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DOSBox Sees Continued Success

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-does-it-have-xp-mode dept.

Emulation (Games) 271

KingofGnG writes "DOSBox, the emulator designed to run DOS games on modern operating systems (and not necessarily on a PC), has been chosen as project of the month for May on SourceForge. It's the latest award granted to a piece of software that 'simply does what it is supposed to do,' as the authors say. After having amassed more than 10 million downloads, it will soon be getting an update that's been awaited for almost two years."

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I love DosBox (5, Informative)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902175)

I use it to play Masters of Orion 2. It has a built in IPX simulator, so it makes multiplayer very easy. You can also record your games using built in feature!

Re:I love DosBox (2, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902263)

It's also getting very popular on torrent sites with old games... and I love it. I can download a whole list of old games I grew up with, all packaged up in a .app. Double click and 'it just works'.

Right now I'm playing Carmageddon and Command and Conquer for old time sakes.

Re:I love DosBox (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902335)

I recently discovered this, and have been playing X-COM way too much. I have been thinking of trying to get X-COM Apocalypse with it, as I have the frustration ingrained in my memory of buying an X-COM compilation CD and my PC being unable to run Apocalypse at the time, but doubt it will compare to the original (one of the best games, if not the best game, to date in my opinion).

Re:I love DosBox (2, Insightful)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902521)

You could just buy it on Steam. They have it all setup to work.

Re:I love DosBox (5, Insightful)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902545)

I am one of many people who do not buy from Steam. How many times do companies have to turn off DRM servers before people realize it's a bad idea to buy that sort of content?

Re:I love DosBox (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27902767)

In this instance, it doesn't matter. The Steam version of X-COM Apocalypse consists of the DOS version, and a pre-configured version of DOSBox. Same goes for all their re-releases of DOS games. You can trivially extract the files, and run it with your own version of DOSBox, or even on a real DOS machine.

In short - no DRM. Even the bundled version of DOSBox runs just fine without Steam.

Re:I love DosBox (3, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903197)

Other games are just as easy to de-steam. The ones that are hard are those that are steam-only, like valve releases.

UT3 for instance. Just manually extract the .exe's and .dll's from the latest patch, and overwrite the steam ones with them. UT3, bought and downloaded through Steam, but runs without Steam. (You do need your CD key though. Steam gives you this when you buy it)

Re:I love DosBox (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903433)

I've lost or damaged the CDs to many of my games, while I can still download them (and do) off Steam. It's a huge convenience. And you don't need Steam running to play most of the games you buy on Steam, just to install them.

Seeing as there are plenty of websites that show you how to pirate Steam software I don't think the DRM is really all that intrusive. In 10 years time, assuming Steam is gone by then, which is likely, I think we'll still be able to hack up some software and play our old stuff.

That reminds me of a joke (2, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903489)

I've lost or damaged the CDs to many of my games, while I can still download them (and do) off Steam. It's a huge convenience.

So basically all that a piece of call-home spyware has to do is offer you some advantage... compared to other DRM's that shouldn't exist in the first place, either?

Reminds me of a joke some eastern-european coleague told me some years ago. Went something like, the constant state surveillance and phone taps weren't all bad. If you forgot what hour you're supposed to meet your girlfriend, you could call the police and ask them.

Re:I love DosBox (3, Insightful)

LackThereof (916566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903539)

And I am one of many people who WILL buy from Steam, because I find the benefits far outweigh the idealogical downside of purchasing DRMed software.

I don't need to go to a retail store and buy a physical box. This is huge for me. If I want a game, I can just press a button on a website and have it playing on my computer in a matter of minutes.

If I want to show a friend a game, all I have to do is log in to my Steam account from their computer; all of my games are instantly available to install and play. This is a big one. They'll continue to be able to play my games until I log in back on my PC, and I don't have to tell them my password.

Streamlined, built in auto-updating; it updates my games in the background, so the game is patched and ready to go by the time I want to launch it.

Being able to instantly join a friend's online game by clicking one button in my friends list.

Easy reinstalls in case of disaster, no storing a binder of CD's and keeping track of ugly product keys.

