Emulating the XO/Mac


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For current information on emulation of OLPC software images, see Emulating the XO

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Works really well. See VMWare.

  • I need to emphasize this: VMWare Fusion beats Parallels for running Linux on your Mac, hands down. I have used Parallels for about two years to do Linux/Sugar development, and I could smack myself that I didn't try VMWare earlier. The final straw was that I would have had to pay for a Parallels upgrade to support Fedora 9 after they promised for several months it would be supported. On VMWare, even the officially "unsupported" versions work because the installer simply offers to compile the necessary drivers, which worked flawlessly for me. Bert 12:54, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Parallels Desktop on Mac OS X

Said to work in Parallels. http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/devel/2007-November/007559.html

Step by step instructions for getting XO emulation up on a Mac using Parallels v3

Screenshots collected at Emulating_the_XO/Mac_Parallels3.

Simpler way of using Parallels v3

OS images can be used with Parallels by following these simple steps

  1. Uncompress and change the image extension from .img to .hdd
  2. Create a new virtual machine (Custom/Linux/Red Hat)
  3. Choose "Use an existing hard disk image" and choose the image

It will warn you that it will convert the image to some newer format but otherwise boots up fine. Sound didn't work (i have not explored why) and you need to run "ifup eth0" to get networking like others have mentioned.

--Cgalpin 18:42, 3 January 2008 (EST)

sugar-jhbuild on 32-bit Ubuntu in Parallels

The OLPC Wiki instructions for Sugar on Ubuntu Linux (with sugar-jhbuild) worked for me after installing Ubuntu 7.04 from ISO in Parallels on my MacBook. 23 June 2007.

LiveCD in Parallels

A person on #sugar reports, regards the sdk LiveCd of April,

i was able to get things running in parallels smoothly
i don't think i did anything else than what was suggested by the wiki with dd -- that part worked smoothly, and parallels booted the image without any issues. i had trouble getting networking to work only because i couldn't figure out how to get a shell. all the ctrl- commands would have side effects on my powerbook. ctrl-alt-delete worked though and was able to get the interface up and running that way
I don't have sound thou
(copied by MitchellNCharity 22:32, 27 May 2007 (EDT))

The following was originally copied from another, older, page

Bert: First, install a regular Linux in Parallels - I used Fedora Core 5. To use an OS image directly, add a second hard disk (size 512 MB) to the VM. Boot the VM, download an OS image (ending in ext3.img.bz2), then copy it to the second hard disk (hdc for me, hdb is the CD):

bzcat ...ext3.img.bz2 | dd of=/dev/hdc bs=1M

Then shut down that Linux, and change the VM (or make another one) to boot from the second hard disk image. Start that VM - should work :) I have not yet made sound work, though, please let me know if you find out anything.

BruceB: It can be a bit easier than that, no need to load a Linux system if you don't already happen to have one. This worked for me, though it may be simplified further still.

  • Launch Parallels, create a new VM (I user "other Linux"
  • Set the hard drive to be 512MB, OK when it says it already exists.
  • Note the Hard drive file name, for me it was:
  • Download the image (as bert says, ending in ext3.img.bz2) from this page:
  • Drop into the Apple Terminal and type: (replacing "..." with the right file name you downloaded and your username. Check to see if "otherlin.hdd" is what you are using too.)
 bzcat ~/Desktop/olpc...ext3.img.bz2 | dd of=/Users/.../Library/Parallels/otherlin/otherlin.hdd
  • Re-launch Parallels and run!

Bert: Oh, so Parallel's hdd is nothing more than a plain disk image? How interesting! Thanks, that's a lot easier!

Wooky: The dd-ing worked allright under OS X, but with a caveat: both images I tried (206 and 193) were only 480MB after dd, even though they originally had 512MB. I used Parallel's image utility to resize them back to 512MB and all went fine (almost, couldn't start GUI. Guess it is something between fbdev and Parallel's video).

MartinDolphin: I managed to get this working following the shorter method suggested by BruceB - the OLPC software starts with the initial screen, I can enter my name, but can't get any further.

George: I have the same problem with MartinDolphin

ScottSwanson: To avoid the 480MB "autoshrink" when running dd in Terminal.app, try using the following (remember to explicitly enter the correct paths for your system instead of "..."):

 bzcat ...ext3.img.bz2 | dd of=...otherlin.hdd bs=1024 conv=notrunc,noerror,sync

I was informed on #Sugar that there was a known issue with the file selection dialog box where you had to type in the filename with full path by hand. The newest build (298 as I write this) obviates this need. (This addresses MartinDolphin and George's issue.)

StarKruzr: I get so far as the Sugar splash screen. Never get to type in a name, it crashes shortly after telling Grub to boot from the QEMU target.

SRiggins: Parallels Build 3188 now stores vm hard disk images in /Users/{USERNAME}/Documents/Parallels/{VMNAME}/

GKnauth: Using Parallels 3 with BruceB's and ScottSwanson's suggestions, I overwrote the .hds file in the .hdd directory and afterward Parallels booted the OLPC fine:


# edit these to match your system

dd if="$IND/$INF" "of=$OUTD/$OUTF" bs=1024 conv=notrunc,noerror,sync

Virtual PC on Mac OS X (PowerPC)

Akauppi: The instructions above on preparing a 512MB boot disk, based on ...img.bz2 file apply. However, create a 1GB disk image in VPC, since it does not allow precisely 512MB.

TODO: system boots nicely, but the mouse remains unresponsive. Ideas???

John Palmieri advised:

Add this to /etc/X11/qemu-Xorg.conf and then copy qemu-Xorg.conf to Xorg.conf:

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier  "Mouse0"
        Driver      "mouse"
        Option      "Protocol" "IMPS/2"
        Option      "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
        Option      "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
        Option      "Emulate3Buttons" "yes"

Startup Failure

VirtualPC 7.0.1 (041022) on a Quad G5 (PowerMac11,2) fails to boot from the LiveCD, neither as disk or from image. The following output post-bootloader was copied verbatim from the (virtual) screen:

  Booting 'OLPC Operating System SDK'

root (cd)
 Filesystem type is iso9660, using whole disk
kernel /boot/vmlinuz ro quiet root=CDLABEL=OLPCRoot_build385_CD rootfstype=iso9
660 fastboot livecd selinux=0
   [Linux-bzImage, setup=0x1e00, size=0x1e2474]
initrd /boot/initrd
   [Linux-initrd @ 0x1fd37000, 0x2a888d bytes]

Uncompressing Linux... Ok, booting the kernel.

Int 14: CR2 ffffbe47  err 00000002  EIP c0427b06  CS 00000060  flags 00000047
Stack: c0745fdc 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000

▪ NeoAmsterdamTalkEdits 23:07, 18 May 2007 (EDT)

Hi. I had a similar problem and i solved it with "install noapic nolapic acpi=off" :)

Notes moved from Talk:OS_images_for_emulation


User:Jonb: Per my comment from the article, I can not get the USB emulation to work with the OLPC image in QEMU using the Q.app front-end. However, I can build a new VM that will boot off of the Windows 2000 Pro install CD and while in the installation screens I have full mouse and keyboard support. Could it be that there are missing drivers in the OLPC image? Has anyone gotten this to work without using a laptop?

Parallels Desktop

Joc Got this working on Parallels Desktop by making another serial port which I telnetted into and used the modprobe command to enable the keyboard and mouse. How ever I can't find a way to edit the grub.conf file in /boot/grub/grub.conf to change the screen resolution so that I can try Squeak usefully. Any ideas? Being able to open a console in the olpc image would be useful too as I get errors over telnet.
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