Minix on Bochs 2.1.1 on Windows 2000

modified: 15 Feb 2004

"Bochs is a highly portable open source IA-32 (x86) PC emulator written in C++, that runs on most popular platforms."
-- from the Bochs home page, http://bochs.sourceforge.net/

Bochs 2.1 was released during January 2004. Bochs 2.1.1 was released on Feb 8, 2004. I've been experimenting with these, and it looks like Bochs no longer has the serious timing problems that I found when trying to use Minix with Bochs 2.0.1 about a year ago.

I've had success with Minix 2.0.3 and 2.0.4 (using the dosminix image from the 2.0.4 distribution). Floppy, CD, and even networking seem to work OK. My testing has been done using Bochs on Windows 2000 on four different systems, with Intel and AMD CPUs with speeds from 266 Mhz to 900 Mhz. All worked satisfactorily.

Linux/Unix versions of Bochs 2.1 are also available. Rob van der Leek posted an article to comp.os.minix about his experiences getting Minix 2.0.3 installed as a guest OS on Bochs 2.1 on a Minix system. It is available on this website.

Bochs is, of course, an emulator, interpreting every CPU instruction. So it is slow. The dhrystone benchmark indicates the slowdown factor is about 100; Minix on Bochs on a 400 Mhz AMD K-6 yields a dhrystone score about equal to what I measured some years ago on 386 system. But that's not really too bad.

Bochs can be found at http://bochs.sourceforge.net/.

There are other virtual and emulation systems, including VMWare, Plex86, Xen, and Qemu. Of these I only know of success with VMWare hosting Minix.

I've written a Minix on Bochs on Windows "How-to" article with more technical information about using Minix 2.0.4 on Bochs 2.1.1 on Windows 2000.

I'd appreciate hearing from others about experiences with Bochs and other emulators or virtual systems.

Based on a post to comp.os.minix, 3 Feb 2004, with additional notes added.

Click for additional articles on this site: Minix on Bochs


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