Never having someone else's keygen stumbling onto my product key and blocking me from online play. Fuck yeah no CD keys.

All this in exchange for the risk that if Valve goes out of business, in a worst case scenario I might have to apply a 3rd party crack to my games. Yeah, I think I'll continue taking that risk.

Re:I love DosBox (2, Insightful)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903563)

Be glad there are cracks for Steam games. I don't think anyone ever managed to break the DRM on Plays For Sure windows media files, or that MLB game footage that they stopped authorizing.

Re:I love DosBox (1)

pseudonomous (1389971) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902605)

I played X-com apocalypse on Dosbox. It was ok, but not as much fun as UFO defense or Terror From the Deep. Still worth playing through, though. And better than those new-fangled games kids without DOS emulators are playin'. Also, I've got a Version of UFO defense that runs natively in windows.

Re:I love DosBox (1)

Tomfrh (719891) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903139)

Apocalypse is alright, but nowhere near as good as the first two.

Re:I love DosBox (1)

node159 (636992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903427)

Yup, DOSBox is the best :).

BTW what is this .app packaging?

I currently use a fork ( that allows you to run zipped up games and all writes go to a temp dir, means forever consistent images but is a slight nuisance to setup.

Re:I love DosBox (5, Interesting)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902603)

This is probably the most common sentiment you'll find in reference to DOSBox. Everyone just loves this project... I think it really is because it has one singular focus and succeeds whole-heartedly at it. Also, the project has done a great job of remaining very gracefully platform agnostic. It's brought back the old Keen series and Little Big Adventure and such to me, on any system I might want to play it on.

Now that even games on Steam are starting to ship packaged with DOSBox, you really have to take some time to reflect on how much this has done for an archive of almost forgotten and still very valuable games.

Re:I love DosBox (5, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903551)

Ahh, that reminds me. Few years back I did some reverse engineering of Commander Keen using DOSBox.

I tapped the emulation loop and wrote replacement functions for each address. So, for example, whenever address 0x1713 of the Keen segment was executed the function add_monster_1() would be called. It would do its thing and, if I had translated it correctly, the game would appear unchanged. I did this for a lot of functions: []

The result was much more enlightening than reading asm code. For example, John Carmack used the same code for doors in the game as he did for monsters. In a sense, doors *were* monsters, they just didn't have as complex "thinking" as some of the other monsters in the game. I could also confirm that there were no more "cheat keys" or secret levels in the game than the ones that had already been advertised :)

I later tried to convert this to compilable source code using libSDL for the graphics but that project has been lost to me.. it's probably floating around on one of my old linux machines.

Re:I love DosBox (1)

Scott Kevill (1080991) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903445)

I use it to play Masters of Orion 2. It has a built in IPX simulator, so it makes multiplayer very easy.

You can actually play Master of Orion II online (the Win95 Orion95.exe) easily now with GameRanger [] .

It doesn't emulate IPX over TCP/IP, but rather tricks MOO2 into using DirectPlay for TCP/IP, rather than DirectPlay for IPX, so it should play smoother.

Comments (4, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902181)

Can we get the comment count for each story back on the front page, please?

Yes please (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27902305)

I had it working by setting display to "large" but no that is not displaying the comment count either.

Re:Comments (4, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902393)

I'll just be content when the JavaScript stops eating up all of my clock cycles every time it pulls in more stories.

Re:Comments (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902409)

I'll just be content when the JavaScript stops eating up all of my clock cycles every time it pulls in more stories.

Me to, and to the OP. It used to work well, and with every "improvement" usability has gone down. "Hey, this is a feature users like! Lets get rid of it!"

Re:Comments (1)

Mr_2_718281828459045 (1444505) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903229)

Me to

Me thre.

Re:Comments (0, Offtopic)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902451)





No ads.

Re:Comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27902699)

I'm not installing a load of shit that makes firefox slower on every page just to make firefox less slow on one page.

Re:Comments (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903203)

Right. Adblock, noscript, (and the redundant flashblock... and adblock rule will do this) SLOWS firefox down.

