DOSBox is a freeware and easy-to-use emulator that you can use on any disk operating system compatible with MS-DOS with the primary focus on video games. It is basically a command-line program, and there are two configuration options; modifying a plain text configuration file or through a couple of command-line arguments. The user community has contributed multiple graphical Front Ends for ease of use.
The goal of the project is to be completely compatible with all DOS programs, and it does its best to provide the same experience. The vanilla version doesn’t support long filenames, which means that you will have to use the 8.3 naming convention with up to eight characters before the full stop and close it with a maximum of 4 characters for the file extension.
The official website has multiple versions with support for long filenames, but there is a catch of possible incompatibility with a few older programs. Another great feature of DOSBox is Hardware emulation, and because of this, it has the ability to run DOS programs that require the CPU to be in either protected or real mode.
DOSBox emulation performance is not dependent on the host CPU as it is built to emulate CPU by interpretation. It uses dynamic instruction translation to speed up execution on systems that offer RISC instruction sets like ARM or x86. The use of Simple DirectMedia Layer external library helps it to manage input, graphics, audio devices and build new versions of DOSBox from the source.
vDosPlus is based on DOSBox and vDos and is a non-gaming DOS emulator for Microsoft Windows. You can use it to run DOS programs on your 64-bit Windows systems. It offers many essential features like printing to Windows-only printers and file-locking support. There are also several unique features embedded in the utility, such as display and mouse support and better integration with Windows.
The previous name of vDosPlus was vDos-LFN because of its emphasis on additional support for Windows-style long filenames. The major highlights of the solution include robust printing functionalities o print to PostScript and PCL printers alongside Windows-only printers. It is compatible with 64 and 32-bit versions of Windows, including 10, 7, 8, XP, Vista, and 2000. The program provides you with the ability to customize the config settings by simply changing the parameters in the configuration file to your requirements or making do with the default settings. It offers great command-line as well as other functionalities as it comes with a built-in 4DOS 8.00 shell.
DOSEMU is a Linux application that empowers the Linux operating system to launch all DOS programs without running into problems. You can use it for gaming as well as non-gaming purposes. The app is free to use and is easy to handle for people of all skill levels. You will have no difficulty in understanding its functionalities, thanks to its having a general layout. The program doesn’t require high system resources and can function on minimum RAM and CPU, enabling you to run it on any system having a basic amount of RAM and processor.
FreeDOS is an open-source operating system that was first introduced in 1998 and is developed to run on IBM PC-compatible computers. The purpose is to deliver a full-fledged MS-DOS compatible environment for booting legacy software and embedded systems support. You can boot the OS from multiple sources, such as a USB flash drive and floppy disk. It is written in C and the Assembly language and can run better under x86 emulation or virtualization. The difference between it and other MS-DOS versions is that FreeDOS is made up of open-source software and follows the terms of the GNU General Public License.
4DOS, developed by JP Software, is a complete command-line interpreter whose purpose is to take the current position of the Command.com command interpreter in MS-DOS and Windows. It was developed jointly by three developers and is packed with many enhancements that make it a must-have. The solution is deployed as a command-line replacement for multiple operating systems, including Windows 98SE, Windows 95, Windows 98, DR-DOS, MS-DOS, and IBM PC DOS. By default, both Windows 2000 and Windows NT are equipped with cmd.exe and COMMAND.COM, meaning it is possible to install derivatives, 4NT, and DOS. 4DOS default file extension is .btm.
jDosbox is a cross-platform Dosbox-based Java x86 emulator for Linux, Microsoft Windows, and Mac systems. The program features a simple UI, enabling even the most junior level users to understand it without problems. It can be used for general, and gaming needs. While playing games on it, you will be able to check various important stats like Frameskip and CPU speed. This is a great feature and removes the need for you to install external programs for monitoring PC resource consumption. Lastly, it has the capability to run Dosbox built-in DOX and can easily boot into Windows NT4/95/98.
vDOS is a handy little program that enables you to run DOS applications in Microsoft Windows with great ease. The aim is to allow everyone with newer versions of Windows to launch DOS applications without encountering errors. In the past, DOS programs were easy to run on 32-bit versions of Windows due to it having NTVDM.
With the passage of time, more and more people started adopting 64-bit versions of Windows 10, and 11 and these were incapable of running DOS applications. Any user who tried would have to stare at a popup window, revealing the error. Now all these issues can be eliminated in an instant thanks to vDOS. You can quickly run applications in a scalable window and crisp TTF font.
It is quite advanced and features zero nonsense with the whole focus on serious end0user programs. You can have it set up in no time at all as there is literally no need for loading drivers, language character set, set file handles, and keyboard layout. Other key features include portability, the presence of essential features like copying/pasting of Windows text to DOS and vice versa, and the ability to run multiple DOS applications at the same time.
PC DOS is a defunct operating system designed for the IBM Personal Computer by IBM, which also owns the selling rights. During its lifetime, it had seven versions, with each release having the version number as its name. All the updates were released to either fix the performance or compatibility issues or to enhance the functionalities by the addition of new features. Similar to many other programs, PC DOS also features a Command-line interface to enable the user to perform the necessary tasks. Lastly, PC DOS was written in C and the Assembly language and is no longer being supported by the developer.