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f : 19 September 2011 • 3:13AM -0400

Re: [Freedos-devel] Freedos and lack of drivers
by Rugxulo



2011/9/18 Aitor SantamarĂ­a <>:
> 2011/9/13 Jim Hall <jhall@free...>:
>> In DOS, it would be awesome to have true multitasking
> Pick the smallest Linux distribution that you know.

These days that would probably be MicroCore (aka, TinyCore w/o X11)
Linux. It's about a 7 MB .ISO download. I think the RAM usage is
pretty low. I haven't tested DOSEMU, but I think nowadays you need
Glibc 2.2, kernel 2.6, etc. (which it has, IIRC). So you can't just
randomly pick any old Linux, sadly.

Some people have suggested Debian in the past as a good stable
starting point. But I remember DeLi 0.7.2 (uclibc-based) had a DOSEMU
package, and that's been resurrected as ConnochaetOS (though I haven't
tested it yet):

> Remove X and anything about graphics.

Yes but easier said than done.

> Remove any Unix stuff,

I guess you mean all the unnecessary POSIX tools. At least
substituting Busybox should cover a good deal of it.

The barebones stuff is kernel (vmlinuz), initrd.gz, and root system
(/bin/sh) etc. (I think), and Gujin is a good boot loader (with DOS
version), meant to replace Loadlin / Lilo.

> Wouldn't it be great that you'd have several FreeDOSes running
> simultaneously? (switch with Ctrl+Alt+Fn).

Well, yes, that would be the whole point. But here's a naive question:
can a single DOSEMU session use more than 64 MB of memory? (Newer
GCCs really eat a lot.)

> You wouldn't have the problem of "modern hardware" (Linux does the
> part), but then you have quite other disadvantages (I don't know how
> good would be the drive mapping process that DOSEMU does. Would be
> nice if DOSEMU scanned all the disks and mapped ALL partitions
> automatically).

Well, the only disadvantage isn't really one at all:  it's not perfect
(but no DOS environment, or any OS, is). So there are bugs and
incompatibilities, just like anything. But overall it works quite

> In the meantime, yes, at least task switching would be great.

Old-style real mode stuff should be easy to swap in and out of memory.
(I remember some old swappers from 80xxx snippets, but I don't know
how stable they were.) I imagine that it's when you start adding ten
bazillion memory managers that things get complex.

The real problem is trying to determine what apps you want to run.
Personally I'd prefer DJGPP (cmdline, textmode) stuff and similar, but
even that is probably a bit too complex for a simple memory swapper.
Though of course DOSEMU handles DPMI fine.

P.S. Actually at one time I wanted to build pcemu under (DOS) Minix
2.04 to be able to fake multitasking, but ACK didn't like the stock
sources, and I never fiddled with it further.

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