DOS (formerly FREE-
DOS and PD-DOS) is a free operating system for
IBM PC compatible
IBM PC compatible computers. It intends to provide a complete DOS
-compatible environment for running legacy software and supporting
DOS can be booted from a floppy disk or
USB flash drive
USB flash drive . It is
designed to run well under virtualization or x86 emulation.
DOS , Free
DOS is composed of
Free Software and open-source
software, licensed under the terms of the
GNU General Public License
GNU General Public License .
Therefore, its base distribution does not require license fees or
royalties and creation of custom distributions is permitted. However,
other packages which form part of the Free
DOS project include non-GPL
software considered worth preserving, such as 4
DOS , which is
distributed under a modified
MIT License .
* 1 History
* 2 Distribution
* 2.1 Commercial uses
* 2.2 Non-commercial uses
* 3 Compatibility
* 3.1 Hardware
* 3.2 MS-
* 3.3 DOS-based Windows
* 3.4 Windows NT and
* 4 Mascot
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 External links
DOS project began 29 June 1994, after
Microsoft announced it
would no longer sell or support MS-
DOS . Jim Hall who at the time was
a student posted a manifesto proposing the development of an
open-source replacement. Within a few weeks, other programmers
Pat Villani and Tim Norman joined the project. Between them,
a kernel (by Villani), the COMMAND.COM command line interpreter (by
Villani and Norman), and core utilities (by Hall) were created by
pooling code they had written or found available. There have been
many official pre-release distributions of Free
DOS before the final
DOS 1.0 distribution. GNU/
DOS , an unofficial distribution of
FreeDOS, was discontinued after version 1.0 was released.
DOS 1.1, released on 2 January 2012, is available for download
as a CD-ROM image: a limited install disc that only contains the
kernel and basic applications, and a full disc that contains many more
applications (games, networking, development, etc.), not available as
of November 2011 but with a newer, fuller 1.2. The legacy version
1.0 (2006) consisted of two CDs, one of which was an 8MB install CD
targeted at regular users and the other which was a larger 49MB live
CD that also held the source code of the project.
DOS is used by several companies:
Dell preloaded Free
DOS with their n-series desktops to reduce
their cost. The firm has been criticized for making these machines no
cheaper, and harder to buy than identical systems with Windows.
* HP provided Free
DOS as an option in its dc5750 desktops, Mini 5101
netbooks and Probook laptops. Free
DOS is also used as bootable
media for updating the
BIOS firmware in HP systems.
SpinRite 6, a hard drive maintenance and recovery program,
* Intel's Solid-State Drive Firmware Update Tool loads the FreeDOS
DOS is also used in multiple independent projects:
* FUZOMA is a FreeDOS-based distribution that can boot from a floppy
disk and converts older computers into educational tools for children.
* FED-UP is the Floppy Enhanced DivX Universal Player.
DOS Version History
16 September 1994
10 August 1996
25 March 1998
28 October 1998
21 April 1999
9 April 2000
10 August 2000
18 March 2001
7 September 2001
7 April 2002
28 September 2004
3 September 2006
2 January 2012
25 December 2016
DOS itself requires a PC/XT machine with at least 640kB of
memory. Programs not bundled with Free
DOS often require additional
DOS AND WIN32 CONSOLE
DOS is mostly compatible with MS-DOS. It supports COM
DOS executables and Borland's 16-bit DPMI
executables. It is also possible to run 32-bit DPMI executables using
DOS extenders . The operating system has several improvements relative
to MS-DOS, mostly involving support of newer standards and
technologies that did not exist when
Microsoft ended support for
MS-DOS, such as internationalization, or the Advanced Power Management
TSRs. Furthermore, with use of HX
DOS Extender, many Win32 console
applications function properly in FreeDOS, as do some rare GUI
DOS is able to run
Microsoft Windows 1.0 and 2.0 releases.
Windows 3.x releases, which had support for i386 processors, can not
fully be run in 386 Enhanced Mode except partially in experimental
DOS kernel 2037.
Problems running Windows result from Microsoft's efforts to prevent
their products running on non-
Windows 95 , 98 and ME use a stripped down version of MS-DOS. FreeDOS
cannot be used as a replacement because of undocumented interfaces
DOS 7.0-8.0 and Windows 4.xx not emulated by FreeDOS;
however, it can be installed and used beside these systems using a
boot manager program, such as BOOTMGR or METAKERN included with
WINDOWS NT AND REACTOS
Windows NT-based operating systems, including
Windows 2000 , XP ,
Vista and 7 for desktops, and
Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2003 , 2008 and 2008 R2
for servers, do not make use of MS-
DOS as a core component of the
system. These systems can make use of the FAT file systems, which are
used by MS-
DOS and earlier versions of Windows ; however, they
typically use the
NTFS (New Technology
File System) by default for
security and other reasons. Free
DOS can co-exist on these systems on a
separate partition or on the same partition on FAT systems. The
DOS kernel can be booted by adding it to the
Windows 2000 or XP's
NT Boot Loader configuration file, BOOT.INI, or FREELDR.INI
FreeDOS's default text editor—a clone of the MS-
with added features
FAT32 is fully supported and is the preferred format for the boot
drive. Depending on the
BIOS used, up to four LBA (Logical Block
Addressing ) hard disks up to 128 GB, or 2 TB, in size are supported.
