Saturday, December 06, 2008

Installed BeOS 5 PE MaxEdition on my Dell

Yes, I did....I went ahead and installed an unsupported OS that stopped development about 6 years ago and has no active forums.
However, I just did it because of my current interest in Haiku and BeOS is where Haiku evolved from.
Yesterday, what I did to get the Zeta 1.21 LiveCD burned, is exactly what I did today to get a LiveCD of BeOS 5 PE MaxEdition burned (using Nero9 in Windows because of the cue sheet).
One difference from Zeta is that the BeOS LiveCD offers an install option. So, here I had an opportunity to install BeOS and see how it worked as a native install.
However, I ran into a problem almost immediately in that (I was trying it on the Dell), BeOS only offered to install itself on a Primary Partition of which I had three (XP, FreeBSD and the Dell Utility). So, one or more of these had to go.
Now, I honestly never knew what that Dell utility was for. Any diagnostic stuff I ever did on this computer I used Dells diagnostic CD.
So, I did a little googling and found quite a number of posts declaring that to uninstall this partition had no adverse consequences.
So, I did.
However, I still needed to delete the FreeBSD partition to as this was not recognized by Gparted so it couldn't be moved, reformatted or resized -- delete was the only viable option. So, this had to go to.
Then I created two new primaries (4 GB and 8 GB) with the latter intended for a reinstall of FreeBSD.
So, then I went ahead and installed BeOS and everything went smoothly -- no problems although for such a small install it took a long time (40 minutes).
Note that I refused its request to install a bootmanager (presumably this meant put bootman in the MBR because even without this, I could chainload BeOS from Grub without any problem).
The grub entry was the same as for all the other BeOS-related OSes:

title Beos
rootnoverify (hd0,3)
chainload +1

BeOS booted very quickly on the Dell (12 seconds) and it was relatively easy to use and get used to.
However, no internet connection was available.
Couldn't find anything in google about how to resolve this. So, I looked at the list of drivers in /boot/beos/system/add-ons/kernel/drivers/bin to see if I could find any that looked like they'd handle my NIC (Intel 82801DB Pro/100 VE) and ipro100 looked a possibility.
So using the wonders of BeOS I was able to transfer this driver from Senryu through to Windows and drag it from there to BeOS. Then I placed it in the /boot/beos/system/add-ons/kernel/drivers/bin directory and symlinked it to /boot/beos/system/add-ons/kernel/drivers/dev/net/
Strangely, this also showed up in Ubuntu as broken (incidentally, opening the folder in Ubuntu, selecting the file and looking at its properties will show if the link is broken or not -- haven't yet found how to do this in Haiku, if indeed it's possible).
In any event, I never got an Internet connection in BeOS.
Later I discovered that using the command
sudo lshw -C network

will provide a lot of information on the network controller and driver (in Linux anyway).
Seems the network driver that Ubuntu uses on the Dell is e100 so I was probably wrong in selecting ipro100 in the first place.
Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.
BTW, this is the first blog post I've written from Senryu.

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