You haven't been on the internet very long, have you?

Re:Comments (0, Troll)

Simple-Simmian (710342) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902731)

I see none of that. All I have is a hosts file. All that other crap is un-needed.

Please put the comment count back.

Re:Comments (1)

arazor (55656) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902893)

Given NoScripts recent shenanigans need to find an alternative to that one though.

Re:Comments (1)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903331)

Disable Javascript for Slashdot, and solve both of your problems.

Re:Comments (1)

Necroman (61604) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902509)

Agreed. This is frustrating.

Re:Comments (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902563)

I'd imagine we'll get them back when Vista gives us back image previews that actually work consistently.

Re:Comments (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902565)

So you don't see it either? In fact my Slashdot bookmark took me to an RSS like page, rather than what I think of as the "main page"

I want the old layout back without ajaxy or javascripty nonsense. I'm tempted to read and post in Dillo or links.

Re:Comments (0, Offtopic)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903215)

I'm tempted to just leave Slashdot. I'm sick of the bullshit. A good portion is the changes (and you know, you can file bug reports here [] ), but a lot of angst comes from idiots and trolls.

Re:Comments (1)

Masa (74401) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902717)

I don't know, what I have done, but I still have the classic Slashdot view with comment counts. In my preferences I have disabled the beta index feature and in Discussions: Viewing, I have Slashdot Classic Discussion System selected.

Re:Comments (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902791)

classic 4 eva.

Re:Comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27902851)

You may not care as I'm sure /. editors do not, but you can't turn that - classic mode - on without a logon. I point blank refuse to be tracked - which is what a site logon does - so easily, by so many, with so little regard. More so than most "2.0" sites, it is a shame that the slashdot I have relied upon (or at least enjoyed as my number one news/discussion portal) gives a big "FU" to the ACs.

You don't need a string of my comments, I don't need to click "post anonymously" - ever - no logon means one less fucking box to click in the quest for some privacy. What does the click box do anyway? Keep the name of the screen? What data does it remove from your servers? We know the IP address is logged with this, what do you log with "post anonymously"? Keep in mind that slashdot is a business entity for better or for worse. Perhaps it will bite you in the ass hard some day.

Re:Comments (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903231)

I would direct you to a google search for anti-paranoia medications that you desperately need, but that would probably just send you over the edge.

Re:Comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27902745)

Yes please.

Re:Comments (0, Offtopic)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902919)


Where the hell is the god damned comment count, offtopic be damned this guy needs to be +6 right about now.
Who removed it in the first place? ugh.

Re:Comments (2, Insightful)

Exception Duck (1524809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902975)

yes.... why did it stop showing ?
please revert back to last working copy of slashdot.

Re:Comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27903153)

Another comment in support of the return of the comment count.

Oregon Trail in Effect?? (1)

DownWithMedia1.0 (1547249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902211)

Can I play the original Oregon Trail on there? I know I can download it and play it on X, but it wouldn't be the same without running it from c:\

Re:Oregon Trail in Effect?? (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903611) []

They have a database listing all the games and are rated for how well they run.

Not just for games. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27902223)

DosBOX also does a great job at virtualizing old programming languages, such as good old GW-BASIC. It even runs business apps well, and unlike NT's WOWEXEC.EXE, doesn't insist on hogging 100% of the CPU 100% of the time. Highly recommended, if you have a DOS fetish like me.

X Wing (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902227)

It'll never die.

Re:X Wing (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902437)

Are there any HOWTO pages on running XvT or the like? I am running 64bit Fedora 10 on a Dell D830 maxed out.

Re:X Wing (1)

Spudsman (1017024) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902733)

Umm, correct me if I'm wrong but X-wing vs. Tie Fighter was a 9x game (although my understanding is that Windows 95 was implemented with DOS system calls as a subset). Dosbox does implement a 386 emulator but not Windows 95/98 system calls to my knowledge including DirectX that later versions of XvT used. You may be interested in the wine page for XvT ( [] ). P.S. You might need the D3D patch for XvT which also came with the Balance of Power campaign for Wine to work.

