I have been feeling a little nostalgic this weekend. Yesterday morning I installed ZSNES, a Super Nintendo emulator, and fired up a ROM of Earthworm Jim and played that with my son for a while. Ah, the memories. After cleaning out the garage that afternoon I came across a box of old DOS games including two of my all-time favorites from Lucas Arts, X-Wing and Tie Fighter.
DOSBox is a DOS-emulator that uses the SDL-library, emulates 286/386 realmode/protected mode and has excellent sound compatibility with older games. Last time I installed a DOS emulator it was DOSEMU and the experience was far from memorable. So, with fairly low expectations, I decided to try DOSBox this time around. The experience was great and getting it to run under Ubuntu 9.04 is super simple.
Open a terminal window in Ubuntu and install DOSBox:
sudo apt-get install dosbox
Next, create a folder to install your DOS games to:
Because Ubuntu changed something related to the scancodes from 8.10 on, some of the keys, specifically the arrow keys, don't work. According to the DOSBox website, the workaround for English/American keyboard layouts is to enter the following from the open terminal window:
echo -e "[sdl]\nusescancodes=false\n" >>~/.dosboxrc
Now, when we start DOSBox the arrow keys will function correctly.
This will start a DOSBox window which resembles an old DOS prompt command line. You then need to mount your dosgames folder you created earlier so DOSBox knows where to find your games. At the DOSBox Z:\> prompt enter:
mount c /home/username/games/dosgames
If you need your CD drive to install/play your game, place the CD in the drive first. Ubuntu will typically auto mount it under /media/disk and you can mount it within DOSBox with:
mount d /media/cdrom -t cdrom
Once you have your game running, you can add CPU cycles to it in order to increase performance by pressing,
Ctrl + F12 or decrease cycles by pressing,
Ctrl + F11.
Scenes from Lucas Arts "X-Wing"
Tags: games, ubuntu