According to C. Beauregard:
Currently, most of the common disk controllers are supported: IBM SCSI, IBM ESDI, AHA-1640, Buslogic, Future Domain. X Windows runs under XGA, XGA-2, 8514, VGA, etc. Network cards include 3c523, 3c529, assorted WD/SMC, IBM Ethernet Adapter/A, and a few ethernet, Token ring, and :) Arcnet. Basically, it's running on almost all MCA machines in one form or another including most PS/2s, NCRs, Apricot, and some other extremenly weird configurations (An IBM P390 300Mhz Pentium Pro with 1Gb of RAM, for example).
The 2.0.x kernel series is supported via patches available at glycerine. As well, MCA support is now in the 2.1.x kernel (well, with a few bugs), meaning MCA hardware will be fully supported in Linux 2.2, although support from specific distributions will probably come a little slower. The exception is Debian, which has had complete MCA support since 2.0.
There's also been some work done on NetBSD for MCA, and Bob Eager is working on some other BSD support. Linux, of course, is way ahead of the game.
The only thing that stops anything type of program from running on a PS/2 that would normally run on any other machine with the same CPU/memory etc are usually the device drivers. In the case of UNIX more than likely it is just a matter of obtaining the correct disk drivers. If you have ESDI and want to run LINUX there is a ESDI fix available. If you have a SCSI that is compatible with any of the supported drivers you are ok also. Currently there is a large Linux/MCA following and Linux is by itself a great OS... 32 bit and totally stable.
For questions on Linux/MCA go to: http://glycerine.itsmm.uni.edu/mca.
I would have to say it is a toss-up. In one hand, PC-DOS supplies special programs that are optimized for/unique to the PS/2 and may be helpful, but then you have the problem that something may not be compatible with the MS-DOS standard. By purchasing MS-DOS, you may not get the special programs you need to run certain diagnostics, and procedures on your PS/2, but you do get a 100% compatible DOS. Buy whichever you think you will need, PC-DOS should be more than 98% compatible with anything MS-DOS has, but if you have something in that 2% incompatible area the decision is practically made for you.
Another note is that DOS is on its way out in the form we know it today. The routines and procedures are being incorporated into GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) like Windows, OS/2, and of course as always UNIX. If you are still one holding out on running Windows or OS/2 you really should start as soon as you get far behind in the realm of OS's and it will be hard to catch up.
Actually DOS is out...run Windows 95/98 or UNIX/LINUX if possible and
don't worry about it unless you are running applications that rely on a
DOS version that does not run under Windows 98 or UNIX/LINUX or you need
a low disk space OS.
Any PS/2 with the basic requirements can run all of the standard OS's, such as OS/2 and Windows, even Windows for Workgroups and Win95. Just make sure you read the box carefully and that your machine has all the requirements. Even though Windows and other OS's can run in 2-3 MB it is wise to at least have 4MB and 8MB is a more comfortable range. Try to get as much RAM as possible as the more RAM you have the faster/more efficiently your machine will run.
One system.ini line that should be added for the PS/2 user is under
the Enh 386 section, add the line InitPS2MouseAtExit=False. This
prevents Windows from reinitializing the mouse on a PS/2 and thus causing
a 5-10 second delay.
95 works without many tricks - you will have to add the
From our Anarcho-techno Hacker
Special solution to XGA/2 related problem (happened on Model 77, don't know if other models are effected). From firstname.lastname@example.org
Q) 8.5b Can't See
>16MB or >64MB Under W95
Q) 8.5c W95 Does Not See
IDE Controller on MCA System
If you can confirm that the computer has a standard IDE hard disk, manually
add the ESDI/IDE driver to get 32-bit protected-mode functionality. To
do so, follow these steps:
Uh, hell yes. For you unfortunates (?) with a Pentium PS/2, there is the little "HLT" problem with Linux.
Almost 100% of the time providing you are at least running a 386.
Almost every SCSI card is supported. And if you can't run the latest
kernel the invaders kernel (ftp://invaders.dcrl.nd.edu) usually will run
and is very full-featured itself.