Re:X Wing (2, Funny)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903225)

Bah, TIE-Fighter is where it's at. We don't need to stinking shields! (both games kicked ass though!)


Re:X Wing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27903399)

TIE Fighter was a much, much better game than X-Wing. The controls in X-Wing always felt sluggish, but TIE Fighter got it just right along with a better storyline (fighting for the empire) and better graphics.

Still, neither of those games compares to Armada (if playing against a friend) or Privateer.

Just upgraded to Vista... (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902233)

No fullscreen mode for DOSBox :(

Is Windows 7 the same way?

Re:Just upgraded to Vista... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27902321)

I use Vista and DOSBox can go fullscreen just fine. Sometimes it makes Aero turn off but other than that it works.

Re:Just upgraded to Vista... (4, Informative)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902333)

Works for me. Press alt-enter.
YMMV depending on the game, maybe?

Re:Just upgraded to Vista... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27903133)

Fullscreen in DOSBox works fine on Windows 7 x64 here

Not only for PC games (3, Interesting)

managerialslime (739286) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902249)

Q&A for DOS was the best non-relational database of the pre-windows era. (Ok, so PSF/File and Alpha4 had their fans too.) When I needed to load a copy of Q&A to retrieve some old Q&A data, every version of the Windows Dos box would lock the system up. The early versions of DOS/Box would also crash on Q&A's nasty habit of directly accessing system video.

However, for the last three years (at least), DOS/Box now loads Q&A and at least the Q&A search and export features work just fine.

This is one fine product.

Re:Not only for PC games (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902629)

I remember Q&A for DOS -- I may even still have the book hanging around unless it fell victim in my last purge of "things I paid a lot for and won't ever use again." It would be fun to give it a whirl again, though I'd have to buy a USB floppy drive.

What I really want to try out though, is Deathtrack. I played that for hours with the guy next door to me in my dorm in the late 80s, and I've never found a satisfying shoot-em-up race game since.

Re:Not only for PC games (1)

PincushionMan (1312913) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902817)

I can second that. I've actually seen a Btrieve database and Nomad, the newspaper circulation software that uses it, run in quite well in DOSBox on Windows XP. In fact, the printer worked also. The setup involved a network printer share that was recaptured and direct to lpt1. Only thing that didn't work were test prints, oddly enough. I thought that was odd because all the DOSBox documentation (at the time) said that it was impossible to get printers to work.

Re:Not only for PC games (4, Informative)

azgard (461476) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902845)

Actually, that's not quite true. Unfortunately, DosBox developers concentrate to games only, to the point they refuse patches for non-gaming hardware like printers or network cards (which could be used to make old DOS software work).

I am not saying the emulator is not great, it is, just it focuses to much on games.

Re:Not only for PC games (3, Informative)

Celeste R (1002377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903105)

I second the fact that DosBox is better than Microsoft's own offerings within Windows.

Time-critical things are smoother, and there's quite a lot of legacy DOS applications that are time-critical.

I've seen people program on an 8086 such compressed and timer-reliant code that only recently has Linux (before other OS'es for that matter) been able to get that functionality back.

The same individual responsible was also a fanatic of the Atari 8-bit era, even going through large lengths to slave a PC to one (as a hard drive emulator). This is also very timer-sensitive; because any stutter in the I/O transfer means corrupt data.

This project has kept alive many relics of the old enthusiast community; and it's nice to see that it's not forgotten.

Virtual Floppy (3, Insightful)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902255)

Now what they need to do is make an app that will allow me to load all the old floppies with these games into DosBox in some way that it will act like floppies, virtual drives or such.

Re:Virtual Floppy (4, Informative)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902367)

Already done. Use dd to copy the disk images, and use imgmount to mount the disk images.

Re:Virtual Floppy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27902665)

Under Windows, try this out :-)

Re:Virtual Floppy (2, Informative)

PincushionMan (1312913) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902875)

GNU ddrescue [] can do what you are looking for. Even works for USB floppies. With tricks you can even get the m-tools to see the USB floppies as drive-letter-a and so on. Now all you have to find is a working floppy drive.

