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Running Windows 98 in 2020 and beyond...


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I don't know if anyone has said it already, and I'm a little too lazy to look considering the lack of functionality this site has in retrozilla, but the 9xwebhelper script does work in Windows 95. I just used it to download a brief youtube video.

There is no better way to stretch 128 MB of RAM than with Windows 95. I did a fair bit of web browsing (mostly without JS) and there's no swapping taking place!

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Thank-you win32 for testing and confirming the 9xweb script (Windows 9x Web Helper) works in Windows 95, no feedback previously received. Congratulations, you are a 'total winner' and may be the only person on the planet with some Windows 95 YouTube video access!

According to Wikipedia, YouTube was not even created until 2005-2006 era, so it's pretty cool there is presently some functionality in Windows 95. If i had more time, energy and partitions i would get a Windows 95 install completed, agree about the low RAM usage, though a stripped vanilla Windows 98 SE is pretty decent too.

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Relevant Enhanced Cygwin-Lite and Windows 9x Web Helper (9xweb script) posts on pages 17 and 18 of this thread were updated to reflect working in Windows 95. For Windows 98 users, don't believe it should make a difference whether KernelEx is installed, KernelEx is not required.

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Eventually i may start a dedicated 9xweb topic in the Windows 9x Member Projects section, with the main download on post #1. This vanilla Windows 98 thread is about so much more than just one script, i feel it would be out of place on post #1.

I previously edited post #1 of this thread with a detailed request and it has made little difference - offending members won't be named.

Edit1: Thread started in 2017 but going strong for now. Note this thread pertains to running vanilla Windows 98 SE. Please do not post misleading information that may not work in a vanilla Windows 98 SE installation, such as kernel mods, DLL swaps from other OS, custom re-compiles, higher software versions that may not run in vanilla Windows 98, etc. Thank-you and enjoy.

Whenever a new 9xweb release is available the download link is replaced/updated and a direct link to the post is provided, just like 6 posts up from here. Here again is the direct link to the 9xweb project:

Eventually i may start another dedicated Windows 9x Member Project named something like 'RetroZilla Community Edition', whereby the first post(s) will include everything needed to set up the best RetroZilla possible. This will include the RZ browser, my extensions collection, my search engine collection, a custom prefs.js type file to improve security and allow all necessary cipher connection tweaks, etc. This way anyone setting up a new system will be able to one-stop shop for a quick browser install and setup.

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Great, excellent!

I have just another question, might look unrelated for you, but its because I had another idea and wanted to see if its viable (or not). The question is valid for all other members here.

Can cygwin run in a WFW 3.11 environment with W32s installed? If yes, can it use stunnel? I did a quick marginal search on google and I thought it can:


I probably do not need to explain my idea, but I actually thought of it for another thing (hence why I asked Win 3.x), not for the web browsing on Win 9x (but it could be used there, with other relevant applications for this topic)...

I use stunnel on macOS to help Outlook on Windows 3.x to authenticate with Gmail. Works flawlessly. But I do not like the idea of using a Mac as a man in the middle for that. When you mentioned cygwin, the idea came to my mind.

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>>not for the web browsing on Win 9x (but it could be used there, with other relevant applications for this topic)...

Retrozilla is OK with the TLS update but IE5 with a User Agent perhaps. I made a mistake posting this really.

Edited by Goodmaneuver
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I actually managed to use stunnel on my iPad. I installed an app called iSH, that runs a little linux bash shell there. From there, I installed openssl, stunnel, and configured it like I did on my mac. Then I pointed the Outlook 5.0 gmail account smtp and pop3 to my iPad's ip. Outlook on Windows 3.11 started to download my emails, and I didn't even need the mac, I just used my own iPad as the man in the middle. Excellent, that solves for me the problem of TLS on old email clients.

I also installed lynx on iSH and tested it, it is quite nice. So I can understand why some ppl prefer to use it in MSDOS environments.

I wanted to run a web rendering proxy script (by 'tenox' on github) that I have to improve web browsing on Windows 3.x, but it requires Chrome installed and I don't think iSH can do that, since there is no graphical environment, just CLI.

