FreeDOS 1.2-RC1 on Hyper-V 2012 R2

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FreeDOS 1.2-RC1 on Hyper-V 2012 R2

Matthew X. Economou
Greetings, friends!

The release candidate announcement encouraged people to try FreeDOS out
and report any problems, so here I am to say that I successfully booted
and installed 1.2-RC1 in a generation-1 Hyper-V 2012 R2 virtual machine
using the ISO image.  I pretty much took the defaults for everything
except RAM, which I set to 32 MB (the minimum allowed by Hyper-V), and
storage, which I set to 40 GB.  The installation took a long
time---several hours, although I didn't measure it carefully.
Post-installation, it seemed to run slowly, e.g., a directory listing of
the FreeDOS "bin" directory took a minute or so to display anything.
I'd be happy to do a little debugging if someone would point me in the
right direction.

Best wishes,
Matthew

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Re: FreeDOS 1.2-RC1 on Hyper-V 2012 R2

Eric Auer-3

Hi Matthew,

> ... storage, which I set to 40 GB.  The installation took a long
> time---several hours, although I didn't measure it carefully.
> Post-installation, it seemed to run slowly, e.g., a directory listing of
> the FreeDOS "bin" directory took a minute or so to display anything. ...

That is quite horrible indeed :-( Have you tried different disk
controller "models" in the virtual hardware? Or maybe Hyper-V is
simulating BIOS services in some obscure and slow way, assuming
that BIOS is "only needed during boot" by most operating systems?

Regards, Eric

PS: In one older FreeDOS install CD, autodetect and use of net and
USB drivers was extremely slow. Forcefully skipping those helped,
if no network was needed and if USB was handled by the BIOS anyway.



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slow FreeDOS install - was: FreeDOS 1.2-RC1 on Hyper-V 2012 R2

Eric Auer-3
In reply to this post by Matthew X. Economou

Hi everybody, update on the 2 Nov mail by Matthew:

> The release candidate announcement encouraged people to try FreeDOS out
> and report any problems, so here I am to say that I successfully booted
> and installed 1.2-RC1 in a generation-1 Hyper-V 2012 R2 virtual machine
> using the ISO image.  I pretty much took the defaults for everything
> except RAM, which I set to 32 MB (the minimum allowed by Hyper-V), and
> storage, which I set to 40 GB.  The installation took a long
> time---several hours, although I didn't measure it carefully.

This matches some observation by Maarten during a FreeDOS install:

The installation spends a LONG time while displaying the text
"gathering information". Question about the installer: What
does that step do and are there ways to optimize it? I could
imagine that it tries to compare existing file versions to
the to-be-installed versions. This could be made faster by
making a directory listing of the old DOS installation once,
then keeping it in RAM (or in a file) while checking which
packages are up to date and which are not. Educated guesses.

Cheers, Eric



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Re: slow FreeDOS install - was: FreeDOS 1.2-RC1 on Hyper-V 2012 R2

Maarten Vermeulen
Hi all,

Maybe it is good to give some extra information, if it helps:
It hangs, the only thing it does is making the temporary folder. After it has done that, it will
sit an hour doing nothing (as far as I can see). That's why I think it hangs at least.

I am using Virtualbox version 5.0.24 r108355, for if that's interesting... Anyway, I tried to install it on a .vhd and a .vdi virtual harddrive it happend on both. My system is just a single core CPU, with 32MB RAM and a 500MiB hdd.


I will look if I can find a solution to this on my own.....

Maarten

2016-11-15 19:33 GMT+01:00 Eric Auer <[hidden email]>:

Hi everybody, update on the 2 Nov mail by Matthew:

> The release candidate announcement encouraged people to try FreeDOS out
> and report any problems, so here I am to say that I successfully booted
> and installed 1.2-RC1 in a generation-1 Hyper-V 2012 R2 virtual machine
> using the ISO image.  I pretty much took the defaults for everything
> except RAM, which I set to 32 MB (the minimum allowed by Hyper-V), and
> storage, which I set to 40 GB.  The installation took a long
> time---several hours, although I didn't measure it carefully.

