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asiga Offline OP
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Do you know any emulated machines in MESS or other emulators that could run an old (commercial) UNIX flavor -ideally with XWindow- and whose emulation status could be considered stable?

I found "The Machine Emulator" (tme) for Sun workstations (Sun 3, SparcStation 20 and Ultra1) but it says it's in alpha status. I've read reports of people running SunOS on it, but reading the todo list there seem to be important unimplemented things that can cause problems.

I also found "Previous", a NeXT emulator, but it's also in alpha status.

Regarding qemu, some old Unices seem to run with it, but qemu doesn't emulate CPU real speed AFAIK (I think it emulates machines as fast as it can, and I don't want that, I want reasonably accurate speed of the real machine being emulated).

Is there any driver in MESS which can run an old UNIX (with XWindow) and it qualifies as stable emulation?

Thanks!


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I think it emulates machines as fast as it can, and I don't want that, I want reasonably accurate speed of the real machine being emulated


That is going to restrict your choices at LOT.
MAME/MESS is one of the few emulators that attempts to correctly simulate the speed of the target CPU.
You will also have the problem that almost every workstation class video display had some sort of graphics acceleration (even if it were just for doing BITBLT). Getting exact timings where the BLTs were longer than a frame time would be difficult to model.

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asiga Offline OP
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Originally Posted By Al Kossow
I think it emulates machines as fast as it can, and I don't want that, I want reasonably accurate speed of the real machine being emulated


That is going to restrict your choices at LOT.
MAME/MESS is one of the few emulators that attempts to correctly simulate the speed of the target CPU.
You will also have the problem that almost every workstation class video display had some sort of graphics acceleration (even if it were just for doing BITBLT). Getting exact timings where the BLTs were longer than a frame time would be difficult to model.

I don't need cycle-exact accuracy for all the machine hardware components. In fact I'm fine even with one of those dumb framebuffers with no acceleration that were used for early X11 machines. But at least for the CPU, I'd like to get close to the original speed, and it shouldn't be difficult unless the CPU is a complicated one. If it's a simple CPU such as the 68030, you can emulate the original speed.

I'm beginning to suspect my only options are the PC/AT 486 in MESS (not the kind of machine I was thinking in, but it seems to have accurate speed emulation and some old historical Unices ran on it. That or wait until Previous is usable, or try to install some UNIX in either the Hatari or FS-UAE emulators. From my search, I found no other alternatives (considering I wish the emulation to be stable)

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Does X11 run in the Apollo emulation?

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Has anyone ever tried running WEGA on the P8000? (East-German UNIX clone). I happened to come across this just earlier today and found out MESS has a driver for it. But it looks like it's just a skeleton...

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X11 runs in Apollo, but it's a weird, weird Unix and it prefers its own non-X windowing system (as was often the case back then). I'll post OS install instructions sometime, it's quite a convoluted procedure but the emulation is very stable once you finish.

Regarding P8000, there's a fully working emulator for it based on MAME (!) which we couldn't merge due to the driver partying all over the Z8000 CPU core's innards and other such things.

OP: it would help greatly if we knew what your use case actually was, because your demands are kind of strange.

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I have a working Unixware 1.0 running on virtualbox thanks to Michal Necasek from os2museum.com.

If it's of any help, I can convert the hard disk file to chd format and upload it for you.

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asiga Offline OP
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Originally Posted By R. Belmont
OP: it would help greatly if we knew what your use case actually was, because your demands are kind of strange.

I'm starting a new coding project, based on an inhouse GUI lib that has two backends: one for X11, and another for wxWidgets/Cocoa and wxWidgets/Win32 (yes, wxWidgets has a X11 port too, but our X11 backend is very lightweight -just plain C, developed in the golden times of IRIX, and maintained until today).

I'm interested in keeping this new application optimized for slow hardware, and given that its only requisite is X11, I thought compiling for an old UNIX in parallel would be a cool idea. I didn't mention it, but I also prefer a 32bit machine as a minimum, because 8bit and 16bit machines tend to have complicated memory extensions mechanisms -near/far pointers, bank switching and related magic- which greatly complicate development.

Yes, I understand is a somewhat uncommon search (although not too rare, because in the process I've found quite a lot of people interested in old Unices).

There's something I find very strange, and that's why on Earth would anybody develop an emulator that doesn't emulate speed (at least in an approximate way). I think the main point of an emulator is recreating the original user experience with the machine, and that can't be done if you don't try to provide the original performance (yes, I know it's sometimes useful to run old software as fast as possible, but if you emulate speed it's usually easy to provide configuration settings for increasing the original speed of the machine).

So, I feel closer to those emulators that try to keep close to the original speed, such as MESS, for example.

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Originally Posted By asiga
(yes, I know it's sometimes useful to run old software as fast as possible, but if you emulate speed it's usually easy to provide configuration settings for increasing the original speed of the machine).


Running as fast as possible and running at the correct speed are essentially mutually exclusive, you have to compromise on one or the other.

You can turn throttle off in MESS, but the clock will run at the wrong speed. If you're writing a "run as fast as possible" emulator then you won't count cycles at all, you'd derive all timing (like timer interrupts etc) from real time.

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There is the AT&T '3B1' unixpc as well; phil pemberton was working on an emulator of that, and in theory it shouldn't be extremely hard to get it running in MESS, but possibly only once the new 68k core gets done (iirc it uses some complex stuff involving 68k bus acknowledgement)

LN


"When life gives you zombies... *CHA-CHIK!* ...you make zombie-ade!"
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