duckie talks computers

Operating Systems: FreeDOS

Let’s talk about FreeDOS. This is a fun little operating system — it’s an MS-DOS clone.

DOS, which stands for Disk Operating System, is a class of operating systems, not any specific one. However, people tend to refer to basically any operating system in the DOS family as simply “DOS,” so it can get a bit confusing.

DOSes are simple, non-multitasking operating systems. They start up, give you an interface to start programs and get out of your way, until the program returns control to the DOS.

Modern MS-DOS clones are largely used for legacy enterprise software, classic DOS games, and embedded systems.

The last MS-DOS release was in 2000. People want to use a maintained operating system, so they frequently turn to DOS clones, such as FreeDOS. In 2000 Microsoft made their last release of MS-DOS and is no longer maintaining it. People prefer maintained operating systems, so turn DOS clones, such as FreeDOS.

FreeDOS is a solid MS-DOS clone which works on current hardware, with a large collection of compatible software.

FreeDOS is not meant to be modern. It pretends to be old, but plays nice with current systems. It’s largely about one of two things: running old software, or fun. FreeDOS does both quite well.