On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 6:54 PM, Marco Achury <marcoach...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Is there any "official" or recommended C compiler for Freedos?

The "official" (if you can call it that) C compiler for FreeDOS is
OpenWatcom, which is used to build the kernel. The "official"
assembler is NASM (also used for a few files in the kernel). FreeCOM
(only in SVN) can build with OpenWatcom, but I'm not sure if that was
ever stabilized (yet) or not. In old days, FreeDOS prefered freeware
Borland tools (e.g. Turbo C), so some old things rely on that. (But
FreeDOS doesn't have permission to mirror old Borland tools, sadly.)

You can check the iBiblio mirror, though I know some stuff is old and
should probably be updated (e.g. the old LCC 3.6 binaries, which are
fairly useless as it stands). I know of a replacement 4.2 version (via
Detlef Reimers) using DJGPP 2.01 libc, but it's got some weird stuff
in it (fonts, gfx lib) also, and I'm not educated or bold enough to
dump it without making sure it's acceptable. Actually, I keep
forgetting, LCC has a slightly GPL-unfriendly license, so Jim may
frown upon it entirely.

Also not sure if the Pacific C there is 7.50 or 7.51, may be older
one, newer is found in 1.0's /pkgs/, IIRC. Other stuff should be okay,
e.g. CC386 (though I find OrangeC too experimental to mirror just yet,
but feel free to disagree with me).


> Would be great if such compiler come included on the distro so
> the user can create their own programs.

It was in old 1.0, but I'm pretty sure 1.1 (minimal) doesn't have it.
Perhaps in future 1.2. Anyways, just grab it from the iBiblio mirror
or OpenWatcom's site itself:



> I know djgpp and Watcom, are both compilers under active
> development/maintenance?

DJGPP is still creaking along (barely). Not a lot of volunteers, but
recent ports of various things have been created, e.g. XZ Utils 5.03,
BinUtils 2.22, ed 1.6, Diff 3.2, GDB 7.3.1, etc. Yes, DJGPP supports
latest GCC 4.6.2, though the libc (2.04 beta) is officially eight
years old. Some updates have been done in CVS, but there's been no new
"official" release of the libc since then. But it's already pretty
darn stable.

OpenWatcom is different, of course, still vaguely updated, but I don't
know of any huge improvements behind the scenes since 1.9 (June 2010),
the last public release so far. There has been a small lull since then
due to the volunteers being ultra busy with other things, but
officially they still intend to release 2.0 in another six months or
so. It's quite stable also, so there are no problems in recommending

In other words, could be better, could be worse, but luckily it's not
all dead yet.

P.S. DJGPP's GCC ("-std=c99") probably has slightly better C99 support
than OpenWatcom ("-za99"), but almost every DOS compiler these days is
at least (mostly) ANSI C89 compliant.

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