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Installing NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP On A Laptop

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I hope this saves at least someone all the blood, sweat and tears I had to
shed to
install OpenStep 4.2 on my laptop.
This is only the first draft, and I would most appreciate any comments,
information, or corrections.

Tomaz Slivnik

                      Installing NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP on a laptop

                                      A Guide


                             Frequently Asked Questions


1. Laptops

Q1.1. Can I install OpenStep / NextStep on a laptop?
Q1.2. Which laptops can I install OpenStep 4.2 on?
Q1.3. What configuration will I get if I install OpenStep 4.2 on XXX laptop?


Q2.1. Which EIDE devices are supported by OpenStep 4.2?
Q2.2. Can I use more than 2G (4G) of disk space on my hard disk?


Q3.1. Which SCSI PCMCIA cards are supported by OpenStep 4.2?
Q3.2. Which SCSI devices are supported by OpenStep 4.2?
Q3.2. Does the ZIP/JAZ drive work under OpenStep 4.2?
Q3.3. Can I use my SCSI disk as a boot disk?

4. Ethernet

Q4.1. Which Ethernet PCMCIA cards are supported by OpenStep 4.2?
Q4.2. How do I set up OpenStep 4.2 for my 3Com 589 series card to work?

5. Sound

Q5.1. Can I get sound to work on my laptop?

6. Serial ports & modems

Q6.1. Which modem PCMCIA cards work on OpenStep 4.2?
Q6.2. How do I set up OpenStep 4.2 for my serial ports/modems to work?

7. Advanced power management

Q7.1. Does OpenStep 4.2 support the Advanced Power Management feature of my


Q8.1. My PCMCIA card says it is a "CardBus" card. Will OpenStep 4.2
      recognize it?
Q8.2. Will my combined network + modem card work?

9. Parallel Ports & Printers

Q9.1. Will I be able to print on my parallel port from my OpenStep 4.2

10. USB Ports

Q10.1. Can I use the USB port from my OpenStep 4.2 laptop?

11. CPUs

Q11.1. NextAnswers says only Pentium and Pentium Pro are supported. Will
       OpenStep 4.2 run on Pentium II?

12. Graphics

Q12.1. Which laptop graphics hardware is supported by OpenStep 4.2?
Q12.2. Which driver must I use on my laptop? How must I configure it?

13. The Installation Procedure

Q13.1. How do I install OpenStep 4.2 on my laptop?

14. Acknowledgements

15. Disclaimers



1. Laptops

A1.1. Yes. Several people have installed and successfully used OpenStep 4.2
      Intel based laptops. OpenStep 4.2 run on an appropriate and properly
      configured Intel based laptop runs and is very stable.

      Earlier versions of OpenStep and NextStep apparently are very
      to configure to work on a laptops, but people have reported
      successfully installing NextStep 3.3 in particular.

A1.2. OpenStep 4.2 has been reported to have been successfully installed on
      the following systems:

          Toshiba Tecra 720cdt, 730cdt, 730xcdt, 740cdt
          IBM ThinkPad 380ED, 570, 760C
          Dell Inspiron 7000A
          Sony VAIO
          HP OmniBook 4100

      NextStep 3.3 has been reported to have been successfully installed on
      the following systems:

          IBM ThinkPad 760E

A1.3. Hard disk: up to 4G available space on your boot drive (which must
        necessarily be an EIDE drive). Up to 28G on your attached external
        SCSI drives (up to 4G per drive).

      Ethernet: 10Mbps BNC or RJ45, with an appropriate PCMCIA Ethernet

      Sound: none.

      Graphics: depends on your laptop:
         Dell Inspiron 7000A: 1024x768 in 16 bit colour
            (you must use the *latest*, i.e. version 4.04 beta, of the
            ATI Rage Display Driver to get this resolution)
         [I don't know about other laptops, perhaps someone can provide me
         that information]


A2.1. Any built-in EIDE hard disk or CD-ROM drive should work fine, as far
      as I know. However, depending on your hardware configuration, you
      have to use instruct the OpenStep 4.2 installation procedure to use
      the Dual Primary and Secondary EIDE/Atapi Controller device driver
      during the installation procedure from your built-in (EIDE) CD-ROM
      (see A13.1 for more details).

