Archive for the 'software' Category

Firefox 45 ESR Beta 8 for OS/2 released

The time of waiting is over because the first public Firefox 45 ESR for OS/2 is now available as a zip package. About the issues with the rpm package check the previous post.

Firefox 45.5.0 ESR Beta 8 for OS/2

Firefox 45.5.0 ESR Beta 8 for OS/2

Changes in this release

  • link against external LIBJPEG, LIBPNG, ZLIB, BZIP2 and HUNSPELL DLLs
  • use kLIBC 0.6.6 DLL directly in JS code
  • Link against LIBCx DLL for automatic EXCEPTQ trap report creation


  • web page scrolling, entering text in input fields and tab change are delayed/slow

Other stuff
This release not only needs more external libs/dlls (for image format and such)
but also core dlls that were part of the Firefox package – security lib (NSS). You will easily see this change because the Firefox root dir is now nearly empty. If this is a wise move especially when there are now regressions like Firefox isn’t working correctly because of these external libs.
In 2016 there was a change to support again native printers (GPI)(#155, #75, #134) and not only CUPS based printer.

Firefox 45 ESR for OS/2 (zip) size 53MB

Firefox needs tons of external libs now, we try to list as many of them here or you can try to use the yum/rpm way.

Firefox 45 ESR Alpha: first steps done

In April the OS/2 port made some progress to get the first Alpha build of Firefox 45 ESR running:

Firefox ESR 45.5.0 for OS/2 Alpha

Firefox ESR 45.5.0 for OS/2 Alpha

Some notes about the latest patches and comments:

  • the off-main-thread-composition (OMTC) code path currently does not work and the feature is disabled for now
  • adapt the new fontlist code, changes over the fontlist pango code in 38ESR
  • fix problems because of symlinks in the profile dir
  • disable plugin-container.exe to fix the 100% CPU load after it get’s called
  • future GL support on OS/2 for Firefox based on the ancient OS/2 port of Mesa (software based rendering only)
  • future WebTRC support, needs better USB support (drivers) and the port of the webtrc code in Firefox

The have been some updates to external base dll required for Firefox to run. There is a new issue with the rpm build because of python issues. There’s also a plan to create a new launcher that will call the firefox.exe from a fixed path in the /usr directory tree, fortunately there will be a non rpm release (zip release) that will ship with a standard firefox.exe that can load its dlls from the Firefox root dir and the firefox dir itself can be on any drive and in any dir you like. There is also a plan to make the zip release available before the rpm install issue get’s fixed.

Mozilla’s Firefox Future

Mozilla Research is actively working on the servo browser engine for its next gen browser “project quantum”. Servo is written in Mozilla’s new system language Rust that has some advantages like memory handling, code safety and better performance. Servos aim is to take advantage of the current hardware, that is both the CPU and the graphics for again better performance. Mozilla is now adding parts of the servo project written in Rust to the current Gecko code of Firefox by replacing components written in C/C++. How that plays out for future OS/2 ports of Firefox.. we will see.

Firefox 45 ESR and other news

Its being late for a Firefox 45 ESR port because Mozilla already switched to a new ESR version 52. The work on the new port started in december 2016, the current status is that building the source is ok now but some bugs prevent Firefox from starting.

The ArcaOS 5.0 release is now scheduled for April, this is a new release based on MCP2 with lots of new software and drivers, a new loader (QSinit) and an old smp kernel (with some patches).

There have been some updates to the FAT32 driver, New releases of XWorkplace V1.0.11, Lucide V1.4.0 and PMView V3.79.

Beta releases available

There have been several beta releases of main applications in the last few weeks. One of them is the long awaited public release of VirtualBox 5 for OS/2. The work on the project started again some month ago and the progress so far, so good. The project is run by bitwise works and the founding is done by
Another surprise is the beta 3 release of XWorkplace 1.0.11 made by Rich Walsh. The work on XWP is sponsored by OS/2 Voice.The next beta release is the release candidate 3 of Lucide, a plugin based document and image viewer.


Warpstock 2016

This years Warpstock 2016 conference took place in Orlando/Florida. Like in the past years we will cover some of the interesting topics.

Samba 4 Client on OS/2 by Paul Smedley

The Samba 4 port started in early 2015 because of the need for SMB 2.0 support and better security support compared to the current releases. Samba 4 uses kerberos for the authentication and the first step was to port the heimdal kerberos implementation to OS/2. Heimdal version 1.5.3 was first released on 07/23/2016.
The next step was to get then kerberos authentication to work with Samba 3.6.x but this was not successful. The only chance left was to use the latest available Samba 4.x source code. Samba 4 however requires a different build system. It uses Waf and Python for the build process and it was a challenge to get it working. With a patched Waf it was possible to build the samba 4 client code to OS/2. The current builds are based on Samba 4.4.7.
Samba 4 has the support for higher SMB protocol versions and it provides better performance compared to the older Samba 3.x.
Like the previous Samba Client for OS/2 the Samba 4 Client is a plugin for Netdrive 3.x. It will also support large files (> 2GB) when it is used with this Netdrive version. Currently there was no work on the samba server code. Depending on the number of interests and time he may work on the samba server code. The Samba server implements some additional modules like the directory – and dns server along with replication. Although the port was started because of an arca noae request the source of the port is available on netlabs.

Files to download


First stop the NDFS Control service. If you don’t have a previous of the smb plugin installed you need to first install the ndpsmb V2.0.0 Beta4. In case already installed continue to copy the ndpsmb.dll from and smbcln44.dll from to x:\ndfs\ndplugs. All other dlls needs to be copied to a path that is already in libpath or create a new one (reboot required). In case all went fine you can now mount a new smbfs resource with the new plugin:

Samba 4.4.7 Client ndpsmb3 plugin for OS/2 Share config UI

Samba 4.4.7 Client ndpsmb3 plugin for OS/2 Share config UI

The new plugin is a big step forward because its now possible to access shares with the latest SMB protocols (2.x/3.x) available along with kerberos authentication using heimdal. Because of security issues in 2016 esp. the Badlock bug Microsoft has tightened the security settings of SMB.
A quick test to access a Windows Server 2012 R2 network share using kerberos authentication worked without a problem. Currently there’s a NDFS issue that affects some systems where the NDFS control service (ndctl.exe) is started from config.sys but it can’t load the samba plugin, the current workaround is to start ndctl.exe from startup.cmd. Bug reports for the Samba plugin can be opened on the Netlabs Samba Project page.

RDesktop 1.8.3 WPS Update

A new RDesktop Client update for OS/2 was just recently released, among some fixes and improvements it now includes a new WPS class that will be a gui like front end for the command line. Like this it is a seamless way to connect to a remote host including a login window. First you need to add the path of rdesktop.exe to the path and libpath in config.sys. You also need to add the host name (-n) to the config options on the protocol tab in the rdesktop properties notebook or the login window will silently quit without an error message.

RDesktop 1.8.3 for OS/2 WPS Class Properties Notebook

RDesktop 1.8.3 for OS/2 WPS Class Properties Notebook

RDesktop 1.8.3 for OS/2 connected target

RDesktop 1.8.3 for OS/2 connected target

NetDrive V3.1.5 for OS/2 released

It has been a while since version 3.1.4 which was released in 2011. NetDrive for OS/2 is now back with the new version 3.1.5, it contains some fixes and extensions for the updated SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) plugin. NetDrive is shareware, this is also true for the new SFTP-Plugin V3.1.5. The Update is free for already registered 3.x program versions.

NetDrive 3.1.5 Control Panel

Netdrive 3.1.5 Control Panel

More information can be found on the offical Netdrive page