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#86865 - 03/15/13 02:44 AM The MAME OS installs instructions thread
R. Belmont Offline

Very Senior Member

Registered: 03/17/01
Posts: 15435
Loc: USA
Welcome! Please do NOT post discussion or requests for help here. This thread is strictly for instructions on setting up and installing operating systems for computers in MAME.

Feel free to post your own OS install guides. Please try and follow a similar format to what I've done here, with screenshots showing important steps.

A few notes:
- You are limited to 10 pictures per post, so guides will generally need to be at least two consecutive posts.
- Please use a reliable host for photos!
- Suggestions for improving guides are welcome, especially if you tried to follow one and got confused at some point.
- I'd love these guides to end up on the wiki eventually; if someone wants to start converting them, feel free. I think it's easier to 'beta test' them here though.

#86866 - 03/15/13 02:56 AM Re: The MESS OS installs instructions thread [Re: R. Belmont]
R. Belmont Offline

Very Senior Member

Registered: 03/17/01
Posts: 15435
Loc: USA
Stage 1: ct486 PC driver setup for all OSes.

Handy things to have include:
- Preformatted blank 2GB and 4GB hard disk images.
- A DOS 7.1 boot disk with third party CD-ROM drivers.

Step 1: Extract the hard disk images. Make a copy of one of them named after the OS you're going to install, such as win2k.chd. (For Win 95/98/ME you must use the 2GB disk only as a source!)

Step 2: Start the ct486 driver with the following minimal options: -ramsize 64M -hard1 win2k.chd (or whatever you named it).

If you are starting from clear NVRAM, you'll see this message. Press F1 to enter SETUP. If you have previously used the driver, press DEL to enter SETUP during the RAM count-up.

- Choose the first option "STANDARD CMOS SETUP" and press Enter twice, skipping the dire warning.

- Setup the date and time to current and move the cursor down to the Hard Disk C: Type.

- Press Page Up to get type 47 USER TYPE.

- Use the right arrow and number keys to change Cyln to 4161 (2GB) or 8322 (4GB), Head to 16 and Sect to 63. Do not change WPcom or Lzone.

- Select Floppy Drive A and press PAGE UP/PAGE DOWN until it's set to "1.44 MB 3 1/2".

- Press Esc and choose ADVANCED CMOS SETUP. Press Enter to skip the warning screen once again and scroll down to System Boot Up Sequence.

- Press PAGE UP/PAGE DOWN to select "A: C:" as shown

- Press Esc.

- Choose WRITE TO CMOS AND EXIT and press Enter. Confirm when it asks if you really want to.

Congrats, ct486 is now configured! Additional OS-specific instructions will follow.

#86867 - 03/15/13 03:08 AM Re: The MESS OS installs instructions thread [Re: R. Belmont]
R. Belmont Offline

Very Senior Member

Registered: 03/17/01
Posts: 15435
Loc: USA
This is for Windows 2000 (2000 original and SP1 are known to work, and these instructions are generally true for NT 4 as well).

FAIR WARNING: this install will take several hours on a machine that runs ct486 at 100% speed and longer on one that doesn't. On machines capable of going above 100%, I highly recommend turning off the throttle any time you don't have to type something.

Step 1: After doing the general PC setup in the post above, extract the boot floppy as well, and get an ISO and product key for the Windows version you plan to install. We can't help you find them, and of course we encourage you only to install operating systems you legally own.

Step 2: start ct486 with some additional parameters: mess ct486 -ramsize 64M -hard1 win2k.chd -flop1 win98boot.ima -cdrom whatever.iso (change whatever.iso to your Windows install disc).

Step 2a: If you think you'll want to use networking later to get the emulated Windows online, you can save some steps by adding -isa4 ne2000 now.

Step 3: After the system boots up to an A:\> prompt, type sys a: c: and press Enter. You should see this:

Step 4: Type d: and press Enter.

Step 5: Type cd i386 and press Enter.

Step 6: Type winnt and press Enter. Accept the default option for where to copy the files. You'll see this warning:

Just press Enter to continue. Files will copy.

