Wednesday, October 13, 2010


      FreeDOS can be considered as a opensource substitiute for MS-DOS. Free DOS is an operating system for IBM PC compatible computers.The FreeDOS project began June 29, 1994, after Microsoft announced it would no longer sell or support MS-DOS. It was Jim Hall then posted a manifesto proposing the development of an opensource replacement. Later on other programmers Pat Villani and Tim Norman joined this project.

FreeDOS supports vintage hardware IBM PC as well as modern ones, in addition to embedded computers. Unlike MS-DOS, it is composed of free and open source software, licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). It does not require license fees or royalties and creation of custom distributions is permitted.However, in its "util" section, it includes non-GPL software such as 4DOS.

FreeDOS is mostly compatible with MS-DOS. It supports .COM executables, standard DOS executables and Borland's 16-bit DPMI executables. It is also possible to run 32-bit DPMI executables using DOS extenders. The operating system has several improvements relative to MS-DOS, mostly involving support of newer standards and technologies that did not exist when Microsoft ended support for MS-DOS, such as internationalization, Advanced Power Management TSRs, and integrated ASPI.Furthermore, with use of HX DOS Extender, many Win32 console applications function properly in FreeDOS, as do some GUI programs, like QEMU and Bochs.


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