base data
developers: Jim resound
to version: 0.9 finally (22. April 2005)
Family tree: -
License: GPL
other: Price: free of charge
language: user-defines

FreeDOS is a project with the goal, a free, to MS-DOS - programs and - drivers compatible DOS - To develop operating system. The software progressed far and offers partial features, the MS-DOS to miss leaves. Some the provided external commands are alike or better than its MS-DOS counterpart. The command line interpreter is called FreeCOM.

Table of contents

differences to MS-DOS


PC/GEOS 2.0- 4.x

PC/GEOS is the further developed graphic user surface for DOS - systems and is compatible with the FreeDOS 0.9-Treiber to FreeDOS 0.9.

open in accordance with

open in accordance with a current is PUBLIC, under the GNU GENERAL LICENSE standing continuation of the graphic user surface IN ACCORDANCE WITH for DOS and functions problem-free on FreeDOS.

Windows 1,0 - 3.xx

the Windows versions 1.0 to 3,11 (inclusive “Windows for Workgroups”) represent still no own operating system and can thus problem-free under FreeDOS be started.

Work on []

Windows 95 - ME

these Windows versions are bound to the provided MS-DOS versions. It is not possible to start these from FreeDOS to however it is possible to install Windows and FreeDOS on the same partition and a boat manager to assistanceto take (like above).

Windows NT - XP

with Windows NT /2000/XP arise no more problems, since these versions use no DOS system as basis and bring along a simple boat manager. The FreeDOS Kernel can be registered in boot.ini.

store management

of the EMS - driver supports meanwhile also VCPI, DPMI makes for which programs and DOS extensions possible to use. Also a Ultra DMA (direct memory access) - driver, which together with LBAcache , which similarly as Smartdrv non removable disk data in the XMS - is provided memory buffers,partial faster non removable disk access permits than Windows.

The FreeCOM command line interpreter, as well as Kernel, buffers and some drivers can be loaded into the XMS memory, whereby up to 620 KB of the conventional DOS memory becomes available, which z. B. for memory-hungry plays is practical.


some advantages of FreeDOS: The license is free and open and it is actively developed further. FAT32 is supported and one can of FAT32-Laufwerken boats. LBA non removable disks become depending upon BIOS to 128 GB or even to 2 TBsupported. For long file names (see VFAT) there is a driver named DOSLFN. This function is generally however hardly used.

No support for NTFS is planned, it gives however crowd commodity drivers, which fulfill this task. If FreeDOS in DOSEMU (the DOS emulator of Linux) is started, can install one DOS programs on all of Linux for supported file systems and non removable disks. Also a USB - driver is not planned: Only of the BIOS supported USB devices are usable, if one starts pure FreeDOS. Ina DOS window under another operating system against it the drivers of the other operating system can be along-used indirectly. If one wants nevertheless a USB stick or an external USB - non removable disk to install, if one must itself specially “closed SOURCE” - driver from the Internet to download, those halfwaywell work.

The FreeDOS Kernel is directly provided also with DOSEMU. Under DOSEMU a simulation PC is ordered, whereby often simplified (with DOSEMU provided), optimized particularly on DOS, drivers be used can. The system runs many faster than those GNU - PC simulators Bochs and QEMU or the commercial VMware. On the other side the simulation for programs written very hardware near is not sometimes realistic in DOSEMU enough.


due to a license agreement with Microsoft,Required not to deliver computers without operating system Dell computer began to also offer different models of its n-series to computer manufacturers before-installed FreeDOS.

FreeDOS was created as alternative to MS-DOS, when Microsoft admits 1994 gave that the selling and the product support for MS-DOS are stopped.

An alternative to FreeDOS could become open DOS. The license is somewhat less free, the software is however compatible to Windows. Open DOS is a folder of DR-DOS, which at present of DEVICE logic license comparable under one roughly with crowd commodityone drives out.DR-DOS offers a good memory manager (EMM386) and genuine preemptive multitasking.


PC/GEOS 4.x with ISUI surface

an advanced graphic user surface for FreeDOS is PC/GEOS which in the newest version 4.x inclusive. Office & Internet package“Breadbox ensemble” with the Breadbox computer company is available. A reduced, free “Lite” - version is available as an ENSEMBLE LITE by 5,75 MT Download.

see also

to literature

Wikibooks: FreeDOS manual- Learning and teaching materials

Web on the left of


  > German to English > (Machine translated into English)