FreeDOS Temporary Virtual Machine.


DOSTVM is small FreeDOS based Temporary Virtual Machine & LiveCD hybrid which main purpose is hardware environments quality control by running demo & shareware DOS software.

DOSTVM is suitable to run almost everywhere:

  1. Inside QEMU Emulator Virtual Machines on modern computers & servers.
  2. Inside Limbo Emulator Virtual Machines on smartphones, TVs and other Android devices.
  3. Inside Live CD on old computers.
  4. Inside Remote Virtual Machines on Umvirt VMPool nodes & other virtualization services.

DOSTVM is contain software & games which can be used to check QEMU emulator. Software and games which can't be used in QEMU are don't added to DOSTVM.

If you have to get better DOS retrogaming experience & launch other software and games we recommend to use DOSBOX as software emulator & ao486 Verilog Core on MiSTer FPGA as hardware emulator.

Hardware requirements for PC or Virtual Machine:

Launch instructions

Spiced QEMU VM in ULFS

This mode allows to run keyboard only applications and games with sounds & music.

To run DOSTVM in ULFS as Spiced VM just run:

qemu -cdrom live.iso -cpu 486 -machine isapc -soundhw sb16,adlib -spice port=5900,disable-ticketing

Then connect by command:

spicy --uri spice://

Silent QEMU VM in ULFS

This mode allows to run applications and games which use mouse but disables sound & music.

To run DOSTVM in ULFS as Silent VM just run:

qemu -cdrom live.iso -cpu 486 -machine isapc

New window is should appear on screen.

QEMU VM Speed-up

To accelerate QEMU VM append "--enable-kvm" argument to qemu command and run it from root user account or with root permissions.

Why DOS?

DOS is deprecated retro-platform but have anwesome advantages against modern OSes:

  1. Low memory consumption - 16-bit is smaller than 32-bit & 64-bit OSes.
  2. Small foot print - Can be placed on floppy disk.
  3. Simple to study - No multitasking, No GUI. Just simple console. DOS is suitable start for GNU/Linux useers.
  4. Many popular deprecated software is available as Shareware & Demo versions
  5. Can be launched in smartphone by Limbo (Android QEMU port)
  6. Can be used on retro PCs & can interact with old hardware.
  7. Low level hardware access.
  8. Nested virtualization friendly - Can be used in Nested virtualization because old PCs was slower than modern ones in multiple times.
  9. Can be used to emulate old platforms: Sinclair ZX-spectrum, NES/SNES, SEGA.
  10. Can be used to load Linux kernel (loadlin)
  11. Old School - Enjoy Nostalgia!

DOS have disadvantages:

  1. Worst hardware support - modern CPUs can cause errors. sound cards, NICs don't works.
  2. Bynaries - Most of DOS software is distributed in binary form.
  3. Many viruses - Some viruses are become Legends.
  4. Software is deprecated.


DOS is deprecated, small, slow, simple & nostalgia OS.

Like a old things from real world DOS is treasure because it have great antique value for mandkind.

Why FreeDOS?

FreeDOS is open source DOS implementation licensed under under the GNU General Public License. Anyone can use FreeDOS freely.

How it works?

  1. User boot physical system or virtual system from DOSTVM as Live CD.
  2. DOSTVM Live CD is boot customized virtual FreeDOS floppy disk
  3. Virtual floppy disk is loads Mouse & CD-ROM drivers.
  4. Virtual floppy disk is create ramdisk for using as hard drive.
  5. Virtual floppy disk is launch fdauto.bat startup file from Live CD.


DOSTVM is Live CD which create virtual floppy disk & empty virtual hard disk (ramdisk).

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