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DOSBox-X Installation and Released Packages

DOSBox-X is a cross-platform DOS emulator based on DOSBox, with the eventual goal of being a complete DOS emulation package. New versions of DOSBox-X are released periodically, typically on the last day of a month or the first day of the next month. Since DOSBox-X is cross-platform, all major host operating systems are officially supported including Windows (Win9x, NT4, XP or later), Linux (with X11), macOS (10.15 or later) and pure DOS.

Pre-compiled binaries for Windows, Linux, macOS, and DOS as well as the source code are officially available. Links to the current version can be found in the DOSBox-X homepage, and all released versions along with their change logs can be found in the Releases page.

Binaries are automatically built upon release by github system, however, sometimes fails to upload. If you find a file for a particular platform not available, try the Development(Nightly) build instead. You need to sign in to github in order to download those builds.

Once you get DOSBox-X installed and running, you probably want to look at the DOSBox-X user guide in the DOSBox-X Wiki for usage information.

SDL1 and SDL2 builds

For most packages there are both SDL1 and SDL2 builds, and most features are the same for both builds. While SDL1 builds may be the default one to use, you may want to try SDL2 builds if you want certain features specific to SDL2 builds (such as the raw mouse input option, touchscreen support) or you encounter specific issue(s) with SDL1 builds (such as incorrect keys in some international keyboard layouts).

Packages for Supported Platforms

Windows Packages (Installer or Portable)

It is recommended to use the Windows installer found in the DOSBox-X homepage for the ease and more complete installations, especially for new and non-expert users.

The installer allows you to specify the install folder and the default build to run (VS/MinGW, 32/64-bit, SDL1/SDL2, and Intel/ARM). You can also choose to install all available builds. A quick start guide is also included in the package, and shell context menus can be added for a fast launch of DOSBox-X from the Windows Explorer.

The Visual Studio (VS) builds are the default Windows builds to use. On the other hand, MinGW builds support the Slirp backend for the NE2000 networking but won't run on Windows XP/Vista. You may also want to use one of the MinGW builds if you encounter specific problem(s) with the Visual Studio builds (such as floating point precision issues).

If you see the message Windows Defender SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting when running an installer, you can solve it by clicking the link "More info" in the dialog and then "Run anyway".

You can also easily upgrade DOSBox-X to the new version with the Windows installer. The installer in fact offers an option to automatically upgrade the config file (dosbox-x.conf) to the new version format while keeping all the user-customized settings already made.

Apart from the Windows installers, you can also find portable zip files starting with dosbox-x-vsbuild- and dosbox-x-mingw-win in the Releases page as an alternative way to install DOSBox-X. In the zip file you will find Release and Release SDL2 folders, which correspond to SDL1 and SDL2 respectively.

Regarding Joystick support, the SDL1 builds requires XInput compatible devices. If your joystick is not Xinput compatible, you may want to try the SDL2 builds or DirectInput to XInput wrappers such as Xoutput or Xbox 360 controller emulator.

  • Windows 9x/NT4/2000 users should use the MinGW lowend 9x builds (32-bit SDL1 only).
  • Windows XP users must use the XP compatible installer with "XP" in the file name, which includes Visual Studio XP builds and the 32-bit MinGW low-end builds. Note that not all features are available in the MinGW low-end builds, currently Slirp support is known to be missing. You also need to install the DirectX runtime or DOSBox-X will complain you're missing XInput9_1_0.dll. XP compatible builds works in ReactOS as well, but support is considered experimental.
  • Windows Vista users can use the XP installer or standard (non-XP) Visual Studio builds, because standard (non-XP) installer doesn't work in Vista. MinGW dropped support for XP/Vista, so install the 32-bit low-end builds from the XP compatible installer if you prefer MinGW builds.
  • Modern Windows users (7 and after) should use the standard (non-XP, non-lowend) builds but may try the non-standard builds if you prefer, although officially not supported.

