Two Stage Boot

A normal OS/2 configuration boots directly into the graphical interface. This gives you the easiest to use interface for running your programs under OS/2 as you can point and double-click to run most programs and most of the time when you need to run a program from the command line, you just start an OS/2 command line session either in a window or full screen.

This covers you for all circumstances except for those where either your desktop has become corrupted and you want to run commands from the command line to rebuild it or you have some other reason why you want to execute programs from the command line without the graphical interface being started.

Many OS/2 users deal with this situation by booting from the first two installation floppies and then exiting the install to get to a command prompt or use a custom built boot floppy to boot their system to a command prompt.

Given that the need to do this should be fairly rare, the inconvenience of doing this is not that great but there is an alternative. You can configure your system to boot first to a command prompt without starting the graphical interface and then when a simple command is typed, close the stand alone command line interface and start the graphical interface.

So how do we do this? We just add one additional line to the end of the config.sys file to tell OS/2 to start a command prompt. As all commands in the config.sys are executed during startup before the graphical interface starts, this OS/2 prompt comes up full screen before the graphical interface is started and takes complete control of your system until you close it. Once the OS/2 command session is closed, the normal boot process proceeds to load the graphical interface as normal.

The command to place at the end of your config.sys is:


where x is the drive letter representing the drive where you installed OS/2.

Oh, and the command to shut down this session and proceed to load the graphical interface is exit.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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