According to C. Beauregard:
Currently, most of the common disk controllers are supported: IBM SCSI, IBM ESDI, AHA-1640, Buslogic, Future Domain. X Windows runs under XGA, XGA-2, 8514, VGA, etc. Network cards include 3c523, 3c529, assorted WD/SMC, IBM Ethernet Adapter/A, and a few ethernet, Token ring, and :) Arcnet. Basically, it's running on almost all MCA machines in one form or another including most PS/2s, NCRs, Apricot, and some other extremenly weird configurations (An IBM P390 300Mhz Pentium Pro with 1Gb of RAM, for example).
The 2.0.x kernel series is supported via patches available at glycerine. As well, MCA support is now in the 2.1.x kernel (well, with a few bugs), meaning MCA hardware will be fully supported in Linux 2.2, although support from specific distributions will probably come a little slower. The exception is Debian, which has had complete MCA support since 2.0.
There's also been some work done on NetBSD for MCA, and Bob Eager is working on some other BSD support. Linux, of course, is way ahead of the game.
The only thing that stops anything type of program from running on a PS/2 that would normally run on any other machine with the same CPU/memory etc are usually the device drivers. In the case of UNIX more than likely it is just a matter of obtaining the correct disk drivers. If you have ESDI and want to run LINUX there is a ESDI fix available. If you have a SCSI that is compatible with any of the supported drivers you are ok also. Currently there is a large Linux/MCA following and Linux is by itself a great OS... 32 bit and totally stable.
For questions on Linux/MCA go to: http://glycerine.itsmm.uni.edu/mca.
I would have to say it is a toss-up. In one hand, PC-DOS supplies special programs that are optimized for/unique to the PS/2 and may be helpful, but then you have the problem that something may not be compatible with the MS-DOS standard. By purchasing MS-DOS, you may not get the special programs you need to run certain diagnostics, and procedures on your PS/2, but you do get a 100% compatible DOS. Buy whichever you think you will need, PC-DOS should be more than 98% compatible with anything MS-DOS has, but if you have something in that 2% incompatible area the decision is practically made for you.
Another note is that DOS is on its way out in the form we know it today. The routines and procedures are being incorporated into GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) like Windows, OS/2, and of course as always UNIX. If you are still one holding out on running Windows or OS/2 you really should start as soon as you get far behind in the realm of OS's and it will be hard to catch up.
Actually DOS is out...run Windows 95/98 or UNIX/LINUX if possible and
don't worry about it unless you are running applications that rely on a
DOS version that does not run under Windows 98 or UNIX/LINUX or you need
a low disk space OS.
Any PS/2 with the basic requirements can run all of the standard OS's, such as OS/2 and Windows, even Windows for Workgroups and Win95. Just make sure you read the box carefully and that your machine has all the requirements. Even though Windows and other OS's can run in 2-3 MB it is wise to at least have 4MB and 8MB is a more comfortable range. Try to get as much RAM as possible as the more RAM you have the faster/more efficiently your machine will run.
One system.ini line that should be added for the PS/2 user is under
the Enh 386 section, add the line InitPS2MouseAtExit=False. This
prevents Windows from reinitializing the mouse on a PS/2 and thus causing
a 5-10 second delay.
95 works without many tricks - you will have to add the
Us, the God Emperor:
To run W98SE in [un]Protected mode, your CPU must be running on a base clock of 50MHz or less. A 486DX2-66 runs on a 33MHz base, a 486DX-50 is fine, but a 60MHz or higher clock is verboten. I tried to run SETUP /NM on a P90, and it stayed in compatibility mode. I then swapped out the complex for a Type 3 486DX-50 [restored system partition and added Corvette adf to system partition]. To install on systems with slower base clocks (25MHz or so) use SETUP /NM.
Texas Bill piped up with:
We, the God Emperor reply:
PS. For all you frustrated Model 90 owners that felt scr*wed because of limited colors on your planar XGA [and having to burn a slot on a better card] W98SE has 640x480x64K built-in! Of course it's at 60Hz, but it looks a heckuva lot better than 256 colors. As expected, you must have all 8 ZIPPs for 64K. XGA lacks an oscillator for the 800x600 resolution.
PPS. Make sure your bootdisk used to fire up the hard drive and CD Rom is a version of M$ DOS. Trying a PC DOS bootdisk gives some really bad issues with memory managers [Ed. though I think it's really an M$ FUD, a-la W95 and PC DOS].
PPPS. A utility I found extremely handy is the Visual's Windows 98 all version Product Key Patch. You run visw98.com, it patches SETUPX.DLL [from PRECOPY2.CAB}, and you'd be surprised. Run it once, then that's it. NOTE: Run VISW98 under MS DOS [W9x command.com - during boot, choose #5]. It has issues running under PC DOS.
PPPPS. Get your hands on 98Lite, Professional if you can. It cuts a lot of the garbage that M$ tries to load in your W98SE installation. Thanks for the help, Charles!
Peter Wendt said:
Tim N. Clarke pondered the IOSUBSYS dilemna,
Win98 First Edition will not work - Second Edition
will. The 1st has a bug that drops the machines with <50MHz base clock
*and* IBM MCA SCSI adapter into 16-bit compatibility mode with e.g. a CD-ROM
inaccessible. Second edition works fine and I'd installed it on a couple
of PS/2 so far. Don't forget to run SETUP /NM from the Win98 CD to bypass
the processor speed detection (or else you end up in a silly error message
that your CPU is too slow).
Don't know for the mix-architecture machines like PC-730 / 750 or Server 320 / 520 with PCI / MCA. They are *basically* PCI machines with add-on PCI-MCA bridge in the case of the PC-730 / 750. Most likely Win98 has its problems properly identifying and initializing the bridge chip - and the MCA cards behind it.
Success so far:
Failed to run:
Christian Hansen pipes
When shutting down to dos with XGA-2 and W9x, the screen goes completely blank.
Q) 8.5b Can't See
>16MB or >64MB Under W95
The new version of Himem.sys reports itself as version 3.95, the same as the shipping version. (Please make sure your video aperture is disabled under system programs, this can cause >16MB memory to be not accessible). Supposedly, OSR2 and greater have the updated HIMEM.SYS, also, Win98 has the fix built-in.
Q) 8.5c W95 Does Not See
IDE Controller on MCA System
If you can confirm that the computer has a standard IDE hard disk, manually
add the ESDI/IDE driver to get 32-bit protected-mode functionality. To
do so, follow these steps:
Standard IDE/ESDI HD Controller
Other Reply boards (Powerboard for model 25 and TurboBoard for model 50/50z) seem to work fine using the standard procedure.
Uh, hell yes. For you unfortunates (?) with a Pentium PS/2, there is the little "HLT" problem with Linux.
Almost 100% of the time providing you are at least running a 386. Almost every SCSI card is supported. And if you can't run the latest kernel the invaders kernel (ftp://invaders.dcrl.nd.edu) usually will run and is very full-featured itself.