What's New

Happy 40th anniversary to DOS!

40 years ago today (August 12, 1981) IBM released the IBM Personal Computer 5150. This was the first IBM “PC” and became the basis for all PCs today. (There were other “personal computers” before this, such as the ever-popular Apple II or Commodore personal computers. “Personal Computer” was what you called a computer that would fit on a desk and you could take home with you. It was a personal computer.) And most importantly: IBM released PC DOS 1.0 with the IBM PC, so today also marks the 40th anniversary of the DOS operating system!

Blocek 1.62: repack from 8/2021

Bloček is text editor for DOS with Unicode support. It means that unlike other DOS editors you are not limited to your current code page. It allows you to edit multi-language documents, translate texts from one language to another, write modern web pages and so on. Laaca wrote: "Thraex and W.Spiegl sent me their translations for my text editor Blocek. So I joined these patches with my older small updates and released not a truly new version but a repack of 1.62." In this version: + slovak keyboard layout + translations for german, french and turkish languages + more filters for conversions between Unicode and 8-bit codepages + included utility for creating new Unicode conversion filters (see .KEY_TBLTBL_CREA) + added file TRANSLAT.TXT which contains instructions how to create a translations to other languages * the binary in untouched. You can download the new Blocek editor at Laaca'a website.

Package Tools for FreeDOS

Jerome has created the Package Tools for FreeDOS. This is a handy set of tools that act on FreeDOS packages: Pkginfo will get information about packages, and Pkgmaker will assist you in creating new packages. This is open source software, under the Mozilla Public License Version 2.0. You can download it at Pkgtools.

FreeDOS Internationalization with Kittenc

The original Cats library was written in 2000 to replicate the Unix catgets message catalog system - so FreeDOS programs could support different spoken languages. The Cats implementation was later improved on by others to create a simpler, smaller Kitten library with wrappers that made it compatible with Cats. Now, Tom Ehlert has created a newer, smaller implementation of Kitten:

"KITTENC - catgets/kittengets compatible resource compiler. KITTENC 'compiles' language resources to strings and attaches these strings to the executable program such that the program can retrieve these strings at execution time. This way it is enough to copy a file to another place without taking care that the resources (in the NLS directory) are also copied." This saves a lot of disk space compared old KITTEN/NLS approach, and saves a few bytes for each message translation. You can find the new version at {zip file} and we've mirrored it at the FreeDOS Files Archive at Ibiblio, under /files/devel/libs/kitten as

Lynx browser, version 2.9.0dev.8

You might know Lynx, the text-based web browser. Karen shared news that the Lynx browser development version has been updated to 2.9.0dev.8. What's new in this release: * regenerated lynx.pot, sent to translation project -TD * align options in rpm/deb test-packages -TD * change keyword-matching in Lynx's special URLs such as LYNXDOWNLOAD to use case-insensitive matching to work around idn2's conversion -TD * build-fix for idn library vs idn2 (report by GV). It's available at

Recent FreeDOS videos

You might know that we have a YouTube channel where I post videos about FreeDOS, or play DOS games, or show how to write your own DOS programs. If you don't follow the channel, I wanted to highlight a few recent videos: When we released FreeDOS 1.3 RC4, I shared several videos to provide an overview of RC4, installing RC4, and using the advanced installer. More recently, I recorded a video about how to use GNUCHCP from FreeDOS 1.3 RC4 to change the display font. I also like to show some DOS games on FreeDOS. Someone suggested I try Little Willy, a 2D platformer. And this weekend, I posted a video about Acronia, a 2D shooter from the DOS Games Jam. The "programming" videos have been popular, and I recently posted videos about writing an extended ASCII table and how to program a chess board.

Windows 3.1 on FreeDOS

Can you run Windows 3.1 on FreeDOS? Until now, you could only run Windows 3.1 in Standard mode on FreeDOS. But thanks to recent work on the FreeDOS kernel, you can run Windows 3.1 in Enhanced mode on FreeDOS. Check out Jeremy's video, showing the latest FreeDOS kernel running Windows 3.1 in Enhanced and Standard mode. More info from Jeremy about the updated kernel: "I haven't pushed the changes to the public GitHub repository yet as there are still some rough edges to fix (all the changes are technically there, just in the old unstable branch). I will make a test version (with source) available later this week along with steps to run Windows. ... For the technical aspect - the changes are minimal to the kernel, added support for a few int 2F function calls that were never merged in was about all it took. All significant changes behind a WIN31SUPPORT #ifdef so doesn't need to be compiled in if unwanted." Thanks Jeremy!

MicroWeb Alpha release 0.5

MicroWeb is a web browser for DOS! It is a 16-bit real mode application, designed to run on minimal hardware. This is text-only, but runs in graphics mode. HTTP only, not HTTPS. No CSS or Javascript, but supports direct formatting. The Alpha release 0.5 now includes support for CGA, EGA, VGA and Hercules display modes. Note that in Hercules mode, the mouse cursor is currently not visible. Several improvements to parsing and rendering. Images are now displayed as boxes with alt tag text. Also includes a boot disk images with a minimal FreeDOS install and NE2000 packet driver. You can find it at MicroWeb releases on GitHub.

FreeCOM 0.85a

FreeCOM is the FreeDOS COMMAND shell. Jeremy writes: "The release provides multiple variants, recommended is one of the Open Watcom xms-swap versions. This release fixes a regression with IF ERRORLEVEL in the 0.85 release and a regression that prevented the debug builds from working. Other changes are minor and mostly documentation updates. ... The files with ow are built with Open Watcom (default compiler), the files with bc are built with Borland C/C++ 3, and the files with gcc are built with GCC (ia16). Currently only xms-swap GCC (ia16) built version is provided, please see artifacts from automatic builds for latest builds with GCC. ... If you are unsure, download either the or and use the xms-swap version." You can find the new release at FreeCOM GitHub. We've also mirrored the files on the FreeDOS Files Archive at Ibiblio, under /files/dos/command/0.85a/

UNMUTE: PC speaker on HDA

KormaX shared this interesting utility: "UNMUTE is a utility from TomCat that sets up your HDA as an internal speaker and lets you control its volume and even the output at some degree. UNMUTE1B utilizes all your available outputs (built-in speakers included), and UNMUTE11 only uses the lineout jack: (with this version, your built-in speakers are not in use, which is a better control over beeper-speaker oriented programs as the unavoidably beeping machine)" The UNMUTE11 release also includes source code (MIT license) so we've mirrored that on the FreeDOS Files Archive at Ibiblio, under /files/util/sound/unmute