When you reach the end of copying, like so:

Close MESS (press ScrLock on Windows/Linux, Delete on OS X to change to partial keyboard mode, then Esc to exit, or simply close the MESS window with your mouse).

Step 7: Restart MESS without the floppy disk inserted. So remove -flop1 win98boot.ima from the previous commandline. You should boot to this:

Just press Enter on the default as shown and setup will continue after a moment:

When you get here, just press Enter.

It will ask you to agree to the license, press F8 to do that.

Choose the default, drive C:, by pressing Enter.

Leave it intact, by pressing Enter.

Windows may ask to reboot at this point, press Enter if it does and wait for it to reboot. This will place you back at the start of step 7.

(continued in next post)

Edited by R. Belmont (03/15/13 01:49 PM)

#86869 - 03/15/13 03:47 AM Re: The MESS OS installs instructions thread [Re: R. Belmont]
R. Belmont Offline

Very Senior Member

Registered: 03/17/01
Posts: 15435
Loc: USA
Step 8: The main install will begin. This will take a while...

After a while, you'll get here:

And then here:

Step 9: You will be asked to set up your passwords and time zone and stuff. It's full GUI at this point with the mouse so I'm omitting the screenshots. Once you've done that, it'll grind a while longer and you'll get this:

Exit MESS as you did earlier, and remove the -cdrom whatever.iso from the command line, then start MESS again.

Step 10: It will come up with a Network Identification Wizard; simply accept the default (always log in the user you created earlier) and Windows will (eventually) start up.


Edited by R. Belmont (03/15/13 01:48 PM)

#87518 - 04/06/13 09:11 PM Re: The MESS OS installs instructions thread [Re: R. Belmont]
crazyc Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/22/12
Posts: 629
To install Desqview/X with networking. Requires a bit of DOS knowledge and a bit of X11 knowledge for the X remote stuff.

1. Create an hdd image. Your best bet is a 504MB image with 1024,16,63 chs geometry. Refer above for NVRAM setup.
2. Get Desqview/X floppy images. Symantec doesn't seem to care so they aren't hard to find.
3. Use the at486 or ct486 driver. at486 works fine with 64MB of ram now so using ct486 isn't necessary any more. Use "-isa3 3c503" on the command line.
4. Use Fdisk to partition the image, format it and use sys to install MS-DOS (best 5 or 6.xx). Desqview/X requires QEMM which seems to hate FreeDOS. Make sure you have "FILES=50" in your Config.sys.
5. Remove the install floppy and reboot.
6. Get CuteMouse (for mouse support obviously) and TLIVESA.COM (for higher res video modes with the ET4000, unneeded if using the S3) and use a floppy image to transfer them into your hdd image. Easiest to run them from your Autoexec.bat.
7. Mount the first dvx floppy and type "a:install" at the dos prompt.

8. It will ask for owner info and the serial number. Use Express Install unless you really want to configure something.
9. Select the video mode. If you use the S3 or TLIVESA you'll get more options than just 640x480x16.

10. QEMM optimize will run. Just use Express. It'll reboot a few times.

11. You can now run Desqview by typing "dvx" at the command line.

For the next bit you must have a mess binary built with networking. "USE_NETWORK=1" on the make command line if you built it yourself.

12. You'll need LSL.COM from this package and TCPIP.EXE from this package (both are freeware from Novell). You'll also need the 3c503 ODI driver (get it here) as the NE2000 ODI driver doesn't work currently.
Here's a NET.CFG that works. Change the IP address and router to whatever is correct for your network and put it in the same path as the network programs.
Link Driver 3c503
	PORT 300
	INT 3
	FRAME Ethernet_II

Link support
	Buffers 4 1504
	MemPool 8096
	Max Stacks 4

Protocol TCPIP
Run them from a bat file in the order lsl, 3c503 and tcpip last.
13. Run nsetup from the desqview directory. Novell should be the only network option. Use whatever you want for user and RSH, REXEC and FTP select no unless you know what you are doing.

14. Run remote X11 software.

Note, most modern X11 apps, even xterm from xorg (shown is rxvt), don't work. Gtk+ apps require xrandr and QT apps just don't work.

