Monday, October 09, 2017

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.

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.

Create a crossover bottle for DOSBox. Just select DOXBox as one of the application, Crossover downloads and installs itWhen 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.

I did run into a hiccup during the installation when I was told I had run out of "file handles". I'll do some detective work and be back when I solve that issue.

RESOURCES

Codeweaver's Crossover

DOSBox

DOS Applications

History of Programs Included With Different
 Versions of DOS

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