From ArchWiki

DOSBox is an x86 PC DOS-emulator for running old DOS games or programs.


Install the dosbox package or dosbox-svnAUR for the development version. Alternatively, two forks can be installed:

Note that vanilla DOSBox has not seen a new release since 2019, and some distributions ship dosbox-staging as the default. [1]


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 ~/.dosbox folder.

You can also make a new configuration file on a per-application basis by copying dosbox.conf from ~/.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:

$ dosbox

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.

See also