Topic: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

Just Got this on the FreeBSD emulation list:

Dear Member of FreeBSD Community,

We are happy to announce the launch of an open beta for our new product, Win4BSD Pro Desktop.
Win4BSD Pro Desktop will allow FreeBSD/PCBSD users to run Windows applications and desktops
from their FreeBSD/PCBSD desktop in true Windows.

Win4BSD Pro Desktop joins a product family that includes Win4Lin Pro Desktop and Win4Lin Virtual
Desktop Server.  Our products are designed to make virtualization solve real-world problems for
our users.  Win4BSD Pro Desktop is a product of Virtual Bridges, Inc., a multi-platform solutions
company.

To download the beta of Win4BSD Pro Desktop, please visit
ftp://ftp.win4bsd.com/pub/testing/pro/

Please read the Users Guide and Release Notes carefully before installing the product.  The beta
evaluation will be valid for 14 days.

NOTE: Win4BSD Pro only supports i386 host architectures at the moment; amd64 host
architectures are not yet supported.  You can check your host architecture type by running the
command uname -m

Community forums for supporting, reporting issues and discussing functionality for Win4BSD
have been established at http://win4bsd.com/forums/.  Please use these forums.

We're looking forward to your feedback and being part of this community.

Thanks,

Win4BSD Team

"An educator never says what he himself thinks, but only that which he thinks it is good for those whom he is educating to hear."
-Nietzsche

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

I always think, that if you need so bad a lemonade, just buy lemons, not buy artificial lemonade!

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

what if you only need a tiny amount of lemonade on occasion?

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

Agreed.  I do about 95% of my work on BSD, but the last 5% requires Windows applications, and they are REALLY important.  I tried using BSD as a guest under XP, but it just didn't feel right for the majority of my work.  So this might be a good solution.

The details on the product are very sketchy.  Is there any more information available?  It appears to be the BSD analog to Win4Lin, but I've never followed that.  Reading between the lines, it appears to be another virtualization scheme.

Anyone tried it yet?

DrJ

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

I did a bit of digging.  Win4lin appears to be an attempt to introduce a commercial product based on qemu/kqemu.  I have no experience with it, but qemu/kqemu ran terribly slowly on my machine when I tried it.  VMware in my experience is a lot faster and more polished (though I would hope that Win4bsd would clean up the dreadful qemu interface).

It still might be interesting to give it a try.

DrJ

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

Just got home and I'm trying to get it to install....so far it blows up on the install because kqemu.tar.gz is missing from the install package.

It does look like it contains a bunch of patches to kqemu.

"An educator never says what he himself thinks, but only that which he thinks it is good for those whom he is educating to hear."
-Nietzsche

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

well I got it installed.

you have to change the mount command in the script unimount.sh for the mount_block_bsd() function to:

 mount -r -t cd9660 $1 $2 > /dev/null

and you need to have gtar installed also.

But it wont read any of the version of window cd that I have, which are XP 64 and XP home upgrade CDs. If I can get a full XP disk I'll try again later.

"An educator never says what he himself thinks, but only that which he thinks it is good for those whom he is educating to hear."
-Nietzsche

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

RoddieRod wrote:

But it wont read any of the version of window cd that I have, which are XP 64 and XP home upgrade CDs. If I can get a full XP disk I'll try again later.

I think you need retail versions of XP to install.  That's what's holding me back: all of mine are OEM.

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

My XP 64 is a retail version but it wont read that one...maybe I look and see if I can hack that one. I wants XP i386 with SP 1 sad

"An educator never says what he himself thinks, but only that which he thinks it is good for those whom he is educating to hear."
-Nietzsche

10

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

According to the Win4lin forums, it won't take XP-64.  You also need separate versions for 9x.  Yes, you need XP SP1.  Don't take this as gospel -- I just made a quick scan of the FAQ and a few threads.

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

DrJ wrote:

I did a bit of digging.  Win4lin appears to be an attempt to introduce a commercial product based on qemu/kqemu.  I have no experience with it, but qemu/kqemu ran terribly slowly on my machine when I tried it.  VMware in my experience is a lot faster and more polished (though I would hope that Win4bsd would clean up the dreadful qemu interface).

Win4Lin (at least back in the Win98 days) is so much more than a qemu clone.

If it wasn't for the price, we would have purchased it by the bucketload about 3 years ago, as a solution for running those pesky Windows-only apps (like Simply Accounting, SIRS, Turbo School, Gradebook, Markbook, and a few others) when we were tempted to make a big Linux-only push in area schools.  Performance was like running a native version of Windows 98SE in a window on your Linux destkop.

Even today, qemu+kqemu on a Sempron 1.2 GHz system with 512 MB RAM runs Windows 98SE like a dog.

12

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

phoenix wrote:

Win4Lin (at least back in the Win98 days) is so much more than a qemu clone... Performance was like running a native version of Windows 98SE in a window on your Linux destkop.

Even today, qemu+kqemu on a Sempron 1.2 GHz system with 512 MB RAM runs Windows 98SE like a dog.

I'm please to hear that.  I tried 98SE under qemu/kqemu on a dual Athlon (MP2800s) with 2GB RAM and it was usable, but barely, if you are generous.  Any idea if it works on SMP systems?  That's my major issue with VMware.

