dosemu(1) run DOS and DOS programs under Linux

Other Alias



dosemu [ -dumb ] [ -quiet ] [ -input keystroke-string ] [ -s ] [ -install [ bootdir ] ] [ args ]

xdosemu [ -dumb ] [ -quiet ] [ -input keystroke-string ] [ -s ] [ -install [ bootdir ] ] [ args ]


dosemu is the wrapper script for dosemu.bin (1) which invokes the Linux dos emulator, also known as DOSEMU. The wrapper also takes care of (eventually) installing the private instance of DOSEMU in the user's $HOME, if this doesn't exist.


any number of options described in dosemu.bin (1), please refer to this man page for further details. However, take care to quote and escape correctly so bash doesn't mess up arguments containing blanks and backslashes.
use `dumb' terminal mode. This will only work for DOS applications, which do plain text output to stdout, but has the advantage that (A) the output of the DOS application stacks up in your xterm scroll buffer and (B) you can redirect it to a file such as
                $ dosemu -dumb dir > listing

Note that DOSEMU's commandline editor/history will also work here, however, editing is restricted to BACKSPACE'ing.

do not print startup comment and do not stop for prompting
Do simulated keystrokes as given by keystroke-string just after DOS has booted. This can be used to autolaunch applications, bypass any needed boot menus or something similar. For details on the format of the string look at README.txt.
Invoke dosemu via sudo. This is necessary to get access to certain I/O ports and to get graphics on the Linux console. Please refer to the documentation (INSTALL and README.txt) to see which files need to be adjusted before attempting this.
-install [ bootdir ]
launched as part of a systemwide installation, this option (re-)installs a DOS that is used in DOSEMU (this can be the DOSEMU distributed FreeDOS or any proprietary DOS, which is bootable via fatfs). bootdir is the base name of a directory. The symbolic link ~/.dosemu/drives/c will be changed to point to this directory. Re-installing is only rarely necessary, since in practise the symbolic link(s) will automatically point to updated files.
print version of dosemu and list of available options.


DOSEMU (comprised of the files dosemu.bin and dosemu ) is based on version 0.4 of the original program written by Matthias Lautner (no current address that I know of).

Robert Sanders <[email protected]> was maintaining and enhancing the incarnation of DOSEMU with which this man page was originally distributed. During about 4 years James B. MacLean <[email protected]> was the restless leader of the dosemu team, implementation of DPMI (which made Windows-3.1, dos4gw, djgpp, e.t.c running) happened during his 'governement' and brought the project near to Beta-state. Hans Lermen <[email protected]> took over and released the first 1.0 version. Now Bart Oldeman <[email protected]> is maintaining this funny software.


per-user configuration file
or (only if /etc/dosemu.users exists)
systemwide configuration file
default file for debug and log messages
default directories of the local per user DOSEMU instance
default systemwide installation, containing binaries and templates (The paths can be changed during creation of the systemwide installation).