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86Box 2017-07-21 13-41-37.png
Developer(s) OBattler
Latest version v2.00
Active Yes
Platform(s) Windows
Emulates 86/286/386/486/Pentium/Pentium II
Website 86Box
Source code GitHub

86Box is an open-source, low-level PC emulator. It focuses on PC hardware from the 80's and 90's. A variety of operating systems can be installed in the emulator, which can then be used to launch programs. It is a fork of PCem. It took over from PCem-X after the latter was deprecated.



To run any program, an operating system needs to be installed in 86Box first. It has a dynamic recompiler that gives accurate Pentium/II support. It can also emulate numerous 2D and 3D cards.

86Box has now introduced a new GUI on Windows. This GUI is much more reminiscent of something like Virtual PC 2007 or VMware than the PCem UI, so users of those bits of software should feel more at home now.

Image support


  • IMG (Raw floppy images)
  • TD0
  • FDI (Both Japanese and stream)
  • 86F (Battler's own format, more accurate than IMG, and handles almost any exotic thing you can throw at it.)

Hard disk

  • IMG (Raw hard disk images)
  • HDI (Japanese format, often used with PC-98 emulators)
  • fixed size VHDs (Unofficially, handled as an IMG. Usually works.)


  • ISO
  • Mounting a real or virtual CD-ROM drive

OS support

An incomplete list of operating systems that can be installed on it:

  • DOS
  • Microsoft Windows versions up to Windows XP (including pre-reset Windows Longhorn builds and Windows Vista build 3790.1232)
  • Select any IA-32 flavor of NT before Vista, it works.
  • OS/2
  • Any flavor of Linux that supports the original Pentium
  • BeOS
  • Minix-PC 1.x, 2.x
  • BSD (Only FreeBSD 6.x and OpenBSD i386 tested, NetBSD/i386 has some boot issue.)
  • NEXTSTEP 3.1 to 3.3, OPENSTEP 4.0 to 4.2 (including Apple Rhapsody developer releases)

Hardware support

Video cards

  • MDA
  • Hercules
  • Hercules Plus
  • Hercules InColor
  • CGA
  • PCjr
  • Tandy
  • EGA
  • VGA
  • OAK OTI-067
  • OAK OTI-077
  • A couple of Trident cards
  • Cirrus GD5429 (Preliminary)
  • Tseng ET4000AX
  • Tseng ET4000/W32p
  • Various ATI cards before the Mach 64
  • ATI Mach 64
  • S3 Trio64
  • S3 ViRGE
  • 3dfx Voodoo 1 and Voodoo 2 (need another card that does VGA for this, just like the real deal)
  • Nvidia RIVA 128 (Preliminary)
  • Nvidia RIVA TNT (Preliminary)
  • Nvidia TNT2 (Vanilla, Pro, and Ultra flavors) (Preliminary)

Sound cards

  • PCjr and Tandy
  • Game Blaster or Creative Music System
  • AdLib
  • Adlib Gold
  • Sound Blaster 1.0 through AWE32
  • Gravis Ultrasound
  • Windows Sound System
  • Innovation SSI-2001 (essentially a PC version of the Commodore 64's SID)

The AWE32 has some features missing due to them not being fully understood.

Network cards

  • NE1000 ISA (under test)
  • NE2000 ISA
  • Realtek RTL8029AS (basically a PCI version of the NE2000)

Network cards can use either WinPcap or SLiRP support on the host system, where WinPcap allows for a full network stack, but requires an installation of the WinPcap software on that system, or SLiRP, which basically implements a simple TCP and UDP packet forwarding system based on PAT. This mode does not require additional software to be installed but is limited to basic TCP and UDP based protocols.

The recently re-designed configuration user interface allows for easy configuration of either mode.

Misc add-in cards

  • Adaptec 154xB ISA SCSI adapter
  • Adaptec 154xCF ISA SCSI adapter
  • Buslogic BT-542B ISA SCSI adapter
  • Buslogic BT-958D PCI SCSI adapter

Both disk and CD-ROM device are now supported, and additional development is underway to fully support and implement the BIOS ROMs of these SCSI adapters. Full BIOS support will be needed to be able to boot from these devices.