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DOSBox-X’s Feature Highlights
As a cross-platform DOS emulator, DOSBox-X officially supports different types of DOS software, including DOS applications, Windows 3.x and 9x/Me, in addition to DOS games (which are the focus of original DOSBox). Compared with DOSBox, DOSBox-X focuses more on general emulation and accuracy, supporting more subareas of DOS including East Asian systems and languages (such as DOS/V and NEC PC-98 emulation). While incorporating virtually all existing features of DOSBox, DOSBox-X provides many more for different purposes. Examples of DOSBox-X’s unique features include (note that these are just examples):
GUI drop-down menu for easier usage
DOSBox-X features a drop-down menu system so that you can do many things from the GUI menu instead of typing commands or so. The menu can also be toggled on and off.
Built-in graphical configuration tool
You can configure DOSBox-X‘s settings directly from its built-in GUI configuration tool instead of having to manually modify its config file (you can use either way).
Save and load state support (with save slots and save files)
DOSBox-X provides a fully-featured system for saving and loading states with support for up to 100 save slots, selectable from the menu, as well as the option to use your own save files. You can also let DOSBox-X save states automatically for specific programs and/or in user-defined intervals.
Automatic image file and drive mounting
For image files, DOSBox-X allows you to mount them automatically without specifying additional options such as -size and -t. And for drive mounting on Windows, DOSBox-X automatically asks you mount a drive if you try to enter a drive which is not yet mounted, and you can also let DOSBox-X automatically mount all available Windows drives at start.
Japanese NEC PC-98, AX, and J-3100 emulations
With DOSBox-X you can run the Japanese PC-98 system and PC-98 games and applications, as well as the Japanese AX (JEGA) and J-3100 systems. Set
machine=jegain the config file to start DOSBox-X in the PC-98 or JEGA mode. Look at the PC‐98 emulation in DOSBox‐X guide page for more information about PC-98 support.
Support for native DOS/V service emulations
DOSBox-X implements native DOS/V services for Chinese/Japanese/Korean language support, so that are these languages can be displayed without any external tools. Set
kofor different CJK languages. Look at the East Asian language support in DOSBox‐X guide page for more information about support for East Asian languages and systems.
Support for SDL2 in addition to SDL1
DOSBox-X officially supports both SDL1 and SDL2 and provides both SDL1 and SDL2 builds, so that you can choose either the SDL1 or SDL2 build to use. While most features are common to both SDL builds, certain functions may only be found in one of them.
Fully translatable user interfaces
DOSBox-X allows you to translate its various user interfaces, including text in the DOS window, the drop-down menus, the graphical Configuration Tool and the Mapper Editor. Both standard SBCS languages and DBCS languages are supported. Several language files can be found in the repository and are ready to use.
More customizable virtual machine
DOSBox-X provides many more config options that are not found in DOSBox, so that users have more options to customize the virtual machine inside DOSBox-X. For example, you can skip the splash screen and the welcome banner, or even starting DOSBox-X in silent mode (
-silent), along with a lot more.
CPU speed optimization and Turbo mode
DOSBox-X can automatically decide the CPU cycles to use for optimized speed, and it provides a Turbo function to increase the speed of the system inside it, which can be toggled at run-time.
Improved customization on the title bar
DOSBox-X allows you to modify or customize the strings and additional contents displayed in its title bar and its appearance. The cycles count (FPS) and emulation speed relative to real-time can also be displayed in the title bar.
Better compatibility with DOS applications
Aimed to be a complete DOS emulation package, DOSBox-X officially supports DOS applications, not just DOS games. All types of DOS programs are officially supported in DOSBox-X.
Improved Windows 3.x and Windows 9x emulation
One of DOSBox-X’s main goals is to become a great platform to run Windows 3.x and 9x/Me and their software. As a result we have made many improvements to their emulations. Look at the Microsoft Windows in DOSBox-X guide page for more information.
Built-in external tools such as CWSDPMI, DOSIDLE and IMGMAKE
DOSBox-X has many useful tools already built-in, such as CWSDPMI, DOS4GW, DOSIDLE and IMGMAKE, which will appear on its Z: drive.
Support for more DOS commands (e.g. VOL, LABEL, ATTRIB, PROMPT, MOUSE)
DOSBox-X includes many DOS commands that are missing in DOSBox, such as FOR, VOL, LABEL, ATTRIB, DELTREE, PROMPT, EDIT, FIND, and MOUSE.
Support for CONFIG.SYS commands (e.g. DOS, DEVICE, FCBS, FILES, LASTDRIVE)
DOSBox-X supports a [config] section that supports most DOS config.sys commands, such as COUNTRY, DEVICE, DOS, FCBS, FILES, INSTALL, LASTDRIVE, NUMLOCK, SET, and SHELL.
Support for 4DOS as the alternative shell with 4DOS 8.00 features and capabilities
You can set SHELL=4DOS.COM so that DOSBox-X will run the 4DOS 8.00 shell at start instead of the default shell.