There has been little testing with large disks, and some BIOSes
support LBA but produce errors on disks larger than 32 GB; a driver
such as OnTrack or EZ-Drive resolves this problem. Free
DOS can also be
used with a driver named LFN
DOS to enable support for Windows 95-style
long file names, but most old programs before Win95 do not support
LFNs even with driver loaded unless they have been recompiled. There
is no planned support for NTFS, ext2 or exFAT , but there are several
external third-party drivers available for that purpose. To access
ext2fs, LTOOLS (counterpart to
Mtools ) can sometimes be used to copy
data to and from ext2fs drives.
Blinky, the mascot of FreeDOS.
BLINKY the Fish is the mascot of FreeDOS. He was designed by Bas
Windows Command Prompt
List of computing mascots
* Category:Computing mascots
* free software portal
* ^ "Free
DOS Spec". Free
DOS Wiki. Freedos. 2008-12-24. Retrieved
* ^ A B C "The Free
DOS Project". SourceForge. 2006-05-21. Retrieved
* ^ A B C Free
DOS History; freedos.org
* ^ Villani, Pat (1996). Free
DOS Kernel. Emeryville, CA, USA:
Miller Freeman. ISBN 0-87930-436-7 .
* ^ "Software List » UTIL". FreeDOS. The Free
* ^ "Main Page". Free
DOS Wiki. The Free
DOS Project. Retrieved
* ^ Franske, Ben (2007-08-21). "Booting
DOS from a USB flash
drive". Archived from the original on February 18, 2010. Retrieved
* ^ "How to Create a Bootable Free
DOS Floppy Disk". 2005-07-19.
* ^ Gallagher, Sean (2014-07-14). "Though "barely an operating
DOS still matters (to some people)". ArsTechnica. Condé
Nast. Retrieved 2017-02-09. But Free
DOS has become much more friendly
to virtualization and hardware emulation—it's even the heart of the
* ^ "4DOS". FreeDOS. The Free
DOS Project. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
* ^ Jim Hall interviewed on the TV show FLOSS weekly on the TWiT.tv
* ^ Hall, Jim (1994-06-29). "PD-
DOS project *announcement*".
Newsgroup : comp.os.msdos.apps . Retrieved 2008-06-14.
* ^ Hall, Jim (2002-03-25). "The past, present, and future of the
DOS Project". LinuxGizmos.com. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
* ^ Hall, Jim (2006-09-23). "About". FreeDOS. The Free
Archived from the original on 2007-05-27. Retrieved 2014-06-17.
* ^ Adams, David. "Introducing GNU/
DOS 2005". OSNews. Retrieved 27
* ^ Marinof, Mihai. "GNU/
DOS Project Discontinued". Retrieved 27
* ^ Hall, Jim (2012-01-02). "Announcement on official FreeDOS
homepage". SourceForge. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
* ^ A B "Free
DOS 1.0". FreeDOS.org. The Free
DOS Project. Archived
from the original on 2011-11-05. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
* ^ Vance, Ashlee. "How
Dell repels attempts to buy its \'open
source\' PC". The Register. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
* ^ "HP Compaq dc5750 Business PC". Hewlett-Packard. Archived from
the original on 13 November 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
* ^ "First Look at HP\'s Low-Cost Pro
Book Laptop Lineup".
* ^ McCracken, Harry (2009-06-23). "HP’s Mini 5101: Netbook
Deluxe, With All the Trimmings". Technologizer. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
* ^ "Free
DOS Bootable Media". HP . 2010-10-25. Retrieved
* ^ Leon A. Goldstein (2004-07-19). "
SpinRite 6.0 for
Linux Journal. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
* ^ "Intel® SATA Solid-State Drive Firmware Update Tool". Intel.
Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved 27 November
* ^ "FUZOMA Educational Software". Retrieved 2009-12-18.
* ^ "Floppy Enhanced DivX Universal Player". Retrieved 2009-12-18.
* ^ Free
DOS software package comparison; ibiblio.org
* ^ Jim Hall (2007-10-02). "Removing old distributions from
ibiblio" (Mailing list). freedos-devel. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
* ^ Lowe, Scott (2003-07-22). "Configure IT Quick: Use Free
DOS as a
replacement for MS-DOS". TechRepublic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved
* ^ Broersma, Matthew (September 4, 2006). "
DOS lives! Open source
reinvents past". Techworld. Archived from the original on November 2,
* ^ Grech, Andreas. "HX
DOS Extender". Archived from the original
on October 3, 2014.
* ^ Aitor (2014-09-03). "Windows on FreeDOS?". FreeDOS. Retrieved
* ^ Lea, Graham (2000-01-13). "Caldera vs
Microsoft - the
settlement". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
* ^ Herbert, Marc (2004-10-01). "Install Free
DOS without any CD,
floppy, USB-key, nor any other removable media". Retrieved 2009-05-26.
* ^ "FreeLoader -
ReactOS Wiki". reactos.org. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
* ^ Hilpert, Dominik (2015-05-07). "Creating a Bootable
Stick". Retrieved 2017-02-09.
* ^ Mueller, Scott (2013-03-22). Upgrading and Repairing PCs, 21st
Edition. Que Publishing.
* ^ Gallagher, Sean (2014-07-03). "Old school: I work in
DOS for an
entire day". ArsTechnica. Condé Nast. Retrieved 2017-02-09.