Linux Packages (Flatpak and more)

DOSBox-X is available packaged in the below formats. You can select the one that best matches your Linux system and your needs.


Flatpak packages are officially released for the Linux operating system (with X11 or Xwayland).

The Linux Flatpak package has the advantage of being supported by most Linux distributions, but it will run in a sandbox on your Linux system so that you may not be able to access some system-wide resources.

For the current DOSBox-X version the Linux Flatpak is available from:

You may need to install Flatpak support depending on your Linux distribution for the first time. Please see the Quick Setup page for more information specific to your Linux platform. The DOSBox-X Flathub page is also available from here.

Once Flatpak support is enabled on your Linux system you can install the DOSBox-X Flatpak with the following command:

flatpak install flathub com.dosbox_x.DOSBox-X

Alternatively, you can install the DOSBox-X Flatpak locally if you downloaded the com.dosbox_x.DOSBox-X.flatpakref file to your computer:

flatpak install --from com.dosbox_x.DOSBox-X.flatpakref

After it is installed, it can be run with:

flatpak run com.dosbox_x.DOSBox-X

By default some system-wide resources will not be accessible by any Flatpak package. But you can give the DOSBox-X Flatpak package additional access using the --filesystem option. For example, to give it access to the /mnt directory:

flatpak run --filesystem=/mnt com.dosbox_x.DOSBox-X

In addition, if an earlier DOSBox-X Flatpak is already installed in the system you can update it to the current version with the command:

flatpak update com.dosbox_x.DOSBox-X

Or just flatpak update to update all installed Flatpak packages.

RPM Package

RPM is a packaging format used by a variety of Linux distributions. The current DOSBox-X version is offered via Fedora Copr here:

This supports the following Linux distributions:

  • Fedora Linux (current versions plus rawhide)
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 with EPEL
  • CentOS 8 with EPEL.

Unlike a traditional package download, copr allows for the package to be automatically updated when the next release is available.

In addition, but this is not recommended, some RPM packages for older DOSBox-X version are available for CentOS in the DOSBox-X Github under Releases. Simply pick the RPM package(s) for the version you want to use for your Linux platform and install. On CentOS, RHEL or Fedora platforms, you can install an RPM package with a command line like this:

sudo rpm -i <filename>.rpm

Where <filename> is the main file name of the RPM package you wish to install. You may want to use the debug build if you desire to do some debugging work when running DOSBox-X. If there are missing dependencies for the rpm command, such as libpng and fluid-soundfont, then you will need to install them first. However, RPM packages are not natively supported by Linux distributions such as Debian, Ubuntu, or Linux Mint (although the alien command may sometimes help). In such case you probably want to use the Flatpak package, which works independent of your Linux distribution.


You can find DOSBox-X on SnapCraft (, which maintains universal Linux packages for software including DOSBox-X. But please note the DOSBox-X Linux packages on this website are built and updated by SnapCraft instead of the DOSBox-X Team.

AUR Package

DOSBox-X is packaged for archlinux, and available in the user contributed AUR Package Repository. But please note that this package is not built or updated by the DOSBox-X Team.

DEB Package

DOSBox-X is packaged for Debian, and available in the trixie and unstable repositories. But please note that this package is not built or updated by the DOSBox-X Team, and that it only contains a small subset of the DOS programs provided in the Z: drive.

macOS Packages (Portable)

Portable packages for the macOS (64-bit) platform are also available from the DOSBox-X homepage.

The macOS package requires recent 64-bit Intel or ARM-based macOS (Catalina (10.15) and later). Both SDL1 and SDL2 binaries (in .app format) are provided in the directories named dosbox-x and dosbox-x-sdl2 respectively inside the zip file.

