A multi-tasking operating system for the x86 32-bit PC architecture

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Installing and Running XOS version 4.5.1

For instructions for installing XOS version 3.1.69, click here.

The xosmkinst program is used to create a bootable XOS image on a USB mass storage device (USB stick). This program runs under MS Windows, reads an .xis input file and initializes this USB stick to contain a FAT32 file system containing all XOS system and source files and the XOS bootstrap. This program has been tested under Windows XP and Windows Vista and will probably work under Windows 7. (Note: The term "bootable disk" is used to refer to the USB stick written by xosmkinst.) This is currently the only supported method for creating a bootable XOS disk. With past versions, an ISO image of a bootable CD has been available, but that is not practical at this time since version 4 of XOS does not currently support CDs.

Download the xosmkinst.exe and the xos.xid files to the same directory. (It is not actually necessary that they be in the same directory but it makes running xosmkinst a little easier since it defaults to the directory from which the exe file was run when looking for the xid file.) xosmkinst has no installation procedure but is simply run by runing the downloaded .exe file. Run xosmkinst and select the xos.xid file as input. Select the USB stick to initialize. Only USB mass storage devices with a size of 8GB or less are shown in the target selection window. The size limit is imposed to make it less likely that a USB hard disk will be imitialized by mistake. NOTE: BE CAREFUL NOT TO SELECT THE WRONG DISK. BECAUSE OF THE WAY WINDOWS ASSIGNS LETTERS TO REMOVABLE DISKS, IT IS VERY EASY TO GET CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH DISK IS WHICH. THE SELECTED USB STORAGE DEVICE WILL BE COMPLETELY INITIALIZED (ERASED) WHEN "START" IS CLICKED. TO PREVENT CONFUSION, IT IS STRONGLY SUGGESTED THAT ONLY ONE REMOVABLE USB STORAGE DEVICE BE CONNECTED WHEN RUNNING XOSMKINST!

If a USB disk does not appear in the target list, or if you get an error that says the disk is in use, remove and reinsert the disk. One the disk has been initialized, it will be removed from the system and will not be visible again until it has been removed and reinsterted.

Once a bootable disk has been created with xosmkinst, you have a fully functional version of XOS that does not require any additional installation. You should be able to boot and run from the boot disk on any PC that supports booting from a USB disk. Doing so will not touch any other disk on the PC unless you explicitly access another disk.

To boot XOS from the boot "disk", select the disk as the current boot device or, if available, use the BIOS Boot Select (BBS) menu. This should display the XOS bootstrap which displays a blue box at the top of the screen. Type ENTER (or just let it time out) to load the non-debug version, type xosx to load the local debug version, or type xost to load the remove debug version. XOS should come up accessing only the boot disk.

  • At this point you can simply use XOS from the boot disk or you can install it on a hard disk. XOS can be installed in any FAT16 or FAT32 partition. There are two ways to do this:
  • Use the install program (which always installs XOS to the first partition on the first hard disk).
  • Manually copy the necessary files.
  • To use the install program, type "install" at the command prompt. This will run the install program. You should see three items that can be installed:
  • The OS.
  • The install program.
  • The source files.

You should install the OS and will probably want to "install" (really just copy) the source files. Installing the OS copies the xossys directory and writes the XOS bootstrap to the partition.

NOTE: Installing the bootstrap requires that the partition has at least 40 reserved blocks. If this is not the case, in most cases (depending on the BIOS) you can still run XOS from the hard disk by booting with the bootstrap from the USB boot disk. It's a but awkward, but usually works. You would normally specify the harddisk as D1P1:xossys\xos, assuming xossys was copied to the first partition.

Once you are finished installing, you should be able to reboot from the hard disk.

You can also install XOS by simply copying files. All files needed to run XOS are in the xossys directory. This can be simply copied from the boot disk. Use the XOS command;

copy \xossys\...\*.* D0P1:\xossys\...\

This assumes you are copying to the first partition on the first hard disk. XOS numbers EDI hard disks as disks 0 to 3 and numbers the partitions on each disk starting with 1. NOTE: XOS does not currently have an AHCI driver but will support disks (including SATA disks) connected to an AHCI that supports IDE emulation (most, but not all, do).

You can manually install the bootstrap with the XOS command:

mkboot DnPm: /def=dimage /tim=seconds /fn=fimage

DnPm specifies the m-th partion on disk n. dimage specifies the default image to load (usually xossys\xos for the non-debug image, xossysxosx for the local debug image, or xossys\xost for the remote debug image. As stated above this requires that there be at least 30 to 40 reserved blocks available.

The source directory trees (xossrc, xosaux, and xosexp) can be copied using the same copy command (with the different directory names, of course).

All of the directory trees can also be downloaded as zip files if desired.

It is recognized that the requirement for reserved blocks may be a major problem. We will try to make available a floppy image that can be used to load a bootstrap "real soon". We may consider removing this restriction in a future version. Comments are welcome.



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