EDIT: for those interested in it: https://github.com/tenox7/wrp

EDIT2: Basically this method above and WRP can keep the vanilla nature of Windows 9x. How cool is that? OFC I’d prefer more independent methods, but they aren’t vanilla. The only way to keep the nature of the OS is to think outside the box; things like QEMU, stunnel, WRP... so to put it all together... an old QEMU running on Windows 98, with an stunnel for old email clients (like Eudora, for example), WRP for the browser YOU used to love on Windows 98 (Netscape, IEwww, or Firefox old version) and your script for youtube video download? That should be a decent swiss-army knife for a longer Windows 98 life. Also, OFC, there is an option to develop further the Tiny Core Linux image to boot straight to a browser, as long as we have a way to get the downloads out of the VM? But personally, we should help with that WRP thing, I can see potential in it. I could even see a way to make the WRP toolbar look more like the browsers UI. Oh, I am even going deeper: how about a browser extension to control WRP???

Edited by Bruninho
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Hi Bruninho. In response to your post 3 up, unfortunately full version Cygwin left Windows 98 behind a long time ago. Current Cygwin presently supports only x86_64 versions of Windows, starting with Windows Vista. The Enhanced Cygwin-Lite system i was able to assemble to support the 9xweb script does not include the stunnel package or any of it's reported dependencies.

Many brain cells were spent trying to get a full-version Cygwin Time Machine mirror that might work in Windows 98, without success. So i just cut my losses and assembled the Enhanced Cygwin-Lite combination. Too bad, full version Cygwin had the potential to extend Windows 98, although Windows 98 compatible packages would have also been quite outdated by now too, just not as outdated as Windows 98. In the same manner, Wget from Enhanced Cygwin-Lite will probably, unfortunately, start failing eventually too but so far so good. Discarded my Cygwin research in disgust, sometimes better to start fresh, may re-explore some day in the future. If someone has a Windows 98 compatible full version Cygwin mirror backed up somewhere please let me know.

Hi Goodmaneuver. I don't fully understand. RetroZilla is able to connect to pretty much all sites without issue, at present. Are you referring to adding a IE5 user agent to RetroZilla? I have a 'User Agent Switcher' extension installed in my RetroZilla, but it's currently just set to default, and connects to pretty much everything. Other built-in User Agent Switcher options include IE7 (Windows Vista), Netscape 4.8 (Windows Vista) and Opera 9.2 (Windows Vista) but they are not needed, additional agents can be manually added. Or do you mean trying to get Internet Explorer 5 to work better. Personally i do not use Internet Explorer, other than a trial some time ago and IIRC it no longer connected to HTTPS sites.

Edited by Wunderbar98
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Hi again Bruninho, responding to your post above. Do you drink coffee? Much? Just joking, like your enthusiasm and creativity. I'm running Windows 98 natively on bare metal, there is no overlaying host to act as a man-in-the-middle proxy. If i need a browser with better support i multi-boot a modern GNU/Linux OS. Personally i like text browsers, programmed my own too. Unfortunately, Windows 98 era text browsers no longer connect.

I know that another local physical system can also be set up as a proxy to forward data, different project pointed out earlier by another member. Personally i don't see the point in running two computers just to use the less capable system to browse the web. Having said that, i do understand the nostalgia this setup could provide to use an old favourite OS and browser. It's neat that all this stuff is possible but as long as RetroZilla keeps connecting, not necessary for me.

Regarding 'an old QEMU running on Windows 98', i've already done that with my Modern Web Browser Emulation project.

This runs a modern browser (ie. Firefox, SeaMonkey) in an emulated Tiny Core OS within Windows 98. Works but requires (wastes) lots of CPU cycles. To be functional it needs a very fast Windows 98 machine. Not useful for me, my 800 MHz multi-boot system could probably reboot more than 4 times before the emulator even loads a browser. A leaner text browser could be installed instead of a 'modern browser' to lean it out, like Lynx or Links, never tested. You already know about this project though, so maybe you're referring to something else i'm not understanding?

