When I first started working at Connectix, one of my favorite past times was to tease the CTO, Eric Traut, about the fact that BeOS did not work under Virtual PC. Eric is a bit of a perfectionist, and liked BeOS, so it bothered him that it did not work. From time to time he would take a shot at trying to get BeOS to work – and fail. Eventually Eric declared that ‘BeOS would never run stably under Virtual PC’ because of assumptions that it made about the underlying hardware.
The problem was that BeOS would install okay but programs would randomly (and frequently) crash.
During the late development cycle of Microsoft Virtual PC 2004, I decided it was time to fire up my collection of ‘odd’ operating systems and confirm that we had not broken any of them. Much to my surprise BeOS ran perfectly – no crashes, perfectly stable. The weird thing is that no one is entirely sure why this is – we just know that it is the result of one of the core changes we made during the Microsoft security review of the product.
So here you are:
In order to install BeOS all you really need to know is to use the VESA driver instead of the S3 video driver – as the S3 driver is quite problematic (details on how to enable the VESA driver can be found here: http://www.betips.net/chunga.php?id=365).
You can download the personal edition of BeOS v5 from here: http://www.bebits.com/app/2680 but as noted on that webpage BeOS can’t run on Athlon processors – and this holds true for inside of Virtual PC too.