[Wine] Lack of DOS support in wine

Dean Hamstead dean at fragfest.com.au
Sun Oct 12 17:13:40 CDT 2008

i believe the answer lies somewhere in the concepts involved with 
emulating dos versus implementing the windows API

in order to emulate dos, doxbox emulates an entire hardware machine in 
software. dos was a very thin layer on top of the hardware which in lots 
of cases the programs unloaded and took on the hardware for themselves. 
recall the good old days of telling your software the io and irq of your 
sound card and the type of video card you have.

(compared to the massive hulk that windows is now, where the browser is 
somehow debatable considered 'part of the operating system', back then 
windows was a separate application you ran on top of dos)

wine on the other hand 'is not an emulator', in that it implements the 
win api's on top of unix libraries and functions (or implements them 
itself). there is no attempt at fully fledged emulation - which is why 
wine runs so fast and dosbox is so strangely cpu hungry for how it performs.

also, MS-DOS was not by any means the only dos, nor was it the best of 
the dos operating systems. PC-DOS and DR-DOS were in so many ways vastly 
superior to MS-DOS.


mangamuscle wrote:
> I am curious how come Wine has no direct support for DOS but has support for Windows 2,3 & 95 (which required DOS for their installation). I think of Wine as an utility to run legacy software and DOS compromises a big chunk of it. I know I can use Dosbox but it would be better for the end user if one program could run in linux all software made for m$. As a bonus, Dosbox also is open source, so I think it would be feasible to merge their source into Wine.
> By no means I am trying to anger anyone with this post, I am simply curious.


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