On Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 10:42 AM, Tom Ehlert <t...@drivesnapshot.de> wrote:
>>> I'm building the new website. I'll update the notice to encourage new
>>> users to install FreeDOS in a virtual machine.
>> any reason why we don't provide ready to run virtual machines as .VHD
>> images?
>> Hmm... I don't know why we haven't. I don't know anything about VHD
>> though. Is that a standard virtual disk image that any PC
>> emulator/virtual machine can read? Can free/open source software
>> virtual machines read these (or create them)?
> .VHD is a fairly generic virtual *disk* format, and most virtual
> machines providers should be able to read them.
> a tiny bit more specialized are the virtual machine configuration
> files, but we should be able to provide multiple formats, for Virtual
> Box, DosBox, HyperV, ...
> still no rocket science, and no risk to damage user data.

There's nothing wrong with providing a public .VMDK (etc.), but it's
probably a lot of work to maintain one (make sure it has all useful
tools and compilers in recent versions, make sure it satisfies all
licenses, make sure it's not overly large).

I just assume we didn't have enough people interested in making one.
The end user can always install manually (from .iso) to whatever
format / emulator they want. Do they really need us to hold their
hand? (Probably yes, but it's a ton more effort on our part.)

Anyways, according to FreeBSD (
ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/releases/VM-IMAGES/README.txt ),
these are some disk image formats:

vhd: VirtualPC, Hyper-V, Xen, VirtualBox
vmdk: VMWare
qcow2: Qemu, KVM, VirtualBox
raw: bhyve, other hypervisors that support unformatted raw disk image

Actually, I think .VMDK (at least older version) is supported via
"qemu-img" and thus QEMU itself nowadays. They also support
VirtualBox's .VDI (somewhat). Besides, there's also the existence of
.VHDX and .OVA.

I dunno, it's a mess, it's a crapshoot, some things may or may not be
"well-supported" under all emulators / hypervisors. Honestly, I
recommend .VMDK, but I've only had limited interaction with it, so I
don't know if that's truly the best format. (Obviously some demand
"raw" format, but "qemu-img" can "convert" between several formats,

Just for comparison, FreeBSD 10.3 (i386) distributes in several
formats ( 

.qcow2.xz, raw.xz, vhd.xz, vmdk.xz

(Although I personally think that's a duplication of effort unless you
are absolutely sure that all targeted emulators can't reliably handle
a single format. But I'm not aware of various advantages or
disadvantages either, so who knows.)

P.S. No, I've never used bhyve, and I have no idea if it (now?) has
BIOS + DOS support. AFAIK, no. (See https://wiki.freebsd.org/bhyve .)

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