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Installing FreeDOS in DOSBox-X


FreeDOS is a free and open-source re-implementation of DOS.

This installation method uses the FreeDOS 1.3 LegacyCD download.

Creating an HDD image file

In addition to the below DOSBox-X command line utility, it is possible to create harddisk images from the DOSBox-X menu. Go to the "DOS" menu, and select "Create blank disk image…​". This option allows for various common harddisk types to be created, for less common types you need to use the command line utility.

From the DOSBox-X command prompt:

IMGMAKE hdd.img -t hd -size 2048
IMGMOUNT C hdd.img

The above example creates a 2GiB HDD image. You can obviously use a different size, up to 2TiB.

Installing FreeDOS

Next step is to mount and boot the (El-Torito) ISO CD image.

IMGMOUNT A -bootcd D

It will now boot to the setup program. You should be able to follow the on-screen installation prompts.

After it finished the installation, it will reboot DOSBox-X, and you’re again at the Z:\> prompt. Now type the following to boot FreeDOS normally.

IMGMOUNT C hdd.img

These last lines can be added to the [autoexec] section of your DOSBox-X config file to automatically mount and boot FreeDOS.