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.\" Hey, EMACS: -*- nroff -*-
.TH DOSBOX 1 "Feb 26, 2010"
.\" Please adjust this date whenever revising the manpage.
dosbox \- an x86/DOS emulator with sound/graphics
.B dosbox
.B [\-fullscreen]
.B [\-startmapper]
.B [\-noautoexec]
.B [\-securemode]
.B [\-userconf]
.BI "[\-scaler " scaler ]
.BI "[\-forcescaler " scaler ]
.BI "[\-conf " configfile ]
.BI "[\-lang " langfile ]
.B [file]
.BI "[\-c " command ]
.B [\-exit]
.BI "[\-machine " machinetype ]
.B dosbox \-version
.BI "dosbox \-editconf" " program"
.BI "dosbox \-opencaptures" " program"
.B dosbox \-printconf
.B dosbox \-eraseconf
.B dosbox \-resetconf
.B dosbox \-erasemapper
.B dosbox \-resetmapper
This manual page briefly documents
.BR "dosbox" ", an x86/DOS emulator."
.RB "The optional " file " argument should be a DOS executable or a"
directory. If it is a dos executable (.com .exe .bat) the program will
run automatically. If it is a directory, a DOS session will run with
the directory mounted as C:\\.
.RI "For an introduction type " INTRO
.RB "inside " dosbox .
A summary of options is included below.
.B \-fullscreen
.RB "Start " dosbox " in fullscreen mode."
.B \-startmapper
.RB "Start the internal keymapper on startup of " dosbox ". You can use it to change the keys " dosbox " uses."
.B \-noautoexec
Skips the [autoexec] section of the loaded configuration file.
.B \-securemode
.RB "Same as " \-noautoexec ", but adds " " \-securemode"
at the end of
(which in turn disables any changes to how the drives are mounted
.RB "inside " dosbox )
.B \-userconf
Load the configuration file located in ~/.dosbox. Can be combined with
.RB "the " \-conf " option."
.BI \-scaler " scaler"
.RI "Uses the graphical scaler specified by " scaler ". See the configuration"
file for the available scalers
.BI \-forcescaler " scaler"
.RB "Similar to the " \-scaler " parameter, but tries to force usage of"
the specified scaler even if it might not fit.
.BI \-c " command"
.RI "Runs the specified " command " before running "
.BR file .
.RI "Multiple commands can be specified. Each " command " should start with "
.BR \-c " though. A command can be:"
an Internal Program, a DOS command or an executable on a mounted drive.
.BI \-conf " configfile
.RB "Start " dosbox " with the options specified in "
.IR configfile ". This file has a section in which you can put commands you "
wish to execute on startup. Multiple
.IR configfiles " can be present at the commandline."
.BI \-lang " langfile
.RB "Start " dosbox " with the language specified in "
.IR langfile .
.B "\-exit "
.BR "dosbox" " will close itself when the DOS program specified by "file " ends."
.BI \-machine " machinetype
.RB "Setup " dosbox " to emulate a specific type of machine."
.RI "Valid choices are: " "hercules, cga, tandy, pcjr, ega, vgaonly, svga_s3(default), svga_et3000, svga_et4000, svga_paradise, vesa_nolfb, vesa_oldvbe".
The machinetype has influence on both the videocard and the available
.B \-version
Output version information and exit. Useful for frontends.
.BI \-editconf " program"
.RI calls " program" " with as first parameter the configuration file."
You can specify this command more than once. In this case it will
.RI " move to second " program " if the first one fails to start."
.BI \-opencaptures " program"
.RI "calls " program " with as first paramater the location of the captures folder."
.B \-printconf
prints the location of the default configuration file.
.B \-eraseconf, \-resetconf
removes the default configuration file.
.B \-erasemapper, \-resetmapper
removes the mapperfile configured in the clean default configuration file.
.B dosbox
supports most of the DOS commands found in In addition, the
following extra commands are available:
.BI "MOUNT [\-t " type "] [\-size " size ]
.I driveletter sourcedirectory
.B [\-ioctl]
.BI "[\-usecd " number "] [\-label " drivelabel "] [\-freesize " freesize ]
.B MOUNT \-cd
.B MOUNT \-u driveletter
.RB "Program to mount local directories as drives inside " dosbox .
.I driveletter
The driveletter inside dosbox (eg. C).
.I sourcedirectory
The local directory you want to have inside dosbox.
.BI \-t " type"
Type of the mounted directory. Supported are: dir (standard), floppy, cdrom.
.BI \-size " drivesize"
Sets the size of the drive. See the examples in the README for details.
.BI \-freesize " size_in_mb"
Sets the amount of free space available on a drive in MB's. This is a more
.RB "simple version of " \-size .
.BI \-label " drivelabel"
.RI "Sets the name of the drive to " drivelabel ". Needed on some"
systems if the cd label isn't read correctly. Useful when a
program can't find its cdrom. If you don't specify a label and no
.RB "lowlevel support is selected (" "\-usecd #" " and/or " "\-ioctl/aspi" "):"
For win32: label is extracted from "Real Drive".
For Linux: label is set to NO_LABEL.
If you do specify a label this label will be kept as long as the drive
is mounted. It will not be updated !!
.B \-ioctl
Forces to use ioctl commands.
.BI \-usecd " number"
Forces to use SDL cdrom support for drive number.
.IR Number " can be found by "
.BR \-cd ".
.B \-cd
.RB "Displays all detected cdrom drives and their numbers. Use with " \-usecd "."
.B \-u
Unmounts a mounted drive. Doesn't work on virtual Drives (like Z:\\)
.B "Example:"
.RB "To mount your /home/dos/dosgames directory as C drive in " dosbox :
mount c /home/dos/dosgames
Display the amount of free memory
.B CONFIG [\-writeconf] [\-writelang] file
.B CONFIG \-securemode
.RB "Write the current configuration or language settings to " file ,
which is located on the local filesystem. Not a mounted drive in
.BR dosbox .
