Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Manual Pages


home | help
DOSBOX(1)		    General Commands Manual		     DOSBOX(1)

       dosbox -	an x86/DOS emulator with sound/graphics

       dosbox [-fullscreen] [-startmapper] [-noautoexec] [-securemode] [-user-
       conf] [-scaler scaler] [-forcescaler scaler] [-conf configfile]	[-lang
       langfile] [file]	[-c command] [-exit] [-machine machinetype]

       dosbox -version

       dosbox -editconf	program

       dosbox -opencaptures program

       dosbox -printconf

       dosbox -eraseconf

       dosbox -resetconf

       dosbox -erasemapper

       dosbox -resetmapper

       This manual page	briefly	documents dosbox, an x86/DOS emulator.

       The  optional  file argument should be a	DOS executable or a directory.
       If it is	a dos executable (.com .exe .bat) the program will  run	 auto-
       matically. If it	is a directory,	a DOS session will run with the	direc-
       tory mounted as C:\.

       For an introduction type	INTRO inside dosbox.

       A summary of options is included	below.

	      Start dosbox in fullscreen mode.

	      Start the	internal keymapper on startup of dosbox. You  can  use
	      it to change the keys dosbox uses.

	      Skips the	[autoexec] section of the loaded configuration file.

	      Same as -noautoexec, but adds	-securemode at the end
	      of AUTOEXEC.BAT (which in	turn disables any changes to  how  the
	      drives are mounted inside	dosbox)

	      Load  the	 configuration	file located in	~/.dosbox. Can be com-
	      bined with the -conf option.

       -scaler scaler
	      Uses the graphical scaler	specified by scaler. See the  configu-
	      ration file for the available scalers

       -forcescaler scaler
	      Similar  to  the	-scaler	parameter, but tries to	force usage of
	      the specified scaler even	if it might not	fit.

       -c command
	      Runs the specified command before	running	file.	Multiple  com-
	      mands  can  be  specified.  Each	command	 should	 start with -c
	      though. A	command	can be:	an Internal Program, a DOS command  or
	      an executable on a mounted drive.

       -conf configfile
	      Start dosbox with	the options specified in configfile. This file
	      has a section in which you can put commands you wish to  execute
	      on  startup. Multiple configfiles	can be present at the command-

       -lang langfile
	      Start dosbox with	the language specified in langfile.

       -exit  dosbox will close	itself when the	DOS program specified by  file

       -machine	machinetype
	      Setup  dosbox  to	 emulate  a  specific  type of machine.	 Valid
	      choices  are:  hercules,	cga,  tandy,   pcjr,   ega,   vgaonly,
	      svga_s3(default),	  svga_et3000,	 svga_et4000,	svga_paradise,
	      vesa_nolfb, vesa_oldvbe.	The machinetype	has influence on  both
	      the videocard and	the available soundcards.

	      Output version information and exit. Useful for frontends.

       -editconf program
	      calls  program  with  as first parameter the configuration file.
	      You can specify this command more	than once.  In	this  case  it
	      will  move to second program if the first	one fails to start.

       -opencaptures program
	      calls  program with as  first paramater the location of the cap-
	      tures folder.

	      prints the location of the default configuration file.

       -eraseconf, -resetconf
	      removes the default configuration	file.

       -erasemapper, -resetmapper
	      removes the mapperfile configured	in the clean default  configu-
	      ration file.

       dosbox supports most of the DOS commands	found in In addi-
       tion, the following extra commands are available:

       MOUNT [-t  type]	 [-size	 size]	driveletter  sourcedirectory  [-ioctl]
	      [-usecd number] [-label drivelabel] [-freesize freesize]

       MOUNT -cd

       MOUNT -u	driveletter

       Program to mount	local directories as drives inside dosbox.

		     The driveletter inside dosbox (eg.	C).

		     The local directory you want to have inside dosbox.

	      -t type
		     Type  of the mounted directory. Supported are: dir	(stan-
		     dard), floppy, cdrom.

