We're all lookin for life worth livin' (hunter_s_gonzo) wrote in dos_users_club,
We're all lookin for life worth livin'

Free alternatives to MS-DOS

I have a copy of MS-DOS 6.22, but some folks aren't so lucky. Here are the 4 top compatible alternatives to run your DOS binaries. (This is by experience, and by no means scientific!)

DR-DOS is a dedicated DOS, and is only partially open-source, but that shouldn't stop you. It is the most compatible with MS-DOS as far as the binaries go. The later versions have improvements that the original didn't have.

2. DOSbox
This is it's own flavor of DOS that runs in Windows 2K, XP, and 2k3. It is partially compatible with about 85% of the apps I have tried (not just games like they intend).

3. DOSemu
DOSemu is for Linux. You should be comfortable compiling source to be able to use this. I would suggest using another flavor of DOS other than the included FreeDOS to run on this one for compatibility.

4. FreeDOS
FreeDOS is another dedicated DOS. This is the runt of the litter, but has the dedication. It has the least compatibility of all of the flavors of DOS, but is fully open-source and has the force of several developers behind it. Don't get me wrong, it has the compatibility to flash the bios on a motherboard. It is even being included on several barebones systems since Microsoft set a precedent to not include OS's on computers. This is probably the most widely available DOS.
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From what I hear, DOSBox is pretty darn good, although certain versions are better for certain games/apps than others. One game was almost unplayable under v.61 and v.63, but was fine for all others from v.58 up. So one might want to have several versions around, just in case...
I heard that. They chose quantity of compatible programs even if it broke some stuff. What a crazy administrative decision.
0.63 runs Windows 3.11 just fine. It is a surprise as the code to FREEDOS is clean, where the code for DOSBOX is full of kludge.

You are correct sir. I keep .59 and .63 handy for the variations.
I can run Windows 3.11 in DosBox. One of my utilities says that DosBox is emulating a 20 MHz 486DX with an S3 Trio64 video card.

I'm going to try to install DosBox on my Fat32 extra partition because I don't want to format my Windows XP NTFS partiton.
Which utility identified that hardware?

Only 20 mhz? I wonder if it is by your computer speed, or if that is fixed at 20 mhz for stability. I wonder what speed QEmu, Bochs, or VMWare would run stuff at.
Hi, sorry for the late reply. I got sick and didn't check my email. I used Windsock - Windows Performance Analyser by Allen Systems Group.

In Windows 3.1 under DoxBox, Windsock shows that my virtual compuer is a 486DX running at 20 - 33 MHz.

I think DosBox limited the speed that it can run. DosBox already uses about 70% of the CPU. I have a 1.8 GHz AMD Sempron 3200.

I can play some wave files, but not MP3s. lol
Hi, thanks for sharing the list. I never heard of DR-DOS or DOSbox.