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Thread: How-to: Playing old dos games with Dosbox. Guide for newbies.

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    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    How-to: Playing old dos games with Dosbox. Guide for newbies.

    DOSBox emulates an Intel x86 PC, complete with sound, graphics, mouse, modem, etc., necessary for running many old DOS games that simply cannot be run on modern PCs and operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Linux and FreeBSD. However, it is not restricted to running only games. In theory, any DOS application should run in DOSBox, but the emphasis has been on getting DOS games to run smoothly, which means that communication, networking and printer support are still in early developement.

    DOSBox also comes with its own DOS-like command prompt. It is still quite rudimentary and lacks many of the features found in MS-DOS, but it is sufficient for installing and running most DOS games.

    Now, let`s move to the fun part:

    Dosbox is not installed in Ubuntu by default, so you have to install it yourselves. There are two ways to do this, either through System-->Administration-->Synaptic package manager (search for dosbox, mark for install and apply), or you could use the comand line interface. The command line interface - CLI for short - is located under Applications --> Accessories --> Terminal.

    Now, launch the CLI as shown above. Copy and paste the following command into the black box and press enter:

    sudo apt-get install dosbox
    You will now be prompted for a password. Type in the password and press enter. Dosbox should now be installed.

    Now, Dosbox is nothing without good old dosgames. This page contains many abandonware dosgames, but you can also find many more on google: Pick one and download to your desktop. Press Alt+home to enter the home directory. This is where we want to place the games. Right click and make a new folder for your game. Double click the downloaded file, and extract the contents to the correct folder.

    Now, for my part I have extracted the game task force 1942 from an old computer of mine and made the folder TF1942 in my home directory. The structure on this computer looks like this:


    Now, everything is ready. Launch the installed Dosbox by opening the terminal and typing
    You should now have this image:

    Next, you need to mount a virtual drive c on your hard drive.

    I use the following command
    mount c /home/ragnhild/TF1942
    Remember that this command is case sensitive, so type every directory excactly as they are named.

    If you have done everything correctly, you should se something like this:

    From the z: prompt, type

    Dosbox is now mounted inside your game directory and will respond to many of the common dos-commands. List the files in the game directory to find the executable file (usually an .exe or a .bat) by typing
    dir /p

    In this case, the executable is TF1942.BAT (It may also launch with TF.EXE, but I haven`t tested it.)

    That means you can launch the game by typing
    Now, the game should launch, and you`ll see the game in a little box in the middle of your screen:

    Toggle fullscreenmode on/off with Alt+Enter. Play the game!

    Advanced: If you want to automount a drive or change the default settings by editing the config-file, see this thread

    For additional settings, hotkeys and troubleshooting, see this page:
    Last edited by Hallvor; August 27th, 2007 at 05:24 PM. Reason: fixed images


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