proxmox virtual machine windows

Windows 98 Virtual Machine on Proxmox

Why would you do this?

I don’t really know the answer to that but often I find myself installing Windows 98 on something just to see if I could get it to work and live a moment in the “good ol’ days”.

Windows 98 Wallpaper

Since learning there’s a fundamental problem running Windows 98 as a virtual machine on my AMD desktop, I thought I would see if I could get it running on my Proxmox VE server running an Intel processor. At least there I also have the option to emulate having a Pentium III processor.

Virtual Machine Configuration

Since Windows 98 doesn’t need a lot to run, I’ve kept it to a minimum:

Proxmox Virtual Machine Hardware Details

The hard drive is configured as an IDE drive with a small size due to Windows limitations of the time. The “ssdstorage” is simple the Virtual Machine storage I have configured on the Proxmox Server.

What Doesn’t Work

While I will attempt to update this as I have more information, there’s somethings that don’t work due to the lack of overall driver support for Windows 98.

  • Networking
  • Graphics beyond Standard VGA

For networking, I’ve tried using Intel E1000 and Realtek RTL8139 configuration and both aren’t detected in the OS.

As for the Graphics Drivers, there’s simply no drivers for Windows 98 for this hypervisor.

Using the Virtual Machine

On the surface though, it generally works!

Applications run and for my system they seem to be pretty responsive. Once I find a way to get graphics and networking working then this will be a good virtual machine for running older applications and possibly some games

Check out this article on running VMware ESXi on a Lenovo ThinkCenter

5 thoughts on “Windows 98 Virtual Machine on Proxmox

  1. There’s undocumented support for a cirrus svga card in proxmox. If you go into your 101.conf (or whatever ID) and specify vga: cirrus,memory=16 you’ll be able to run 1280x1024x256.

    Still haven’t gotten the networking to work yet though. I feel like I’m close with the E1000 (which has win9x drivers). I used imgburn to “burn” the drivers to an ISO, stuck that in the guest’s CD-ROM drive… but even with drivers installed, it still doesn’t work.

    Nor have I been able to get any video card to work as passthrough. I feel like a passthru PCI ethernet card might work though.

  2. I am working on doing the same thing. Did you access it in the console or something else? If in the console, does your mouse from the pc you’re accessing the console with line up with the mouse in Win98?

    1. If I recall, no the cursor didn’t exactly line up. This can be a common issue with the older OSs. I sometimes even get this in VMware.

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