>> The extensions I'm interested in are mainly those that allow me to
>> access newer filesystems so that the people who use my tests won't
>> whinge as much about having to transfer files from DOS to NTFS or the
>> like.

> Perhaps something like FUSE (Filesystems in Userspace) could be ported
> from Linux to FreeDOS?
> I don't know if it's possible... but I really like the concept of FUSE.

This is already what DOS does, sort of. DOS has no separation of
access rights, so there is no userspace, but it has a layered
system of drivers. The kernel supports BIOS int13 drives as well
as FAT filesystems. After booting, you can load drivers to give
the kernel access to the sectors of other FAT drives, such as ZIP,
USB drives or ramdisks, and the kernel does the FAT handling.

Or you load drivers based on the network redirector and its close
cousin the "CDEX" (mscdex, shsucdx) for optical drives. Without
CDEX, a cdrom/dvd driver only gives you raw sectors and audio but
DOS would not know that files can exist on CDs and DVDs etc ;-).
Note that the shsu... drivers also support mounting ISO images.

Whatever driver model you use, you can only boot from drives which
are supported directly by the kernel. Then you can load more drivers
to access more drives. But there is also MEMDISK (from the SYSLINUX
and ISOLINUX etc boot loader family). That can be booted like Linux
kernels but takes a diskimage as "initrd". You can put FreeDOS with
some drivers on a FAT diskimage, e.g. compressed floppy image and
boot from that (!). Then you can let DOS load (disk and filesystem)
drivers before it even starts accessing your normal harddisk :-).
Similar to the Linux initrd method where you load drivers needed to
access your hardware and filesystems in a ramdisk at boot time, too.


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