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[Qemu-discuss] PureDarwin on QEMU

From: Daniel Bethe
Subject: [Qemu-discuss] PureDarwin on QEMU
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2012 20:03:45 -0700 (PDT)

Hi everyone.  We're rebooting the PureDarwin project.  We'd like to standardize on QEMU as the most ubiquitous, standardized, and needless to say free, way, to access it.  We'd like your help with making our old OS distribution boot on a current QEMU, on a variety of host systems, so that it'll be the first choice for users to demo it and for developers to develop it.

PureDarwin is very picky about its machine specifications, and we need a virtual machine whose profile is totally complete and which doesn't change.  For example, we can't standardize on VirtualBox, because it doesn't support CPU emulation, so PureDarwin can not work in VirtualBox if your host has the wrong kind of CPU.  So, yay for QEMU.

The last release of PureDarwin was in 2009, in a different era of software and hardware, by people who we haven't been in contact with, and the instructions were for QEMU 0.10.1.  So it is an exciting exercise in software archaeology.  Luckily, someone had produced an installer for QEMU 0.10.1 on Mac OS back then.  PureDarwin is distributed in vmdk files, which will load on various virtual machine implementations.

Here's the last quasi-official OS distribution, aka "PureDarwin xmas":


Here's the stripped down ISO of that era, featuring a different boot loader:


We have produced a slightly updated version, featuring Chameleon 2.0RC4 and a more standard partition map:


I can't say which combination is best yet, but the following comments are based on that last version there.

PureDarwin.org had the instructions on how to boot it with networking, back then:




So, using QEMU 0.10.1 on Mac OS 10.8.0, I can boot to a prompt and I can run 'startx'.  Except that I can't use --no-kvm or -no-kvm-irqchip for some reason.

qemu -m 512 -hda puredarwinxmas.vmdk -cdrom puredarwinxmas.vmdk -boot d -net nic,model=rtl8139 -net user

But when I run 'ifconfig', I have no interfaces and 'dmesg' has no mention of network devices.  I do not have --no-kvm and -no-kvm-irqchip, so I don't know if that contributes to that fact.

So that's my attempt to get an old QEMU of the day working on a current host.  When I try to run it on QEMU 1.2.0 on Mac OS 10.8.0 or on QEMU 1.0.1 on Fedora 17, I can't even finish booting the kernel.  The kernel loses track of the device that the bootloader had already booted off of, and then can't find the root device.

So is anyone interested in furthering QEMU's usage within a passionate niche, or interested in restarting PureDarwin development?

Thank you for all your work!

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