#88367 - 05/11/13 03:57 AM Re: The MESS OS installs instructions thread [Re: R. Belmont]
mahlemiut Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 518
Loc: New Zealand
Here's how to setup the Damn Small Linux Live CD. It is fairly straightforward, but getting some hardware to work can be tricky if you're unfamiliar with Linux. I'll go through a whole HD install sometime later, when I have some more spare time.

First, you'll need the DSL Live CD and a boot floppy. You can find these at
Grab dsl-4.4.10.iso and bootfloppy.img.

The boot floppy is not required if you're using at586, as it can boot directly from the CD, but ct486 is the recommended driver. Alternatively, you can use Smart Boot Manager on a bootable floppy to boot from the CD.

Start MESS with the DSL ISO and boot floppy mounted, with ramsize set to 64m, and use svga_s3 in the first ISA slot. Press DEL during the memory test to go to the BIOS setup, and make sure you enable the floppy drives, any hard disks (not required), and make sure that the boot order is A: then C:. Select Save to CMOS and exit. Now wait, and let the floppy image boot. You will be greeted with the splash screen and the boot: prompt. Here, enter "dsl xsetup" (without quotes) and press enter.

This will make xsetup run before starting X11, so that video mode and some other stuff can be set.

Next, you'll get a message saying something about passing an undefined video mode number. Select any option you wish, except for 'scan'. Or just press Space to continue on.

Now, DSL will start booting. This can take a bit of time, so make a cup of coffee while you wait.

After a little while, xsetup will be run, and gives you an option of which X server to use. Select XVesa.

Select No for USB mouse, and IBM PS/2 mouse wheel. MESS does not support these at this time.
For mouse port, select com1, since MESS only currently supports serial mice.
For number of mouse buttons, select 2 mouse buttons.
For resolution and bit depth, it's up to you, but 800x600 and 16bit work okay with the 9FX Vision 330 video card (svga_s3).
Select No to choosing your own DPI.
For keyboard mapping, it's your choice, but the default US works fine.
After all that, you should be greeting with the standard X11 cross-hatch pattern, and eventually a usable desktop like this:

Now, some hardware you may be using don't have their drivers installed yet, as MESS only properly supports ISA (not ISAPNP, VLB, and minimal PCI on at586), so you have to load these manually.

Networking (requires a build compiled with USE_NETWORK=1):
IRQ3 seems to conflict with something in Linux, even though it doesn't list anything as using it. This means the 3c503 network card is not really usable. But the NE1000/2000 is, with their IRQ set to IRQ5 (you can set this in MESS' System Configuration menu).
Open a terminal (either the Term button on the taskbar, or DSL->XShells->... menu). At the prompt, type (without quotes) "sudo modprobe ne io=0x300 irq=5" and press enter. Run dmesg at the prompt to make sure the driver is loaded. Now, load the DSL Control Panel, and click Netcardconfig.

If your local network uses DHCP, set DHCP Broadcast to yes, click Apply then Exit. Otherwise, fill in IP Address, Broadcast, Gateway, and Name Servers. IP address will be the IP for the emulated system, and Gateway will be the IP of the TUN/TAP device MESS will use (I guess there's something similar for Win32 and OS X users using PCAP), and click Apply then Exit. Now you should be able to browse the net. Firefox is included, and usable, if you want something that is better than Dillo, just be prepared to wait a fair while for it to load.

Just loading the driver should be enough. Open a terminal, and enter:
sudo modprobe gus io=0x320 irq=7 (Gravis Ultrasound - IRQ and DMA is software configurable, so set it to an IRQ/DMA channel not in use)
sudo modprobe sb io=0x220 (Sound Blaster)

You can use floppies, HDs and CDs, by mounting them via the Mount tool (click the Mount button on the taskbar). Click the top button to cycle though mountable devices, and the bottom button to mount or unmount the media. Contents are viewable in the various folders in the /mnt folder. For example: mount the cdrom, and at a terminal prompt display a listing with "ls /mnt/cdrom/" Media can be any formatted any way that Linux supports (ext2, FAT, FAT32, ISO9660 [CDs], among others).

