FreeDOS 1.2+ Installer
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The FreeDOS Installer (FDI)

The FreeDOS Installer is a customizable and flexible batch based installation kit based on the V8Power Tools batch file enhancement utilities.

If you do not want to use one of the pre-built install images and want to build a custom operating system release, please see the FDI wiki on Github.

Installation Requirements

FDI has a fairly modest set of requirements.

  • EGA or better graphics.
  • 80386 or better CPU.
  • 640k RAM (under 4Mb is untested)

(Although V8Power Tools and FDI only requires an 8086, some other utilities that are currently required by FDI do not support CPUs lower than a 386.)

FreeDOS installation methods

There are basically four methods using FDI to install FreeDOS.

  • The FULL USB or LITE USB stick
    • All supported virtual machines
    • Many modern computers
  • Bootable CD-ROM
    • Most virtual machines (including VirtualBox)
    • Most 486 or better computers
  • Alternate Legacy CD-ROM
    • Virtual Machines (excluding VirtualBox)
    • Most computers that support CD booting.
  • Bootable Floppy + CD-ROM (or USB Stick).
    • All supported virtual machines
    • Nearly any computer with a CD-ROM.
  • Separate Hard Disk
    • Any computer or machine that supports FreeDOS and meets the minimum requirements.

To use the "Separate Hard Disk" method, you must copy all files and directories from one of the USB sticks to the root directory of the spare hard disk drive. If performing this from DOS, you can use xcopy with the /e switch. This is not the drive where you will be installing FreeDOS. It should be a spare and completely separate drive.

A special note for DOSBox users. FDI can install to DOSBox using the "Separate Hard Disk" method. This assumes you have already setup a drive C: and know how to mount the Spare Drive into DOSBox. It will perform the install and prepare an AUTOEXEC.BAT file on drive C: to use the FreeDOS binaries and the FreeCOM shell. This does not cause the FreeDOS kernel to be used. So, technically this not a FreeDOS install. It really is just enhancing DOSBox with the FreeDOS binaries.