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

VMWare Server runs just fine on SMP systems.  Have it running on my SMP workstation at work, with FreeBSD 6.1, Debian Testing, and Windows XP Pro SP2 VMs, with the FreeBSD one running SMP as well.

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Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

Uh, I meant using VMware on a FreeBSD host.  The only version that runs at the moment is 3.2.1, which requires disabling APIC.  That means no SMP.

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

I don't think it is right to ask the open source community to test a proprietry product. Like when windows offer beta downloads of vista, and so on smile.

Although, it is a good product.

Running FreeBSD on amd64 (athlon64 3000+, 512mb RAM, 160gb HD, Asus motherboard, 450w PSU and ATI radeon 9700)

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

DrJ wrote:

Uh, I meant using VMware on a FreeBSD host.  The only version that runs at the moment is 3.2.1, which requires disabling APIC.  That means no SMP.

I've got the same problem also. If we could find a way around that everything would be good. Version 4 is suppose to work with SMP but I can't get that to run.

Also 3.2 is suppose to run on SMP if your kernel version is 2.4 - the linux base kernel is 2.6 something but it doesn't detect it correctly.

"An educator never says what he himself thinks, but only that which he thinks it is good for those whom he is educating to hear."
-Nietzsche

17

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

RoddieRod wrote:

I've got the same problem also. If we could find a way around that everything would be good. Version 4 is suppose to work with SMP but I can't get that to run.

Version 4 does not really work.  I'm working on the newer versions.  Stay tuned, but don't hold your breath.  I agree that VMware is an outstanding product.

Also 3.2 is suppose to run on SMP if your kernel version is 2.4 - the linux base kernel is 2.6 something but it doesn't detect it correctly.

I've not tried that, but then again I don't have any Linux systems running at the moment.

18

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

onlinebacon wrote:

I don't think it is right to ask the open source community to test a proprietry product.

I think they are perfectly free to ask.  You are also prefectly free to decline the offer.

I personally have no issues paying for and running proprietary software on an OSS box.  If it adds value, then I would use it.  Personally, I'd love to see a lot more proprietary software on OSS.  There are so many holes in OSS coverage that there simply is no way OSS can every fill them all.

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

Well i think for those occasions of a few lemonade drops, wine can squeeze it. tongue Imho.

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Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

venotaku wrote:

Well i think for those occasions of a few lemonade drops, wine can squeeze it. tongue Imho.

No, it can't.  At least not the last time I looked at Wine, and believe me, I've worked at it very hard, and closely with one of the Wine developers.  I've put hundreds of hours into getting wine to do the things I want, and it just does not.

Again, if you run some mainstream things, it may work.  But deviate at all from the mainstream and you run into trouble quickly.  There just is too much software that runs on Windows to cover it all from the API.  The virtual machines just work better.

21

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

The following link may help to clarify somewhat the relationship of the newer Lin4lin products with the older ones for Win 9x.: http://osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=12623 .  This is not gospel, but it did help me.

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

Hello,

thanks for your interest in Win4BSD.  In order to better help us fix problems, please try to post on the Win4BSD forums that we have set up, as per the announcement.  That way we can better respond to any issues:

  http://www.win4bsd.com/forums/

There is a Defects category where you can report bugs, such as the 'gtar' issue which of course will be fixed.

As for Windows XP 64, this is not supported as a guest OS.  But if you want to load a version that is not detected automatically (such as XP without service packs), you can use the direct media method that is described in the users guide.  This means going straight to 'installwinpro' instead of using 'loadwinproCD' to load from a CD.

As for the OSNews article, it's quite old and mostly not applicable anymore.  Still, I'll clarify a few things:

1. Win4BSD Pro is pretty much a straight port of Win4Lin Pro (from Linux)

2. Win4BSD Pro uses QEMU, and legally licenses the KQEMU accelerator from its author

3. Win4BSD Pro is much more than just QEMU, especially for users who are not very technical

4. Our company helps (and has helped) the QEMU project in various ways, mostly working directly with its author, Fabrice Bellard.

5. Our company is committed to the i386 *BSD platforms (including PC-BSD for example.)  This means that the Win4BSD Pro product is not a one-off thing and will continue to evolve over time.

Again, thank you for your interest,

Leo Reiter
CTO, Win4Lin, Inc., Virtual Bridges, Inc.

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

One more thing... Win4BSD Pro should indeed run on SMP hosts (although it has not been tested heavily in such configurations yet.)  Its sister product, Win4Lin Pro, is well proven on SMP hosts for example.

Regards,

Leo Reiter

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

I forgot to mention... the mount issue has already been fixed and an update was made available.  There is a new version of on the FTP site (ftp://ftp.win4bsd.com/pub/testing/pro/), and we will continue to post announcements on those forums (http://www.win4bsd/forums/) as new versions become available.

Regards,

Leo Reiter

Re: Announcing Open Beta Win4BSD

onlinebacon wrote:

I don't think it is right to ask the open source community to test a proprietry product. Like when windows offer beta downloads of vista, and so on smile

Quite to the contrary, I think we should thank the very few companies that take the time and effort not to discard BSD from their development plans, and to port software to BSD. All good systems have proprietary software too. This means it's a platform worth developing for, and it also means BSD is not just a hobbyist system. I wish we had tons of proprietary applications that outperformed the thousands of poor open-source applications available for free on BSD.