      In particular, it is now no longer necessary to use an external SCSI
      CD-ROM to install OpenStep; the internal EIDE CD-ROM will do.

A2.2. No. OpenStep 4.2 does not support multiple OpenStep partitions on EIDE
      disks, and the maximum disk partition size in OpenStep 4.2 is 4G. More
      than 1 partition per SCSI disk should as far as I know work, but
      apparently does not work with the supported PCMCIA SCSI controller
      (see A3.1). (does anyone know if this is a limitation of the Adaptec
      SlimScsi cards or the driver?)

      Note that the largest partition size that OpenStep, at least version
      with patch 4 (the Y2K patch) applied, is 4GB, not 2GB. There are no
      problems using partitions larger than 2G. Application software,
      Unix system utilities, may, however, be confused by such partitions.
      only standard Unix utilities for which people have reported problems
      are dump and restore, which apparently only handle volumes up to 2GB
      size. Quite in which version support for 4GB partitions was added,
      however, is information that appears to have been lost in the mists of

      Older versions of OpenStep also had problems handling partitions
      at a point above the 4G mark on a disk, but this is (as of release
      no longer so.


A3.1. Only the Adaptec SlimScsi 1460 series cards will work (you must use
      the Adaptec 6x60 chipset driver --- "Add" the "Adaptec PCMCIA to 6360
      SCSI Adapter" in "SCSI Devices" panel in There are 5
      cards in this series: 1460A, 1460A2, 1460B, 1460C, 1460D, and they
      all been used successfully. For the 1460C and 1460D, the default IRQ
      used is 11. On some laptops, this IRQ number is reserved for the use
      the laptop's internal hardware, and even though no conflicts will be
      reported, the card will fail to work with this IRQ setting. Changing
      the IRQ setting usually helps. On a Dell Inspiron 7000A, using the IRQ
      10 works.

      Apparently, though I haven't personally checked this, you will only be
      able to format one partition (of at most 4G) on each attached SCSI
      drive using these cards. The 1460A and 1460A2 apparently support up to
      7 attached SCSI devices, and the 1460D apparently supports up to 3
      attached SCSI devices.

A3.2. Yes, the SCSI versions do. The parallel port versions do not work, of
      course. Apparently the internal ZIP drive sold by Dell also works.
      You must add an entry to your /etc/disktab file to accomodate
      a JAZ drive. The following entries will work --- for a 1G JAZ:


      For a 2G JAZ:

      jaz-2g|JAZ-2G|iomega jaz 2GB E.1708/2:\

      The true geometry of the 2G Jaz drive is actually

      jaz-2g|JAZ-2G|iomega jaz 2GB E.1708/2:\

      However, if I am to believe the Next's /etc/disktab file
      ("ss      sector size -- MUST ALWAYS BE DEV_BSIZE (1024) FOR NOW"),
      OpenStep does not support 512 bytes/sector devices, so an
      to the true geometry must be used. Several geometries which work
      satisfactorily circulate around the usenet newsgroups --- in fact any
      geometry as above with variations to nc, nt, ns and sa should work
      fine, provided that sa = nc*nt*ns <= 1951897. You might want to
      keep the number ... reasonably low, otherwise formatting will take

A3.3. No. Devices driven by a PCMCIA controller card cannot be used as boot

4. Ethernet

A4.1. Only the following cards are known to work:

         Xircom PS-CE2-10BT
         3Com 589 series cards
         Cogent EM595 PCMCIA

      You can only buy the 3Com cards new nowadays. The Xircom CE2 series
      cards have been discontinued and replaced by the CE3 series cards.
      The CE3 series cards are different from the CE2 series cards and will
      not work with the Xircom CE2 series driver.

