OS/2 Warp, PowerPC Edition

Speaking of POWER – well, PowerPC – what about OS/2 Warp for PowerPC?

What was OS/2 Warp, PowerPC Edition like? An unfinished product, rough around the edges but simultaneously technically very interesting and advanced and showing promise. Even though the OS/2 PPC release wasn’t called beta, it is obvious that this is a beta level product (if even that in some respects). Many features are unfinished or completely missing (networking in the first place). The kernel level code doesn’t look much like production build and prints out quite a lot of debugging output on the serial console. The HPFS support was very unstable, and the stability of Win-OS/2 left a lot to be desired. There were too many clearly unfinished parts of the product (documentation, missing utilities etc.).

On the other hand a large portion of the system worked well. The user interface and graphics subsystem in general didn’t exhibit any anomalies. Multitasking was reliable and all things considered, responsiveness quite good for a 100MHz CPU and code that was not likely to have been performance tuned. The multimedia subsystem worked much better than I expected. Many things were much improved compared to Intel OS/2 — internationalization, graphics subsystem, updated console API and so on. The system seemed to have enough raw power, even if it wasn’t harnessed too well. Boot time was rather long but once up and running, the system was snappy (with some exceptions, notably the CD-ROM driver). To reach true production quality, the OS would have needed at least additional six months of intense development, probably more.

I’m a tad bit jealous some people manage to find the right hardware to run OS/2 for PowerPC, since it’s incredibly high on my list. At least I have this great article to read through every now and then, until the day I manage to get lucky myself.


  1. 2023-10-21 7:27 am
    • 2023-10-21 11:33 am
  2. 2023-10-21 9:04 pm
  3. 2023-10-22 12:15 am