Archive for the 'warpstock' Category

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.


Warpstock 2015

Warpstock 2015 Wichita

Warpstock 2015 Wichita

This year conference for OS/2 and eComStation users Warpstock 2015 was held in Wichita, Kansas. The announcements made this year were kind of dry because nothing was really new and available but on the list for future updates or releases only. One Announcement of Arca Noae however will have a big impact on the future of OS/2: there will be new OS/2 distribution code name “Blue Lion” with the target schedule 3rd quarter of 2016. More about this in the session overview below.

“Arca Noae News” by Lewis Rosenthal
Among the talk about driver updates there was the announcement of a new OS/2 Distribution code name “Blue Lion”. Arca Noae is licensing the Merlin Convenience Pack 2 (MCP2) with the SMP kernel from IBM. This means they have an similar agreement like XEU has for eComStation. As there have been no news about future releases of eComStation it was somewhat logical that Arca Noae plan might be an agreement with XEU or with IBM to create a new update of the OS/2 client. This agreement does not contain defect support or source code access from IBM. Arca Noae has the limited ability for fixes and changes of IBM code. This new distribution will have the following list of features:

  • based on IBM’s MCP2
  • IBM SMP kernel with Arca Noae patches
  • New pre-boot menu
  • New installer
  • latest Arca Noae drivers
  • updated SNAP graphics driver
  • licensed IBM components

They also plan to make the install working from a USB thumb drive and a network based install. The release will also have a driver subscription for a limited time.

“SNAP Graphics Driver” by Steven Levine
After the license agreement with Alt Richmond there is still no new driver ready. The reason is the big and complex code base. Currently the subversion repository is under construction, when this is ready the next step will be compiling of the current source and then the work on new drivers. There are plans accelerated drivers for selected currently popular video chipsets, just not yet clear what is on the list and if users can vote what they like to have. A support of current processor graphics from Intel and AMD is a must have. The Intel HD driver is already on the way for a release in 2016. One interesting piece of code was seen on the sources: a planed SNAP Audio driver that follows the platform independent driver architecture if SNAP. The first changes will be features takes from the code of the panorama video driver (MTTR/PAT and VESA mode improvements). A list of planed features:

  • SMP support
  • HDMI connector support
  • more dual monitor support
  • better MTRR/PAT
  • better VESA performance

What was missing is a note of the support for DP (DisplayPort) which is a requirement for current hardware.

Device Drivers: recent progress and future plans by David Azarewicz
David gave an overview about current and future driver developments. There were some updates to most of maintained the driver sets but not uniaud. This audio driver needs are core update since two years to work on newer hardware. A new multimac driver for Intel wireless network adapter is in development but not yet working. The work was concentrated on updates to the BCL32 system library to make new driver for different hardware possible that are currently not supported. Now a short overview about the driver changes:

  • ACPI: smp safe hires timer, acpica updates
  • ACPI future:acpica updates, support for system initialization on UEFI based systems
  • JFS: fix for a log redo bug that can lead to a corrupted volume
  • USB 11.x: stable branch with latest updates, usbcalls lib that covers all previous version
  • USB future: USB 3.0 host controller driver
  • uniaud future:repository reorganizing, drop in new alsa code, fix remain problems on the OS/2 interface code
    The 2nd part will cover Kerberos support for the SAMBA client and more..

Warpstock 2015 preview

The upcoming Warpstock event will take place in the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview Wichita Wichita, Kansas, USA from 23 to 25th of october 2015. Some of the session highlights are: Alex Taylor will talk about his latest program developments. There will be an update of the SNAP graphics driver (a new intel driver maybe) and an overview about the latest driver developments on multimac from Arca Noae. Another session will present the current status of the upcoming samba client plugin with kerberos support (heimdal port) and Roderick Klein is back to talk about the V.O.I.C.E foundation.

Warpstock 2015 Wichita

Warpstock 2015 Wichita

Warpstock 2014: news pingback

I just recently discovered (with the help of google) another news site that was reporting about Warpstock 2014. Usually the news about Warpstock only hit the main OS/2 related news sites (e.g. / os2news) but this time a german computer news service as well. Here is the top part of the google translated news post:


heise ix news: Warpstock 2014

The Warpcity2 Warpstock 2014 post you can find here.

Warpstock 2014

Warpstock 2014

Warpstock 2014

Now its time for the yearly OS/2 conference about the current OS/2 and eComStation related developments in 2014. There were several interesting presentations starting with the 2nd new OS/2 focused development company “Arca Noae” with bitwise being the first one. Bitwise is mainly working on applications and Arca Noae will be more focused on developing drivers. A side note of this: there seem to be now 2 main developers for the Firefox port.

“Arca Noae” by Steven Levine
Introduction of the new OS/2 company, the goal and the agreement to work with current well known OS/2 companies or organizations. They are also open to work together with Mensys/XEU, but till today there is no such an agreement. For the Subscription Service of eCS that includes programs and driver updates it will be a good thing when XEU will have an agreement with Arca Noae to continue to refresh the drivers for existing customers. The goal of Arca Noae is to provide updated drivers that will support OS/2 to run on new hardware.

