FREESCO VM. It should boot from the floppy image and you should be able to set your virtual FREESCO up.
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