Technote: FreeDOS success and problems

Roberto Mariottini has done some testing with some recent FreeDOS software, and sends us this report of his success and problems:

Hello, last night I've found the time to go on ibiblio FreeDOS archives and download some packages. The packages tried are:

  FDXMS 04
  Kernel 2024BM
  TDSK 242b
  xKeyb 16b
  FreeCom 082


I made a new bootable floppy from the Kernel distribution, and I booted from there my VMWare virtual machine, then

  1. I successfylly SYSed my hard disk, and it booted OK (with beta 6 it didn't boot).

  2. I installed FreeDOS Mini distribution, and substituted all old files with new files listed above (see below for problems I've found during installation).

  3. I tried FDXMS and it worked OK, finding all 15 Mb of XMS available on my virtual machine, a 16 Mb Pentium (with beta 6 it didn't work).

  4. I tried TDSK and it successfully created an 8 Mb ram disk (again, with beta 6 it didn't work).

  5. I tried DOS=HIGH, SHELLHIGH=KSSF.COM ..., and MEM reported 614 Kb free!!

  6. I played Space Invaders (they won)


I don't know how to use xKeyb, simply running it doesn't work, xKeyb /? is silent, trying old MS-DOS syntax "xKeyb it" didn't work, so I had to use my italian keyboard as a standard US one.

I didn't find an UMB utility, DOS=UMB sayed something like "UMB not found"

The problem with the install program is that it doesn't install all packages. The progress bar is happy to say that installation is completed, but the last package installed is "printqx", leaving out all packages ASCIIbetically following. I've looked into the file base.1 and all packages are listed. Any hint?

Next time I'll try booting my real machine.


-Roberto Mariottini