Install and use DOS and MS-DOS on the Raspberry Pi

What can we do with MS-DOS on a Raspberry Pi?

Nowadays it is rather uncommon for somebody to contemplate set up a DOS system for every day use. These programs are severely restricted, from command line utilization to options, instruments, and connectivity. Installing this method on a Raspberry Pi would restrict its potential. However, there are some circumstances wherein it might curiosity us. For instance, if we’ve got applications or, above all, video games, that solely work below this structure, putting in this method on the RPi is the closest factor to giving it a second life.

We will be capable to play the traditional video games like Destruction Derby, Z, Doom or Monkey Island once more if we set up this method on the micro-computer. And we will even set up and begin the traditional variations of Windows, similar to or 3.11.

Linux programs are way more full and, as well as, they’re optimized to work on the Raspberry Pi architectures. However, if what we would like is that this working system, why not set up it?

FreeDOS: set up native MS-DOS on the Raspberry Pi

FreeDOS doesn’t work on the Raspberry Pi, not less than natively. This working system is designed to run on programs with x86 architectures, in addition to with a BIOS that gives the system with the primary runtime companies with a view to perform. The structure of a Raspberry Pi is completely totally different from that, because it has a distinct bootloader and an ARM processor, both 32-bit or 64-bit, relying on the mannequin.

However, simply because it isn’t natively supported does not imply we won’t use it. What it’s important to do is take a flip to implement a virtualization layer that permits us to virtualize all the things crucial for it to work. And this layer is QEMU (Quick EMUlator). This open supply digital machine permits us to put in working programs on prime of any Linux distro, in the same approach to how we do with VMware or VirtualBox. To use it, the very first thing we have to do is set up a Linux distro, a bunch system, on the Raspberry Pi, which can load first. We suggest utilizing Raspberry Pi OS or Ubuntu, since they’re two recognized programs.

We most likely have already got QEMU put in on the Raspberry Pi. But, if not, we will set up it manually by executing the following command:

sudo apt-get set up qemu-kvm-extras

Now, the subsequent step shall be to obtain the picture of this working system. As FreeDOS is free, we will obtain it for gratis from this link. Here we are going to obtain an ISO picture with the working system, which we are going to use later to begin the digital machine.

Continuing with QEMU, what we’re going to do subsequent is create the digital machine. To do that, what we should do is execute the following command. This will create a digital exhausting disk, known as «freedos.img» with a cupboard space of 200 MB. Enough.

qemu-img create freedos.img 200M

Once the unit is created, we will now begin the digital machine. What we should do is execute the following command to begin it up. In the parameters are specified the {hardware} elements that we would like it to have, the ISO picture (which we’ve got known as «FreeDOS.iso») and the digital exhausting disk, amongst different configurations.

qemu-system-i386 -m 16 -k es-es -rtc base = localtime -soundhw sb16, adlib -device cirrus-vga -hda freedos.img -cdrom FreeDOS.iso -boot order = d

The digital machine will begin up, and the very first thing we are going to see is the FreeDOS set up wizard. We observe the steps indicated by this wizard till the finish to begin it up and that is it.

Install FreeDOS - 1

When completed, we can have FreeDOS put in inside the QEMU digital machine on the Raspberry Pi. It shouldn’t be native, however it works properly sufficient to have the ability to transfer retro video games and applications. We may even set up Windows 3.11, if we would like.

DOSBox, the easy various

As we will see, though we will make it work, the reality is that there are a lot of impediments that don’t make it troublesome sufficient. Luckily, there are different methods to have this OS in our micro-computer. And considered one of the finest, quickest and easiest is to guess on DOSBox.

Destruction Derby DOSBox

DOSBox is a open supply emulator developed to load a DOS working system on prime of another working system. As an emulator it has sure limitations when it comes to efficiency, just like as if it had been a digital machine. But it’s considered one of the quickest and best methods to have this method on a Raspberry Pi. In addition, its builders have already admitted on a number of events that this emulator is 100% centered on gaming, so, on this sense, there shall be completely no drawback.

This emulator works like a program. That is, the very first thing we are going to want to have the ability to use it’s set up an working system on the Raspberry Pi. As it has a model for Linux, we will select the distro that we need to use, and that it additionally serves us for different issues. We, for instance, suggest Raspberry Pi OS. To set up it, the very first thing we are going to do is replace the software program repositories with the command:

sudo apt replace && sudo apt -y improve

And, as soon as up to date, we will obtain and set up the newest model, from the terminal, executing the following command:

sudo apt set up dosbox

It is finished. We have already got DOSBox put in on our Raspberry Pi.

If we’re going to use it to play video games, we will create a listing to avoid wasting the video games (for instance, by operating «mkdir ~ / dos-games», and save all the video games we obtain there. Most of them are abandonware and we will obtain them at no cost, however we should be cautious with copyright.

To open a retro recreation with DOSBox we should discover its executable, .exe, and select the choice «Open with> DOSBox».