Support for starting DOSBox-X on a specific display or window position
DOSBox-X can be started on a specific window position, or on a specific display with a multi-monitor setup. They can work in combination to specify a window position on the specific display.
Support for resizable window and customizable aspect ratios
For most output options DOSBox-X allows you to resize the DOSBox-X window as you wish and will stretch the image to fit the window. You can also specify an aspect ratio (such as 16:10) so that DOSBox-X will enforce such an aspect ratio for the image, or let DOSBox-X use the original image’s aspect ratio in the aspect ratio correction mode.
Support for transparent DOSBox-X window
DOSBox-X allows you to change the transparency of its window, from 0 (no transparency) to 90 (high transparency), giving you a different feeling when running the DOS emulation. Supported on all Windows builds and SDL2 builds of Linux/macOS platforms.
Support for free customizations of Virtual Drive Z:
DOSBox-X allows you to freely customize the internal virtual drive Z: in the configuration, including adding your own files to the Z drive, or hiding/replacing existing files on the Z drive, with directory support.
Support for the mounting ZIP/7Z archives as drives
You can mount ZIP or 7Z archives as DOSBox-X drives and run your DOS programs or games in these mounted drives directly. They will operate in read+write mode with overlay mounts.
Support for the IDE interface for disk images
DOSBox-X supports the BIOS IDE interface for hard disk and CD drives, which is especially useful for running guest systems inside DOSBox-X.
Support for more CPU types (e.g. Pentium MMX and Pro/2/3) and emulating CPU speed
DOSBox-X supports virtually all CPU types prior to Pentium 4 at this time, from 8086/8088 to Pentium Pro/2/3, including support for Pentium MMX instructions. DOSBox-X also allow you to emulate the speed of a specific CPU (from 8088 XT 4.77MHz to Pentium III) in terms of cycles. Select them from the "CPU" menu.
Support for more video modes (e.g. MDA and MCGA)
DOSBox-X supports more video modes in addition to the more common ones, such as MDA, MCGA, Amstrad, and a few others, in addition to the standard ones.
Support for printing functions, either a real or virtual printer
DOSBox-X supports parallel ports and printers attached to them, whether they are real printers or emulated printers for PostScript or PNG outputs. The parallel ports (which can be extended to LPT9) may be used either for printing or for direct port passthrough. Look at the Setting up printing in DOSBox-X guide page for more information.
Support for long filenames (LFN) in addition to 8.3 filenames
DOSBox-X fully supports long filenames (LFN) which can be up to 255 characters, not just 8.3 names. Set either
lfn=truein the config file to enable this feature.
Support for FAT32 file system and large disk images
FAT32 file system is supported in DOSBox-X in addition to FAT12 and FAT16, so you can make and mount drives larger than 2GB. Set
ver=7.1to enable this feature. You can also mount logical partitions within disk images with an option.
Support for file-locking and record-locking functions
DOSBox-X supports the DOS SHARE functions, which provides file-locking and record-locking for networked environments, especially on the Windows platform. This may be very important for usages such as networked DOS database applications. Hint: you probably want to set
file access tries=3for this.
Support for clipboard text selection, copy and paste
With DOSBox-X there are several ways to copy and paste between DOSBox-X and the host clipboard, such as using a mouse button (right or middle), the arrow keys, mapped keyboard shortcuts, or using a special DOS device or DOS program for doing so. Look at the Clipboard support in DOSBox-X guide page for more information.
Support for converting mouse wheel movements to arrow keys
You can let DOSBox-X automatically convert mouse wheel movements to arrow keys, so that you can use the mouse wheel for scrolling in DOS applications. DOSBox-X also supports the CuteMouse wheel mouse extension DOS API for DOS programs natively supporting it (such as DOS Navigator 2), which will work when the mouse wheel movement conversion is disabled.
Support for starting programs to run on the host systems
It is possible to launch a host application from inside DOSBox-X to run on the host system, either using START command or in the case of Windows also run it directly from the shell. This feature is disabled by default for security reasons, but you can set
startcmd=trueconfig option or
-hostruncommand-line option to enable the feature.
Support for changing or synchronizing the date and time
You can change the date and time either from DOSBox-X’s DOS shell (DATE and TIME commands), or using the DOS APIs or with DOSBox-X’s BIOS Setup Utility. DOSBox-X also provides the option to automatically synchronize the date and time with the host system.
Support for quick-launching programs to run inside DOSBox-X
DOSBox-X lets you use the system file browser to select a DOS program to quickly run inside DOSBox-X on all supported platforms, and file associations for DOS programs are supported for the Windows Explorer as well.
Support for setting config options from the DOSBox-X command line
DOSBox-X allows you to set one or more config options from the DOSBox-X command line, overriding any preset config options that may be specified in the config file. For example,
dosbox-x -set machine=pc98forces DOSBox-X to start in PC-98 mode.