The planed services for registered customers are the following:

  • driver updates on the website via WarpIN-packages or rpms
  • software subscription service
  • software package purchased in bundles
  • software packages purchased individuality


  • ACPI
  • USB driver stack
  • Panorama Video driver
  • os2ahci driver
  • multimac network drivers


  • Apache OpenOffice 4.x
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • GUI front-end for RPM/YUM

The future of eComStation by Menso de Jong
The presentation first started with the history of Mensys, founding of the company before the internet age and the first years, the e aim was to sell OS/2 and OS/2 application licenses. Next Mensys became an IBM reseller with all IBM products including the Warp3/4 releases at this time. In the beginning of the year 2000 OS/2 OEM licenses were purchased from Serenity System and later directly from IBM. In 2009 Mensys bought eComStation from Serenity System. In 2012 Mensys ran into financial problems because of the drop in eComStation sales and problems in other areas. Next was the founding of a new company, which took over the main parts of Mensys including eComstation. From 2014 on Joachim Benjamins works for and is
the responsible Manager for eComstation. The plan for 2015 is to found another company for eComstation itself. Mensys/Xeu has/had big sales of licenses of eComstation but the feedback there is no feedback from these corporate customers in the opposite to the private users. Like this is unknown what kind of features these customers like to see added, it was said that they want just a stable base (with no changes?) but on the other hand they plan the transition to new hardware.
Somehow its not clear how Mensys/ have a roadmap of developments for customer needs. In this case of new hardware support both customer groups are in the same boat – they need updated or new drivers and of course this requires developers and money. A good project in the past was the development of the SATA AHCI driver and the Java port that was partly funded by Mensys.
There was an internal application developer for customer specific applications, and he thought that he can do other development of drivers and the system but that failed. That was probably in the year 2012/2013 when Mensys lost the contact to the other developers. It’s maybe one point why the renewal of existing contracts with developers failed. This situation leads to another delay of eComStation 2.2. The new plan is to have an agreement with Arca Noae for future developments of eComstation. Another interesting fact was the question about the SNAP driver development and the answer that the CEO doesn’t know anything about this internal project.

USB driver updates by Lars Erdmann
Lars was talking about his development history and never released software that was partly unfinished. He develops software for fun or because of the interest to resolve existing problems, for this reason he came to the usb driver development. His computer with a SIS chipset had hangs or other issues with usb drivers at that time. The main work was to fix existing bugs in the usb driver mainly reported by Ruediger Ihle because of his work on the Emperoar TV application. Ruediger already had binary patches to address most of the problems. Right now he’s working on the usbmsd.add driver to resolve the problems of devices such as card readers that need logical unit number support, this code is missing in the source. Another problem is the clean unmount/eject of connected USB mass storage devices during the shutdown process of the system. He is developing in his spare time only that’s why there is no plan to work on a new usb 3 host controller driver.

Warpstock 2014 Lars Erdmann

Warpstock 2014: Lars Erdmann

The list of the main fixes/updates to the usb drivers:

  • usbehcd.sys: implementation of the isochronous transfer mode
  • usb.sys: change the way of device enumeration (based on the work by martin kiewitz)
  • usbcom.sys: fixes for the prolific com device class problem, vendor/device tables updates and code to handle prolific devices
  • usbhid: include fixes by ruediger ihle, fixes for enumerating combined mouse/keyboard devices
  • usbmsd.add: removable devices attach fix, in progress: unmount/eject on shutdown and large floppy support

“Arca Noae” driver updates by David Azarwicz
David gave an overview about the ongoing driver development and the plans for future updates. The only way to report bugs and to get support is the arca noae website and not the existing project website.

  • acpi
    • incorporate the latest acpica from intel
    • shutdown fixes for XWorkplace
    • new high resolution timer that is smp safe
    • nvidia chipset problem not solved (and hardly will)
  • USB driver
    • include all usb driver updates from lars
    • usbport.sys: fixes for smp issues
    • usbport and usbaudio drivers are now included in the usb driver package
    • updates to usbcalls
  • Multimac
    • a new system library (drv16/drv32) that is free but cannot be open sourced
    • a new layer/library for porting linux and bsd drivers (lcl32/bcl32)
    • the work on the bsd lib bcl32 is 95% done
    • the driver lib allows the port without changing the driver source, some debugging is maybe still required
    • work on a new wired broadcom driver
    • future plans for multimac wifi drivers
  • Uniaud
    • restructure of the uniaud project to make it easier to include newer ALSA updates
    • this task is 20% done, the next release will be ready in 2015 (based on ALSA 1.0.25)
  • Panorama
    • latest version 1.07
    • detecting video buffer size problem
  • JFS: v1.09.06 fixes a problem when a log redo would corrupt a disk

OS/2 ports by Paul Smedley
Paul gave an overview on his main work on important software ports that are used by other projects such as GCC for OS/2. The current klibc is already 2 years now and requires fixes for annoying bugs that make the work for porting application more time consuming. There have been some new updates recently but in case of slow progress of fixing bugs its required to do a fork of klibc. Paul is porting lots of different software to OS/2 and there is a need for continued feedback by the end users when things are working well and not only when not. The first task is to check the readme before complaining about errors, then a detailed bug report and how to reproduce the problem is required when opening a ticket. Another update for QT5 is required because most of the QT based application have switched to QT5.

The list of proudest porting achievements:

  • GCC for OS/2, current GCC is required to port applications from other platforms
  • CUPS (modern printer support for OS/2), hplib
  • libusb 1.0 which is used by Sane and CUPS
  • the work on uniaud in the past