Installing OS/2 Warp on VirtualBox

Why? My first job after graduating college was working as a contractor for IBM UK in the software support centre (Basingstoke, UK) supporting OS/2 and various other apps (Comms Manager/2, DB2/2, CICS OS/2). For a number of years I think I had a stack of OS/2 install diskettes in a box somewhere, but they got thrown out as trash at some point.

A few points over the years I looked to see if once the product was discontinued if there would be a free download of the install disk images. Well, IBM officially discontinued the product in 2005 and support ended in 2006. I can’t remember what I was looking for when I run into this, but over on the Internet Archive site they now have disk image archives for most of the major versions – the OS/2 Warp 4 download disk images are here (other versions, Warp 3, 2.1, 2.0, 1.x are also in the archive).

Turns out Warp 3 installs pretty easy on Virtual Box: here’s a couple of screenshots of the installation:

OS/2 Warp 3 installation

OS/2 Warp 3 installation 2

The disk images for Warp 4 from the Internet Archive site didn’t work for me on Virtual Box. I read some posts this is because the disk image format (dsk?) for the install floppies isn’t a common/standard supported format.

I found another download that used the .img disk image format and this version installed just as easily:

OS/2 Warp 4 install

OS/2 Warp 4 install 2

So what now? Well, there’s a huge list of instructions here for installing the latest (and last) fixpacks, so maybe I’ll play around with this for a while…

One Reply to “Installing OS/2 Warp on VirtualBox”

  1. I’m not sure why I was thinking of OS/2 but found your article here—4 years after you wrote it. I liked OS/2 but… The mainframe’s HMC (hardware management console) used OS/2. Every single time I tried to report a problem I was told that OS/2 is no longer supported. I said, “yes, but it is the OS provided by IBM to run the HMC.” We never got around to upgrading the mainframe to the linux version of the HMC as the mainframe was slated for shutdown —I left shortly after that.

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