On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 4:52 PM, Michael Robinson
> There has been a fair amount of just run it under emulation being said.
> One of the advantages of DOS is that it isn't a modern operating system.
> An easy way to install Freedos safely to a desktop computer involves the
> Now on a 64 bit computer, Freedos may have to be run under emulation.
> A variant of these instructions is to get a PIII or P4 32 bit computer
> and dedicate that to Freedos.
> The problem with emulation is that you are throwing the simplicity of
> DOS away and introducing compatibility issues. Emulation is getting
> better and if you are constantly rebooting between Freedos and Linux or
> Freedos and Windows, emulation may be a necessity. Still, a good KVM
> switch and a dedicated DOS computer also solves the reboot issue.
> Freedos will work fine on anything from an 8086 up to a Pentium 4.
> Don't underestimate the utility of dedicating a computer to DOS.
> A thought that comes to mind is that you don't want to worry about your
> kids who are interested in playing video games screwing up your
> computer. A dedicated DOS machine makes a lot of sense for that.
Hardware is sometimes better for running DOS, and sometimes a virtual
machine is better for running DOS. It really depends on what you are
For example, when I'm writing code for FreeDOS, I'll have a copy of
FreeDOS booted in DOSemu. I run Linux, with lots of nifty developer
tools and editors, and I just find it's easier for me to do my FreeDOS
work there (say, in GNU emacs) while I also have a web browser open
for email, or Facebook, or whatever. When it's time to compile, I just
bring up the DOSemu window and compile under FreeDOS.
Doing this in DOSemu is great for my coding because DOSemu can boot an
instance of FreeDOS from a directory on Linux. So when I edit files
under Linux, I'm saving them to a directory under Linux, and they are
immediately visible to the FreeDOS session in DOSemu.
However, let's say I wanted to play DOS games. I might do that under
an emulator like DOSemu (and I have) but in certain cases the emulator
might just get in the way, not emulate the hardware as well as the DOS
game would like. So in that case, it would be better to set up a
dedicated PC to play those games. I've helped several friends to do
this, set up an older machine (which would otherwise be tossed out) to
play DOS games. That old PC may not run the latest version of Windows
very well, but it does a great job of playing DOS games.
Similarly, there are lots of cases where dedicated hardware is better.
Controllers, embedded systems, etc. all require actual hardware to do
the job. You wouldn't set up a Linux box just to run DOSemu + FreeDOS,
to support an embedded application.
You can do a multiboot system with FreeDOS on it, no problem. What
you've described would work. I used to use a program called PC
Commander (I think that was the name) that was a great multiple
operating system loader, and we used this at my work when we first
moved to Windows 95, long ago. GRUB, XaoS, and other free boot loaders
will do the same job.
My personal preference is: if I'm going to set up a hardware system
with FreeDOS on it, I'd rather it be a dedicated system. Nothing wrong
with doing a multiboot system, just my preference. Simpler that way,
less to go wrong.
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