Use of VMplayer and Minix3 - Minix

This is a discussion on Use of VMplayer and Minix3 - Minix ; I appreciate all the prior comments/suggestions on using "virtualization" with Minix3. After evaluating various options, I've decided to use 'vmplayer' (if I use the "virtual" approach). After using 'vmplayer' with Minix3 for a while, I have a few questions: * ...

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Thread: Use of VMplayer and Minix3

  1. Use of VMplayer and Minix3

    I appreciate all the prior comments/suggestions on using
    "virtualization" with Minix3. After evaluating various options, I've
    decided to use 'vmplayer' (if I use the "virtual" approach).

    After using 'vmplayer' with Minix3 for a while, I have a few
    questions:

    * Is there any way to increase the displayed font size within
    'vmplayer'? I can, of course, change the entire screen's
    resolution "on the fly" with X11's C-M-{+,-}. But it'd sure be
    better if I could just have *vmplayer* increase its font sizes ...
    maybe in a "config" file?

    * Is there a simple mechanism to exchange data ("copied" Minix3
    screen chars, contents of a Minix3 file, ...) between 'vmplayer'
    and the host operating system that is running 'vmplayer'?

    One thing I can do is use SSH (from within Minix3) to 'scp' files
    to another host on the LAN. But what if the Linux machine if "off
    net"? Even if the 'scp' trick works, it'd sure be nice to have
    another way (e.g., using a USB "pen disk").

    * On most machines (etch and kubuntu) on which I'm using 'vmplayer'
    and Minix3, entering 'halt' at the root prompt (`#') brings me
    back to the low-level "console" with its "d0p0s0>" prompt. The
    problem, though, is it sometimes "hangs" there ... the CPU usage
    maxes, and 'vmplayer' just sits at the prompt, not taking *any*
    input (it *does* have focus ... that's not an issue). In order to
    quit, I have to use 'vmplayer's "Player" menu.

    Like I say, on some of the machine this occurs, but on others the
    "console prompt" allows "off" to be input and 'vmplayer' terminates.

    Anyone else seen this behavior with 'vmplayer'?

    If it can't be avoided, is the state of everything in the VM saved
    properly and valid?


    Thanks for your comments! I'm sure you'll be hearing more from me in
    the future since our semester begins tomorrow and I'm teaching our OS
    course using OSDI and Minix3 ...

    --
    Prof Kenneth H Jacker khj@cs.appstate.edu
    Computer Science Dept www.cs.appstate.edu/~khj
    Appalachian State Univ
    Boone, NC 28608 USA



  2. Re: Use of VMplayer and Minix3

    Hello,

    > If it can't be avoided, is the state of everything in the VM saved
    > properly and valid?
    >

    If you are back at the boot monitor prompt, then everything is saved and the
    VM is consistent.

    Not sure about the other questions, though.

    Regards,
    Sebastian



  3. Re: Use of VMplayer and Minix3

    > * Is there any way to increase the displayed font size within
    > 'vmplayer'? I can, of course, change the entire screen's
    > resolution "on the fly" with X11's C-M-{+,-}. But it'd sure be
    > better if I could just have *vmplayer* increase its font sizes ...
    > maybe in a "config" file?


    Install OpenSSH and log into Minix using that. It should be easy to
    adjust the size of your fonts for your terminal of choice.


  4. Re: Use of VMplayer and Minix3

    Kenneth Jacker wrote:

    > * Is there a simple mechanism to exchange data ("copied" Minix3
    > screen chars, contents of a Minix3 file, ...) between 'vmplayer'
    > and the host operating system that is running 'vmplayer'?


    There are two ways.

    1. Use the network: you can connect a network-enabled VMWare guest to
    its host machine with telnet or other network protocols. In fact, when
    I work on a Minix system that is a guest on VMWare on my Windows XP
    box, I usually log into the Minix system with telnet or ssh (I usually
    use Secure CRT on the Windows system). That way I can do cut-and paste
    in the Minix console window.

    2. VMware Command Line Tools were ported to Minix 2, they also work
    with all releases of Minix 3 on which I have tested them. See

    http://minix1.woodhull.com/pcontrib/vmw-01.txt

    for info or download the package

    http://minix1.woodhull.com/pcontrib/vmw-p01.tar.Z

    This tool lets you copy to and from the host clipboard. It works well
    for me on Windows hosts, I haven't tried it with VMWare on a Linux
    host.

    - Al


  5. Re: Use of VMplayer and Minix3

    aw> 1. Use the network: you can connect a network-enabled VMWare
    aw> guest to its host machine with telnet or other network
    aw> protocols. In fact, when I work on a Minix system that is a
    aw> guest on VMWare on my Windows XP box, I usually log into the
    aw> Minix system with telnet or ssh (I usually use Secure CRT on the
    aw> Windows system). That way I can do cut-and paste in the Minix
    aw> console window.

    Using 'ssh' from within Kubuntu, I tried to login as 'root' to both of
    the IP addresses created by VMplayer. I got a prompt, but then it
    asked for a password. Since 'root', 'bin', etc don't have a password,
    I didn't know exactly what to do. I entered a "carriage return", but
    it only reprompted for a password ...

    How do you login to Minix3 running under VMware using 'ssh'?

