I have Ubuntu 20.04 and Dosbox 0.74-3. Is is possible to install GUI for this dosbox? Can one install C compiler for this box?

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    Welcome! Your question doesn’t really fit in the scope of this SE, because it involves new software — while Dosbox aims to emulate PCs and DOS, it does so with a limited scope (running DOS games), so it’s not necessarily suitable for general-purpose DOS usage. Many general-purpose programs will work fine, but if they don’t you’re on your own. If you want to make this more relevant to this SE, I suggest asking about MS-DOS development environments in general, but please explain what you’re ultimately interested in doing. Jul 29, 2020 at 13:58
  • You most likely should look at a full DOS installation in a virtual machine under Ubuntu. Jul 29, 2020 at 14:33
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    For what it's worth, I keep a Windows 98 virtual machine (running under Fusion Pro 11.5 on my Macbook Pro) with the OpenWatcom C/C++ (www.openwatcom.org) compiler/IDE installed and it works great. I would suspect you could do the same under Ubuntu using VirtualBox (www.virtualbox.org).
    – Geo...
    Jul 29, 2020 at 15:19
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    Yes. Borland C, for example.
    – peterh
    Jul 29, 2020 at 15:37
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    Open Watcom C/C++ also can run natively on Linux and compile for DOS, letting you use whatever tooling you want. (Open Watcom is unusual in that a single installation supports all targets by default.) That's how I do my retro-hobby programming. I just develop on Linux and have my build automation include a script which copies the built binary into DOSBox and launches it from outside. (For automated testing, DOSBox has serial1=nullmodem server: port:4543 transparent:1 set and that's how test builds report to the harness via COM1.)
    – ssokolow
    Aug 2, 2020 at 7:39

1 Answer 1

  • For the GUI: you can run Windows 3.1 in a Dosbox.
  • For a C compiler: you can use any C compiler of the era, for example Watcom C, djgpp, or Borland C.
  • For an IDE: Borland C had a quite good character IDE.
  • If the OP’s goal is to use the GUI for development, it’s worth pointing out that the version of Dosbox packaged in Ubuntu can’t run DOS programs inside Windows. Jul 29, 2020 at 18:22
  • Quick C was another C compiler and IDE from Microsoft for MS-DOS. But of course djgpp or watcom would be much more superior in terms of developer experience.
    – DmytroL
    Aug 11, 2020 at 15:26

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