FYI - copy protected sectors still have to be read by hand. Sorry, you're Ultima V disk isn't (directly) copyable. You'll have to use Neverlock or some other 'helper' software to play it without the disk in DOSBox.

However, I'm open to suggestions about the above...

10 millions downloads? (-1, Redundant)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902369)

What is a "millions download"?

Re:10 millions downloads? (4, Funny)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902447)

What is a "millions download"?

A typo.
Next question, please.

Re:10 millions downloads? (1)

khold (164649) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903085)

Doesn't he mean, "What's millions download, precious?"

Re:10 millions downloads? (1)

fractalVisionz (989785) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903519)

You can use the typoinsummary tag to alert the posters to fix the grammar issue.

You can use the tyopintag tag to be humorous.

Re:10 millions downloads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27902467)

that's alot of downloads, is what it is.

Dosbox ROCKS! (5, Interesting)

dudpixel (1429789) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902371)

Dosbox is fantastic for those times when you want to relive the moments when you first got into pc games (at least for anyone born before say 1984 or thereabouts).

Many of the games we now regard as classics, were written for DOS. Many of those games even pioneered whole genres of computer gaming.

Such games that come to mind include Wolf3D, Doom, Command & Conquer, Warcraft, Need For Speed, Microprose F1GP and the list goes on.

They may not have been the first in their genre, but they were certainly the games that defined the genre. Current game developers would do well to look to the DOS classics for inspiration, not so much for ideas, but for how to create a true classic.

Dosbox works incredibly well right now and I wish its developers every success in its continued development.

Re:Dosbox ROCKS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27902541)

That brings up a good question about what is considered to be a "classic" when it comes to computer games.

With television and movies, "classics" tend to be films that are watched over and over again no matter how old they are.

With computer games, "classics" are.... ? If people only remember playing the old games are they really "classics"? How many folks are playing and discussing Ultima 4 versus reading and discussing, say, Beowulf?

Re:Dosbox ROCKS! (5, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902773)

My son, born in '90, replays X-Com every year or so... along with some other classics like Fallout 1 and Planescape. Those aren't EARLY classics, but definitely before his time. Both he and his younger brother play emulated SNES games from the early 90s on a weekly basis. I think true quality won't be forgotten.

Re:Dosbox ROCKS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27903097)

Not everyone watches "classic" movies. And people that like them don't like them all.
That many people are willing to hunt for emulators to play them at all, speaks a lot for classic games.
I can tell you I wouldn't be willing spends hours to find a cinema to watch "Citizen Kane". Let alone building it myself.

Re:Dosbox ROCKS! (5, Interesting)

penguinchris (1020961) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902753)

A couple of things I found amusing - first, I was born in 1986, and yet I still got into PC games in DOS. I started formulating this reply as soon as I read that you thought one had to be born before 1984 for this to be true :)

But then the games you mentioned are not the ones I had in mind at all... I did play those games (I especially liked Wolf3D and Need for Speed, from that list - as an aside, I hate where they went with the Need for Speed series after the original...) but the games I grew up with were earlier ones, including a lot of side-scrollers and simpler games like that.

My fondest memories are of Apogee/3d Realms side-scrollers like Secret Agent and Crystal Caves. Then, of course, the X-Wing series came along - pretty much the greatest thing ever invented to a nerdy kid who liked flying (my dad is a pilot), computer games, and Star Wars (and you can't forget Dark Forces - that was a great game, along with its first sequel).

And I completely agree - I stopped playing games a few years ago not because I don't like to play games, but because the games are just not the same as they were. I don't find myself having anywhere near as much fun as I did, unless I simply play the old games. I stopped seriously playing games sometime after Rainbow Six 2. That was, for me, the last great era, with games like that as well as Battlefield 1942 and several great combat flight simulators. It's all gone downhill since then :)

Re:Dosbox ROCKS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27903185)

Crystal Caves was fantastic. I used to visit the house of a kid that I hated, just because he had Crystal Caves and since everyone else hated him too, I could sit around playing it for ages.

