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en:games:dosbox

DOSBox

At least since Windows x64, there is no support for 16 bit (DOS) applications any more. They simply cannot run be any more. For those applications and games (like Warlords 1) a DOS emulator is required. DOSBox is such an emulator. It emulates a complete MS-DOS environment. You can get it at http://www.dosbox.com/ (especially for Windows), or possibly directly via the package managing system of your Linux distribution.

The possibilities of configuration are rather extensive (e. g. network configuration). As there is a complete Wiki on that alone, it should be sufficient to give a short introduction to its configuration.

Config file

It is of course a good place to start, to get or be acquainted with the configuration of native DOS itself. The files autoexec.bat and config.sys are replaced by the config file C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\DOSBox\dosbox-0.74.conf. Under Linux the file can be found in folder ~/.dosbox/dosbox-0.74.conf. Depending on the version 0.74 may have changed. For a more frequent use, the most important aspect is mounting physically existing folders as drive letters into DOSBox. the command mount <driveletter> <hostfolder> mounts the provided folder as the root folder of the provided drive. mount -u <driveletter> undoes that. To have this happen automatically at startup, the command has to be entered into the config file at the proper location, below [autoexec], e. g.:

mount c C:\Users\username\Desktop
c:

This mounts the folder C:\Users\username\Desktop as drive C: and DOSBox switches to that drive as well during startup. The user ends up at the proper location in the provided folder. You can do anything you would do with the autoexec.bat file as well, by placing the commands below the [autoexec] section, e. g. variable settings or custom start menus. You might as well create a configuration, that automatically starts your favorite game right after opening DOSBox.

Recordings and screenshots

All that's going on inside DOSBox can be recorded as video or a screenshot be made of it. CTRL + F5 takes a screenshot while CTRL + ALT + F5 starts and stops video recording. CTRL + F6 starts and stops audio recording. The resulting files are placed in folder C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\DOSBox\capture, resp. ~/.dosbox/capture.

IPX

DOSBox brings its own IPX network solution. The IPX protocol is transported via an outer UDP connection. In order to facilitate this, a DOSBox instance running the IPX server is required, while numerous clients can connect to it. In general, the IPX functionality requires the command ipx=true to be executed, either manually or in the configuration file. The default value is false, so you have to have this set first. Otherwise DOSBox will not provide IPX.

Server

Starting Server

To actually start a server, the following command is used:

ipxnet startserver [UDP port]

The [UDP port] section can be omitted. Default value is 213. However, under Linux opening ports 1 to 1024 requires root privileges. So you will probably want to choose another port then. This means, an IPX server running on the given port is listening and relaying the information to other clients.

Stopping Server

The server can easily be stopped by executing ipxnet stopserver.

Client

Connecting

Once the server is up and running clients can connect to it. This is done with the following command:

ipxnet connect <IP> [UDP port]

The <IP> part is mandatory and requires the destination IP or host name of the server you want to connect to. All clients connected to the same server can communicate with each other via IPX from within DOSBox, including the DOSBox instance running the server. Again, the [UDP port] value is optional and default is 219. Connecting to port 219 should not require the client to be run with root privileges.

Disconnecting

To close the client's connection, simply enter ipxnet disconnect.

See also

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en/games/dosbox.txt · Last modified: 2020-05-01-21-31 by 7saturn