VirtualBox

Ticket #524 (closed enhancement: fixed)

Opened 7 years ago

Last modified 4 years ago

[feature-request] Add legacy hardware emulation (from Qemu devices - video, sound and network)

Reported by: Technologov Owned by:
Priority: minor Component: other
Version: VirtualBox 1.4.0 Keywords:
Cc: Guest type: other
Host type: other

Description

Please make VirtualBox more modular -- that is: make option to use Qemu legacy devices, like:

  1. Cirrus Logic Video card,
  1. Realtek network card, and
  1. Sound Blaster Audio card.

Those devices tend to work better with some guest OSes.

Since both VBox and those devices are "connected" to Qemu codebase, porting those devices to VirtualBox should not be too difficult.

-- -Alexey Eremenko "Technologov"

Change History

comment:1 follow-up: ↓ 12 Changed 7 years ago by sandervl73

  • Priority changed from major to minor

comment:2 Changed 7 years ago by Technologov

Implementing this is major new feature, not a small one because it will solve a wide array of problems:

  1. Windows 98 video - In the old Windows days, there were no VESA backend in Windows video driver, so you either need to emulate a supported video card, like Qemu's Cirrus Logic, or have reduced graphics: 640x480, 16 colors.
  1. Windows 98 sound - Windows 98 doesn't support AC'97 audio chip out of the box. (althrought I have heard about some drivers in existence)
  1. RedHat Linux 7 video - In the old Linux days, there were no VESA backend in X.org Linux video driver, so you either need to emulate a supported video card, like Qemu's Cirrus Logic, or have reduced graphics: 640x480, 16 colors.
  1. DOS sound - DOS guest simply doesn't support AC'97 audio. DOS Games need Sound Blaster emulation.
  1. Solaris networking - I could not run Solaris 10 in VirtualBox, but some people reported successes - even in such cases no one reported success with Solaris networking. Having more network cards to play with -- increases the chances of finding workaround and success.
  1. Windows x64 networking - Windows XP, 2003 and Vista x64 editions do not support 10 MBps ethernet anymore. Qemu emulates FastEthernet RTL8139 chip. If VirtualBox will have x64 guest support in the future, porting Qemu devices over here is a must.
  1. Windows video again: legacy games - many older Windows games require 256-color pallettes. VirtualBox as of 1.5.0 doesn't support that mode, making it impossible to play such games. Porting Qemu's Cirrus Logic emulated video card will solve that issue.
  1. Darwin network: - although currently this guest doesn't run on VirtualBox - supports well Realtek 8139 chip. Not sure if it supports AMD network chip.

============================================================================

Althrought, developing developing paravirtual network device can help speed up - it will reduce the number of supported guests, not improve that parameter. For me, a very important parameter of a virtualizer's quality is how many guest OSes are supported and how good their support is.

VirtualBox currently supports Windows 2000+ and newer Linux systems fairly good, but adding better support for other systems is very important too.

-Alexey "Technologov". 29.Sep.2007.

comment:3 Changed 7 years ago by fociwm

I think in the same way. Recently, I needed to run my old program that control a hardware under DOS. So, I started with VirtualBox because it's been the best virtual machine I have ever used. But, I didn't know that it does not support old OS'es like DOS. 256 color, legacy network card and sound blaster... Some features of my program ran good, but others did not.

I heard that Qemu based legacy hardware emulation code is already available, but I really want it to be included in VirtualBox as soon as possible.

(Other not so much important issues include that shared folder copy process sometimes freezes.)

comment:4 Changed 7 years ago by vboxer50

I am particular interested in Windows 3.1 compatability

ie. SOUND = Soundblaster 1.5

VIDEO = XGA or Video 7 or ATI PC2TV PRINTER = QMS Colorscript NETWORKING = A DOS compatable shared folder would be enough.

