On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 2:46 PM, C. Masloch <c...@bttr-software.de> wrote:
>> * DOSBox ... sure, it's only for games and is really its own "fake"
>> DOS, but it sorta works and is free/libre, popular, and easy to find
>> binaries.
>> I wouldn't specifically include DOSEMU because it needs a "real" DOS,
> DOSBox can also boot an actual DOS version (like dosemu always does),
> which improves DOSBox's compatibility a lot (eg testing function calls
> that are not supported by DOSBox won't immediately exit the emulation).
> Unfortunately, at least as far as known to me, DOSBox's FS redirector is
> only available with the built-in DOS, not when booting a DOS inside it.
> For that usage, dosemu is better because it provides its MFS-based
> redirector for the booted DOS (using the lredir program).

Yes, that's why things like WinXP and DOSEMU are popular:  easy access
to host OS files. (But for VMware see Eduardo's VMSMOUNT.)

Actually, WinXP and DOSEMU have another advantage over DOSBox: LFNs.
You'd be surprised (or maybe not, heh) at how many projects just
assume LFNs are available. DOSBox doesn't support LFNs, and while I
can't remember, I don't think DOSLFN worked there anyways. Like I
said, DOSBox is very good at what it does (sound, gfx), but it's
officially "only for games". Yes, its cpu emulation is good, but it's
not directly meant to boot other OSes.

Another drawback of DOSBox is that it's limited to max 64 MB ("without
recompiling") and only defaults to 16 MB. Even DOSEMU (default 20 MB
DPMI, blech) or Vista SP1 and Win7 (default 32 MB DPMI, blech) can be
configured beyond that, which is crucial for lots of things (e.g.
DJGPP). Though in DOSBox's case, it may be more about saving host OS
RAM or maybe old game compatibility (where they'd choke on seeing
more), etc.

So there are a lot of things to consider when choosing a DOS. But for
average, simple stuff, almost anything will do.

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