DOSBox is an x86 PC DOS-emulator for running old DOS games or programs.
Install the package or AUR for the development version. Alternatively, two forks can be installed:
- AUR aims to modernize the codebase
- AUR tries to emulate hardware much more accurately
Note that vanilla DOSBox has not seen a new release since 2019, and some distributions ship dosbox-staging as the default. 
No initial configuration is needed, however the official DOSBox manual refers to a configuration file named
dosbox.conf. By default that file exists in your
You can also make a new configuration file on a per-application basis by copying
~/.dosbox to the directory where your DOS app resides and modifying the settings accordingly. You can also create a configuration file automatically: simply run
dosbox without any parameters inside your desired application's folder:
Then at the DOS prompt, type:
Z:\> config -wc dosbox.conf
The configuration file
dosbox.conf will then be saved in the current directory. Go in a change whatever settings you need.
The configuration options are described in the official DOSBox wiki.
A simple way to run DOSBox is to place your DOS game (or its setup files) into a directory and then run
dosbox with the directory path appended. For example:
$ dosbox ./game-folder/
You should now have a DOS prompt whose working directory is the one specified above. From there, you can execute the desired programs:
Tips and tricks
Free DOSBox focus
If DOSBox traps your focus, use
Ctrl+F10 to free it.
Play music in DOS games
To play music, some DOS games require a MIDI synthesizer which DOSBox does not emulate. However, DOSBox can use one if it is available. A software synthesizer such as FluidSynth or Timidity can be used if your computer does not have a hardware synthesizer.