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Running sanos under PC emulators


You can run sanos as a guest operating system under a number of different PC emulators. Sanos has been tested with the following PC emulators:

Running sanos under QEMU


If you want to take a quick look at sanos you can download a QEMU emulator pre-configured with sanos ( Unzip this file to a directory and double-click on the runsanos.cmd file. This starts an instance of QEMU running sanos.

You can also run this under Linux if you install the QEMU PC emulator:

sudo apt-get install qemu
qemu -fda sanos.flp -boot a -net user -net nic,model=virtio

This will start sanos from a small virtual boot floppy disk. If you want to write programs under sanos you can also try the SDK image instead.


Running sanos under KVM


KVM (for Kernel-based Virtual Machine) is a full virtualization solution for Linux on x86 hardware containing virtualization extensions (Intel VT or AMD-V). You can run the same vmdk images under KVM as QEMU and VMware.

kvm -drive file=img/sanos.vmdk,if=virtio,boot=on -net user -net nic -redir tcp:2323::23 -redir tcp:8080::80


Running sanos under Microsoft Virtual PC


You can download a free version of Virtual PC 2004 SP1 from Microsoft. If you want to try sanos on Virtual PC you can try this VPC image provided by Tom Taylor. It is a zipped up 50MB image. It compresses to only 542KB for the sanos install. The image also contains the sanos SDK.


Running sanos under VMware


You can use VMware to run sanos. VMware is a PC emulator which allows you to emulate a PC in software. You can download a 30-day trail version of VMware Workstation from

In VMware Workstation select File->New Virtual Machine. Select 'Custom' configuration and 'Other' as guest operating system. In my configuration I use 128 MB RAM and bridged networking. To make the configuration boot sanos set the 'Floppy Drive (A:)' to use the sanos boot disk image (e.g. c:\sanos\img\bootdisk.img)  as floppy image. Sanos does not use USB devices so you can delete these from the configuration.

Alternatively, you can build a virtual harddisk image by using the -t vmdk option in the mkdfs tools. This creates a .vmdk file which can be used directly by a VMware VM as a virtual harddisk. This way you can build images that are larger than a floppy.

The default setup of sanos uses DHCP to obtain IP address settings. If you don't have a DHCP server on you network, you can set the Network Adapter in the VMware configuration to Host-only or NAT. This will use the built-in DHCP server in VMware for IP settings.


Running sanos under JsPcEmulator


The simplest way to try sanos is to run it in your browser using JsPcEmulator by Kevin O'Dwyer. It is an x86 PC emulator written entirely in JavaScript. Your can try it out here. It only runs on Chrome 12 and above.


Remote debugging of sanos under VMware


You can do remote debugging of sanos running under VMware. First, add a serial port to your virtual machine:

Then start the dbggw program from a command line on the development system:

c:\sanos\tools> dbggw \\.\pipe\com_1

Apart from this the remote debugging can be done as described in the FAQ.