I have recently discovered that DOSBox is available for RISC OS. If you didn't already know, DOSBox is an x86 emulator that lets you run all of your favourite DOS software on a wide variety of platforms - including Raspberry Pi's running RISC OS.

This post will primarily deal with DOSBox running under RISC OS, but it is hoped that my reader will immediately go and grab a copy for her own OS, if not get the wonderful RISC OS installed on Raspberry Pi, like, this minute.

How to install
Simply find DosBox in the '!PackMan' package manager. What are you waiting for?

Getting started
The first thing you will want to do is create a folder on your Pi for all of your delicious DOS programs. The next step is to map this folder to a drive in DOS.

When you first launch DOSBox, you will see the Z: drive. There is not much you can do here. The names of your drives will be different, however on my machine:

mount c SDFS::RISCOSpi.$ (maps the Pi SD card as 'C:' drive)
mount d Fat32fs.RISCDISC.$ (maps my 'RISCDISC' flash card as 'D:' drive)
mount a RAM::RAMDISC0.$ (maps the ram drive as 'A:' drive)

If you need a primer in DOS commands.

To change to a new drive, type drive letter followed by a colon:

A: (will change to drive A)

To navigate to a new sub-directory:

cd directoryName

To move up one level:


To run a program, look for a .exe .bat or .com file (and type it)

To read a text file:

type filename

To get a directory listing

dir /p (paged mode)
dir /w (wide mode)

For more help with DOSBox, type 'help'.

The software
This is the reason you want DOSBox, to run all of that amazing software written before 1990 (before Ant and Dec were a thing and when MTV was actually about music).

I spent this morning raiding my IBM 286 PC for games and apps that I'll probably want to run under RISC OS. Here is some of my DOS software running on my Raspberry Pi:

One of the ubiquitous chess programs for DOS. This one is quite good. I'm going to let it beat me later.

I have no idea what I am doing but I'm glad I get to fly around in a spaceship that looks like it has been drawn by my ten-year-old nephew.

Dangerous Dave, no relation to Rik Dangerous, or Danger Dog.

Well Done, Dave!

Can you defeat the invaders' dastardly 'move right... then move left' strategy?

''Wilbling Wilf was a favourite of mine. Written by now computer security expert Graham Cluely @gcluely. The aim of the game is to guide Wilf through all infinity levels dopping jam from your leaky jam sandwich, whilst not getting eaten by the evil Glumphs!

Intra-Galactic Battles. I often dust this off and have a battle

Intra-Galactic Battles. Did someone say Startrek? It's okay, some of the ships look like they have been copied from Starwars too. Nevertheless, this is a truly awesome game. You choose to build ships from one of four different races and then go toe-to-toe in a slugging match of resource management against the computer.

Yay! ASCII clock and calendar. I don't know why I don't do a blog post about ASCII clocks. Oh, wait, I already have.

There is now even more reason to leave your Raspberry Pi switched on all day. Relax as you watch the virtual fish tank do its thing. Can you see the little snail?


As with most emulators, you will find some of your software does not run as expected. I encountered a few programs that would disable the mouse in RISC OS, or cause the whole system to freeze. On the whole, software tended to behave itself.

The sound emulation sometimes goes a lot wrong. Typically adjusting the emulated system speed will fix this problem. You can speed up and slow down the emulation (essential for Wilf) using CRTL+f11 and CTRL+f12.

You will also probably want to drop the resolution of RISC OS. Click on the monitor icon on the bottom right of the icon bar and select 800 x 600 for an authentic experience, depending on your own hardware.'s all folks!
If you enjoyed this post then you should go and get DOSBox installed on your Raspberry Pi. If you are sticking around for a bit, then you might like to read some posts about Intra-Galactic Battles, or just something completely different.