There are two ways to run DOSBox-X in macOS, either from the Finder or from the command-line (Terminal):

  • From the Finder, go to the directory where the macOS zip package is downloaded, you will see a folder name which is the same as the file name of the downloaded zip package. Inside this folder you will see dosbox-x (SDL1) and dosbox-x-sdl2 (SDL2). Go to either one and click the program "dosbox-x" to start DOSBox-X. If you see a dialog asking you to select a folder, please select one which will then become your DOSBox-X working directory. You can choose to save this folder after you select one so that the folder selection dialog will no show up again next time, or let DOSBox-X show the folder selection dialog every time you run it from the Finder.

  • From the Terminal, go to the directory where the macOS zip package is downloaded, you will see a folder name which is the same as the file name of the downloaded zip package. Starting from this folder, use cd command to go to the directory where the DOSBox-X executable is located. For SDL1 build, type cd dosbox-x/, and for SDL2 build, type cd dosbox-x-sdl2/ Run DOSBox-X with ./dosbox-x and you will see the DOSBox-X window.

If you see the message "dosbox-x" is damaged and can't be opened when trying to run DOSBox-X, you should be able to solve the problem by running the following command once in the Terminal and you are in the directory in which the macOS zip package is extracted (where you can find two folders including dosbox-x and dosbox-x-sdl2):

xattr -cr .

Packages for macOS versions 10.14 (Mojave) and earlier are no longer provided. Low-end builds named DOSBox-X-macos-(version) were available up to 2022.09.0 (0.84.3) for 10.12 (Sierra) and after. Binaries for macOS versions earlier than 10.12 (Sierra) have not been provided. You may try to build yourself with the help of MacPorts.

DOS Packages (Portable)

Besides Windows, Linux and macOS packages, there are also packages released for the DOS operating system. Yes, DOSBox-X can officially run on DOS systems as well, as some DOS users seem to prefer to run DOS applications and games through a DOS emulator. With DOSBox-X running in DOS you are able to emulate another DOS system with a different PC configuration (such as different machine types, video and sound cards etc) that works better for the purpose of the users. But please note that due to the limitations of this environment not all features of DOSBox-X that are available in other platforms can be supported in the DOS version.

The HX-DOS package allows you to run DOSBox-X in a real DOS system (MS-DOS 5.0+ or compatible) with the help of the freely-available HX DOS Extender, which is already included in the recent DOS release packages. Once you unzip the package you can directly type DOSBOX-X to run in DOS. See the README.TXT file inside the DOS package for more information.

Alternatively, you can run some versions of DOSBox-X (latest is 0.83.25 2022-05-01) from a DOS environment with the help of the free LOADLIN program. With the LOADLIN DOS package you can run DOSBox-X right from DOSBox-X's DOS shell. Start the outside DOSBox-X with the setting memsize=127 and cputype=pentium (perhaps also fullscreen=true and/or autolock=true). Go to the directory where the files are extracted and type DOSBOX-X. Then just wait for DOSBox-X to be automatically loaded within DOSBox-X.

Both DOS packages for the latest DOSBox-X version can be found in the DOSBox-X homepage.

Source Code Packages (zip or tar.gz)

Full source code packages of DOSBox-X are also available in both zip and tar.gz formats. Both contain the full source code, but you probably want to download the source code in zip format if you are using Windows, and the source code in tar.gz format if you are using Linux. The source code packages for the latest DOSBox-X version are available from the DOSBox-X homepage.

If you prefer you can compile DOSBox-X from the source code by yourself. The source code packages as listed in the Releases page contain the source code for that released version. On the other hand, if you are looking for the latest source code of DOSBox-X (including the most recent development changes in the source code), you may want to use the source code in the repository instead, or you can browse the latest source code using Doxygen.

You could use either the released source code package or the latest source code according to your needs, and the source code may be compiled to run on the above-mentioned platforms (Windows, Linux, macOS and DOS) and possibly other operating systems too. Please see the BUILD page for detailed instructions on building the DOSBox-X source code. Further descriptions of the source code can be found in the DOSBox-X source code description file.

Development nightly builds

The development (preview) builds intended for testing purposes for the supported platforms can be found here.