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NewsForge: Looking inside the Bochs hardware emulator

Feb 27, 2002, 07:55 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Russell C. Pavlicek)
"Most people in the Open Source community are aware of VMware, a commercial product which allows you to run a guest operating system on your Linux or Windows system. Some people are aware of Plex86, an Open Source project which is working to accomplish a similar goal. But not that many people seem cognizant of an older project: Bochs.

Unlike VMware, Bochs (pronounced "box") does Pentium machine hardware emulation. This makes performance under Bochs much slower than that of VMware. But because Bochs emulates the hardware, it can be used on other hardware architectures like Alpha and SPARC. So you can run Windows 95 on your SPARC box, or FreeDOS on your Alpha. For example, one of the accompanying screen shots is an x86 Linux booting on my SPARCstation 10. My SPARC box is too slow to make things really usable, but a faster CPU could make it possible to run x86 applications on a non-x86 architecture.

The Bochs distribution comes with a 10 MB disk image of DLX Linux, which can be quickly booted and tested to give you some idea how fast Bochs will run on your platform."

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