eCS Information

Note: This is an archive page. The information on this page is old and may be out-of-date.

Installing Linux along side eCS

Before installing Linux, use miniLVM to partition the disk the way you want it. Create a partition for the Linux data and a partition for the Linux swap.

UPDATE: Use Linux Mint. The Linux Mint installer does not have the partition corruption problem. You can just install it into the already existing partition(s) and it won't destroy your partition table like Ubuntu does. If installing Linux Mint, you can skip to "Now proceed with the Linux installation"

There exists a special kernel-parameter to influence the behaviour of the Ubuntu partitioner when installing recent distro's in an extended partition.

When you add the 'partman/alignment=cylinder' kernel-parameter before starting the Ubuntu installation, the partitioner will not realign the extended partition to MB-boundaries and eCS LVM-info will be preserved.

So, installing Ubuntu 10.10 will go like this:

Now you see the line with the kernel-parameters that looks something like this:

..... quiet splash --

Insert the partman-parameter, so the line reads like:

..... quiet splash partman/alignment=cylinder --

Now proceed with the Linux installation.

If you use IBM BootManager or AiR-BOOT, let Linux install Grub in the extended partition you install Linux to. This way IBM BM and AiR-BOOT can chainload Grub and boot your Linux. Also check the Linux partitions have the correct ID: 82h for swap and 83h for the system. You can use GParted for this. Don't use GParted for disk maintenance, use MiniLVM instead.

For more information, see ticket #2914 in the eCS bug tracker.

Trap Dumps

This is an explaination of how to set up and record trap dumps. It is derived from the document by Steven Levine and has been simplified and edited for eCS 2.0 and above only.

Preparing the Dump Volume/Partition

The trap dump facility writes the dump files to a dedicated FAT partition. This must be a FAT formatted partition with the volume name SADUMP. The partition must be at least as large as the installed memory.

WARNING - os2dump effectively formats the volume and overwrites any existing volume content. Don't store anything you don't want to lose on the volume.

Use LVM or dfsee to create a volume for the file system. Verify that the partition size is no more than 2047MiB. LVM and dfsee round requests up to the next cylinder boundary and os2dump can not handle partitions larger than 2047MiB. On some systems with less than 2GiB of RAM, it appears that a maximum size partition of 2047MiB is required. If your system has more than 2GiB of RAM, you will need to install the DUMPFS.IFS, or reduce the amount of memory in your system to 2GiB or less. See the DUMPFS User's Guide. For some disk geometries, even systems with 2GiB won't fit onto a 2047MiB partition, so you will need to install the DUMPFS.IFS or reduce the amount of RAM.

Format the volume with

format X: /fs:FAT /v:SADUMP

where X: is the drive letter you assigned to the volume.

Test the volume with the command

dir X:\

The volume name should be SADUMP. Since the volume is empty, the shell may display a sys0002 error message.

Enabling the Trap Dump Facility

There are several ways to enable and configure the trap dump facility. This document describes the easiest way to permanently enable trap dumps. Add the following line to config.sys:


where X: is the volume where the dumps will be stored.

After editing CONFIG.SYS, reboot to active the feature.

To disable the Trap Dump Facility, simply REM out the TRAPDUMP statement in config.sys and reboot.

Recording Trap Dumps

With the above configuration, this is usually automatic. The trap dump file will be created as the traps occur and will be written to the volume you chose. Any existing data on volume will be erased including any prior dump file.

Those using non-US keyboards might have trouble responding to the dump prompt with the Y key. If so, use F1 instead, or just let it timeout.

If you are trying to capture a trap dump file for a hang condition, try Ctrl-Alt-NumLock-NumLock from the keyboard. On some keyboards, you may need to use Ctrl-Alt-F10-F10.

Sending Trap Dumps to the Developer

Do not send a Trap Dump to someone unless they have requested it and you have agreed on a method of transmission. Trap dumps are very large, even when zipped, and sometimes cannot be e-mailed. If you can arrange to FTP the Trap Dump to the developer, this is often a better solution.

