Chapter 1: Prepare a virtual machine for FreeDOS in VirtualBox
Chapter 2: Special settings for FreeDOS
Chapter 3: Connect the FreeDOS install CD
Chapter 4: Install FreeDOS
Chapter 5: Install the network
Chapter 6: Mount the FreeDOS image to transfer files
Chapter 7: FTP between host and guest
Bugs: High CPU usage of FreeDOS machine
Bugs: FreeDOS crashes at boot
Bugs: ICH9 chipset breaks networking
Bugs: Old bugs
Install the network
By default there is no network preinstalled with FreeDOS.
But the installer makes it pretty simple to set it up.
- Insert the install CD to VirtualBox.
Reboot and choose "Boot from system harddisk".
- Start the package manager
- On the left side choose "Networking", on the right side the programs you wish to install.
FDNET is mandatory for networking in VirtualBox. I would also recommend at least
- Confirm with OK and reboot
C:\FDOS\BIN\FDNET.BAT batch file was able to identify the system correctly as running in VirtualBox. It loaded the correct packet driver
DHCP.EXE from mTCP also found the network and was configured automatically.
So that's it. The network is up and running.
The most important networking software in FreeDOS 1.2 is Michael Brutman's mTCP. FTP, ping, telnet, htget, even a FTP server is part of the mTCP software collection.
mTCP comes with an own DHCP client. It receives the necessary IP addresses from the router automatically and writes it into the main configuration file
Some mTCP applications (f.i. the FTP server) need additional settings. You find more information in
C:\MTCP\SETUP.TXT and in various textfiles in the same directory.
Other DOS networking programs rely on the older WATTCP TCP/IP stack by Erick Engelke. Their configuration is done in
C:\FDOS\WATTCP.CFG. In FreeDOS 1.2,
WATTCP.CFG tells the programs to get their configuration by DHCP. But, unfortunately, some of the old programs are unable to do so.
So either you put fixed IPs in
WATTCP.CFG. Or you use a nice utility written by Canadian programmer Dave Dunfield: It will get the correct network settings via DHCP and write them into
If you want to do the latter,
C:\FDOS\WATTCP.CFG and delete the line
my_ip = dhcp
- Download "DDHCP" from the "Network tools" section.
- Put it into an directory
C:\DDHCP and add these lines to
AUTOEXEC.BAT, right after the
if exist %dosdir%\bin\fdnet.bat call %dosdir%\bin\fdnet.bat start
C:\DDHCP\DDHCP /W /F
/F parameter will fill in all values that are missing in
Now with every reboot,
WATTCP.CFG is updated with the correct network settings.
Continue with Chapter 6