If you have formatted hard disks mounted, you can use them to save settings to. The HDs can be formatted in ext2/ext3 or FAT/FAT32 or anything that Linux 2.4 supports. From the DSL Control Panel, click Backup/Restore, enter the device name (for the first partition on the first IDE hard disk, use /dev/hda1), and click Backup. Now you can shutdown and settings will be saved to the HD.

- Barry Rodewald

#88476 - 05/16/13 02:57 AM Re: The MESS OS installs instructions thread [Re: R. Belmont]
mahlemiut Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 518
Loc: New Zealand
Slackware 3.x HD installation from CD

CD-ROM images for Slackware 3.2 and 3.5:

Screenshots are from a Slackware 3.4 installation, but should be more or less the same as far as the installation process goes.

Step 1: Setup hardware.

First, create the HD image you wish to install Linux to with CHDMAN.
chdman createhd -o <CHD filename> -chd 1024,16,63 (creates a 504MB blank HD image with filename specified by <CHD filename>)

You also need some other OS installed on either a floppy or HD with CD-ROM drivers included. An MS-DOS floppy with CD-ROM drivers and MSCDEX is a good idea, as is a bootable Linux floppy.
Make an extra two copies of the same floppy image, these will be made into the boot and root floppies that will start the installation process.
This tutorial will assume you are using MS-DOS to create the boot and root disks.

Step 2: Create Boot and Root floppy disks.

Start MESS (ct486 with -ramsize 64m works well) with the MS-DOS bootable floppy mounted in flop1, your freshly made, blank HD image mounted in hard1 and the Slackware CD mounted in cdrom.

During the memory test, press DEL to go to the BIOS setup, and enter Standard CMOS Setup. Set floppy drives to 3 1/2" 1.44MB, and first HD to type 47, with 1024 cylinders, 16 heads, and 63 sectors (or whatever you used when you created the CHD)

Exit this screen and select Write to CMOS and Exit. The system will now reboot and boot from the DOS floppy.

Switch to the CD-ROM drive (typically D:, but mine is set to E:) and change directory to BOOTDSKS.144 (cd bootdsks.144). Mount one of the floppies you copied earlier to flop2 (drive B:)

Enter rawrite bare.i b: This will write the image bare.i to the disk in drive B:, and will be the installation boot disk.

When done, unmount the disk in flop2, and mount the second copy you made in flop2.

Change to the ROOTDSKS directory (cd \rootdsks)

Enter rawrite color.gz b: This will write color.gz to the disk in drive B: and will be the installation root disk.

Step 3: Partition the Hard Disk.

Unmount both floppy disks, and mount the boot disk in flop1, and restart (press F3, or quit and restart MESS with boot disk in flop1). The boot disk will start up at a "boot:" prompt. Just press enter at this point, and the boot process will continue until you get a message to insert the root floppy disk, at which point, unmount the boot floppy, and mount the root floppy to flop1. It would be wise to bring up the File Manager menu before reaching the prompt for the root floppy, as pressing TAB to get to it will make it continue (despite it saying "press ENTER"). You should now get to the welcome screen, and a login prompt. Login as root (no password required).

You can try to run setup now, but it won't work, as there are no partitioned HDs available, so we must do that first. At the # prompt, type fdisk

Press m then Enter for a list of commands. Simplest setup for Linux is to have two partitions, one for the OS, the other for swap space.

The following sequence will set up the necessary partitions (press ENTER after each item):
n, p, 1, 1, +128M (or whatever size you wish for the swap partition)
n, p, 2, 262 (or whatever is the lowest cylinder available), 1024 (or whatever is the last cylinder available)
t, 1, 82 (sets first partition to Linux swap)
a, 2 (sets second partition to be bootable)

Final partition table should look something like this:

When it seems correct, press w then ENTER to write the partition table to the HD. Now mount the boot disk, and type reboot. The system will now reboot.

Step 4: Installation.

Repeat the previous boot process from the beginning of step 3, and login as root again.

