and 1.0 Preview series should start in Januari 2006.
No point rushing it:)
If we only would have to consider the same goals as Microsoft's DOS
5.00, then we're at 99% currently.
Surely it's way ahead of any real-mode o/s Microsoft has ever written?
I'm already using it (with the help of umbpci) to build production
servers with the latest hardware. MS-DOS 5 and 6 are unusable on these
boxes. MS-DOS FDISK isn't scriptable, and can't cope with huge hard
drives, and EMM386 can't cope with SCSI and bootable USB devices
properly. Nor can they manage the memory required for networking and
NTFS drivers. FreeDOS runs all this like a dream without even switching
When I go out to corporates now, I just take one CD with me - FreeDOS.
It's the added features,
like uninstallation, dualboot scenarios with other operating systems,
I don't really understand the interest in this. Why would anyone want to
"install" it? I mean we all have CD-ROM and bootable memory sticks these
days. Why not just release a bunch of files and let people write their
own installers. It's a ten minute job. The convoluted SYSLINUX installer
and crazy FDCONFIG.SYS menus just cause confusion. All you need is a
boot sector, a kernel and a few pure-text config files. Some guys will
create ready-rolled ISOs and that's fine, but I don't see why it needs
to be part of the core o/s.
being able to run Windows3.xx and installing Windows from
FreeDOS that are taking some effort.
Why anyone would run Windows 3.x I don't understand, but installing
Windows from FreeDOS is a snap. I have 48 client PCs and 4 production
servers all running Windows 2000 which were installed "hands-free" by
FreeDOS. You can even use LBACACHE during the file copy phase and you
get bags of memory. Way superior to Microsoft DOS.
Although I think Microsoft are trying to make it so you can't install
Windows from real-mode anymore. They are trying to push people towards
WinPE which is only available to rich corporations. You can still do
Windows Server 2003 from FreeDOS, but I don't know about Vista and beyond...
> Other concerns are 8086
compatibility and FAT32 support, as well as being able to compile
FreeDOS components with opensource (or at least freely available)
For me, the bigger issue would be native NTFS, UDF and NFS support,
although I understand these are not really "DOS" as such. I mean how
many FAT32 drives do you see these days? Not many, although I guess USB
removables are causing a major FAT comeback!
One thing that crosses my mind a lot is "Should I be using Linux for
boot environments instead of FreeDOS?". I don't know the answer, but I
imagine Linux will cope with very modern hardware such as x64 and
protected execution, serial SCSI, USB and so on, but right now FreeDOS
does everything I need.
Gerry Hickman (London UK)
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