|Windows||July 22, 2002|
|Linux||July 22, 2002|
|macOS (OS X)||March 30, 2006|
- DOSBox allows DOS-based games to run properly on modern systems.
- CD check for game being emulated can be bypassed generally by coping CD contents to a folder and mounting said folder as a CDROM.
- 1 Essential improvements
- 2 DOSBox configuration
- 3 Video settings
- 4 Input settings
- 5 Network
- 6 VR support
- 7 Issues fixed
- 7.1 Game appears stretched horizontally
- 7.2 Green or black screen in fullscreen mode
- 7.3 Character/camera/cursor constantly moves in one direction
- 7.4 Can't remap keys/joystick
- 7.5 Unable to use D-pad/Analog stick not working (XInput controllers)
- 7.6 Can't open Steam overlay in-game
- 7.7 Printer support
- 8 References
Graphical user interface
DOSBox does not use a graphical user interface. However, front ends such as DBGL can be used.
- Features a wizard to install games.
- Dosbox preinstalled in version 0.74.
- Can manage different Dosbox versions.
- Supports Windows, Linux and MacOS.
- Requires Java Runtime Environment.
- Does not require DOSBox to be installed.
- No longer maintained
There are various unofficial builds, typically called forks, of DOSBox which provide additional functionality such as support for Glide. A full list can be found on the DOSBox Wiki.
For Mac, you should try Boxer. It makes running and installation of games easier by wrapping them in Application Bundles, called "Game Boxes", that can be launched in Boxer by double clicking them as well as having a builtin GUI interface for configuration that more easily integrates into the Mac OS. It also has much over looked audio features; it already includes Gravis UltraSound patches and has builtin CM-32 & MT-32L emulation available through MUNT.
Currently, DOSBox ECE differs from normal DOSBox in these features:
- Emulation of a 3Dfx Vooodoo card through OpenGL (No external Glide wrapper needed!)
- 4x, 5x and 6x scaling in windowed mode is possible
- Pixel-perfect output mode for undistorted scaling of the picture
- Improved emulation of OPL3 (a FM sound synthesis chip from Yamaha)
- Improved sound of PC speaker emulation
- Emulation of the Roland MT-32 midi synthesizer
- Integration of Fluidsynth (a software MIDI synthesizer with Soundfont support)
- Support for up to 10 joystick axis and 2 D-pads (full use of two 360 compatible controllers)
- Mouse buttons mappable to keyboard or controller buttons
- Separate sensitivity settings for the X and Y axis of the mouse
- Supports up to 384 MB of memory, required for running Windows 9x on top of DOSBox ECE
- 4MB video memory, reducing sprite flickering in games using the Build engine (“Duke Nukem 3D”, “Blood”, etc.)
The DOSBox ECE developer also hosts compiled versions of the latest DOSBox SVN (development builds of the official DOSBox) on his website.
DOSBox-X aims to be a complete DOS emulation package that is both fully-featured and easy to use. It also tries to implement more accurate emulation both to improve the general DOS emulation and to aid retro-development. By now it has an impressive list of unique features. Some examples:
- GUI menu bar and configuration tool
- Built-in debugger and logging options
- Automatic drive mounting (Windows only)
- Copy and Paste support (Windows only)
- NEC PC-98 support
- Support for Windows 95 and 98
- Emulation of the Roland MT-32 MIDI synthesizer
- FluidSynth and Timidity++ General MIDI support
- Save and load states
- CPU optimization and Turbo mode
- Improved customization on the title bar
- Better compatibility with DOS applications
- Built-in external tools such as CWSDPMI, DOSIDLE and IMGMAKE
- Support for more DOS commands (e.g. VOL, LABEL, PROMPT, and MOUSE)
- Support for more video modes (e.g. mda, mcga, cga_rgb, cga_composite, cga_composite2, amstrad)
- Support for CONFIG.SYS commands (e.g. DEVICE, BUFFERS, FCBS, LASTDRIV)
- Support for more CPU types (e.g. 8086, 80186, 80286, Pentium MMX and Pentium Pro)
- Support for FAT32 and Long Filenames (LFN)
- Support for ROM BIOS images
- Support for printer output
- Support for vertical sync (V-Sync)
- Support for Direct3D with pixel shaders (Windows only)
- Support for OpenglHQ
- Support for Innovation SSI-2001 emulation
- Support for 3dfx Glide and Voodoo chip emulation
- Support for NE2000 Ethernet
- Support for more accurate PC Speaker emulation
- Support for features such as overscan border and stereo swapping
- Various patches such as font, DBCS and Ctrl-Break patch
dosbox-staging attempts to modernize the DOSBox codebase by using current development practices and tools, fixing issues, and adding features that better support today's systems.
