DOSBox is a free DOS computer emulator. It emulates the entire machine, even CPU, sound card and graphics card, so it does not suffer from ills of Windows' DOS emulator, such as speed bugs. It is also easily configurable with its configuration file, dosbox.conf. It has been ported to other platforms (Linux and Mac) allowing users on these other Operating Systems to play DOS games. Unlike other emulators or VMs, is emphasis is on game compatibility.
DOSBox Is able to emulate a wide variety hardware from the DOS era, from hercules or a Tandy computer with Tandy sound to more more recent hardware, including a number of different SVGA graphics cards. In addition, it is under very active development. Compatibility is continually being improved. It has become one of the most important tools for retro gaming.
DOSBox can be downloaded from here.
DOSBox is able to able to run Windows 3x. This will be especially important as users start to migrate to 64 bit versions of Windows, since these versions of Windows can't run 16 bit code (almost all of Sierra's classic games.) Be sure to see the DOSBox Manual for help with using DOSBox. More help can be found in the guides below and the DOSBox Guides section of the DOSBox forums on VOGONS.
You can install Windows 3x in DOSBox for Windows 3x games. Current CVS builds will also work and might offer greater compatibility or added features. You will need to have the Windows 3x install disks. to do this. Windows 3x will add to the load placed on DOSBox, but will let you run 16 bit Windows games (and a few 32 bit games with the Wins32 add-on) that will not run natively in XP.
This will be increasingly more important as 64 bit Windows replaces 32 bit Windows, as Windows x64 does not have NTVDM (XP's built-in DOS emulator) and cannot run 16 bit programs.
See these step by step guides for help installing Windows 3x in DOSBox.
CVS Builds are experimental versions of DOSBox compiled from the latest code and patches. These might have new features, bug fixes or optimizations. They might not be as stable as the official release.
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