More progress on Parallels

Thanks to Christian Brunschen and the other kind folks at UK-nextstep-users, I’ve got quite a bit further with my OPENSTEP installation. Christian pointed me to a NE-2000 driver which works without issue on the Parallels-installed OPENSTEP system.

Applying Apple’s patches was a little more involved – my first approach was to download them on a Mac, create an ISO image (Apple’s tools can do this:

hdiutil makehybrid -iso -o OS42patches.iso OS4patches

rather nicely) then put the ISO in the virtual CD-ROM drive. While the tarballs unpacked correctly, the package they contained was corrupt. So I downloaded the patch (OS42MachUserPatch4 being the latest one, containing the SVGA driver and the y2k fixes) to a Solaris box, then used FTP to get it over to the OS4.2 PC (now that we’ve got network). This was more successful, and the patch could be installed.

So, now we’re fully patched, pull out the “Default VGA” driver and put in the VBE (VESA local bus) one, using Let’s choose a low resolution for the first boot, just in case; reading Apple’s notes, we should be able to check which modes are available and change at boot time anyway. So I’ve gone for 640x480x8 (i.e. 256 colours) for the first boot… and it hangs here.

This is actually after I typed “VBE Check”=Yes at the boot prompt, and it didn’t show a list of modes…so something’s not quite right with the VESA driver. I’ll leave it overnight in case it decides suddenly to boot, but I think that reverting to Default VGA is, for the moment, the order of the day.

Edit 2006-04-10 17:36 GMT – some history revision, correcting a spelling mistake and therefore pretending I’ve never heard of visual basic for apps :-)

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7 Responses to More progress on Parallels

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think you meant “VBE Check”=YES to get a list of supported video modes.

    I installed OPENSTEP 4.2 plus patch 4 on Parallels on Friday and I’m in the same boat. I was able to get the VESA driver to come up in 640x480x8bit once after I upgraded to patch 4, by turning of PnP at the same time. After that, I was never able to get it to boot any further with the VESA driver.

  2. Graham Lee says:


    Erm, yes, I meant VBE…good point, but that’s what I’d typed in the VM. I’m not sure whether capitalisation of Yes/YES is important; NeXT never were very consistent about which letters were caps anyway :-).

    OK, I’m glad we’re both stuck at the same spot anyway…I’ll see what else I can find tomorrow.

  3. Graham Lee says:

    Yup, I can confirm what Chris is seeing too. It hangs at the PnP line if that’s enabled. If I turn off PnP, then it hangs at the hdc0 line, before detecting the ATA drives. As the hdc driver works when VGA mode is selected, I’m inclined to think this is some I/O collision brought about by the virtual machine itself rather than an OPENSTEP problem…time to get back to Parallels :-)

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was able to get VESA running in 1152×864, 555.

    However, I made the mistake of starting Backspace and selecting the Backspace module. That grabbed all the CPU and I had to command-tab out to OS X, then Force Quit.

    Now it’s not quite wanting to boot.

    I’ve occasionally gotten it to boot but wound up with a black screen instead of the login panel. I think that may happen when OpenStep is using a different screen size than Parallels is using. When the screen is black, you can telnet into the OpenStep image. If you kill the workspace, the black goes away and you’ll see the monitor window, except it’s skewed because of the screen size mismatch.

    This happened repeatedly when I tried using the SVGA 800×600 driver. Changing back to VGA fixed the black screen.

    A big problem I’m seeing is that Openstep isn’t recognizing the “|” key at all.

  5. Graham Lee says:

    Jon: yeah, I’ve seen it hog CPU (from the real OS) too, running the molecule renderer from the Dev Examples. Trick is just to let it…you can always (slowly) switch to Terminal in the OPENSTEP instance and then kill the offending process. Maybe some CPU throttling would be a good idea, done in the host OS; you could always either set a ulimit for your Parallels user in Mac OS X, or (my preferred option) just run it nicely.

    The lack of a pipe key is indeed a PITA, I’m not sure how to remap keys to fix it though :-/

  6. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone solved the problem with the hang at the PnP prompt when the VESA driver is used? I’m having exactly the same issue… Any pointers would be greatly appreciated!

  7. Anonymous says:

    It’s funny – I’ve been searching for the answer to my question above all day, and then 5 minutes after I posted, I figured out the answer.

    Earlier in the day I turned of Vx-T support, however, somehow this got re-enabled unbeknownst to me. I just noticed this, turned of Vx-T and turned all acceleration off, and now I am booting Openstep in glorious 1024×768 full color with the VESA driver.

    Sorry for the wasted bandwidth, but hopefully this will help someone else…

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