Windows 3.0 through 98(SE) can be installed inside regular DOSBox however this is unsupported and instability issues occur. One of the forks, DOSBox-X does support Windows, and allows even Windows ME to run to some extend.
You could also, alternatively, try the HX DOS Extender (up to version 2.17) which grants a minimal Windows runtime environment. Note that it only supports Windows console apps and simple GUI ones. The latest versions (version 2.18 and later) are located on its GitHub site. An unofficial version 2.17+ (with support for modern sound cards) can be found here.
DOSBox running in Windows:
Z:\> Z:\>mount c c:\game_directory Z:\>imgmount d d:\game_disc.iso -t iso Z:\>cd d:\ D:\>game_install.exe D:\>cd c:\ C:\> C:\>game.exe
Substitute the pathways with the given conventions of the host operating system.
Alt+↵ Enter to maximise the window; Ctrl+F4 to switch between mounted disc images. Use double quotes, " ", when mounting folders with spaces ("c:\installation folder"); For mounting multiple disc images, -t iso is required only once at the end of the last disc image, this defines how DOSBox should emulate the volume and iso defines the type of volume.
DOS/32A is a more advanced extender and open source replacement to DOS4GW. It can improve both performance and stability of many games. More info here.
- If DOS/32A gives you issues with a particular game, you could alternatively try the Causeway extender or PMODE/W. Worst-case scenario, stick with the stock extender.
Although DOSBox will not gain the performance improvements this program promises, it will add additional video modes. Although 5.0+ were initially released as commercial software, SciTech later released them as freeware. Versions 1-4 were always freeware though. The 5.x series is generally the best to use with DOSBox. Additional (possibly useful) DOS display utilities can be found here.
The Gravis Ultra Sound or GUS was a sound card produced by Advanced Gravis Computer Technology, who were best known for their Gravis PC Gamepad. One of the features of the GUS is its ability to use real world sound samples instead of digitally generated instruments. This allows for a richer quality of sound when playing midi sound. Unfortunately, the official patches (drivers/samples) cannot be distributed with DOSBox due to conflicting Licenses. You can however find a guide for installing them here.
A similar thing is true for some Sound Blaster games; see here.
DOSBox stores configuration information in *.conf files. Individual conf files can be create for each piece of software used and additional parameters can be appended.
To modify a configuration option within DOSBox, use the
config command. For example,
config cpu cycles fixed 30000
|Widescreen resolution||Requires game being emulated to support it.|
|4K Ultra HD|
|Field of view (FOV)||Depends on game being emulated (not implemented by DOSBox itself).|
|Windowed||Toggle with Alt+↵ Enter.|
|Borderless fullscreen windowed||See the glossary page for potential workarounds.|
|Anisotropic filtering (AF)||Depends on game being emulated (not implemented by DOSBox itself).|
|Anti-aliasing (AA)||Depends on game being emulated (not implemented by DOSBox itself).|
|Vertical sync (Vsync)||Set
|High dynamic range display (HDR)|
|Color blind mode||Depends on game being emulated (not implemented by DOSBox itself).|
|Keyboard and mouse||State||Notes|
|Mouse sensitivity||Adjustable in DOSBox configuration settings.|
|Mouse input in menus||Depends on game being emulated (not implemented by DOSBox itself).|
|Mouse Y-axis inversion||Depends on game being emulated (not implemented by DOSBox itself).|
|Controller support||See Controller support.|
|Full controller support|
|Controller Y-axis inversion|
The DOSBox Mapper (Ctrl+F1/⌘ Command+F1) can be used to reassign keyboard, mouse and joystick commands.
Not officially supported, requires this DOSBOX version. See also here.
Game appears stretched horizontally
Fix incorrect aspect ratio
Green or black screen in fullscreen mode
- With some video cards, DOSBox's default output mode will render with a green or black screen in fullscreen mode.
Edit DOSBox configuration file (DOSBox.com versions)
Run Graphic Mode Setup (GOG.com versions)
Character/camera/cursor constantly moves in one direction
Change joystick timing setting
Disable joystick support
Can't remap keys/joystick
Some games have fixed inputs. Use the DOSBox Mapper to remap the controls.
Unable to use D-pad/Analog stick not working (XInput controllers)
Change DOSBox configuration file
Can't open Steam overlay in-game
Change output in configuration file
- Official DOSBox builds don't support printing in games that use it.
Enable printer support
[printer] printer=true dpi=360 width=85 height=110 printoutput=printer multipage=false docpath=. timeout=0 [parallel] parallel1=printer