Now you can run setup at the # prompt, and you should get this menu:

Settings the keymap and tags aren't necessary, so you can start by setting up the swap partition (ADDSWAP item). If you have your HD partitions set up as in step 3, then you should get /dev/hda1 available for swap. When asked if you wish to use mkswap, select Yes, and when asked if you wish to activate the swap partition, also select Yes (not required, but won't do any harm). Now the first partition should be in use as swap space.

Now, you can continue on to setting the target partition. If you select No, you will return to the main menu, if you select Yes, then you continue on, as if you select the TARGET item from the main menu.

Next, a quick scan of HDs will occur, and a list shown for you to select the partition to install Slackware to. If your setup is as it is in step 3, then select /dev/hda2. Next, it asks if you want to format the partition, select Format. For inode density, the default is fine, so select that. Wait while the partition is formatted.

(continued next post)
- Barry Rodewald

#88477 - 05/16/13 03:00 AM Re: The MESS OS installs instructions thread [Re: mahlemiut]
mahlemiut Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 518
Loc: New Zealand
Next, is selecting the source media. Since we are installing from a CD-ROM, select option 5. The next screen selects the CD-ROM type. MESS only supports IDE/ATAPI CD-ROM drives, so select option 1.

Now you have to select which IDE device the CD-ROM drive uses. With default settings, this will be /dev/hdc (Secondary IDE interface, drive 1). If you have the CD-ROM drive configured on the primary IDE interface, then you would select /dev/hda. Clearly, your HD partitions will be /dev/hdc1 and /dev/hdc2, in that case. Finally, for the installation method, select slakware, which is the standard installation method.

Now we select which disk sets to install. What you install is entirely up to you and what you may need. Only set A (Base Linux system) is required.

Time to install the packages now. laugh First, you must select the prompting mode. NORMAL will prompt you for each non-required package in the sets you selected earlier. This can be cumbersome, so MENU is a better option, as it let's you select most of the packages before installing them all at once.

After all the packages have been installed, you then need to install a kernel. You can choose from the kernel on the boot disk, one from the CD-ROM, or a kernel image stored on a DOS floppy. Using the kernel from the boot disk will do fine, so unmount the root disk, and mount the boot disk in flop1 once more, then select bootdisk from the menu. The kernel from the boot disk will now be installed to the HD.

Now on to the final phase, configuration. First task is making a boot disk. This is different to the boot disk created earlier, in that it will boot straight to your installed system, in case the HD image ever fails to boot for some reason. You'll need another copy of a disk image to turn into a boot disk, but this is entirely optional. The format option will format the disk image you have in flop1, simple will copy a kernel image on the floppy, lilo will make a more flexible LILO bootdisk, and continue will skip the whole process and continue on.

Select No to setting up a modem, MESS does not support modems at this time.

Select Yes to setting up your mouse, and choose option 1 (MS compatible serial mouse). Set ttyS0 (equivalent to COM1) for the mouse port.

Now you can choose some funky screen fonts, if you so wish. Select a font from the list, and it will change to that font for you. Then select No if you want to choose a different font, or Yes to set this one.

Next option is to install LILO to the boot sector of the HD. LILO (LInux LOader) is a common boot loader, which is run when booting the HD, and can provide boot parameters or load other OSes you may have installed on the HD.

To install LILO, first select Begin from the menu. The first screen will ask for any extra parameters. This is typically not needed, so just press Enter to continue. Next screen selects where LILO is to be installed, the Master Boot Record of the HD, the superblock of the partition you've installed to, or to a floppy disk. Select MBR. Next screen is for the boot: prompt delay. The choice is up to you. 5 seconds is plenty.

Next select Linux from the LILO menu, to add your Linux partition to it's config. Enter the partition you've installed to (it will be listed, but typically will be /dev/hda2). And finally, add a name for the partition. This can be anything you like, so long as it's a singe word.

Now select Install, and it will install LILO to the HD.

Next is gpm configuration. gpm is a program that allows you to select and copy text with the mouse while in console mode (ie: when not running X-Windows). It's up to you if you wish to enable it. Selecting Yes will add it to your system startup script.

Now select your time zone. Again, the choice is yours.

Finally, it will ask if you wish to replace /etc/fstab. Choose No.