This matches some observation by Maarten during a FreeDOS install:

The installation spends a LONG time while displaying the text
"gathering information". Question about the installer: What
does that step do and are there ways to optimize it? I could
imagine that it tries to compare existing file versions to
the to-be-installed versions. This could be made faster by
making a directory listing of the old DOS installation once,
then keeping it in RAM (or in a file) while checking which
packages are up to date and which are not. Educated guesses.

Cheers, Eric



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Re: slow FreeDOS install - was: FreeDOS 1.2-RC1 on Hyper-V 2012 R2

Antony Gordon
@echo on in the batch files to the rescue. :)

On Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 1:43 PM Maarten Vermeulen <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,

Maybe it is good to give some extra information, if it helps:
It hangs, the only thing it does is making the temporary folder. After it has done that, it will
sit an hour doing nothing (as far as I can see). That's why I think it hangs at least.

I am using Virtualbox version 5.0.24 r108355, for if that's interesting... Anyway, I tried to install it on a .vhd and a .vdi virtual harddrive it happend on both. My system is just a single core CPU, with 32MB RAM and a 500MiB hdd.


I will look if I can find a solution to this on my own.....

Maarten

2016-11-15 19:33 GMT+01:00 Eric Auer <[hidden email]>:

Hi everybody, update on the 2 Nov mail by Matthew:

> The release candidate announcement encouraged people to try FreeDOS out
> and report any problems, so here I am to say that I successfully booted
> and installed 1.2-RC1 in a generation-1 Hyper-V 2012 R2 virtual machine
> using the ISO image.  I pretty much took the defaults for everything
> except RAM, which I set to 32 MB (the minimum allowed by Hyper-V), and
> storage, which I set to 40 GB.  The installation took a long
> time---several hours, although I didn't measure it carefully.

This matches some observation by Maarten during a FreeDOS install:

The installation spends a LONG time while displaying the text
"gathering information". Question about the installer: What
does that step do and are there ways to optimize it? I could
imagine that it tries to compare existing file versions to
the to-be-installed versions. This could be made faster by
making a directory listing of the old DOS installation once,
then keeping it in RAM (or in a file) while checking which
packages are up to date and which are not. Educated guesses.

Cheers, Eric



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Re: slow FreeDOS install - was: FreeDOS 1.2-RC1 on Hyper-V 2012 R2

Jerome Shidel


@echo on in the batch files to the rescue. :)

That would be a very painful experience.


On Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 1:43 PM Maarten Vermeulen <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,

Maybe it is good to give some extra information, if it helps:
It hangs, the only thing it does is making the temporary folder. After it has done that, it will
sit an hour doing nothing (as far as I can see). That's why I think it hangs at least.

I am using Virtualbox version 5.0.24 r108355, for if that's interesting... Anyway, I tried to install it on a .vhd and a .vdi virtual harddrive it happend on both. My system is just a single core CPU, with 32MB RAM and a 500MiB hdd.

I assume you booted the the CD-ROM and on boot the installer through you straight to the command line with a message that warned you that you should not install it on that platform using that media.
Then you ran setup.bat manually. Then when you got to “Gathering information…” it froze. If you used another method, there may be an issue. Otherwise, this problem is known and is not a problem with the installer itself. It is a compatibility issue that only occurs under VirtualBox when booting FreeDOS using an El Torito based CD. It may not occur if the boot configuration used different drivers or memory managers. If you boot the floppy and just use the CD for packages, the problem vanishes. The issue does not occur under vmWare or other tested virtual machines. Beyond spending hours testing the installer to verify it was not a problem with it, little testing to find the exact cause has not been done. However, based on the behavior my best guess is it is a bug in VirtualBox, the Kernel, FreeCOM or one of the device drivers. 

