Relive your old memories with DOSBox!!

Do you guys remember playing those old school DOS games that came around during the early 9o’s. I certainly remember playing those games and they were quite fun to play and a great way to kill the time. If you miss playing those games or want to play them, then you should try DOSBox. Dosbox is a DOS emulator  that allows you to run old PC games and programs. I use it mainly for light gaming. DOSBox is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS.

Sango fighter in DOSBox

To install DOSBox on Ubuntu, you can open up a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install dosbox

Alternatively, you can install it from the Software Centre.

Windows and Mac users can download their respective files from here.

Now, that you have DOSBox installed, you would also need to grab a copy of a game to play. I’m using Sango Fighter because it’s free, legal download and I like playing it! When you will download the game you will get a .zip file, Extract it in  the directory where you want to keep your games like I have extracted it in /home/yogo/oldgames directory. After that, if you want, you can get rid of the .zip file.

When you will start DOSBox, you will get a Windows style command prompt with a short info about DOSBox inside a blue box. Here’s how it looks:

DOSBox startup screen

To play the game, you first have to create a new drive for DOSBox that will contain your game. To create C drive with my oldgames directory, I had to type the following in DOSBox:

mount c /home/yogo/oldgames

This will create a C drive which will have your games.

Next, you have to navigate to the C: drive which can be done by typing c: in the DOSBox.

Now, all you need to do is to find your way to the game, which is a .exe file that will run the game. You can type ‘dir’ to get a list of contents and ‘cd’ to change directories. To play sango fighter, the file for which is sango.exe, is located inside the sango fighter directory. I have to go inside this directory and then execute sango.exe

The default CPU speed would be fine but if you want to increase the CPU speed then you can press ‘Ctrl+F12‘ or if you want to decrease it you have to press ‘Ctrl+F11‘. Similarly to increse frameskip, you can press ‘Ctrl+F8‘ and to decrease frameskip you can press ‘Ctrl+F7‘.

Everytime you will start DOSBox, you have to mount your game directory which can be quite frustrating at times. So, if you want to auto-mount your games directory then you have to edit the dosbox-0.74.conf file located in the .dosbox directory in your home directory. Open it with any text editor and add the command that you want to execute. Here’s what I did:

# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
# You can put your MOUNT lines here.

mount c /home/yogo/oldgames

Now, every time you will start DOSBox  your added lines will be auto executed.

auto mount the games directory at start up

There are many front ends also available for DOSBox, you can get a list of them here –> DBGL is the most popular one.

I think that would be all for this time. Have fun 🙂 !!


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