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The DOSEMU team is proud to announce DOSEMU 1.2.0, the PC Emulator for x86 based Linux.


DOSEMU is a PC Emulator application that allows Linux to run a DOS operating system in a virtual x86 machine. This allows you to run many DOS applications. These are the capabilities of DOSEMU that are worth noting:

  • color text and full keyboard emulation (via hotkeys) even on a terminal
  • built-in X-Windows support (includes IBM character set font) including fullscreen X (via Ctrl-Alt-F)
  • graphics capability at the console (for most compatible video cards) (requires suid-root or sudo)
  • graphics emulation in X for many color modes (X-server may be in true color mode)
  • DPMI support
  • runs several 32-bit DPMI-compliant video games (including those based on DOS/4GW) at the Linux console (suid-root) and on X (non-suid)
  • integrated (command line) instruction level debugger, various break points, single stepping etc.
  • integrated EMS and XMS drivers
  • integrated packet driver
  • integrated mouse driver
  • integrated joystick driver
  • CDROM support
  • ASPI driver support (CD writers, scanners, tapes etc.) (requires access rights to /dev/sgX)
  • support for redirected drives (any Linux directory can be 'mounted' as DOS drive via the lredir command)
  • can even directly boot from a Linux directory containing all DOS files
  • sound support (including sound DMA and Midi)
  • NetWare and other network connectivity via built-in IPX and pktdrvr support
  • the dosemu-freedos binary package starts a DOS-"C:\>"-Drive 'out-of-the-box' in a normal user's $HOME directory and runs without any further configuration (no root rights needed)

WHAT IS NEW against version

  • Many bugs have been fixed.
  • Easier configuration and installation from source code.
  • Much improved DPMI support.
  • Unicode support: translates between many different codepages and character sets for keyboards, terminals and copy & paste in X.
  • Much improved sound support, including SoundBlaster 16 and Midi emulation (but no OPL3 FM / Adlib yet).
  • Improved VGA emulation in X.
  • Fullscreen support in X using the Ctrl-Alt-F hotkey.
  • Console improvements: by avoiding POST more graphics cards can be accessed directly in the "plainvga" mode. Raw keyboard support now also works without special privileges.
  • Many improvements to the networking code (TUN/TAP).
  • Improved PIC (Programmable Interrupt Controller) emulation.
  • Joystick support.
  • xterm mouse support (including PUTTY).
  • DOSEMU shows the running DOS program in X and xterm title bars.
  • Better terminal support (more keys are recognized).
  • Improved I/O performance using asynchronous I/O.
  • Added large file support for file locking.
  • Security:
    • DPMI in suid-root DOSEMU is no longer inherently insecure; DOSEMU now drops its root priviliges after initializing; a forked off "I/O port server" (if necessary) allows access to the specified I/O ports where the main DOSEMU is not capable.
    • DOSEMU can be run via sudo in the same way as suid-root (it will revert to the identity of the original user) -- therefore it is no longer necessary to install two seperate DOSEMUs (one suid-root and one non-suid-root copy) for security. One non-suid-root copy is all you need if you use sudo. As a side-effect dosemu.users is no longer necessary; without a dosemu.users file DOSEMU will only use its root privileges if it is run on the Linux console.
    • Partition access, mouse access (console only) and serial access are no longer automatically accomplished using root privileges but must be regulated via permissions on the relevant /dev/xxx devices.
    • Note that, as before, root permissions are in general not necessary if DOSEMU is run in a terminal or in X.


  • Linux >= 2.0.30 (with IPC support, IPX support optional)
  • a DOS as guest-OS, which can be booted by DOSEMU (FreeDOS is included in the RPM or can be downloaded as dosemu-freedos-*-bin.tgz)
When compiling DOSEMU yourself:
  • GCC 2.91.66 or higher and glibc 2.1.3 or higher are required
  • binutils >
  • bison, _not_ yacc, and flex


DOSEMU is set under GPL version 2 (see file COPYING in the distribution). The DOS, which is processed (booted) by DOSEMU, may have any other policy and is explicitly allowed to be proprietary.


This release could not have gotten out the door without the work of our relentless development team, friends and contributors, consisting of at least (sorted by first name):
  Aaron			Adam J. Richter		Alan Cox
  Alberto Vignani	Alessandro Rubini	Alexander R.Adams
  Alexander V. Lukyanov	Alistair MacDonald	Amit Margalt
  Andrew.Tridgell	Andries			Andy Shevchenko
  Antonio Larrosa	Arjan Filius		Arne de Bruijn
  Bart Oldeman		Ben Davis		Bernd Paysan
  Bernd Schueler	Christoph Niemann	Clarence Dang
  Corey Sweeney		Daniel R. Barrlow	David Brauman
  David Etherton	David Hansen		David Hindman
  David Hodges		David Pinson		Derek Fawcus
  DJ Delorie		Dong Liu		Egbert Eich
  Emmanuel Jeandel	Eric W. Biederman	Erik Mouw		
  Florian La Roche	George K.Bronnikov	Grant R. Guenther
  Grigory Batalov       Hans Lermen		Herbert Xu
  James Maclean		Jason E Gorden		Jochen Hein
  John Davis		John Kohl 		Jon Tombs
  Josef Pavlik		Julia A. Case		Kang-Jin Lee
  Karl Kiniger		Karl-Max Wagner		Kenneth Corbin
  Kevin P Lawton 	Lam Lai Yin, Savio	Larry Stephan
  Lawrence K Mao	Linus Torvalds		Lutz Molgedey
  Manfred Scherer	Marcus Better		Mark Rejhon
  Marty Leisner		Matthew Grant 		Maxim Ruchko		
  Michael E. Deisher    Michael Karcher		Oleg V. Zhirov		
  Pablo Saratxaga	Pasi Eronen		Pat Villani		
  Rainer Zimmermann	Reinhard Karcher	Rob Clark		
  Robert de Bath	Rod May			Ronnie			
  Rutger Nijlunsing	Scott Buchholz		Sergey Suleymanov	
  Stas Sergeev		Steffen Winterfeld	Theodore T'so		
  Tim Van der Linden	Ulrich Weigand		Uwe Bonnes		
  Urban Widmark		Vinod G Kulkarni	Wayne P Meissner	
  Witold Filipczyk	Wojtek Pilorz
... and others too important to mention. Of course, all those people involved in the FreeDOS development should be mentioned here too, but before I fail to mention some of them, I better point to http://www.freedos.org ;-)


The DOSEMU PC Emulator can be downloaded at: The binary package is dynamically linked against glibc-2.2 and libX* from XFree86. It should run on all recent Linux distributions.


Many thanks to all who have helped with this release, by sending bug reports, patches, comments and/or ideas for DOSEMU! Our apologies for not having answered every letter, and possibly missing some important information. If you know something you think we should know, contact us. We can be reached at:

"The DOSEMU Team" <linux-msdos@vger.kernel.org>

- - - -	- - - -				January 2004,
					Bart Oldeman <bart at dosemu dot org>
					coordinator of "The DOSEMU Team"
The DOSEMU team