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Call me a geek, but I like to play old dos games (like stelcon3, jazz jackrabbit, epic pinball, etc).  I've tried a couple of solutions to get them to work.

First is FreeDos running under either VMWare or Virtual PC.  FreeDos is a great program, and I'm sure it works well for many people, but it does not work well for playing the old games.

Running under either virtualization platform, it frequently gives weird errors with Emm386 (vmware 4.5 and ems just don't get along well together I guess--if you load Emm386 with the NOEMS option, it'll work).  And even with SlowDown running, the games are just unplayable--the graphics simply aren't smooth enough, and the emulated video card doesn't work with a lot of games.

So the alternative is DosBox.  Dosbox seems to work very well!  It's specifically designed to run old games so a lot of the features you need are built in, like the emulation of old video cards and such. 

If you need networking or compilers or other tools, use FreeDos, but if you just want to play the games, DosBox is the way to go.

Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 8:15 AM Play | Back to top

Comments on this post: Virtualization, FreeDos, and DosBox

# re: Virtualization, FreeDos, and DosBox
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Stelcon3? Are you talking about an old shareware space conquest game by someone named Vu Truong? I registered that back in the day, but lost my registered copy somewhere in the course of the last ten years. Tried contacting the guy, but the last email address I could find wasn't working. Wish I could get ahold of the registered version again.

I still consider the Epic/Apogee era as the pinnacle of DOS-based shareware (obviously today's shareware scene is doing pretty well on the internet). Solar Winds, OMF 2097, Jazz, Raptor, Tyrian... those games _rocked_. And yeah, DosBox definitely does a good job of making most of those games possible.

Sorry... just saw the mention of Stelcon3 and had to toss in a few cents :)

Mark Erikson
Left by Mark Erikson on Oct 20, 2006 9:24 AM

# re: Virtualization, FreeDos, and DosBox
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Nice post! I was seaching yesterday for some info about 'DOSBOX Vs. FREEDOS Vs. DOSEMU' for the same objective: Old Dos Games.

I installed Freedos 1.0 using "qemu". It boots fine and runs well some programs. But when i tryed to play some old dos games... so sad. :/
I even used the "slowdown" tool to speed down the cpu in freedos but no way.

Now, i have a another shot to try. Dosbox! :)
Hope it works.

Left by Yanes on Oct 21, 2006 4:33 PM

# re: Virtualization, FreeDos, and DosBox
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You can download Stelcon3 and all of the other games (except OMF) from OMF you can get from, along with just about everything else you can imagine about OMF.

The old games are still quite fun!
Left by Robert May on Oct 23, 2006 6:28 AM

# re: Virtualization, FreeDos, and DosBox
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i have found d-fend to be a great front end for dosbox, getting rid of the need to type out the routes manually
Left by d-fend user on Jun 02, 2012 3:53 AM

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