How to: Install DOSBox in Ubuntu 11.10

Some of us Linux users still remember the wonderful games that we used to run under DOS.  For me the two games that really stand out are Syndicate and X-Com. I found that if I wanted to enjoy these games again, you can buy them (and many other games) from Direct2Drive or GOG, but then you have to use either WINE or a DOS emulator to run them. You can try WINE first, but I found that using DOSBox is by far the best way to run DOS programs.  I found DOSBox very easy to setup and wanted to share how I was able to set it up.

Please Note: At the time of this writing, I am using Ubuntu 11.10 and following these steps I installed DOSBox 0.74, so you may have make some minor changes.

1) Install DOSBox: Open a Terminal window and type in:

# sudo apt-get install dosbox

This will download and install DOSBox. Once its installed, you should be able to run it from the menu Applications > Games > DOSBox Emulator or in a Terminal window type in:

# dosbox

2) The DOS OS files will be installed to the Z: but the next step is to create a directory so that DOSBox can find the files or games that you want to run.

A) Create a DOS directory in your home directory:

# mkdir ~/DOS

B) Next you will need to mount the new DOS directory in DOSBox so that any files or folders you copy to the new directory will be picked up properly. Start DOSBox and at the Z: type in the following:

mount c ~/DOS

If everything was typed in correctly you should get back the message:

Drive C is mounted as local directory /home/user/DOS (in this example user will be your user name)

If you get a error message, try to copy/paste the above mount command into the DOSBox command prompt.

If everything worked correctly, congragulations! You can now run many older games and programs by copying them to the DOS folder and running the programs regular install program as instructed in the programs instructions.

You can mount as many directories as you want, just change the command:

mount <drive letter> <location of folder on your computer>

IE: mount r ~/DOS2


Extra Configuration: If you do not want to type the mount command and change the drive letter every time you want to run a game you can automatically mount it when DOSBox runs:

1) Close DOSBox and edit the file dosbox-0.74.conf located in the ~/.dosbox directory

# gedit ~/.dosbox/dosbox-0.74.conf

2) Scroll all the way down to near the bottom and look for the section [autoexec].

Below this section, type in the same mount command that you typed in earlier:

# Lines in this section will be run at startup.
# You can put your MOUNT lines here.
mount c ~/DOS

3) Save and close the dosbox-0.74.conf file.

4) Open DOSBox and you should get the message:

Z:\>mount c ~/DOS

Drive C is mounted as local directory /home/user/DOS

Z:\> C:


The above steps will save you a lot of time and every time you start DOSBox you will be automatically starting at your C: that is really your ~/DOS directory.

To mount your CD or DVD drive as a D: drive, try this command:

mount d -t cdrom /media/cdrom