Is any of this being worked on ?

comment:5 Changed 7 years ago by michael

Unfortunately, so far, none of our paying customers have expressed interest in these features, which makes them rather low-priority for us. They might be good candidates for user contributions though.

comment:6 Changed 6 years ago by andreasfc

I am trying to get some good old dos games available within Virtualbox. The games aren't a problem but I don't have any sound, so I would prefer something like a soundblaster emulation within VirtualBox for DOS. Thanx

comment:7 Changed 6 years ago by michael

See previous comment. In particular, porting PCI devices which have already been written for Qemu to VirtualBox should be feasible for external contributors, provided that the licencing allows us to use them.

comment:8 Changed 6 years ago by arny

I need VM support for older OS's too, so this feature would really help me.

comment:9 Changed 6 years ago by frank

The SVN trunk has support for a SoundBlaster 16 device.

comment:10 Changed 6 years ago by bab00n

yes, this feature will help me too

comment:11 Changed 6 years ago by UltraCody

It's been 10 months now and Virtualbox still doesn't have drivers for Windows 9x!

comment:12 in reply to: ↑ 1 Changed 6 years ago by UltraCody

Replying to sandervl73: Why'd you change it to minor?

comment:13 Changed 6 years ago by realm

I would also find much use in these features.

comment:14 Changed 6 years ago by frank

UltraCody: What is your contribution for a better Windows 9.x support? Feel free to submit patches. The relevant source code is freely available, have a look at  http://www.virtualbox.org/browser/trunk . And, btw, SoundBlaster16 support was added with 1.6.0.

comment:15 Changed 6 years ago by arny

Perhaps Scitech Display Doctor VESA drivers might help for Win3.11 to Win98? I haven't tried yet, but I might when I get to it.

comment:16 Changed 6 years ago by frank

For a suitable display driver for Windows 3.x have a look at  http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/User_FAQ

comment:17 Changed 6 years ago by gemk2000

Win98 guest additions please. Desperately need it for legacy applications.

comment:18 Changed 4 years ago by Technologov

I think this bug can be now closed.

SB16 + pcNet-II + Scitech DD do the trick fine for Win9x guests.

All the use cases in my original report were solved, except case "3. RedHat? Linux 7 video", which I only used for Linux education.

Case-by-case Analysis: (VBox 3.2 vs VBox 1.4.0)

  1. Windows 98 video - In the old Windows days, there were no VESA backend in Windows video driver, so you either need to emulate a supported video card, like Qemu's Cirrus Logic, or have reduced graphics: 640x480, 16 colors.

Scitech Display Doctor 7 solves this.

  1. Windows 98 sound - Windows 98 doesn't support AC'97 audio chip out of the box. (althrought I have heard about some drivers in existence)

SB16 emulation solves this.

  1. RedHat? Linux 7 video - In the old Linux days, there were no VESA backend in X.org Linux video driver, so you either need to emulate a supported video card, like Qemu's Cirrus Logic, or have reduced graphics: 640x480, 16 colors.

Only unsolved, but very corner case. I used this OS for Linux education.

  1. DOS sound - DOS guest simply doesn't support AC'97 audio. DOS Games need Sound Blaster emulation.

SB16 emulation solves this.

  1. Solaris networking - I could not run Solaris 10 in VirtualBox, but some people reported successes - even in such cases no one reported success with Solaris networking. Having more network cards to play with -- increases the chances of finding workaround and success.

Intel E1000 emulation solves this.

  1. Windows x64 networking - Windows XP, 2003 and Vista x64 editions do not support 10 MBps ethernet anymore. Qemu emulates FastEthernet? RTL8139 chip. If VirtualBox will have x64 guest support in the future, porting Qemu devices over here is a must.

Intel E1000 emulation solves this.

  1. Windows video again: legacy games - many older Windows games require 256-color pallettes. VirtualBox as of 1.5.0 doesn't support that mode, making it impossible to play such games. Porting Qemu's Cirrus Logic emulated video card will solve that issue.

The 256-color pallettes were fixed in VBox Video BIOS a while back. Solved.

  1. Darwin network: - although currently this guest doesn't run on VirtualBox - supports well Realtek 8139 chip. Not sure if it supports AMD network chip.

Intel E1000 emulation solves this.

-Technologov

comment:19 Changed 4 years ago by Technologov

I think this bug can be now closed.

-Technologov

comment:20 Changed 4 years ago by frank

  • Status changed from new to closed
  • Resolution set to fixed
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