FreeDOS Beta9 errata


Eric Auer writes:

Hi, I started collecting some errata / comments about the FreeDOS beta 9 ISO image and the readme.txt file in the download directory. Unless our fileserver gets confused again, you can find it at: Eric's web site.

Summary: the docs/kjdavis/ files, in particular programs.txt, would be pretty useful but are outdated. Some updates seem to be missing on the ISO, according to the LSMs. The readme.txt has some outdated points, too. I hope we can fix the latter before mirrors catch up, and fix the SMALL ISO which I recommend to upload (5 MB ISO without source codes). In addition, I suggest to add the contents of ODIN to a directory on the BIG ISO (10 MB, will be 12 MB with ODIN) and to the PATH, to allow people to use most of FreeDOS simply by booting the CD-ROM (will have to use DEVLOAD if they want to load drivers manually, as config/autoexec are of course not easily editable), even if they do not install on harddisk.

Apart from that, I am quite happy to have a pile of almost all updates in a single ISO.

Maybe we should have taken some more time, even if that meant missing the "magic" date of "at age of 10 1/4, FreeDOS became beta 9"...

Eric later adds:

Hi again, I tried to install beta 9 without a CD-writer, and I ran into some problems...

The boot image contains:

The problem with this: The files written in UPPERCASE are - as far as I can tell - needed by the batch files on the CD-ROM. So copying only the CD-ROM files will not be enough to run the installer after booting a plain FreeDOS (e.g. ODIN) boot floppy :-( .

Apart from that, menu1.bat explicitly searches localize in a:\freedos, as does menu2.bat ... textmenu.bat searches OSCHECK explicitly in a:\freedos, and FORMAT and SYS in the same directory. The main autorun.bat file searches localize in a:\freedos, and I had to modify the first few lines in a special way:

set fdosroot=d:\beta9\freedos\setup
(old value was something like %cdrom%\freedos\setup)
rem *** added hardcoded value above. should change
rem *** itself to %_CWD% if this file is found in %_CWD%...
set path=%fdosroot%\bin;%fdosroot%\install;%path%
rem *** removed A: stuff and added %path% to the above...

I also had to modify the language stuff:

rem *** if exist A:\freedos\localize.%lang% goto optmenu1
rem *** if exist %fdosroot%\nls\localize.%lang% copy /y ...
rem *** if exist A:\freedos\localize.%lang% set nlspath=A:\freedos
set nlspath=%fdosroot%\nls;%nlspath%
rem *** above added

That SHOULD have enabled me to run the installer manually, but I did not have access to some of the abovementioned tools, as they were only on the 360k floppy image (okay, I could have used EXTRACT).

Would somebody be willing to create a ZIP file which you can drop into a directory tree like d:\beta9 (which contains the %cdrom%\ tree) and which allows the user to get SIMPLE access to the installer without having to extract tools from the floppy image and without having to tune batch files manually? After all, more people than you think will even DOUBLECLICK all the batch files from within Windoze during their first attempt to install FreeDOS! (Luckily a nonzero %windir% can be detected in such cases, and can trigger a batch file abort then...)

Other problems which I noticed:

When trying DOSLFN and the L (LFN) tool, LFN DIR always behaved as if findnext was broken, strange. But LFN /? or LFN DIR /? is not implemented :-( .

At least all FreeDOS programs now got a big nice update. In the end I just ran the GUI installer and typed d:\beta9\freedos\packages and c:\freedos for the source / dest paths (as far as I remember - pity that there is no picker, but luckily I knew the right paths by heart) and whoosh... :-)). (after some simple further clicks, that is)

Happy FreeDOSing!