	      -size drivesize
		     Sets the size of the  drive.  See	the  examples  in  the
		     README for	details.

	      -freesize	size_in_mb
		     Sets  the	amount	of  free space available on a drive in
		     MB's. This	is a more simple version of -size.

	      -label drivelabel
		     Sets the name of the drive	to drivelabel. Needed on  some
		     systems if	the cd label isn't read	correctly. Useful when
		     a program can't find its cdrom. If	you  don't  specify  a
		     label  and	 no  lowlevel  support	is  selected (-usecd #
		     and/or -ioctl/aspi):

		     For win32:	label is extracted from	"Real Drive".

		     For Linux:	label is set to	NO_LABEL.

		     If	you do specify a label this label will be kept as long
		     as	the drive
			    is mounted.	It will	not be updated !!

	      -ioctl Forces to use ioctl commands.

	      -usecd number
		     Forces to use SDL cdrom support for drive number.	Number
		     can be found by -cd.

	      -cd    Displays all detected cdrom drives	and their numbers. Use
		     with -usecd.

	      -u     Unmounts  a mounted drive.	Doesn't	work on	virtual	Drives
		     (like Z:\)


       To mount	your /home/dos/dosgames	directory as C drive in	dosbox:
	      mount c /home/dos/dosgames


       Display the amount of free memory

       CONFIG [-writeconf] [-writelang]	file

       CONFIG -securemode

       Write the current configuration or language settings to file, which  is
       located on the local filesystem.	Not a mounted drive in dosbox.

		     Switchesdosbox  to	 a  more secure	mode. In this mode the
		     internal commands MOUNT, IMGMOUNT and  BOOT  won't	 work.
		     It's  not	possible  either to create a new configfile or
		     languagefile in this mode.	 (Warning you  can  only  undo
		     this mode by restarting dosbox.)

       The  configuration file controls	various	settings of dosbox: The	amount
       of emulated memory, the emulated	soundcards and many  more  things.  It
       futher allows acces to AUTOEXEC.BAT.

       The  language  file controls all	visible	ouput of the internal commands
       and the internal	dos.  See the section FILES for	more information.

       LOADFIX [-size] [programname] [parameters]

       LOADFIX -f

       Program to reduce the amount of	memory available. Useful for old  pro-
       grams which don't expect	much memory to be free.

		     The  name	of the program which is	executed after loadfix
		     eats up its memory.

		     Parameters	given to the programname executable.

	      -size  The amount	of memory to eat up (in	kb). Example -32,  -64
		     or	-128

	      -f     Frees all memory eaten up by loadfix.


       Make dosbox reread the directory	structure. Useful if you changed some-
       thing on	a mounted drive	outside	dosbox.(CTRL-F4	does this as well!)


       A utility to mount disk images and CD-ROM images	in dosbox.

       Read the	README of dosbox for the full and correct syntax.


       Boot will start floppy images or	hard disk images  independent  of  the
       operating  system  emulation offered by dosbox.	This will allow	you to
       play booter floppies or boot to other operating systems inside dosbox.

       Read the	README of dosbox for the full and correct syntax.


       You need	to enable IPX networking in the	configuration file of  dosbox.
       All  of	the IPX	networking is managed through the internal dosbox pro-
       gram IPXNET. For	help on	the IPX	networking from	 inside	 dosbox,  type
       IPXNET  HELP  and  the  program will list out the commands and relevant

       Read the	README of dosbox for the full and correct syntax.


       Keyb can	change the keyboardlayout and the codepage used	inside dosbox.

       Read the	README of dosbox for the full and correct syntax.

       Configuration and language files	use a format similar to	 Windows  .ini
       files.	If no configfile is specified at the commandline, a file named
       dosbox.conf (if present in the current directory) will be loaded	 auto-
       matically.  If  a  configfile  is specified at the commandline that one
       will be used instead. If	no configfile is specified  or	found  in  the
       current	directory   then dosbox	will load one from ~/.dosbox/. It will
       try to create one if there is none.