      The following 3Com 589 series cards will definitively work:

          3Com Etherlink III 3C589C-COMBO
          3Com Etherlink III 3C589C-TP
          3Com Etherlink III 3C589D
          3Com Megahertz 3CXE-589ET
          3Com Megahertz 3CCE-589ET
          3Com Megahertz 3CXE-589EC
          3Com Megahertz 3CCE-589EC

      Xircom PS-CE2-10BT cards: you must "Add" the "Xircom CreditCard
      Ethernet Adapted IIps" in the "Network Devices" panel in
      Thereafter, apparently, everything should be plug-and-play.

      3Com cards: you must "Add" the "3Com EtherLink III PCMCIA Adapter"
      driver in the "Network Devices" panel in You may have
      to change the "Auto Detect IDs" setting in the "Expert..." panel of
      "Network Devices" section in as follows:

         589D series: change the value to "MFR=3ComCorporation, PROD=3C589D"
         589E series: change the value to "MFR=3Com" (delete the "PROD="
             portion altogether).

      Alternatively, runing "grep PCMCIABus /usr/adm/messages" might help
      you determine what the appropriate strings are for the MFR and PROD

      You might have to play with the IRQ setting for the card. For me, IRQ
      11 did not work, even though it did not report any conflicts, but IRQ
      3 worked fine.

      Note also that Combo Ethernet cards (i.e., ones providing both a BNC
      and an RJ45 connector) will work in one mode or the other, not both -
      do not try to utilize both connectors at the same time! Also, if
      using thin Ethernet (BNC), make sure the connections are terminated
      properly (one terminator at each end of the chain).

5. Sound

A5.1. No. There are no sound drivers available for PCMCIA sound cards at

6. Serial ports & modems

A6.1. People have generally reported no problems using built-in serial ports
      and/or PCMCIA modem expansion cards. WinModems do not work. The
      following modem cards definitively work:

            Psion Dacom 56k+Fax Gold Card

A6.2. Set up your built-in ports using your laptop's BIOS setup program,
      install the TTY Port Server driver in the "Other Devices" panel in (OpenStep installation procedure does not do it
      automatically for you) and your built-in serial port should just
      work. To enable your PCMCIA modem, go to "Other Devices"
      panel, and click "Add..." to add a second "Serial Port" device. Choose
      the desired port, and select the "Connect Via" "PCMCIA Modem" setting.

7. Advanced power management

A7.1. No! You should turn Advanced Power Management off in your laptop's
      BIOS setup menu, or using the supplied software. OpenStep 4.2 does not
      cope well with any power management functions of your laptop, which
      more likely than not going to crash it. In addition, you should turn
      OpenStep 4.2's Advanced Power Management functions off by adjusting
      adjusting setting in in "Summary of Devices" page, in
      "Expert..." subpanel: set the value of the "APM" setting to "No".

      On some laptops (including my own Dell Inspiron 7000A), there is an
      annoying little pin sticking out of the keyboard which is depressed
      by the screen when you close the lid of the laptop. This will either
      switch off the screen on the laptop, or it will put it in suspend
      mode (i.e. stop the hard disk as well). If the latter happens,
      will crash, so you should disable this feature in your BIOS setup or
      otherwise if you can (or else avoid closing the lid of your laptop, or
      else get a laptop which doesn't have this annoying critter). I can't
      figure out a way to do this on the Dell, nor can I figure out how to
      remove the little pin physically from the laptop. If anyone has
      succeeded in doing this, I would be most interested to know.


A8.1. No. CardBus cards will not work. This includes the following cards:

          Adaptec SlimScsi 1480

A8.2. I believe A4.1 includes all the Ethernet cards which will work, and
      of them contains an on-board modem, so I believe the answer is no.

