Frequently Asked Questions

1) What's the setup being used for running DOS and Windows games on Linux?

Platform: Pentium 1.6 GHrtz,
320 megs of RAM
OS:Redhat Linux 7.3
Mouse: Serial mouse (Cirque brand Easy Cat (glidepoint))
Gnome Desktop

UPDATE (20 Jan 03): The freedos setup resides on an NFS file server running Rehat 7.1, but the game itself is run
under the Pentium 1.6.
For Wine: A default setup from Codeweavers wine.
UPDATE (6 June 2003): The freedos autoexec.bat file is here.  The config.sys file is here.  Recommend you do NOT paste these files over your set up.  Use these files as a guideline for changes you may need to do to your setup.
A howto for installing dosemu/freedos and SPMBT is here:

1A) What games/programs do you have running using dosemu/Wine?

SPMBT (dosemu) See SPMBT pics posted here
SP3 (dosemu)
Wargame Construction Set II: Tanks!  (dosemu)
Harpoon Signature Edition (dosemu)
SPMBT Mobhack program (Wine)
Empire Deluxe for Windows (Wine)
Trillian (Wine)
Pueblo (Moo client) (Wine)
Aide de Camp II (Wine)
East Front II V1.02 (Wine)  But only certain modules.  The game engine exits silently.

The rule seems to be that the fewer dlls the game needs themore likely it will run and run well under Wine. I am trying to get to support the Campaign Series of games so that they may be run under Wine, the reason being that once East Front II is finally working under Wine, the other three games, Divided Ground, Rising Sun and West Front should fall into place.
UPDATE: It seems that safedisc is the central problem in getting East Front II to run under Wine, which means that your choice is to a) wait for transgaming/wine people to find a workaround, or b) to crack the program to remove the copy protection.

UPDATE (20 Jan 03): East Front II game engine does not yet work under Wine,but the map editor does so far work. East
Front runs under Wine, but not from a hard drive setup The gamemust start from the CD, but games can be saved.

A word about Trillian: These people have done an awesome job in putting together a program that will run a number of IM chat formats. ICQ will not run under Wine at all, but Trillian does, and does it so well, that Trillian places its own executable icon on the Gnome desktop. Awesome!

1B) So, will freedos and SPMBT run under a Pentium 166?

There is no reason why it wouldn't run. The key seems be RAM. It appears the freedos layer is pretty platform agnostic, but it also loves RAM. If you can stuff more than 300 megs aboard your Pentium and you have a SVGA card the default install program can probe, there is no reason why you can't run SPMBT in freedos.

2) What version of dosemu and freedos are you using?

freedos: dosemu-freedos-bin.tgz
CDROM Support:

3) Where do I get all this?
follow the links. Download to a non root directory, and install to a directory owned and available to the non-root user who will be running the games.
COMING SOON:  Step by step instructions on how to install dosemu and freedos in your Linux box from tarballs.

4) Why the shsucd CDROM file? Doesn't the dosemu CDROM support work?

I don't know that it doesn't work. dosemu has CDROM support. A person who operates this webpage  provided the link to the file and partial instructions for getting shsucdx to work.
Here is the page for the shsucd module.
UPDATE:  Install the SHSUCDX files in your dos or freedos directory.

5) Okay, I installed the CDROM support, but it can't find the CDROM. What gives?

Edit the config.sys file to add or uncomment the line: devicehigh=c:\dosemu\cdrom.sys.  Also,  my CDROM drive under freedos is drive B:

6) Which dosemu do I use or does it matter?

It does matter. Use xdosemu.

7) My Steel Panthers installation CD/program (Steel Panthers3, SPMBTv1) says I can't run setup  because it is a Windows program. Is there a way I can fix this?

You have three choices:
1) You can find a CD ( in the case of SP III) which has an installation program named install.exe, which is the DOS install program or
2) You can install Wine to run the installation program. I prefer Codeweavers Wine because of its nice user interface, but there are others. or
3) You can install it on a DOS/Windows setup, burn it onto a CD and transfer the setup to your DOS directory.

UPDATE (26 July 2003): You will definitly need Wine to run any patches for SPMBT and the Mobhack program because both programs are Windows programs.

UPDATE (20 Jan 03): SPCAMMO updates run perfectly under Codeweavers Wine, in this case SPMBT 1.5.

UPDATE (26 July 03): SPMBT MobHack program runs perfectly under Wine, but you will have to modify your mobhack.ini program and use the drive letters assigned by WIne to get to your SPMBT files directory.  Use the WinDOS style drives rather than the Unix/Linux mount point, but use the Unix/Linux directory switches.

UPDATE (3 June 2003)  Harpoon Signature Edition:  execute c:/harp386.exe h7 in xdosemu for additional handles to prevent game from exiting silently.  Mouse action is jerky but the game appears to be stable.

8) In which directory do I install my game? Will it show up in the Linux filesystem?

Make sure you install in a directory that freedos can read. It will need to be any directory below the /../freedos directory.
Running installation under freedos will allow you to choose which directory, but running a Wine installation is a little tricky,
since you will need to set up Wine to take the freedos installation into account.

9) The Steel Panthers 3 setup program says I do not have the right DOS version (6.2). Is this a problem?

I encountered the same warning, but the installation and operation went forward anyway.

10) I am getting no available memory to run my Steel Panthers programs but running mem.exe in DOS says I have plenty of memory.

Go to the dosemu.conf file in your DOS installation and edit the line: $_dpmi = (no) to read $_dpmi = (16000) 16 meg is the
minimum allocation you will need to run Steel Panthers. Recommend allocating 48 to 80 megs.

11) Why are you doing this? Isn't it easier to use Wine, or just to dual boot, or even forget about Linux and run Windows games on the originally intended platform/setup?

Wine does NOT run pure DOS games. Normally I would agree that it is a lot of hassle just to run a DOS game in Linux, but there are real advantages: You are not required to reboot into a native DOS environment, which is time-consuming and quite restrictive. You can run Steel Panthers under  this dosemu setup, and in the middle of the game, you can stop to  check email, write a note, use the File Manager, or visit a website  while the AI or while the replay is going, all without the game even so much as hiccupping. Gaming in Linux takes full advantage of the multi-tasking capabilities of Linux as it is. With all Microsoft's
claims of being a multi-tasking OS, you can't even do that in Windows.
 Also, Windows games have never enabled the user to stop while a wargame is running to check email or perform other tasks.

UPDATE:  Apparently you can do this running Windows XP

 Once Wine is finally fixed to run Windows wargames, the same advantages of true multi-tasking will apply as they never have with Windows. Freedos is freeware, which means no MS nazis threatening you, no EULAs, and no SPA.

12) So, I want to play Steel Panthers on Linux; These game files can get pretty large playing by e-mail. Can I use WinZip?

You will have to get Wine to install it for you and to get it working under Linux. I prefer to use tar and gzip. It is compatible with WinZip. You have to use the command Line interface command, but it does a pretty credible job. Also, there are projects at open source places like and which has GUI frontends  for gzip, btu I haven't tried any of these yet

13) So, you are a Linux nazi, eh?

No, I am a conservative Republican machinist who has a knack for computers and enjoys computer wargaming; who normally would have left Steel Panthers behind when I finally chucked Windows for Linux until SPMBT came out. But now that Linux can run advanced DOS wargames, and SPMBT is out, the Steel Panthers series will be a feature for wargaming for me for
some time to come.
UPDATE:  I still use Windows  the Campaign series.  


If you wanna chat live I can be sometimes found at

under the name Tomcat