Support for Ctrl+C/Ctrl+Break in the shell and DOS programs
You can press the Ctrl+C or Ctrl+Break key to break from the current operation when running in the shell, many DOS commands as well as DOS applications.
Support for the mounting VHD, HDI, QCOW2 disk images and MAME CHD CD images
DOSBox-X supports various different types of disk images, such as Virtual Hard Disk (VHD), HDI (for PC-98 mode) and QEMU copy-on-write v2 (QCOW2) disk images and MAME CHD images for CD images, in addition to the standard disk image types (IMG, ISO, CUE, etc). Look at the Managing image files in DOSBox‐X guide page for more information.
Support for cue sheets with FLAC, MP3, WAV, OGG Vorbis and Opus CD audio tracks
With DOSBox-X it is possible to mount .cue files (either from the menu or with IMGMOUNT command) that include FLAC, MP3, WAV, OGG Vorbis and Opus music as CD audio tracks.
Support for xBRz scalers and additional scaling options
DOSBox-X supports many additional scalers such as the xBRz scalers, and other additional scaling options gray, gray2x, hardware_none, hardware2x, hardware3x, hardware4x, hardware5x.
Support for 3dfx Voodoo chip and Glide emulation
DOSBox-X can emulate the 3dfx Voodoo in either the low-level emulation mode (emulating the 3dfx Voodoo 1 hardware) or the high-level emulation mode (where the Glide API calls are passed through to the host OS). Look at the Setting up 3dfx Voodoo in DOSBox-X guide page for more information.
Support for NE2000 Ethernet for network features
DOSBox-X supports the emulation of the Novell NE2000 network adapter, which allows you to connect to the Internet from inside DOSBox-X, such as a guest Windows 9x system running with DOSBox-X. Both PCAP and Slirp backends are supported. Look at the Setting up networking in DOSBox-X guide page for more information.
Support for UDP connection and phone book mapping for the emulated modem
With these features you can connect the emulated modem via reliable UDP (in addition to TCP), and you may also map fake phone numbers to Internet addresses which is useful for programs where limitations on phone number input field are too strict.
Support for direct browsing for UNC network paths (Windows only)
With this feature you can access or browse UNC network paths in the form
\\COMPUTER\FOLDERdirectly on Windows systems, including listing, opening, writing, copying, and executing files on UNC network paths directly without having to mount them as DOS drives first.
Support for Roland MT-32 emulation
DOSBox-X integrates the emulation of Roland MT-32, which pre-dates General MIDI and was used by a broad range of DOS games (starting in 1988 with King’s Quest IV).
Support for FluidSynth MIDI synthesizer with sound fonts
DOSBox-X supports the FluidSynth MIDI synthesizer, which allows you to use a wide range of sound fonts available online, such as the free FluidR3_GM.sf2.
Support for Innovation SSI-2001 sound card emulation
The Innovation SSI-2001 sound card is supported in DOSBox-X as well, which gives the emulated system the sound capabilities of a Commodore 64.
Support for pixel-perfect scaling video mode
DOSBox-X supports the pixel-perfect scaling as an output option (
output=openglpp), which improves the video image quality.
Support for loading OpenGL shaders either at start or dynamically
The OpenGL (GLSL) shaders are fully supported by DOSBox-X for OpenGL outputs, and you can in fact load or change them dynamically in addition to loading them at start.
Support for Direct3D with pixel shaders (Windows only)
DOSBox-X supports Direct3D along with pixel shaders which provides many more output flexibilities on Windows systems.
Support for TrueType fonts (TTF) for text-mode DOS applications
DOSBox-X supports TrueType fonts (TTF) which provides high-resolution display for DOS shell and program running in text-mode. Features such as on-screen text styles are supported in this output mode too. Look at the Using TrueType font output in DOSBox‐X guide page for more information.
Support for additional code pages, including both SBCS and DBCS code pages
DOSBox-X supports many additional code pages for conversions between the host and guest systems, both for the TrueType font (TTF) output and other outputs, and this includes standard SBCS code pages and also DBCS code pages used by Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages. With a suitable TTF font you will be able to run text-mode DOS applications in these languages using the TTF output as well as printing texts in these languages.
Support for viewing Unicode (UTF-8 or UTF-16) text in the current code page
DOSBox-X allows you to view text encoded in UTF-8 or UTF-16 just like normal ASCII text in the current code page. For example, the command
UTF8 < txtutf8.txtwill view the UTF-8 encoded file named "txtutf8.txt", whereas the command
UTF16 < txtutf16.txtwill view the UTF-16 encoded file named "txtutf16.txt".
Support for features such as V-Sync, overscan border and stereo swapping
Improved debugging features including built-in debugger and logging options
Including most patches from DOSBox ECE and many community contributions
Plus many more
DOSBox-X also includes a lot of gimmicks and usability improvements to make DOSBox-X easier to use and work better for users.