For dosemu-1.2, 27 September 2003
This is the `Frequently Asked Questions' (FAQ) / HOWTO document for dosemu. The most up-to-date version of the dosemu-HOWTO may be found at http://www.dosemu.org.
To quote the manual, "dosemu" is a user-level program which uses certain special features of the Linux kernel and the 80386 processor to run MS-DOS/FreeDOS/DR-DOS in what we in the biz call a `DOS box.' The DOS box, a combination of hardware and software trickery, has these capabilities:
the ability to virtualize all input/output and processor control instructions
the ability to support the word size and addressing modes of the iAPX86 processor family's "real mode," while still running within the full protected mode environment
the ability to trap all DOS and BIOS system calls and emulate such calls as are necessary for proper operation and good performance
the ability to simulate a hardware environment over which DOS programs are accustomed to having control.
the ability to provide DOS services through native Linux services; for example, dosemu can provide a virtual hard disk drive which is actually a Linux directory hierarchy.
Dosemu is primarily written for Linux. At one time it also worked on NetBSD and possibly FreeBSD, however the graphics emulation was unlikely to work on NetBSD, which means that all DOS programs that use graphics mode (most DOS programs) did not work under NetBSD.
Dosemu only works on Intel 80x86 processors, e.g. 80386, 80486, Pentium etc.
Dosemu only works on Intel 80x86 processors but there are alternatives: Bochs (http://bochs.sourceforge.net) is an open source PC emulator that runs on most Unixes (as well as MS-Windows). DOSBox (http://dosbox.sourceforge.net) also emulates the CPU but specializes in DOS games. QEMU (http://fabrice.bellard.free.fr/qemu/index.org.html) can launch Linux processes compiled for one CPU on another CPU. Wine and DOSEMU are the main targets for QEMU. There are other (non-free) alternatives - see the comp.emulators.misc FAQ, available via usenet or http://www.faqs.org/faqs/emulators-faq/
No. You need some version of DOS but not necessarily MS-DOS. The supplied FreeDOS will do for almost all DOS programs. One notable exception is Windows 3.x. See also Section 2.9.
Yes, but it would be better to use the Windows emulator Wine (http://www.winehq.com). If you insist on running Windows under dosemu, see section 8 - dosemu and MS-Windows 3.1.
means day zz in month yy in year xx.
winemu mean WinOS/2 running in dosemu.
Dosemu uses the same numbering scheme as the kernel used. Uneven second numbers are for possible unstable developer releases, even second numbers are for releases considered stable. At the time of writing, 1.4.0 is the latest stable release, while 1.3.5 is the latest developer's release. So if you just want to use dosemu, get the latest stable release.
The newest stable version of dosemu as of 2007/05/05 is dosemu-1.4.0 and can be obtained at http://www.dosemu.org/.
We just decided to leave BETA stage, however: there may be serious bugs and very little documentation for new features. The development version is particularly likely to have bugs. Please use it only if you like to do active development. Preferably fix bugs in the development version instead of reporting them.
If you have problems regarding installing and running dosemu after reading the documentation, first try to help yourself: Your question has probably been asked and perhaps answered before. Try some search engine on the internet to retrieve that information. E.g. you can ask http://groups.google.com to find all newsnet articles containing the keywords of your question. Helping yourself will probably be faster than asking a well known question. It also frees up the time of developers from answering trivial questions and so helps the further development of dosemu.
If you want to ask questions and report bugs regarding dosemu, you should consider subscribing to the linux-msdos mailing list. To subscribe, send mail to Majordomo@vger.kernel.org with the following command in the body of your email message:
subscribe linux-msdos firstname.lastname@example.org
If you ever want to remove yourself from the mailing list, you can send mail to Majordomo@vger.kernel.org with the following command in the body of your email message:
unsubscribe linux-msdos email@example.com
(95/8/11). When you are subscribed to linux-msdos, you can send your report as mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a gate that send mails to email@example.com as postings to the newsgroup named linux.dev.msdos. If your News provider doesn't carry that group, ask her(him) to add that group. Before you ask a question, you should carefully read all of the documentation, including this HOWTO and check one of the mailing list archives listed at http://www.dosemu.org/mailinglist.html to see whether your question has already been asked and answered.
Alternatively, use the SourceForge Bug Tracking System for DOSEMU at http://sourceforge.net/tracker/?atid=457447&group_id=49784&func=browse. The advantage of this system is that your bug is less likely forgotten.
Dosemu comes with documentation. The main documentation files README.txt and README-tech.txt cover virtually all aspects of dosemu and may be more up-to-date than this HOWTO.
The "dosemu Novice's Altering Guide" or DANG is a road map to the inner workings of dosemu. It is designed for the adventurous, those who wish to modify the source code themselves. The DANG is maintained by Alistair MacDonald (firstname.lastname@example.org) and is found in the doc directory of the dosemu source tree.
The EMU failure list (EMUfailure.txt) is a partial list of programs known not to work under dosemu.
And then, of course, there is the dosemu FAQ/HOWTO. But you already know about that, don't you. It is also posted once in a while to the mailing list and found in the doc-directory. The most recent version can be found at http://www.dosemu.org.
First check, if the failure of your program is not caused by some of the fundamental incapabilities of dosemu, listed in EMUfailure.txt. If you think you have something new, please report to email@example.com. Perhaps it can be made going with the help others. Give detailed information about your setup, tell the version of kernel, dosemu etc and name the observed errors. You can use xdosemu to cut and paste the error message into your report. But keep your report in a readable form. We know the content of the commented out options. So only send the active lines from your dosemu.conf and ~/.dosemurc. Try running dosemu with some or all debug output turned on and scan through your debug output and at first only send those parts you think are relevant. Few people are willing to decode some long attachment to a mail, to do debugging for others. But keep your logs at hand, in case others ask detailed questions.
The preferred method is to edit the file dosemu-HOWTO-xx.x.sgml to incorporate the changes, create a diff file by typing something like:
diff -uw original-file new-file
and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not know SGML, that's ok. Changes or new information in any form will be accepted. Creating the diff file just makes it easier on the HOWTO maintainer. :-)
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If you have questions, please contact Greg Hankins, the Linux HOWTO coordinator, at email@example.com(95/8/11).
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