Before installing FixPack 15, a few utilities are in order. And since WebExplorer is essentially a broken browser, use FTP to retrieve them.

Info-Zip

Some of the updates involved are in .zip format, so first retrieve Info-Zip’s UnZip utility. Place it somewhere for keeps, like C:Unzip,  and run it in an OS/2 Terminal window.

ftp
open ftp.info-zip.org
anonymous
<any password>
cd pub/infozip/os2
bin
get unz600.exe
quit
unz600.exe

RSUINSTN.EXE

An updated version (1.99) of the RSUINSTN.EXE utility is needed to install both FixPack 15 and Device Driver FixPack 2 by the preferred “Remote Service Utility” (RSU) way. Run it in an OS/2 Terminal window also.

ftp
open service.boulder.ibm.com
anonymous
<any password>
cd ps/products/os2/rsu
bin
get rsuinstn.exe
quit
rsuinstn.exe

Copy RSUINST.EXE and UNZIP.EXE to C:TCPIPBIN. Duplicates of these files should not exist anywhere else in your path. If RXFTP.DLL in C:TCPIPDLL is dated earlier than 1997-09-04, replace it with newer one that was extracted from RSUINSTN.EXE.

FixPack 15

There are two ways to install FixPack 15, the simple way with the “Remote Software Update” (RSU) service, and the manual hard way. Using the RSU way, I needed to transfer XR_M015.RSU to the OS/2 guest and open it with WebExplorer via the File | Open menu, trying to open it directly from the site or Save As wouldn’t work for me.

For the hard way, open up an OS/2 Terminal window and FTP the required files.

ftp
open ps.boulder.ibm.com
anonymous
<any password>
cd /ps/products/os2/rsu/xr_m015
bin
prompt
mget *
quit

While you can do this on VM itself, I chose to store them on a local FTP server. If you try it this was way also, you may want to set your VM to use a bridged adaptor instead and give it a real IP address rather than NAT, otherwise you are probably going to run into problems with the built-in OS/2 FTP client.

Unzip the files you just downloaded in your OS/2 Terminal window.

cd download
C:unzip32-bitunzip.exe -d csf143.zip
md os2serv
cd os2serv
c:unzip32-bitunzip.exe -d c:downloadf*.zip
c:unzip32-bitunzip.exe -d c:downloadx*.zip

To start the FixPack installation, run the following in you OS/2 Terminal window.

cd download
os2serv

Select to install, reboot when it’s complete. Open an “OS/2 Window” and run “syslevel”, the Base Operating System should read “XR0M015”, confirming that it was successfully installed. If you experience any graphical corruption, try resetting your resolution to 640x480x256.

MPTS 5.3

The TCP/IP stack that OS/2 ships with is 16bit, and can’t be upgraded through the RSU service. Download the required files to a temporary directory with the OS/2 Terminal window.

ftp
open service.boulder.ibm.com
anonymous
<any password>
cd ps/products/mpts/fixes/english-us/wr08610_conv
mget *
quit

There’s a readme included that provides instructions on creating these from floppies using the LOADDSKF.EXE utility. This never worked for me, so instead download and the Fastkick utility and place it in the same directory you placed the MPTS download. Next, unzip everything.

ftp
open asavage.dyndns.org
cd /OS2
bin
get fastkick144.zip
quit
C:unzip32-bitunzip.exe fastkick144.zip
dskxtrct.exe /s:w0861b01.dsk /t:. /ra

Repeat the last step for all 8 files, delete fastkick144.zip, then install by running INSTALL.CMD.

In an OS/2 Terminal window run the “syslevel” command. The “IBM TCP/IP Stack” should report the current CSD level as “WR08610” to confirm it was successfully installed. If you’ve been using static IP settings, you should be safe to use DHCP at this point.

Device Driver Fixpak

I could only find this available via RSU at OS/2 FixPak Information. It should be run from WebExplorer with the File | Open menu as well.

VirtualBox Guest Additions

The Guest Additions have limited support, and aren’t required, but do provide some keyboard and mouse integration, so you won’t need to capture/uncapture any longer, as well as improved video support. The Guest Additions are installed by connecting the Guest Additions virtual drive in the same manner as a virtual CD drive. There is no automated installer provided, but instructions are present in the README.TXT file.

Hint: Use TEDIT when booted in command line mode to edit C:CONFIG.SYS.

You can now add custom resolutions to VirtualBox with the following commands. Replace “OS/2 TEST 2” with the name of your VM.

/usr/bin/VBoxManage setextradata “OS2 TEST 2” CustomVideoMode1 “1152x870x32”
/usr/bin/VBoxManage setextradata “OS2 TEST 2” CustomVideoMode2 “1440x900x32”
/usr/bin/VBoxManage setextradata “OS2 TEST 2” CustomVideoMode3 “1152x870x16”
/usr/bin/VBoxManage setextradata “OS2 TEST 2” CustomVideoMode4 “1440x900x16”

A custom monitor definition is required to support these increased resolutions. As an example with my own monitor, I’ve placed the following in C:OS2PRIVATE.DIF.

[Monitor]
OEMString = "LG Flatron W1952TQ"
XSize = 300
YSize = 225
[comment]
Graphics Mode: 640 x 480 at 60Hz vertical refresh.
[ModeInfo]
XResolution = 640
YResolution = 480
VerticalRefresh = 60
HorizontalRefresh = 31
VPolarityPositive = 0
HPolarityPositive = 0
[comment]
Graphics Mode: 800 x 600 at 60Hz vertical refresh.
[ModeInfo]
XResolution = 800
YResolution = 600
VerticalRefresh = 60
VPolarityPositive = 0
YPolarityPositive = 0
[comment]
Graphics Mode: 1152 x 870 at 75Hz vertical refresh.
[ModeInfo]
XResolution = 1152
YResolution = 870
VerticalRefresh = 75
HorizontalRefresh = 68
VPolarityPositive = 0
HPolarityPositive = 0
[comment]
Graphics Mode: 1440 x 900 at 60Hz vertical refresh.
[ModeInfo]
XResolution = 1440
YResolution = 900
VerticalRefresh = 60
HorizontalRefresh = 56
VPolarityPositive = 0
HPolarityPositive = 0

Web Browser

WebExplorer isn’t capable of rendering any modern websites, but a Firefox port is available at Warpzilla, and isn’t too difficult to install.

There are still a few OS/2 resources out there, and eComStation has taken it a step further with a number of enhancements and ports. Most however are disappearing and look to have not been updated in a very long time. I’ve already added this article to my Evernote notebook.

Categories: OS

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