DOSBox

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DOSBox
DOSBox.png
Developer(s) DOSBox Crew
Latest version 2023.10.06 [+]
Active No
Platform(s) Windows
Linux
FreeBSD and more
Emulates 286 and 386
Website DOSBox.com
Support ($) Bitcoin
PayPal ([email protected])
PayPal ([email protected])
PayPal (Peter Veenstra)
Programmed in C++
License GNU GPLv2
Source code tgz

DOSBox is a free and open-source, high-level 286 and 386 emulator written in C++.

Downloads[edit]

Windows Linux macOS Latest Dev Builds
Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD RiscOS OS/2 Latest Stable Builds
Dragonbox Pyra Pyra build

Note: These versions are years out-of-date and missing countless features and bug fixes. DOSBox forks are better choice for almost all users.

Overview[edit]

DOSBox is capable of emulating many older computer games that are otherwise very difficult if not impossible to play on modern operating systems and hardware. It has very high compatibility, as it can be configured to emulate the environment of many machines, with support for various display modes, including CGA, EGA, Hercules, Tandy, and VGA. With some work, it is even possible to install and load old Windows operating systems, such as Windows 3.11 and Windows 95, thus potentially being able to play games made for those platforms.

Frontends[edit]

Because DOSBox doesn't have a GUI, projects were made to fulfill that role.

Main article: Frontends#DOSBox

See Also[edit]

Forks[edit]

DOSBox has many forks over the years. This section attempts to list the most notable ones. DOSBox's official wiki also has a partial list of DOSBox forks. Even more forks are listed in the DOSBox forks page of DOSBox Staging's GitHub wiki.

Notable active forks[edit]

The following forks are standalone emulators:

DOSBox-X
DOSBox-X-screenshot-sdl2.png
The SDL2 UI on Windows 10. DOSBox-X also has versions for SDL1 and MinGW in the installer.
Developer(s) Jonathan Campbell (maintainer)
Wengier, and others
Latest version 2023.10.06 [+]
Active Yes
Platform(s) Windows
macOS
Linux
DOS
Emulates x86 CPUs
NEC PC-98
Website dosbox-x.com
License GNU GPLv2
Source code GitHub
DOSBox Staging
DOSBox Staging intro.png
DOSBox staging intro screen.
Developer(s) kcgen (maintainer) and others
Latest version 0.81.0 [+]
Active Yes
Platform(s) Windows
macOS
Linux
Emulates x86 CPUs
Website dosbox-staging.github.io
Support ($) GitHub Sponsor
Open Collective
License GNU GPLv2
Source code GitHub

The following forks are cores for libretro:

DOSBox Pure
DOSBox Pure start menu.png
DOSBox Pure start menu.
Developer(s) Bernhard Schelling (maintainer) and others
Latest version 0.9.9 [+]
Active Yes
Platform(s) Windows
Linux
Raspberry Pi
Emulates x86 CPUs
Website Site
Support ($) Ko-fi
PayPal
Gamepad Phoenix
License GNU GPLv2
Source code GitHub
DOSBox-core
DOSBox-core MIDI on VSTi.jpg
DOSBox-core running Ultima 8 with a standalone MIDI synthesizer (Roland's Sound Canvas emulator VSTi plugin "Sound Canvas VA") which is run using a VSTi host "Falcosoft Midi Player" (runs on Linux via Wine here).
Developer(s) Nikos Chantziaras (maintainer) and others
Latest version git [+]
Active Yes
Platform(s) Windows
Linux
Android
Emulates x86 CPUs
Website Site
License GNU GPLv2
Source code GitHub

Some notable dead forks[edit]

DOSBox ECE
DOSBox ECE game directory.png
DOSBox ECE game directory screenshot.
Developer(s) YesterPlay (maintainer) and others
Latest version r4482 [+]
Active No
Platform(s) Windows
Linux
Emulates x86 CPUs
Website yesterplay.net/dosboxece
License GNU GPLv2
Source code yesterplay.net/dosboxece
DOSBox Mega Build
Was an enhanced build of DOSBox focused on serial/networking support. Contains the NE2000 patch, parallel port passthrough, virtual printer, OPL passthrough, and others. However, it hasn't been updated in years, and most of what it added was covered by the actively maintained DOSBox-X fork.
DOSBox SVN Daum
Was an enhanced build of DOSBox by ykhwong, with support for Direct3D and HLSL shaders, Glide, Ethernet, virtual printer, and a built-in UI. However, it hasn't been updated in years, and most of what it added was covered by the actively maintained DOSBox-X fork.