And that is it. You can now exit setup, unmount any floppies, and reboot. Slackware will boot from the HD, and you can login as root.

Step 5: Hardware Setup.

As MESS only properly supports ISA (PCI is only available in 586+ drivers, and is rather incomplete at this stage), hardware drivers will need to be loaded manually.

For network cards, you will need to have installed the networking disk set when you installed the OS. If you haven't, then you can mount the CD-ROM (mount -t iso9660 /dev/cdrom /cdrom), run setup again, and start from selecting the source media. Remember that your system is already installed, so after installing the packages you want, you don't need to go further with the configuration as you have already done that before. After exiting setup, reboot and re-login.

To set up networking addresses, run netconfig. First, it will ask for the hostname, which can be pretty much anything you wish. Next, is the domain name. On a local system, this isn't all that important either, so you can enter what you want. When asked if you want to use loopback only, select No. Next, is the local IP address, which is the IP either assigned to or used by the emulation. This will likely be in the 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x ranges. Next, is the gateway address, which is the IP address of the TAP interface (or PCAP if you're using Windows or OS X). Then, enter a netmask of When asked if you are using a name server (DNS), select Yes if you are, then enter the IP address of said DNS server.

Next step is to set up the driver for your network card. It is strongly recommended that you use the NE1000 or NE2000 with the IRQ set to 5, as IRQ3 seems to conflict with other hardware. You'll need to edit a file now, using vi, which can be confusing for those not used to it. At the # prompt, enter vi /etc/rc.d/rc.modules and press Enter. Press down until you see the line "#/sbin/modprobe ne io=0xNNN". Move the cursor to the # character at the start of the line and press x. Then, move the cursor to the start of the NNN and press x three times. Now, press a and type "300 irq=5" (without quotes), then press ESC. Hold Shift and press Z twice. Now reboot again, and you should have a functioning network. You can test internet access with Lynx, if you have it installed.

For sound, only the SB16 or AWE32 is supported at I/O 0x220 and IRQ5. You'll have to build your own modules from the kernel source to use other setups. Thankfully, MESS does support the SB16, so uncommenting the #/sbin/modprobe sound line in /etc/rc.d/rc.modules using vi should work (untested).
- Barry Rodewald

#88498 - 05/16/13 05:03 PM Re: The MESS OS installs instructions thread [Re: R. Belmont]
crazyc Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/22/12
Posts: 629
Installing Xenix 8086:

1. Create a chd as above but with "-chs 613,4,17". AFAIK, that is only geometry that will work with the MFM device.
2. Start MESS with an XT or PC driver: ibm5150, ibm5160, pc, pcmda etc (as of right now, the default pcmda bios won't boot floppies). Personally, I prefer the MDA video to CGA for text mode stuff. xtvga will have corrupt video. Put the N1 floppy in fd drive 1.

2. Put the in N2 floppy when it says "Insert filesystem floppy".
3. Press 'y' when asked to overwrite the entire disk and '2' for "Use Entire disk for XENIX" then 'q' to exit program.

4. Press 'q' to skip the bad sector table generation, just select the default swap size and 'n' to "control over the layout of the XENIX partition".

5. "Making filesystems" will take a minute or two. Insert the N1 floppy and reboot.

6. At the XENIX Boot prompt type: "xenix rootdev=hd(40,0)" and it will boot with the hdd as the root filesystem.

7. It'll run fsck after starting the kernel.

8. It'll ask for your serial number and activation key then it'll have you swap floppies as it installs the bulk of the OS.

9. Give your time zone.

10. You'll now have installed the N-install and B-base disk sets. If you have more, press '2' to install them here.

Edited by crazyc (05/16/13 07:44 PM)

#88499 - 05/16/13 07:56 PM Re: The MESS OS installs instructions thread [Re: R. Belmont]
crazyc Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/22/12
Posts: 629
11. Press '1' to install the X-extended disk set and press '1' to select the package.

12. Type the package name or ALL for all.

At this point you can install all your additional sets than select "Stop installation now" when done. Reboot and the OS will start. Default username is "root" and password is blank.

Edited by crazyc (05/16/13 08:00 PM)

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