Accessing the Internet from FreeDOS

2004-05-31

Eric Auer posted a note to the freedos-devel mailing list about accessing the Internet from FreeDOS. I thought I'd repost it here:

I am writing this mail in DOS:

How to do this:

RTSPKT -p 0x60

(this loads the packet driver which came with my rtl8139 card) (now edit wattcp.cfg if not already done)

SSH2DOS -t vt100 -v -n -g username servername

Easy, huh?

SSH2DOS can be found through the FreeDOS software list, NET category, SSHDOS. Use the ssh2d386 binary if you have a 386 or better.

I have also tested whether it is a problem to download lbacache-01may2004.zip as lb040501.zip in DOS. Worked nice, too.

How to do this:

RTSPKT -p 0x60 (unless already done)

run the Arachne self-extracting RAR file / installer, follow the config instructions. Config things through wattcp.cfg if not already done, or use the config wizard. Surf to my site, click the lbacache-01may2004.zip file, and edit the filename to lb040501.zip or better lbacache.zip to save with 8.3 filename.

Sometimes Arachne crashes on a site. Then edit HISTORY.LST, else it would try to continue on the same site when you start it next. It will use a CACHE directory under the Arachne install directory AND an ARACHNE.TMP directory under %TEMP%, and it can be reallly slow if you do not use a RAMDISK. LBAcache showed 40 MB of reads and 2 MB of writes after a short exploration of the internet already.

You can even use Arachne to read your POP3 mail (tested, works, BUT make sure to check "leave mails on server" in config menu unless you want to move your mail to the DOS drive!) and to write SMTP mail. Fun program, but I think I will use Netscape / Mozilla again most of the time. Single-tasked operating systems are not great for internet.

I also tested the QV (quickview32) .APM (ARJ file with package for Arachne). Works okay, could play MP3 and classic MOV file format. But it is shareware. Even Arachne is more or less shareware now: http://browser.arachne.cz/ ... for non-private use, you have to register. GIF / JPG / PNG worked directly in Arachne. Auto-search for "package to open ZIP" failed. The .APM system seems to be a bit confused on my install anyway.

Another good point with FreeDOS + SSH2DOS is that my disk just went to sleep . In Linux, it is never really idle. The bad point is that I cannot switch to another window or do anything else than SSHing while I am in this SSH2 session in FreeDOS...

Happy DOS-surfing!

PS: I did not test IRCABI because the LSM tells that you would need SLIP, while I have plain Ethernet / LAN. Do you think it would work anyway? Any IRC client which you can recommend for DOS?

PPS: My packet driver takes 50k of DOS memory. Arachne wants 400+something kilobytes, but better 500-600k, of DOS memory free. And it can use something like 8 MB XMS if you have that (alternatives: EMS, disk swap). But still I think it should use far more RAM and far less disk.

-Eric