Another symptom of the issue, boot the CD. From the command line, you can navigate the CD contents from the command prompt using the built-in FreeCOM shell internal commands (DIR, CD…). But, ANY program (Like FreeDOS Edit) that access the CD-ROM portion of the El Torito CD causes instant system lockup. 

I have thought about switching to the more modern HDD based boot CD format. But, both have problems. The El Torito spec is the original widely accepted method. Old machines that can boot this type may not be able to boot the later HDD spec version. The HDD type really wasn’t commonly used until post Pentium. I’ve got a functioning Pentium Pro that can not boot HDD version CDs. Now, on the other hand, once the HDD CD spec was long established, I doubt many vendors did much testing with the older spec. Maybe we could talk Jim into 2 CDs, one for pre-Pentium II, one post.

Maybe someday, VirtualBox will fix the problem. This is why the installer allows you to still launch manually.

Now, if you are having this issue when booting the Floppy or USB image in VirtualBox, it would be something new. But, I do a lot of testing using the latest version of VirtualBox on a Mac. My personal recommendation for a VirtualBox install is to use one of the USB stick images. It is about 10x faster than Floppy+CD. Basically, just create the VM like normal. Move the New drive to Primary/Slave. Connect Primary/Master to the USB stick. Do install. Swap USB Stick and HDD. Overall 30-60 second install.


I will look if I can find a solution to this on my own.....

This matches some observation by Maarten during a FreeDOS install:

The installation spends a LONG time while displaying the text
"gathering information". Question about the installer: What
does that step do and are there ways to optimize it?

The only thing that actually happens while the “Gathering information….” screen is displayed at present is locating installation package install media. (i.e., CD-ROM/USB Stick's drive & path).
That usually happens instantly when using a USB stick and usually under a second for the CD-ROM. But, I inserted a couple second delay so the message just would not flash on past. On a very slow system with lots of drives it could take a couple seconds to locate the packages. If they are not found, the system doesn’t see them and you get an error message.

Maybe, future versions will do more at “Gathering information.” But, for now that is all that happens there. The temp directory is made prior to the “GI” message.


I could
imagine that it tries to compare existing file versions to
the to-be-installed versions. This could be made faster by
making a directory listing of the old DOS installation once,
then keeping it in RAM (or in a file) while checking which
packages are up to date and which are not. Educated guesses.

The installer does not do version checking on files. 

Later on, during the install. It attempts to removes all packages that it will be installing. Then it saves the remaining installed package meta data files. Purges the DOS directory of any remaining files. Installs all fresh packages and restores the preserved package metadata.  This is not perfect. But, it insures a good install and clean OS directory and the user can restore any additional files they need from their backup.

Jerome


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Re: slow FreeDOS install - was: FreeDOS 1.2-RC1 on Hyper-V 2012 R2

Maarten Vermeulen
Hi,


Op woensdag 16 november 2016 heeft Jerome E. Shidel Jr. <[hidden email]> het volgende geschreven:
>
>
> @echo on in the batch files to the rescue. :)
>
> That would be a very painful experience.
>
> I assume you booted the the CD-ROM and on boot the installer through you straight to the command line with a message that warned you that you should not install it on that platform using that media.

Yes, it did that... However I also tried to boot from a floppy and it said/did the same. Maybe that's the problem of my system.

Maarten

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Re: slow FreeDOS install - was: FreeDOS 1.2-RC1 on Hyper-V 2012 R2

Jerome Shidel



On Nov 16, 2016, at 4:35 AM, Maarten Vermeulen <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi,


Op woensdag 16 november 2016 heeft Jerome E. Shidel Jr. <[hidden email]> het volgende geschreven:
>
>
> @echo on in the batch files to the rescue. :)
>
> That would be a very painful experience.
>
> I assume you booted the the CD-ROM and on boot the installer through you straight to the command line with a message that warned you that you should not install it on that platform using that media.

Yes, it did that... However I also tried to boot from a floppy and it said/did the same. Maybe that's the problem of my system.