9. Parallel Ports & Printers

A9.1. Yes, the parallel port should be supported automatically and will
      as the device /dev/pp0. To actually print anything interesting (i.e.,
      PostScript) on a non-PostScript printer, you will have to obtain a
      non-PostScript printer driver package like Dots or JetPilot, or a
      postscript interpreter like GhostScript. I have never installed any of
      these packages myself, so I cannot tell you which is the best, but
      looking at the list of supported printers, I think Ghostscript will
      probably be the best, if not the only, option. I will probably install
      GhostScript on my system in time and will make publicly available
      if nobody has done it yet (I believe Rex Dieter said he might be doing
      this, however). The latest version of Ghostscript at the date I am
      writing this is Aladdin GhostScript 6.0.

10. USB Ports

A10.1. No.

11. CPUs

A11.1. Yes, the Pentium II will work. Apparently the AMD processors will
       work (though I have not checked this), but there are problems with
       "older" Cyrix chips. Has anyone run OpenStep on "newer" Cyrix
       or on the Intel Celeron?

12. Graphics

A12.1. I don't know the complete list. The following laptops are known to

          Toshiba Tecra 720cdt, 730cdt, 730xcdt, 740cdt
          IBM ThinkPad 380ED, 570, 760C
          Dell Inspiron 7000A
          Sony VAIO
          HP OmniBook 4100

          any laptop with ATI Rage

       The best laptop graphics hardware for which drivers exist are the
       ATI Rage compatible graphics cards.

A12.2. This is what I know; perhaps others who have used OpenStep on other
       laptops can tell me their configuration:

          Dell Inspiron 7000A --- "Add" the ATI Rage PCI/AGP-Bus Display
               Driver in "Display Devices" panel in Use
               "Expert Settings" to append the following string to "Auto
               Detect IDs": 0x4C421002. Select the display mode; on my
               14.1" screen, the highest resolution mode that works is
               1024x768 in 32-bit colour (although Inspiron's display
               will only distinguish 16 bits of colour). It doesn't matter
               which refresh rate (60Hz, 70Hz, 75Hz) you use.

       On other hardware using ATI Rage compatible video graphics, you
       may have to add a different string of the form "0x....1002" to
       the Auto Detect IDs. Using grep 1002 /private/adm/messages might
       help determine what is the correct string to use.

13. The Installation Procedure

A13.1. Prerequisites:

           - an Intel Pentium laptop, preferably one of those known
             to work and listed in A1.2, containing a large enough
             amount of RAM and a large enough hard disk (most modern
             laptops qualify), a CD-ROM drive, a supported display,
             and optionally any other required PCMCIA cards which are
             preferably listed above
           - OpenStep 4.2/Mach CD-ROM
           - OpenStep 4.2/Mach Developer CD-ROM (if required)
           - OpenStep 4.2/Mach Patch 4 (Y2K patch) CD-ROM
           - OpenStep 4.2/Mach Installation floppy
           - OpenStep 4.2/Mach Device Drivers floppy
           - a blank 3.5" 1.44MB floppy
           - a computer already running OpenStep, with either a CD-ROM
             drive attached or access to the Internet

       First, format the blank floppy (in NeXT format) on the machine
       already running OpenStep, created the directory /private/Drivers/i386
       on it and copy the following directories and their contents from the
       OpenStep 4.2 patch 4 CD-ROM to this directory:

            (your display driver, e.g. ATIRageDisplayDriver.config)

       The EIDE and PCMCIABus drivers should be copied from the
       OPENSTEP4.2_Mach/Drivers/OS4.2BetaDrivers directory on the CD-ROM
       and the EisaBus and Floppy drivers should be copied from the
       directory on the CD-ROM. The display driver should preferably be
       copied from the BetaDrivers directory, if a driver is there,
       otherwise it should be copied from the ReleasedDrivers directory.

       If you do not have a CD-ROM drive attached to your computer already
       running OpenStep, you may obtain the above driver files from
       NextAnswers on the Apple Enterprise web site. Note, however, that
       those files are compressed package files, and they must be
       appropriately decompressed first and put in the format described
       on the floppy disk.

