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Smack2k
August 25th, 2017, 12:59 AM
Trying to figure out what OS to install on my 20 MHz 286 PC that I just got up and running again.

I could go with normal DOS and then an early Windows version, but I wanted to know from others that know more about earlier OSs what other options I'd have.

Any thoughts?

dieymir
August 25th, 2017, 01:36 AM
Wow! 20Mhz. Any PC UNIX flavor, Coherent 3.x, Xenix 2.x, Minix 2.x, ... or OS/2 1.x but neither of them will be very useful IMHO.

Smack2k
August 25th, 2017, 02:39 AM
Just looking to try something new out instead of throwing DOS back on it and letting it sit barely used....

Wanting an OS from the era of the processor, if anything good applies.

Xacalite
August 25th, 2017, 03:43 AM
How much RAM you have in that machine?
If 1 MB, then it's hardly possible to run anything but DOS.
If more, preferably 4+ MB, then you can use them all.
OS/2 1.x was somewhat popular back in the day, you can easily find some software for it.
Minix 2.x is also nice, it comes with TCP/IP networking.

Chuck(G)
August 25th, 2017, 06:55 AM
There were also 286 versions of Xenix.

Smack2k
August 25th, 2017, 07:52 AM
It has 4 MB in it now, have to check if I can add more or if that is max...

Will look into some of those OSs

What about drivers for video card / etc?

Stone
August 25th, 2017, 08:22 AM
4 MB is probably the maxx for the motherboard. You can add more via an adapter card.

dieymir
August 25th, 2017, 09:05 AM
It has 4 MB in it now, have to check if I can add more or if that is max...

Will look into some of those OSs

What about drivers for video card / etc?

PC UNIXes aren't much graphical ... nor OS/2 1.0 For OS/2 1.1+ you have the VGA standard drivers in the installation disks and I *maybe* have WD PVGA1A/B and Trident 8x00 drivers for OS/2 1.2+

commodorejohn
August 25th, 2017, 09:35 AM
OS/2 on 286 is...not particularly thrilling. Mostly just clunky and weird. MINIX might be fun though.

mR_Slug
August 26th, 2017, 07:47 AM
PC/IX is a Unix flavor that I believe has an emulator that you can run MS-DOS programs in. I think there was a version for the 286. There are also the multiuser CP/M's that I think the later ones support some MS-DOS programs. Never used any of them, but they are interesting. There are also the NOS's like Netware.

Chuck(G)
August 26th, 2017, 08:17 AM
How about specialized multiuser OS, such as PC-MOS?

Xacalite
August 26th, 2017, 08:49 AM
PC/IX is a Unix flavor that I believe has an emulator that you can run MS-DOS programs in. I think there was a version for the 286.

PC/IX is a Unix port for 8088, ported by Interactive for IBM, I don't think there was a 286 version.
However, later on, Interactive sold Unix under their own brand - there was Interactive Unix for 386, maybe in the meantime there was a 286 version as well?

krebizfan
August 26th, 2017, 09:33 AM
Or try one of the many 286 protected mode real-time options like iRMX-286 or FlexOS?

OS/2 1.3 will have the most software choices; the problem is it will feel a lot like running DOS plus Win 3 especially if you add WLO (which includes ports of most of the Win 3 bundled applications).

mR_Slug
August 26th, 2017, 12:27 PM
PC/IX is a Unix port for 8088...I don't think there was a 286 version.
I may be getting it muddled with another product. Up to windows 3, there seemed to be a galaxy of different OS's and shells. I did have a link to a Usenet post from about '86 describing some UNIX flavors that were short lived, but recommended at the time. Can't seem to find it now.

krebizfan
August 26th, 2017, 01:00 PM
I may be getting it muddled with another product. Up to windows 3, there seemed to be a galaxy of different OS's and shells. I did have a link to a Usenet post from about '86 describing some UNIX flavors that were short lived, but recommended at the time. Can't seem to find it now.

Interactive worked on the 286 port of Unix which apparently was not released. See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7684827 for an amusing description of the development.