Maarten


Verify the disk boot order settings in VirtualBox have the floppy before the CD-ROM. Or, just boot the floppy, then once the installer starts connect the CD-ROM.

Jerome

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Re: slow FreeDOS install - was: FreeDOS 1.2-RC1 onHyper-V 2012 R2

Maarten Vermeulen

I know it’s in first boot order. It also boots first.

 

Van: [hidden email]
Verzonden: woensdag 16 november 2016 12:49
Aan: [hidden email]
Onderwerp: Re: [Freedos-devel] slow FreeDOS install - was: FreeDOS 1.2-RC1 onHyper-V 2012 R2

 

 


On Nov 16, 2016, at 4:35 AM, Maarten Vermeulen <[hidden email]> wrote:


Hi,


Op woensdag 16 november 2016 heeft Jerome E. Shidel Jr. <[hidden email]> het volgende geschreven:
>
>
> @echo on in the batch files to the rescue. :)
>
> That would be a very painful experience.
>
> I assume you booted the the CD-ROM and on boot the installer through you straight to the command line with a message that warned you that you should not install it on that platform using that media.

Yes, it did that... However I also tried to boot from a floppy and it said/did the same. Maybe that's the problem of my system.

Maarten




Verify the disk boot order settings in VirtualBox have the floppy before the CD-ROM. Or, just boot the floppy, then once the installer starts connect the CD-ROM.



Jerome

 


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Re: slow FreeDOS install - was: FreeDOS 1.2-RC1 onHyper-V 2012 R2

Jerome Shidel


On Nov 16, 2016, at 9:04 AM, <[hidden email]> <[hidden email]> wrote:

I know it’s in first boot order. It also boots first.


Try just booting the FD12FLOPPY, then don't connect the CD until you are greeted by the installer. Don't use the boot.img on the CD.

Humm, at present only booting the CD under VirtualBox should not immediately return to the prompt with a warning message. No other boot media should do that. It is possible I pushed the CDs floppy image as FD12FLOPPY, I will have to check later.

The installer is identical across all versions. Only the booted FDCONFIG and AUTOEXEC vary. The installer only drops out with the message when VirrualBOx is detected and it was passed a specific command line option. This only happens when the CD is booted.

Jerome

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Re: slow FreeDOS install - was: FreeDOS 1.2-RC1 onHyper-V 2012 R2

Maarten Vermeulen
Never mind! It was indeed a problem with only the booting CD's, I did something wrong I guess....

2016-11-16 18:31 GMT+01:00 Jerome Shidel <[hidden email]>:


On Nov 16, 2016, at 9:04 AM, <[hidden email]> <[hidden email]> wrote:

I know it’s in first boot order. It also boots first.


Try just booting the FD12FLOPPY, then don't connect the CD until you are greeted by the installer. Don't use the boot.img on the CD.

Humm, at present only booting the CD under VirtualBox should not immediately return to the prompt with a warning message. No other boot media should do that. It is possible I pushed the CDs floppy image as FD12FLOPPY, I will have to check later.

The installer is identical across all versions. Only the booted FDCONFIG and AUTOEXEC vary. The installer only drops out with the message when VirrualBOx is detected and it was passed a specific command line option. This only happens when the CD is booted.

Jerome

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Re: slow FreeDOS install - was: FreeDOS 1.2-RC1 onHyper-V 2012 R2

Jerome Shidel

> On Nov 18, 2016, at 11:09 AM, Maarten Vermeulen <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Never mind! It was indeed a problem with only the booting CD's, I did something wrong I guess….

No problem. It happens.

Assuming I have the time, I will be looking into using the other bootable CD spec over the next couple days. I will be testing its compatibility with VirtualBox. If it goes well, we may switch over to using it instead of the El Torito Spec version. Unfortunately, that would require anyone using a pre-Pentium II to use the boot floppy. But, they should have one. Maybe, if testing goes well we will do two versions, FD12CD.iso and FD12LGCY.iso (for legacy hardware). We will see.

Jerome.
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