Skip to content
Switch branches/tags


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time
May 1, 2022

DOSBox Staging

GPL-2.0-or-later Chat

This repository attempts to modernize the DOSBox codebase by using current development practices and tools, fixing issues, and adding features that better support today's systems.

Build status

Linux x86_64 build status Linux other build status Windows build status macOS build status

Code quality status

Coverity status LGTM grade

Summary of differences compared to upstream

For developers

DOSBox Staging DOSBox
Version control Git SVN
Language C++17 C++031
SDL >= 2.0.5 1.2
Logging Loguru for C++6 Yes, in-house class
Buildsystem Meson or Visual Studio 2019 Autotools or Visual Studio 2003
CI Yes No
Static analysis Yes2,3,4,5 No
Dynamic analysis Yes No
clang-format Yes No
Development builds Yes No
Unit tests Yes6 No
Automated regression tests WIP No

Feature differences

DOSBox Staging supports features not included in DOSBox SVN. Below is a detailed comparison of feature differences between DOSBox Staging and DOSBox SVN.

Codecs supported for CD-DA emulation:

DOSBox Staging DOSBox SVN
Opus Yes (libopus) No
OGG/Vorbis Yes (built-in) Yes - SDL_sound 1.2 (libvorbis)6,*
MP3 Yes (built-in) Yes - SDL_sound 1.2 (libmpg123)6,*,§
FLAC Yes (built-in) No§
WAV Yes (built-in) Yes - SDL_sound 1.2 (built-in)7,*
AIFF No Yes - SDL_sound 1.2 (built-in)7,*

*- SDL 1.2 was last updated 2013-08-17 and SDL_sound 2008-04-20
† - 8/16/24 bit-depth, 22.05/44.1/48 kHz, and mono or stereo
‡ - 44.1 kHz stereo only
§ - Broken or unsupported in either SDL_sound or DOSBox

Feature differences between release binaries (or unpatched sources):

Feature DOSBox Staging DOSBox SVN
Pixel-perfect mode Yes: output=openglpp or output=texturepp N/A
Resizable window Yes: for all output=opengl modes N/A
Relative window size Yes: windowresolution=small, medium, or large windowresolution=X%
Window placement Yes: windowposition = 0,0, and more16 Manual placement
OPL emulators compat, fast, mame, nuked8 compat, fast, mame
CGA/mono support Yes: machine=cga_mono)9 Only CGA with colour
CGA composite modes Yes: machine=pcjr/tandy/cga with hotkeys) N/A
Wayland support Experimental: use SDL_VIDEODRIVER=wayland N/A
Modem phonebook file Yes: phonebookfile=<name> N/A
Autotype command Yes10 N/A
Startup verbosity Yes11 N/A
GUS enhancements Yes12 N/A
Raw mouse input Yes: raw_mouse_input=true N/A
FluidSynth MIDI Yes13: FluidSynth 2.x Only external synths
MT-32 emulator Yes: libmt32emu 2.4.2 N/A
Expanded S3 support 4 and 8 MiB of RAM14 2 MiB of RAM
Portable & layered conf By default15 With-userconf and -conf
Translations handling Bundled, see section 14 in README With path to .lng file
ENet modem transport Yes: serialport sock:1 flag or SERIAL.COM17 N/A
Ethernet via [slirp] Yes: See [ethernet] section in conf file N/A
IDE support for CDROMs Yes: See -ide flag in IMGMOUNT.COM /help N/A
Networking in Win3.11 Yes: Via local shell18 Yes: bootable HDD image

*- Requires original ROM files

Stable release builds

Linux, Windows, macOS

Test builds / development snapshots

Links to the newest builds

Get the source

  • Clone the repository (one-time step):

    git clone

Build instructions

Read for the comprehensive compilation guide.

Linux, macOS

Install build dependencies appropriate for your OS:

# Fedora
sudo dnf install ccache gcc-c++ meson alsa-lib-devel libpng-devel \
                 SDL2-devel SDL2_net-devel opusfile-devel fluidsynth-devel \
                 mt32emu-devel libslirp-devel speexdsp-devel
# Debian, Ubuntu
sudo apt install ccache build-essential libasound2-dev libpng-dev \
                 libsdl2-dev libsdl2-net-dev libopusfile-dev \
                 libfluidsynth-dev libslirp-dev libspeexdsp-dev

# Install Meson on Debian-10 "Buster" or Ubuntu-20.04 and older
sudo apt install python3-setuptools python3-pip
sudo pip3 install --upgrade meson ninja

# Install Meson on Debian-11 "Bullseye" or Ubuntu-21.04 and newer
sudo apt install meson
# Arch, Manjaro
sudo pacman -S ccache gcc meson alsa-lib libpng sdl2 sdl2_net opusfile \
               fluidsynth libslirp speexdsp
# openSUSE
sudo zypper install ccache gcc gcc-c++ meson alsa-devel libpng-devel \
                    libSDL2-devel libSDL2_net-devel opusfile-devel \
                    fluidsynth-devel libmt32emu-devel libslirp-devel \
# macOS
xcode-select --install
brew install ccache meson libpng sdl2 sdl2_net opusfile fluid-synth libslirp speexdsp

Build and stay up-to-date with the latest sources

  • Checkout the main branch:

    # commit or stash any personal code changes
    git checkout main -f
  • Pull the latest updates. This is necessary every time you want a new build:

    git pull
  • Setup the build. This is a one-time step either after cloning the repo or cleaning your working directories:

    meson setup \
        -Dbuildtype=release \
        -Ddefault_library=static \
        -Db_asneeded=true \
        -Dtry_static_libs=png \
        -Dfluidsynth:enable-floats=true \
        -Dfluidsynth:try-static-deps=true \

    The above enables all of DOSBox Staging's functional features. If you're interested in seeing all of Meson's setup options, run: meson configure.

  • Compile the sources. This is necessary every time you want a new build:

    meson compile -C build

    Your binary is: build/dosbox -- have fun!

Windows - Visual Studio (2019 or newer)

First, you need to setup vcpkg to install build dependencies. Once vcpkg is bootstrapped, open PowerShell and run:

PS:\> .\vcpkg integrate install
PS:\> .\vcpkg install --triplet x64-windows libpng sdl2 sdl2-net libmt32emu opusfile fluidsynth gtest speexdsp

These two steps will ensure that MSVC finds and links all dependencies.

Start Visual Studio and open file: vs\dosbox.sln. Make sure you have x64 selected as the solution platform. Use Ctrl+Shift+B to build all projects.

Windows (MSYS2), macOS (MacPorts), Haiku, others

Instructions for other build systems and operating systems are documented in Links to OS-specific instructions: MSYS2, MacPorts, Haiku.

Imported branches, community patches, old forks

Commits landing in SVN upstream are imported to this repo in a timely manner, see branch svn/trunk.

  • svn/* - branches from SVN
  • forks/* - code for various abandoned DOSBox forks
  • vogons/* - community patches posted on the Vogons forum

Git tags matching pattern svn/* are pointing to the commits referenced by SVN "tag" paths at the time of creation.

Additionally, we attach some optional metadata to the commits in the form of Git notes. To fetch them, run:

git fetch origin "refs/notes/*:refs/notes/*"

For some historical context of why this repo exists you can read Vogons thread, (1, 2)