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IBM OS/2 Warp - PowerPC Edition

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Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us
IBM_OS-2_Warp_Connect_for_PowerPC.iso_.rar (50.78 MB)
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us
IBM_OS-2_Warp_for_PowerPC_Application_Sampler.iso_.rar (171.87 MB)
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us
IBM_OS2_Warp_3.0_1995-12_PPC.rar (229.62 MB)
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us
Guides on emulating older applications

When the first PowerPC products reached the market in 1993, they were met with enthusiasm. In addition to Apple, both IBM and the Motorola Computer Group offered systems built around the processors. Microsoft released Windows NT 3.51 for the architecture, which was used in Motorola's PowerPC servers, and Sun Microsystems offered a version of its Solaris OS. IBM ported its AIX Unix and planned a release of OS/2. Ultimately, demand for the new architecture on the desktop never truly materialized. Windows, OS/2 and Sun customers, faced with the lack of application software for the PowerPC, almost universally ignored the chip. The PowerPC versions of Solaris, OS/2, and Windows were discontinued after only a brief period on the market.

IBM OS/2 Warp PowerPC Edition was a port of OS/2 Warp 3 to the PowerPC Reference Platform (PReP). It was a subsystem (OS/2 personality) running on the IBM microkernel, which was a refinement of the Carnegie Mellon University Mach microkernel. It was a first step to Workplace OS (or WPOS for short) was supposed to be built on top of the Mach microkernel and support multiple "personalities". The personalities would implement existing operating systems such as OS/2, AIX, Windows NT and perhaps even Mac OS. In the end this never happened and the only supported personality was OS/2.

IBM OS/2 Warp PowerPC Edition was never released as a product and was only offered to interested IBM customers as CD pack (2 CDs: "OS/2 Warp (PowerPC Edition) December 1995 Version" and "IBM Applications Sampler"). It stayed in beta status until cancelation of the OS/2 PowerPC project in 1996.

IBM OS/2 Warp PowerPC Edition had all features of its Intel counterpart OS/2 Warp 3 (including DOS and Win-OS2 support), but missing all the networking functionality of the "Connect" versions. It had a beta version of OpenGL support, which shared code with IBM's AIX workstation class implementation. Moreover, it had already many features that showed up later in OS/2 Warp 4 on Intel.

The "IBM Applications Sampler" CD offered some OS/2 software ported from the Intel version:

\ADEPT - AdeptSoft - AdeptXBBS
\APPSMGR - Intelligent Environments - Applications Manager
\ARCSOLO - Cheyenne Software - ARCsolo
\DEVTECH - Development Technologies - DeskMan/2
\DSKOBV - Pinnacle Technology - Desktop Observatory
\GRAHAM - WarpSpeed Computers - Graham Utilities
\HAVOC - StarDock Systems - Havoc
\COMPART - Compart GmbH - Impos/2
\RELISH - Sundial Systems - Relish
\RHINOCOM - Rhintek - RhinoCom
\VIEWER - Aquila Systems - Scientific Image Viewer
\VISPROC - Hockware - VisPro/C (x86 cross-compile tool)
\WIPEOUT - BocaSoft - WipeOut
\XACT - SciLab GmbH - Xact

The 1st download is IBM OS/2 Warp Connect for PowerPC.
The 2nd download is IBM OS/2 Warp for PowerPC - Application Sampler.
The 3rd download is IBM OS/2 Warp for PowerPC with Application Sampler (December 1995).

MD5 (IBM_OS-2_Warp_Connect_for_PowerPC.iso_.rar) = 0669efa9411ca4da71d0d4e8a79276a5
MD5 (IBM_OS-2_Warp_for_PowerPC_Application_Sampler.iso_.rar) = 6a080dd471989d7a5f2f3f851deda060
MD5 (IBM_OS2_Warp_3.0_1995-12_PPC.rar) = 965e5f3b5961089995d198cbe5a0aed2

OS/2 Warp, PowerPC Edition
OS/2 Museum - OS/2 Warp, PowerPC Edition
VOICE Newsletter 02/2005 - Whatever Happened to Warp for the PowerPC?
IBM PowerPC ThinkPad - History
OS/2 for the PowerPC: The Development Environment

Architecture: PPC

Installs only install on IBM PowerPC workstations and on Motorola PowerStack (PowerPC Reference Platform (PReP)).

Compatible IBM PowerPC workstations:
• Desktop:
Personal Computer Power Series 830 (PowerPC 604)
Personal Computer Power Series 850 (PowerPC 604)
• Laptop:
ThinkPad Power Series 820 (PowerPC 603e)
ThinkPad Power Series 850 (PowerPC 603e)


Troyd's picture
by Troyd - 2019, March 7 - 1:32pm

Apart from a few blog posts around the time, this is all I could find on this project

looks like development stalled in 2017.

Jatoba's picture
by Jatoba - 2019, March 7 - 8:16am

Looking forward to when QEMU supports this, Solaris PPC, Windows NT 4 and BeOS. Smile

Kitchen2010's picture
by Kitchen2010 - 2016, May 31 - 8:54am

Actually, I have uploaded this software gem for the guy who is working on the QEMU PREP PowerPC target (and Mac99 target). In a distant future, you might get this running using QEMU.

Troyd's picture
by Troyd - 2016, May 31 - 7:46am

You are massively underestimating the difficulty, if not impossibility of what you are suggesting.

Firstly, this requires writing a compatible firmware from scratch without any source to the IBM source code.
Secondly, getting this firmware to cooperate with the different logic boards of Macintosh computers. The only thing they really have in common is the cpu.
Thirdly, even if you could get the OS/2 CD to start the boot process, you are going to run into problems until somebody writes compatible OS/2 PPC drivers for every single hardware item, from the hard drive controllers, graphics cards to the memory handlers.

Given the alpha quality of the OS/2 release, the amount of 'experimenters' willing to undertake this, let alone those capable of even starting such an undertaking is approximately zero. Even now, there is only one other IBM PPC machine, a very closely matched RS/6000 model that anyone has even got the OS/2 PPC version to run on in the 20 years after it was released. Small wonder the the IBM PowerPC computers command such a huge premium whenever one crops up on eBay in any sort of working condition.

TL:DR - Ain't never gonna happen.

djkano's picture
by djkano - 2016, May 31 - 4:39am

This is useful if anyone want to experiment to avoid the IBM limitations and can modify it to run on any Mac ppc.

Troyd's picture
by Troyd - 2016, May 15 - 7:55pm

I struggle to see what the point of this upload is. It has nothing to do with Macintosh computers, it won't run on any of those - only a very, very few select IBM PPC machines, none of which will, in turn, run any Mac OS software. Why bother? You might as well upload Windows NT 3.x to 4.x, which could also run on select PPC hardware, too (excluding Macintoshes).