    -Kenneth
    --
    Prof Kenneth H Jacker khj@cs.appstate.edu
    Computer Science Dept www.cs.appstate.edu/~khj
    Appalachian State Univ
    Boone, NC 28608 USA

  6. Re: Use of VMplayer and Minix3

    Kenneth Jacker wrote:

    > Using 'ssh' from within Kubuntu, I tried to login as 'root' to both of
    > the IP addresses created by VMplayer. I got a prompt, but then it
    > asked for a password. Since 'root', 'bin', etc don't have a password,
    > I didn't know exactly what to do. I entered a "carriage return", but
    > it only reprompted for a password ...
    >
    > How do you login to Minix3 running under VMware using 'ssh'?


    I haven't used ssh much with Minix, so I'm not sure if this applies,
    but typically servers do not allow remote logins by root, even with a
    password. I think this is true of the Minix telnet client.

    Also, when you create a new user in Minix you see a message saying that
    until a password is assigned, logins will not be allowed from any
    terminal except the local console.

    Even if root or no-password remote logins were possible, they would be
    bad ideas. It's much better to create a non-privileged account,
    generate a password, and then use that to login remotely. Use su if you
    need root privileges. Minix also will allow many root privileges to a
    user who is part of the operator group (root's group). The rationale
    for this is that, even if several different people are authorized to be
    root and know root's password, the logs will show who was logged in at
    the time someone used su to become root.

    - Al


  7. Re: Use of VMplayer and Minix3

    aw> Kenneth Jacker wrote:
    >> * Is there a simple mechanism to exchange data ("copied" Minix3
    >> screen chars, contents of a Minix3 file, ...) between 'vmplayer'
    >> and the host operating system that is running 'vmplayer'?


    aw> There are two ways: 1. Use the network 2. VMware Command Line Tools

    When I have time, I plan to try the "Command Line Tools" ...


    But in the interim, I thought of the following: under Minix, create a
    Minix filesystem on a floppy disk (FD), mount it, copy files to it,
    and then unmount it. Then, mount it under the host Linux system (with
    the Minix file system module loaded).

    The first part works fine (under Minix3, I could do a "ls -l" on the
    mounted floppy, etc.). The second, however fails with this message
    when I try to mount it under Linux:

    (linux) # mount -t minix /dev/fd0 /mnt
    mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/fd0,
    missing codepage or other error

    This is how I initialized the FD under Minix3:

    (minix) # mkfs /dev/fd0 1440


    Then I thought, why not try the reverse? Create the FD Minix file-
    system under Linux, and bring it into Minix3? So, I first did this:

    (linux) # mkfs.minix /dev/fd0

    In Minix3, I ran 'fsck' on the Linux-created filesystem.
    Unfortunately, that fails with this error message:

    (minix) # fsck /dev/fd0
    bad magic number in superblock
    fatal

    Needless to say, the 'mount' also fails ...


    Does anyone know how to do this? It would sure be better than using
    'doswrite'! Why not have a mounted filesystem?

    Thanks for your ideas,
    --
    Prof Kenneth H Jacker khj@cs.appstate.edu
    Computer Science Dept www.cs.appstate.edu/~khj
    Appalachian State Univ
    Boone, NC 28608 USA



  8. Re: Use of VMplayer and Minix3

    All,

    > Does anyone know how to do this? It would sure be better than using
    > 'doswrite'! Why not have a mounted filesystem?


    I'm afraid there's currently no overlapping directly mountable
    filesystem format between minix and other OSes, although there are
    inofficial patches to Linux that let it read a Minix V3 filesystem.

    There is a VFS implementation of Minix in 'current', but the interface
    between VFS and the filesystems is not set in stone - in fact it's sure
    to change. So implementing a FAT filesystem for it, while useful now,
    will mean more work in the future..

    Personally I find that using
    # tar cf /dev/fd0 ...
    is quite convenient and portable for small copies..

    But I hardly ever need to, as I always use the network for things - this
    should work under vmware too, with the lance driver..?

    =Ben



  9. Re: Use of VMplayer and Minix3

    bg> Personally I find that using
    bg> # tar cf /dev/fd0 ...
    bg> is quite convenient and portable for small copies..

    Hmmm ... interesting ... didn't think of that!

    How is the FD formatted (if at all) in order to use 'tar' in this way?

    Thanks, Ben!

    -Kenneth

  10. Re: Use of VMplayer and Minix3

    > bg> Personally I find that using
    > bg> # tar cf /dev/fd0 ...
    > bg> is quite convenient and portable for small copies..
    >
    > Hmmm ... interesting ... didn't think of that!
    >
    > How is the FD formatted (if at all) in order to use 'tar' in this way?


    Not at all. You need to directly access the fd0 device to get the data.
    There is no file system on it apart from the tar structure.

    Regards,
    Sebastian



  11. Re: Use of VMplayer and Minix3

    Ben Gras writes:

    > All,
    >
    >> Does anyone know how to do this? It would sure be better than using
    >> 'doswrite'! Why not have a mounted filesystem?

    >
    > I'm afraid there's currently no overlapping directly mountable
    > filesystem format between minix and other OSes, although there are
    > inofficial patches to Linux that let it read a Minix V3 filesystem.


    Minix 3 support will be included in Linux 2.6.21, which probably is a
    couple of weeks away.
    --
    Hilsen Harald.

  12. Re: Use of VMplayer and Minix3

    bg> Personally I find that using
    bg> # tar cf /dev/fd0 ...
    bg> is quite convenient and portable for small copies..

    Yes, ... that's a big improvement over the other FD-based methods!

    Thank you Ben!

    -Kenneth

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