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May 2002

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Build your own version of OS/2 with UpdCD

By Zsolt Kadar © May 2002


It was almost 2 years ago when I saw a posting on Usenet from someone who was claiming that it is possible to apply fixpaks on a Warp 4 installation CD. Unfortunately, he did not provide any further details and most of the people in the group did not seemed to be interested. Since I hated to reapply fixpaks after (re)installing features using selective install I have decided to write a REXX script which did what the guy said on Usenet: applied OS/2 base fixpaks on a Warp 4 installation CD-ROM.

When I thought that it was ready I uploaded the script to Hobbes. I thought there might be a few users out there who may benefit from my program. I was quite astonished when someone from Germany posted a news item to Os2.Org stating that there was an application on Hobbes which could be used to create updated OS/2 installation CD-ROM's. A few days later people started to e-mail me complaining that they could not use the new installation CD-ROM for their pristine installations. I started to improve the script, and within a few months I realized that a new application, UpdCD was born...

What is it?

UpdCD is a freeware, REXX-based application to build your own new OS/2 installation CD with all the fixpak files already applied. In other words, once you have managed to create your new installation CD you can then do an OS/2 install anytime you want in the future. All of the fixpaks, updated components like Netscape Communicator, Java, MPTS, TCP/IP, the latest kernel updates, special device drivers, etc. have already been merged into the installation CD files. So what gets installed onto your hard disk is already updated and installed just as if you had done it manually.

The graphical interface of UpdCD
The graphical interface of UpdCD

UpdCD (actually, I should have called it CD Update :-) supports the integration of base and device driver fixpaks, TCP/IP 4.0 fixpaks, TCP/IP 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 updates, 16-bit or 32-bit MPTS updates and fixes, Java runtime updates, printer driver fixes, Netware requester 2.12, Peer/LS fixpak, Feature Installer 1.25, etc.

Besides Warp 4, you can build updated CD's of Warp 3, WSeB, MCP1, ACP1 and eCS 1.0. UpdCD will make the CD's bootable enabling you to install without the need of creating floppy disks.

UpdCD primarily runs on OS/2 3.0 or higher, but it can create under DOS or Windows a special maintenance environment which can then also be used to run UpdCD. This can be pretty useful if you want to build an updated installation CD-ROM but you have no OS/2 installed any more because it refuses to function on your modern system.

UpdCD also supports automatic installation of lots of non-IBM products (called add-ons) such as WarpIN, XWorkplace, FAT32, Dani drivers, EMX, XFree86, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Netscape Multimedia pack, Flash plug-in, etc.

The process of building the updated installation CD-ROM is very educational and worthwhile. You just have to put the downloaded fixpak and update files in appropriately named and located directories and tell the program where to find them. This way, you will really understand what your system contains. For instance, I have built my Warp 4 installation CD to install my desired Symbios SCSI drivers. I have also backed out the serial port drivers from device driver fixpak 2 because they caused problems on my system. I have also customized the Config.Sys to contain all the environment variables I need. All of this is already in the newly burned installation CD, so that the installed target OS/2 from this CD will be exactly as I want, right out of the box!

Running the build procedure
Running the build procedure

More information

I hope you have liked what you have read so far. If you are interested in UpdCD please grab a copy from the UpdCD homepage ( or from the UpdCD mirror site ( The current version of UpdCD is 2.0 which can be upgraded to UpdCD 2.02 by installing the latest UpdCD fixpak which is also available from the pages mentioned above. Beside the program, you will also find there my to-do list, the UpdCD FAQ, my UpdCD presentation made for WarpStock Europe 2000, the UpdCD feature request page and many more useful links. As I have already mentioned, you will also need to download and prepare the components you want to integrate with the original installation files.

If you are too lazy to collect everything or you just do not have time to find out the locations of the components you need you may order the Warp Update Kit which already contains all the freeware fixpaks, updates and third party components you may want to integrate with Warp 4. The Update Kit will also help you to install the tools (virtual floppy disk, CDRecord/2, etc.) required by UpdCD to operate.

Installing the Warp Update Kit
Installing the Warp Update Kit

If you have questions about UpdCD you can go to the UpdCD discussion group at yahoo ( The group currently has 172 members and produces about 50 posts per month. Although you may also e-mail me directly, I prefer to answer your questions in the yahoo discussion group. In this way, other users may also benefit from the information provided. Becoming a member of the group will enable you to get early access to beta releases of UpdCD.

Future plans

After 2 years of continuous development UpdCD is still evolving rapidly. Approximately every month I release a new fix release which contains the latest bug fixes and some new features. I also have to tune UpdCD to keep up with the latest IBM fixpaks. Currently, I am working on the alignment of CP1 fixpak 2 with ACP1 and eCS 1.0 and on a few new third party add-on modules. I also plan to release 3 major UpdCD releases this year, and if there is enough interest, an Update Kit for Warp 3. I am also planning a special version of UpdCD to provide a build procedure to replace the commercial components of MCP with freeware components produced by volunteer OS/2 programmers. Once all the components are replaced, the operating system produced by this new UpdCD would be free to use for anyone...

UpdCD v2.02
Developer: The UpdCD Web Site -
Price: Freeware

UpdCD Mirror site -
UpdCD discussion group -

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