NewsForge: Looking inside the Bochs hardware emulator

“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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