.B \-securemode
.RB Switches dosbox " to a more secure mode. In this mode the"
.RI "internal commands " MOUNT ", " IMGMOUNT " and " BOOT " won\'t work."
It\'s not possible
either to create a new configfile or languagefile in this mode.
(Warning you can only undo this mode by restarting
.BR dosbox .)
The configuration file controls various settings of
.BR dosbox ": The amount of emulated memory,"
the emulated soundcards and many
.RI "more things. It futher allows acces to " AUTOEXEC.BAT .
The language file controls all visible ouput of the internal commands and
the internal dos.
.RB "See the section " FILES " for more information."
.B LOADFIX [\-size] [programname] [parameters]
Program to reduce the amount of memory available. Useful for old programs which don't expect much memory to be free.
.B [programname]
The name of the program which is executed after loadfix eats up its memory.
.B [parameters]
.RB "Parameters given to the " programname " executable."
.B \-size
The amount of memory to eat up (in kb). Example \-32, \-64 or \-128
.B \-f
Frees all memory eaten up by loadfix.
.RB "Make " dosbox " reread the directory structure. Useful if you changed
.RB "something on a mounted drive outside " dosbox ".(CTRL\-F4 does"
this as well!)
.RB "A utility to mount disk images and CD\(hyROM images in " dosbox .
.RB "Read the " README " of " dosbox " for the full and correct syntax."
Boot will start floppy images or hard disk images independent of the
.RB "operating system emulation offered by " dosbox ". This will allow you to play booter floppies or boot to other operating systems inside " dosbox .
.RB "Read the " README " of " dosbox " for the full and correct syntax."
.RB "You need to enable IPX networking in the configuration file of " dosbox .
.RB "All of the IPX networking is managed through the internal " dosbox " program
.BR IPXNET ". For help on the IPX networking from inside " dosbox ", type"
.BR "IPXNET HELP" " and the program will list out the commands and relevant documentation."
.RB "Read the " README " of " dosbox " for the full and correct syntax."
Keyb can change the keyboardlayout and the codepage used inside dosbox.
.RB "Read the " README " of " dosbox " for the full and correct syntax."
Configuration and language files use a format similar to Windows .ini files.
If no configfile is specified at the commandline, a file named
.BR dosbox.conf " (if present in the current directory) will be"
loaded automatically. If a configfile is specified at the commandline
that one will be used instead. If no configfile is specified or found
in the current directory
.RB " then dosbox will load one from " ~/.dosbox/ ". It will try to create "
one if there is none.
.TP 12m
Go full screen and back.
Pause emulation.
Start the keymapper.
Start/Stop creating a movie of the screen.
Swap mounted disk\(hyimage (Only used with imgmount). Update directory cache
for all drives!
Save a screenshot.(png)
Start/Stop recording sound output to a wave file.
Start/Stop recording of OPL commands.
Start/Stop the recording of raw MIDI commands.
Decrease frameskip.
Increase frameskip.
Kill dosbox.
Capture/Release the mouse.
Slow down emulation (Increase dosbox Cycles).
Speed up emulation (Decrease dosbox Cycles).
.IP ALT\-F12
Unlock speed (turbo button).
These are the default keybindings. They can be changed in the keymapper.
Saved/recorded files can be found in current_directory/capture
(can be changed in the configfile).
.RB "The directory has to exist prior to starting " dosbox " else nothing"
gets saved/recorded !
.BR "Note: " "Once you increase your " dosbox " cycles beyond your computer's maximum
capacity, it will produce the same effect as slowing down the emulation.
This maximum will vary from computer to computer, there is no standard.
Fast machine. My guess would be pentium\-2 400+ to get decent emulation
of games written for an 286 machine.
For protected mode games a 1 Ghz machine is recommended and don't expect
them to run fast though!! Be sure to read the next section on how to speed
it up somewhat.
.SS "To run resource\-demanding games"
.BR dosbox " emulates the CPU, the sound and graphic cards, and some other"
.RB " stuff, all at the same time. You can overclock " dosbox " by using CTRL\-F12, but"
you'll be limited by the power of your actual CPU. You can see how much free
time your true CPU has by various utils (top). Once 100% of your real CPU time is
.RB "used there is no further way to speed up " dosbox " unless you reduce the load"
.RB "generated by the non\-CPU parts of " dosbox .
.RB "Close every program but " dosbox .
.RB "Overclock " dosbox " until 100% of your CPU is used.(CTRL\-F12)"
.RB "Since VGA emulation is the most demanding part of " dosbox " in terms of actual"
CPU usage, we'll start here. Increase the number of frames skipped (in
increments of one) by pressing CTRL\-F8. Your CPU usage should decrease.
Go back one step and repeat this until the game runs fast enough for you.
Please note that this is a trade off: you lose in fluidity of video what you
gain in speed.
.RB "While we hope that, one day, " dosbox " will run virtually all programs ever made for the PC..."
.RB "we are not there yet. At present, " dosbox " run on a 1.7 Gigahertz PC is roughly the equivalent of a 25MHz 386 PC."
While the 0.60 release has added support for "protected mode" allowing for more complex and recent programs,
but note that this support is early in development and nowhere near as complete as the support for 386 real\-mode
games (or earlier). Also note that "protected mode" games need substantially more resources and may
.RB "require a much faster processor for you to run it properly in " dosbox .
Not all DOS programs work properly.
.BR dosbox " will exit without warning if an error occurred."
The README in /usr/share/doc/dosbox
This manual page was written by Peter Veenstra <> and James Oakley <>,
for the Debian system (but may be used by others).
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