Re:Dosbox ROCKS! (4, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903043)

Such games that come to mind include Wolf3D, Doom, Command & Conquer, Warcraft, Need For Speed, Microprose F1GP and the list goes on.

You young whippersnappers! I used to play PACMAN, dammit!

Re:Dosbox ROCKS! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27903321)

Get the hell off my Pong paddle.

Re:Dosbox ROCKS! (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903241)

Born in '86. First "PC" game was Doom, on DOS. I forget what version.

My first games were on a TI-99 however.

I think you have your dates wrong?

Re:Dosbox ROCKS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27903515)

I think people that young don't remember the true PC classics such as Zork, Ultima II, Elite and Ancient Art of War. Some may have gone through back catalogs to play them, but that cannot recapture the same magic and excitement as playing them when they were new and cutting edge.

Master of Orion (1)

sd.fhasldff (833645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903629)

I'm playing Master of Orion 2, Battle at Anteres, with Dosbox, right now. For some reason, the DOS version works much better under Dosbox than the Windows version does under WINE.

There's a slight sound stutter at times and a slight effects lag, but everything else is perfect. Still one of the best turn-based strategy games.

Is it a virtual machine or an emulator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27902377)

I haven't been able to figure it out from the faqs if it is a sandboxed virtual machine or if it just provides an emulation layer. It would have been a lot easier for me to download it and try it out, but you'd also think that the docs would spell that out as well.

Re:Is it a virtual machine or an emulator? (5, Informative)

Drinking Bleach (975757) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902425)

It's a full-blown x86 emulator. It works on PowerPC and everything.

Re:Is it a virtual machine or an emulator? (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902559)

Now if only they'd make it more transparent to users. I liked my dos games as much as the next guy but I still think going from Dos to GUIs was a step forwards.

Re:Is it a virtual machine or an emulator? (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902971)

There are a number of frontends [] to dosbox for managing and launching installed apps. Obviously the apps themselves are no more or less GUI than the originals (sort of the whole point), but you don't have to start them from the command line if you don't want to.

Re:Is it a virtual machine or an emulator? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902583)

MIPS too, I've personally ran it on a PS2 and PS3.

Re:Is it a virtual machine or an emulator? (1)

Jeremy Visser (1205626) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903437)

Yeah, except it confuses integers and floating points on PowerPC. Try running Lavacap [] on x86 under DOSBox, and it'll run fine: on the first level, the score requirement is 360 points.

Try the same on the PowerPC version of DOSBox, and it'll tell you that your score needs to be 359.99999999999...

Good for games, not so much for business apps (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27902685)

I'd sooner call it DOSArcade or DosGameBox or something of the sort, as unfortunately the focus is entirely on games. Nothing wrong with that - I like playing the odd classic that I can't otherwise (no such old hardware and all that).

Example.. Symphony.. old as dirt spreadsheet app and for whatever reason seemingly can't be replaced by the newfangled bits of Excel, Calc, etc.
It's currently running on an old, old machine that still boots Windows 98 and runs okay there.. but that old, old machine is going to die eventually. Already tried running it on a new machine under XP but no matter what, it always suggests there is not enough expanded memory.. despite there being plenty available in the exact same configuration as on the Windows 98 machine.
So DOSBox to the rescue? Well, yes, it will certainly run.. but not print. DOSBox doesn't do printing.
Very well, grab a special hacked up version that allows printing. Yay, it prints - but it prints garbage at the beginning of each page and fails to catch page breaks.
So remove the printer codes (remember those?) in Symphony - no more issues, but now the printed layout is all wrong, too.

I do realize this is just a single app - but for something that can emulate the wazoo out of a variety of graphics cards, video cards, etc. I found it disappointing that the state of printing (which one may tend to do from a business app) from DOSBox is what it is: experimental at best.

Re:Good for games, not so much for business apps (1, Redundant)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903053)

Dosbox is designed for games, the fact it can run a spreadsheet at all is really just luck...