       ALT-ENTER   Go full screen and back.

       ALT-PAUSE   Pause emulation.

       CTRL-F1	   Start the keymapper.

       CTRL-ALT-F5 Start/Stop creating a movie of the screen.

       CTRL-F4	   Swap	mounted	disk-image (Only used with  imgmount).	Update
		   directory cache for all drives!

       CTRL-F5	   Save	a screenshot.(png)

       CTRL-F6	   Start/Stop recording	sound output to	a wave file.

       CTRL-ALT-F7 Start/Stop recording	of OPL commands.

       CTRL-ALT-F8 Start/Stop the recording of raw MIDI	commands.

       CTRL-F7	   Decrease frameskip.

       CTRL-F8	   Increase frameskip.

       CTRL-F9	   Kill	dosbox.

       CTRL-F10	   Capture/Release the mouse.

       CTRL-F11	   Slow	down emulation (Increase dosbox	Cycles).

       CTRL-F12	   Speed up emulation (Decrease	dosbox Cycles).

       ALT-F12	   Unlock speed	(turbo button).

       These  are  the default keybindings. They can be	changed	in the keymap-

       Saved/recorded files can	be found in current_directory/capture (can  be
       changed in the configfile).  The	directory has to exist prior to	start-
       ing dosbox else nothing gets saved/recorded !

       Note: Once you increase your dosbox cycles beyond your computer's maxi-
       mum  capacity, it will produce the same effect as slowing down the emu-
       lation.	This maximum will vary from computer to	computer, there	is  no

       Fast  machine. My guess would be	pentium-2 400+ to get decent emulation
       of games	written	for an 286 machine.  For protected mode	games a	1  Ghz
       machine	is  recommended	 and don't expect them to run fast though!! Be
       sure to read the	next section on	how to speed it	up somewhat.

   To run resource-demanding games
       dosbox emulates the CPU,	the sound and graphic cards, and some  other
       stuff,  all  at	the  same  time.  You  can  overclock  dosbox by using
       CTRL-F12, but you'll be limited by the power of your  actual  CPU.  You
       can  see	 how  much free	time your true CPU has by various utils	(top).
       Once 100% of your real CPU time is used there  is  no  further  way  to
       speed  up  dosbox  unless  you reduce the load generated	by the non-CPU
       parts of	dosbox.


       Close every program but dosbox.

       Overclock  dosbox until 100% of your CPU	is used.(CTRL-F12)

       Since VGA emulation is the most demanding part of dosbox	 in  terms  of
       actual  CPU  usage,  we'll  start  here.	 Increase the number of	frames
       skipped (in increments of one) by  pressing  CTRL-F8.  Your  CPU	 usage
       should  decrease.  Go back one step and repeat this until the game runs
       fast enough for you.  Please note that this is a	trade off: you lose in
       fluidity	of video what you gain in speed.

       While  we  hope	that,  one day,	dosbox will run	virtually all programs
       ever made for the PC...	we are not there yet. At present,  dosbox  run
       on  a  1.7  Gigahertz  PC  is roughly the equivalent of a 25MHz 386 PC.
       While the 0.60 release has added	support	for "protected mode"  allowing
       for  more  complex  and	recent programs, but note that this support is
       early in	development and	nowhere	near as	complete as  the  support  for
       386 real-mode games (or earlier). Also note that	"protected mode" games
       need substantially more resources and may require a much	faster proces-
       sor for you to run it properly in dosbox.

       Not  all	 DOS programs work properly.  dosbox will exit without warning
       if an error occurred.

       The README in /usr/local/share/doc/dosbox

       This manual page	 was  written  by  Peter  Veenstra  <H.P.Veenstra@stu->  and  James	 Oakley	<>,	for the	Debian
       system (but may be used by others).

				 Feb 26, 2010			     DOSBOX(1)


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help