Skip to main content

HOWTO Install Word Perfect 5.1, a DOS Application, using Crossover

Codeweaver's Crossover, now at version 17, does an excellent job of making most MS Windows applications run reliably on a modern Linux installation.DOS

But what if you have an old DOS-based game or application? Crossover doesn't do DOS in a way that enables it to run these old DOS applications and the smart money is on installing and using DOSBox as a native Linux application and running those apps from there. Using it is pretty straightforward, but you must read the documentation to get started.

But if you just installed the native Linux version of DOSBox you would miss out on several very nice features of Crossover such as easily accessing the apps from your desktop menu, and being able to archive and restore the DOS application. You can do all of this without Crossover, but if you use Crossover for Windows apps, it would be nice to use Crossover with DOS apps.

Fortunately, Crossover does offer and easy way to install the Windows version of DOSBox. You can also add DOSShell v1.9 by Loonies Software, a GUI wrapper for running installed DOS apps.

DOSBox also offers some improvements over Vanilla DOS, like virtual drives, screenshots and screencasts. While the official version has been at 0.74, released in 2010, development continues in SVM builds. You may find an enhanced version that meets a particular need for your application.

Create a crossover bottle for DOSBox. Just select DOSBox as the application, then Crossover downloads and installs it. When completed, one of the menu options is DOSBox 0.74 Options. A right-click and "Open" displays the configuration file for DOSBox. Don't make any changes except to add at the very bottom the following:

mount c /~/.cxoffice/drive_c

This command will tell DOSBox to treat the drive_c directory in your DOSBox bottle as the default C:\ drive.

I always preferred my DOS CD-ROM drive to be labeled R:\ and you can do this from the WINE Configuration menu selection. The window will open and you can select Drives. Add drive R:\ with the Add button. Select it and change its Path to /dev/sr0 and now you CD/DVD disc drive will appear to DOSBox as R:\. Creating virtual drives of any other directory is easy and very convenient.

Once all that is done, you have a working DOSBox that automounts the Crossover bottle's C:\ drive, can access any CDROMs you have as well as any other directory you choose to configure as a virtual drive.

To install WordPerfect 5.1 all I needed to do was launch the DOSBox bottle and change the directory to the virtual drive I had configured to hold all the installation files and run INSTALL.EXE which handles everything else. The installation was a fairly lengthy and elaborate process. I remember those days with no fondness.

I did run into a hiccup during the installation when I was told I had run out of "file handles". Nothing seems amiss when running WordPerfect, but I'll do some detective work and be back if I solve that issue.

vDos
If you are just interested in running DOS business applications and not games, vDos targets that market, providing better support for keyboard, mouse, networking and printing that DOSBox. It runs only on MS Windows7 and later Windows versions. vDos is actually a Windows program, not any kind of Linux program. It will run in a Windows7 WINE bottle ( i have installed an run it in Crossover). It is FOSS, but it is Freeware with a nag screen for non-businesses users; registration drops the nag screen and allow access to support. If you have a need to run DOS-based apps like WordPerfect or Wordstar, this may the app for you.

vDos is installed in C:\vDOS which becomes the default C:\ drive; you can map other Windows directories to a DOS drive as necessary, create customized startup files for multiple applications. It seems very handy for business-focused DOS applications.

RESOURCES

Codeweaver's Crossover

DOSBox

DOSBox project WIKI

DOSBox FAQ

DOSBox at Wikipedia

DOSShell

DOS Applications

History of Programs Included With Different
 Versions of DOS

vDos

vDos FAQ

vDosPlus

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DOS4GW.EXE Version 2.01a and Alternative DOS Extenders

DOS4GW.EXE
The TenberryDOS extender DOS4GW.EXE was used by many early DOS games. I still enjoy playing many of these games and DOS4GW.EXE is usable with DOSBox, so they can be played on Linux.

However, the version of DOS4GW.EXE that was included with the game was whatever was current at the time. The most recent version that includes many bugfixes that possibly affected the games when used with DOSBox have been fixed in the latest version, 2.01a.

It's not free at US$49, but you can downloaded it here. Simply substitute it for whatever version of DOS4GW.EXE your game provided and enjoy the bug-fixed goodness. Tenberry also makes a "high-performance" "pro" version of DOS4GW.EXE, but it costs $300. I think that they could sell quite a few of these to hobby users (since, you know, DOS is dead) for US$5.

Open Souce to the Rescue
There are better performing, free and Open Source alternatives available and worth a look.

DPMI Explained
But first, let's understand w…

Fixing a Buggy ACPI BIOS Updated for Windows 8 and Linux Kernel 3.x

In the BIOS, there is a table that configures/determines a number of hardware values for ACPI and your system to use.

One of the features of ACPI is that the values and methods used can be differentiated at boot time depending on what OS you run. Each version of MS Windows has a unique identifier and while Linux can identify as "Linux", the Linux ACPI gurus have decided that Linux will always identify itself as "Windows NT". Even if you force Linux to identify itself as Linux, the Linux ACPI code still lies to the BIOS, except for the computers specifically listed in drivers/acpi/blacklist.

If you are running very new hardware intended for Windows Vista or Windows 8, you might get better performance on ACPI-related issues if you identify, or "spoof", your Linux OS as Vista or Windows 8. This is done by adding the boot-time kernel parameter of acpi_osi="Windows 2006" or "Windows 2012" respectively (and the quotes are necessary). still,…

Mageia

The first release of Mageia 1 is out. You can download it from here and read the release notes here.

If you've used Mandriva Linux, you'll feel right at home with Mageia. Mandriva has always had a reputation of working well for both the novice user and the power user. Installation is typically easy and hardware support is among the best of any distro. The user and administrative tools are comprehensive and easy to use. Of course, under the hood, it's all Linux and all configuration files are plain text files and all a competent administrator needs do is to choose a shell and a text editor.

Mandriva has also been known for excellent default fully-featured configurations of the KDE, GNOME, XFCE and LXDE desktop environments as well as a broad range of available applications. Mageia is no exception in this regard.

For the average user, the changes are mostly cosmetic. The Mageia art, colors and graphics are very well done (and contributed by the Mageia user community). But …