Re:Good for games, not so much for business apps (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903607)

DOSBOX is great for running turbo C++ in vista in fullscreen mode, and also if you want to use the graphics.h header file which does not work otherwise in vista

Re:Good for games, not so much for business apps (3, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903249)

You would probably be better running freedos inside a VM (qemu, vitualbox, vmware, etc) for that stuff. If you have one, a live copy of DOS would work too.

Just remember that DOS didn't idle the CPU. So your VM will be pegged at 100% usage. (There's a TSR called dosidle that solves this)

God. Remember TSRs? I remember fighting to get every last bit of conventional memory, and having trouble getting more than 520kb free.

About the update (2, Informative)

CobaltBlueDW (899284) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902755)

The "update that's been awaited for almost two years" will supposedly implement "the ability to save the state of the emulated game and to interact with the software through a GUI"

It's great, but... (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#27902991)

It snowcrashes my computer after less than a minute of playing Albion. White noise fills the screen, and bam.

No idea what's with that yet.

Will DOSBox ever officially have printing support? (1)

steveha (103154) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903117)

DOSBox does not officially have printing support. People have added it, but it's not part of the main product. []

Why is this? Is it because most games don't require printing support?

I'm sure there are some people out there with Print Shop [] or something who would like to be able to use it... And I tried to help someone run a DOS accounting application under Vista using DOSBox. I couldn't figure out how to get printing to work and ran out of time. :-(


Re:Will DOSBox ever officially have printing suppo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27903187)

lf(1) []: it's like ls(1) but sorts filenames by extension, tersely.

What's wrong with 'ls -X'?

Spammer (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27903253)

KingofGNG recently tried to plug his site by adding the download count to DOSBox's Wikipedia article. And now he's doing it here. The source for the download count should have linked directly to or sourceforge, not this spammer's personal page. The difference? Wikipedia's editors caught it and removed it. Slashdot's editors? ...

It will be the hit in any office... when it prints (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903265)

I know quite a few companies that spent a killing in DOS applications back in the days, and who are either too cheap or too strapped for cash to replace those apps with newer ones, so they're stuck with having an ancient box around that still runs DOS. If you happen to have an old machine, don't throw it away, companies will pay for those machines if, and only if, they run DOS 6.22 (3.something, I forgot which one, would even be better) fine.

Now DOSbox would be the saviour... IF it could print! Of course those ancient machines need to output their data somehow, and while the ones that fortunately just store data and spit it on discs can actually benefit from DOSbox, apps that need to create a hardcopy are just out of luck (at least about 9 out of 10 times).

Print support in DOSbox would end the aera of legacy machines littering offices worldwide. THEN it would be the absolute app. And another foot in the door of offices for free software.

Re:It will be the hit in any office... when it pri (1)

beowulfcluster (603942) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903439)

The source is available. If the people working on it now don't have the printing itch to scratch, there's nothing stopping those who need this feature to add it or to hire someone to add it.

Roland MT-32 emulation (2, Interesting)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903293)

Now that MT-32 emulator code has been included in ScummVM and bunch of other places, I really hope that they include it directly in Dosbox. There are some builds that contain the Roland thing, (such as [] ) but I'd rather have those included with the project itself.

DOS MMORPGs (2, Interesting)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903423)

I like DOSbox because it lets me play Shadow of Yserbius on ImagiNation Revival [] . A first-person perspective (but still-frame) multiplayer RPG world originally offered by Sierra On-Line and called The Sierra Network and later ImagiNation Network. A group has gotten a server running that simulates the old dial-up systems, but over TCP/IP, enabling many players at once.

For me, Shadow of Yserbius was the first MMORPG I played, and still may favorite. It is a fairly short game, and cheating is trivial to do (your character data is stored on your local machine), but if you play it fairly it is quite enjoyable and challenging.

Last release in august 2007... (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 5 years ago | (#27903647)

Funny that a project that hasn't had a release since august 2007 and that seem to collaborate by posting patches to a discussion board instead of using vcs branches is chosen for "project of the month" in may 2009... That said, that version (0.72) is still a damn fine piece of software. Let's hope for another release soon.

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