DOSBox quick reference

The DOSBox logo

I use DOSBox for Windows so infrequently that I keep forgetting how to use it. So here's a list of all the things I often need to remember.

Installing a game from CD

You need to mount a directory on your hard drive to pretend to be your C: drive, then mount your CD drive and run the game's installation file.

  • Run DOSBox.
  • Mount the directory (in this case I'm putting all my old games in c:\games\oldgames): mount c c:\games\oldgames
  • Mount your CD drive (assuming your CD drive is drive E): mount d e:\ -t cdrom -ioctl
  • Change to your CD drive: d:
  • Install your game: install.exe (or whatever the installer is called)

Running a game

Mount your games directory as C: and then run the game.

  • Mount the directory: mount c c:\games\oldgames
  • Change to the right drive: c:
  • Go to the right place: cd quake\
  • Run the game: quake.exe (or whatever the executable for the game is called)

Auto mount your games drive

Configure DOXBox to do the drive mounting from the previous section automatically on startup.

  • Open the DOSBox configuration file (either Start -> All applications -> DOSBox -> DOSBox Options or edit dosbox.conf directly).
  • Add these lines to the end of that file.
    • mount c c:\games\oldgames
    • c:
  • Now you can just go to the right directory and run your game.

Create a shortcut to run a game

Apparently this won't work if you've applied the instructions in the 'Auto mount your games drive' section.

  • Create a shortcut to DOXBox, or copy an existing one.
  • Open the properties and in 'target' append the full path to the executable for the game you want, e.g. if I have DOSBox installed in C:\games\DOSBox-0.7 and Quake installed in c:\games\oldgames\quake the full line would be:
    • C:\games\DOSBox-0.74\DOSBox.exe -userconf "C:\games\oldgames\quake\quake.exe"

Note: I don't think this mounts the CD drive, so if your game relies upon that, or just plays music from it, it might not work.

Misc commands

  • Full screen mode: ALT + ENTER
  • Take a screenshot: CTRL + F5, stored in the capture folder (configurable), defaults to something like C:\Users\(you)\AppData\Local\DOSBox\capture\

Further information

All of the information here is already online, I'm just bringing it together for ease of reference. If you want more in depth information, try some of the following links.


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