Before you send the Trap Dump, zip it up first. This will save transmit time and protect the dump file from corruption. It's always a good idea to give the zip file a useful name. Something like will help everyone remember what the zip file contains. It's also a good idea to include a note in the zip file describing how and why the trap occurred along with the bldlevel output. The zip file may get separated from the e-mail message. You should include the output of

procdump query

in your note. This will describe the type of data recorded in the dump file.

Known Restrictions

The dump volume must be visible to the BIOS. This usually means it must be on the first or second drive and must be below the 1024 cylinder boundary unless the BIOS support the Int13 extensions.

In a mixed IDE/SCSI system, the driver for the boot volume must load first. This applies even when booting from IDE and when the SCSI drive contains no bootable devices. Otherwise, OS2DUMP will hang.

The standard trap dump facility is limited by the 2GiB FAT volume limit. If you have more than 2GiB of RAM, you will need to install and configure the DUMPFS IFS. See the DUMPFS User's Guide.

There are issues with AHCI capable controllers. Depending on the BIOS and AHCI controller, the trap dump facility may not be compatible with the os2ahci.add driver. The BIOS must be able to reset the controller to a state where real-mode int13 disk IO can work. If this is not possible, the workaround is to use the danis506 driver, if the system supports it.

eCS Technical Tips (for version 1.2R)

I am a hardware and software developer and a long time user of OS/2 (since version 2). You can read more about me here. I figure that if I had a few problems then other people might have had the same problems. So here are a few of the problems I had and how I fixed them.


The eCS printer wizard creates a bad printer object that will not work for all uses, particularly shared network printing. Instead use the printer template to create a printer. Here are some pointers to remember when creating printers.

I have also noticed that the eCS printer wizard did not install the Laserjet printer driver properly. None of the settings such as portrait or landscape would work properly. After re-installing the driver everything is fine. To re-install the printer driver, go to the "Printers" folder, right click on the printer object and select "Properties". Click on the "Printer Driver" tab. Right click on the printer driver you want to re-install, and click on "Install". Find your printer and click the "Install" button. When prompted to to overwrite the already installed driver, answer yes.

The Laserjet driver is the only one I allowed the eCS printer wizard to install and had to re-install. All the other printer drivers that I installed manually work fine.

Problems with the TZ environment string in Config.Sys

The TZ variable should be set to something like this:


But the eCS clock program sets it to something like:

SET TZ=PST8PDT,3,2,0,7200,11,1,0,7200,3600

The longer format interferes with the way that InfoZip uses the TZ variable. Therefore, with the TZ variable set the way eCS clock wants it, InfoZip will create a zip file with incorrect times in it. To fix this problem, simply correct the "SET TZ=" line in your config.sys file. Then go to the "System setup" folder and open the "Clock" program. Go to the "Control" page and uncheck "Automatically modify CONFIG.SYS".

Note that it is not important whether or not the arguments after "PST8PDT" are correct. The fact that they are there at all is what seems to break zip. This was tested with Info-ZIP version 2.3 and version 2.31

Note that some people (including me) prefer to set the TZ variable to simply "PST8" or "PDT7". I have a utility (syncnist.exe) that does this automatically for me based on the daylight information provided by the internet time server. InfoZIP works fine with this shorter version of the TZ variable.

PDF writer port driver

This is by far the easiest way to create PDF files on OS/2 and eCS. But the eCS printer port installer has trouble finding the port driver even when told exactly where it is.

Ordinarily, you could just type in the directory containing the pdfwrite.pdr file, click "Refresh" and it would find the port driver. But not anymore. You have to copy pdfwrite.pdr to the d:\os2\dll directory. Then use the "Find" button, and have it search d:\os2 for the port driver. It will then find the driver and you can install it. For some reason, making the installer look for the port driver from one directory level up seems to work.

Setting the date format

To make changes made with the Locale object take effect you have to select "Action" from the menu bar and then "Mark as default...".