       Next, read the installation instructions in the book "Installing
       and Configuring OpenStep Release 4.x For Mach". I will not include
       information which is already contained in that book; although things
       are more-or-less self-explanatory and you will probably get by
       reading it, I recommend you do read it.

       Next, insert the OpenStep Install floppy in the floppy drive on
       your laptop, insert the OpenStep 4.2/Mach CD-ROM in your CD-ROM,
       and reboot the laptop (NB the CD-ROM must be inserted in the drive
       before you boot the laptop (or possibly can also be inserted very
       early on in the installation process, but you won't be prompted for
       it), or the installation procedure will crash ungracefully).

       Follow the instructions on screen and in the Installation booklet
       supplied with your CD-ROMs. Most things should be self-explanatory;
       but note the following points:

       - when asked which driver to use for your hard disk and CD-ROM,
         in most cases you will need to use the Dual Primary and Secondary
         EIDE/Atapi Adapter Driver (included on the OpenStep 4.2/Mach Driver
         floppy). In some cases maybe the ordinary EIDE Driver will be
         appropriate. Only one of these will work; the other will soon crash
         your installation procedure. If the Dual driver fails, try the

       - when asked if you wish to install additional drivers, insert
         the floppy with additional drivers you had previously prepared
         into the floppy drive and choose option "2 to load a device
         driver from the disk in the floppy disk drive.". Install all
         the device drivers you put on the floppy (EIDE, EISABus, Floppy,
         PCMCIABus, display driver). NB (!) the EIDE driver you should
         ask it to install here is the ordinary one, not the Dual Controller

       - when you come to the "partitioning your hard disk" menu, make
         sure you allocate no more than 4096 MB (perhaps even 4095MB,
         I have not tried it with 4096MB) to the OpenStep partition.
         and the installation procedure itself, will not work if you
         more than 4096MB to OpenStep (you can try, but you will be wasting
         your time).

       Keep your "additional drivers" floppy handy as you will need it twice
       more, as stated in the "Installing and Configuring OpenStep ..."

       During the installation procedure, the "" window will
       come up. Look at answers A3.1, A4.1, A6.2, A7.1, A12.2 to see which
       settings you must adjust; perhaps there will be others. I also
       you enable the "Force Cold Boot" option in "Other Devices" panel; my
       laptop does not seem to reboot gracefully unless this option is

       Now proceed with the installation procedure as per "Installing and
       Configuring OpenStep ..." book. I suggest you reboot once the
       installation is completed, before installing OpenStep Developer and
       other packages. For some reason, my laptop did not behave normally
       upon the first "boot", but the next reboot is a proper boot like any

       If required, install the other packages in the following order:

       - OpenStep 4.2/Mach Developer
       - EOF 2.1 from OpenStep 4.2/Mach Patch 4 CD-ROM
       - Patch 4

       If you want to be able to compile for architectures other than
       Intel, you should install Developer libraries and all subsequent
       packages fat.

       NB You must set up a password for the "me" account, otherwise
       you will be logged in automatically as "me" every time you reboot
       or log out! You can do this in the Preferences panel.

14. Acknowledgements

I have freely used information from posts on next-related Usenet groups.
To install OpenStep on my Dell Inspiron successfully, I have referred to
the excellent description by Timothy Van Zandt (
The correct settings for the Dell Inspiron 7000A described in answers A4.1
and A12.2 in particular, and possibly others, have been copied from that

Many thanks also to Phil B Rubino for many excellent suggestions, and for
referring me to the Van Zandt document.

15. Disclaimers

While I have endeavoured to make sure that the information in this
document is correct, this document is provided to you as a free public
and comes with no warranty, express or implied. You use information in
this document at your own risk, and I accept no liability of any kind,
including without limitation liability for any losses you may incur as a
consequence of using or relying on the information contained in this

Copyright (C) 2000 Tomaz Slivnik

See Also