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PC Xinu 7.9

Question 1.1

Why does Xinu 7.9 print "Initialisation Error" and return to DOS ?

Xinu trys to access a packet driver through INT 0x65. If no packet driver is installed, initialisation of the Network Device fails and Xinu returns to DOS. You can still use Xinu without a networking card if you do the following:

Install a packet driver for access through INT 0x65. Ignore any error messages.

If you use slip8250, start it with slip8250 0x65 1

Now type xinu -n at the DOS prompt.

Xinu will now run, but the networking features will be unavailable.

Several packet drivers don't work with hardware interrupt 9, so choose a value less than 8.

Question 1.2

Can Xinu 7.9 use an NDIS_PKT driver under WINDOWS for Workgroups ?

Can Xinu 7.9 use NDIS3PKT in WINDOWS95 ?

Yes. Versions dated August 1, 1996 or later have been modified to hook only IP, ARP and RARP packets from the packet driver. This means that Xinu no longer interferes with NETBEUI packets required by WfW. See the directory /xinu79/pcxnet/main/wfw for the required files and setup info.

The answer to the second question is YES, BUT make sure you set V86stacksize to 8192 in the [ndis3pkt] section of system.ini after you install NDIS3PKT. Also, NDIS3PKT works fine with Ethernet Adapters but it does not work with the WINDOWS95 Dialup Adapter. You will need to use a DOS-based PPP packet driver instead (see next question).

Question 1.3

What's a packet driver ?

A packet driver is a piece of software which provides a "standard" programming interface to your networking hardware. Packet drivers have been written for just about all interface cards available today. There are even packet drivers available for COM ports. You can download the complete packet driver collection by clicking here.

If you need a packet driver for the PPP protocol, click here.

Question 1.4

Xinu seems to do nothing after initializing and clearing the screen. What's going on ?

After initialization a process called netstart runs. It first attempts to get the machine's IP address using BOOTP. If that fails, it tries RARP, and if that also fails, it prompts you for an IP address. The whole procedure takes a few seconds, so be patient.

Question 1.5

What's the password ?

Once Xinu has initialized, it runs a process called xmain, which is in main/xinu.c. The function xmain calls the function login, which is in src/shell/login.c. Edit this file and you will soon discover the password.

Question 1.6

How do I recompile Xinu ?

When you ran Xinu79.exe, an empty directory /xinu79/bin was created. This directory normally contains the compiler, linker, assembler and all other executables which you need to build Xinu. I obviously could not include this software in the distribution, so you should place your own compiler binaries and utilities in this directory. Alternatively, you can edit the pcxnet.bat file to set the BIN variable to point to your compiler binaries directory.

Just about any version of the BORLAND C or Turbo C compilers can be used (I used Turbo C Version 1.0 to build xinu.exe).

So, to rebuild Xinu, change to the /xinu79/pcxnet/src directory and type make lib. This will recompile any changed files and update the libraries. You then change to /xinu79/pcxnet/main and do a make. You then have an updated xinu.exe file which you can run from the DOS prompt.

Always remember to run the /xinu79/pcxnet.bat file before you do any work on Xinu. This sets up the PATH and the environment so that the various batch files and utilities can be found.

Question 1.7

Why can't I recompile Xinu when a PPP driver is installed ?

The etherppp driver uses alot of memory (about 100K) for buffers, etc. A simple fix is to run Xinu in a WINDOWS DOS Box and simply edit and compile in another DOS Box. Another solution is to use the BORLAND 4.x compiler and linker. These use DPMI to gain access to more memory, but, they are considerably slower than previous BORLAND compilers and linkers.

Question 1.8

Xinu 7.9 runs ok in a WINDOWS95 DOS Box but locks up the machine when I exit to DOS.

Get the latest version of Xinu 7.9 from csc.canberra.edu.au/pub/ise/xinu. Versions dated after 5. April, 1996 do not have this problem.