My 9xweb YouTube script already works within Windows 98, not sure why i would use a proxy. The Modern Web Browser Emulation project could load a browser straight away at boot, just configure Windows 98 to run the QEMU batch file at startup, then configure the emulated Tiny Core OS to auto-load the browser. The latest README release for the project provides step by step instructions on how to exchange files between Windows 98 and the emulated browser/OS. You're going deep for sure, make sure you've got a good pair of rubber boots :)

I think there are a lot of brains working on browser issues here at the forum, very good. Most of the progress has been made by developers who are able to compile in extra functionality. I hope this continues for a long time. Most Windows 98 users wrote off the system in 2006 when support ended. Really exciting to see it lives on, even if it's now a smaller community.

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7 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

If someone has a Windows 98 compatible full version Cygwin mirror backed up somewhere please let me know.

it's too big for upload, however there is a compact version with 400+ packages included. https://github.com/whitone/cygwin-easy/releases/tag/2007.03.21

To make it work on 9x system:

1) Download Cygwin-Easy-2007.03.21.iso and extract(cygwin folder only) to C:\

2) Goto C:\cygwin, create cygwin.bat

@echo off

chdir C:\cygwin\bin

bash --login -i

3) Create shortcut on desktop to cygwin.bat (Cmd line: C:\Windows\Command.com /E:4096 /c C:\cygwin\cygwin.bat)

4) Open MS-DOS Prompt and type: subst P: C:\

Now cygwin can be started...

Good luck.


Edited by ABCDEFG
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Thank-you very much ABCDEFG for the Cygwin link and information. Bookmarked the site, will need to download later. Current Windows 98 partition is too small for the download, let alone extraction. As no install is required, looks like a user could selectively copy only the packages and dependencies they want for a project to minimize the hard drive footprint. The libraries appear newer than the Enhanced Cygwin-Lite franken-collection. Curious what you have used Cygwin for in Windows 98?

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Living in such a material world, my wife and i made a conscious decision years ago to avoid making new purchases, other than consumables (food and clothes). Knowing my great old Windows 98 hardware won't last forever, there's been a push to play through my oldest DOS games first. Later use Windows 2000 or XP if necessary for newer games. As i get older, also making an effort to play through as many twitch games as possible, leaving the peaceful, easily graded and/or turn-based games for later. Windows 98 is incredibly useful for these games and for gaming research. Can't believe i've waited over 20 years to play many of these games. Life is short, enjoy when you can, many of us may not be around in another 20 years.

Wrongly assumed there would always be old Windows 98 era hardware available. Most of my hardware was obtained free from 'Kijiji' or 'Bargain Finder'. Got a small cabinet filled with stuff in the basement. Usually a few minor pickups a year, often only a keyboard, mouse, monitor, memory stick, motherboard or tower at a time. A couple times got really lucky and found people who needed to dump most of their collection because of a move or upgrade.

Fondly remember two separate pickups, one guy was definitely an enthusiast and the other worked in the industry, think he helped test Windows pre-releases, and had to move out of province urgently, filled my whole car. Boy did i have fun in the basement for a few weeks testing and sorting. Even offered money, felt guilty, he didn't want it, very generous people. Amazingly almost all items obtained were in working order. Can't remember a failed component off-hand, aside from an old left behind printer, the new home owner did not know it's history.

In the last few years these freebies have largely dried up. Not sure why, changing times, probably a combination of reasons. Maybe people are more wasteful now and just dump it. Many have been brainwashed to believe dropping it at the Eco Station is better than re-using something almost forever. Truly sad for enthusiasts and the planet that tons and tons of good working hardware is routinely and permanently removed from circulation. Probably many people have security concerns and can't be bothered to remove or securely wipe the drives. Maybe people are making money parting out system components on eBay. Some are scrapping and smelting parts for a few dollars worth of precious metals. Maybe some people can't imagine others still use this old stuff so it rots in a closet. Maybe some are hoarding, like my small collection, since these parts are no longer being produced.

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  • Dave-H changed the title to Running Windows 98 in 2020 and beyond...

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