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First post, by ovvldc

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Maybe not interesting for everyone, but I figured it was worth mentioning here. The folks over at ReactOS seem to be working on a game emulator based on their Windows NT core and some other stuff, like ntvdm. And it should also be capable of doing what DOSBox does. It is still early days, and no guarantees that they will finish anything soon.

See http://www.reactos.org/node/728

Are any of the DOSBox people involved in this? If only as advisors? Or even interested?

Reply 1 of 14, by Dominus

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My thoughts on ReactOS is that I don't need another OS that might or might not run a certain game. I won't boot an OS just for that. And before running ReactOS in a VM I'd rather run the real Windows I need for a gsme in a VM.
An emulator like Dosbox or a fork of Dosbox for Windows 32bit games - yes! That's what I want 😉

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Reply 3 of 14, by collector

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Dominus wrote:

My thoughts on ReactOS is that I don't need another OS that might or might not run a certain game. I won't boot an OS just for that. And before running ReactOS in a VM I'd rather run the real Windows I need for a gsme in a VM.
An emulator like Dosbox or a fork of Dosbox for Windows 32bit games - yes! That's what I want 😉

Agreed.

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Reply 4 of 14, by ovvldc

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Dominus wrote:

An emulator like Dosbox or a fork of Dosbox for Windows 32bit games - yes! That's what I want 😉

You'll hear no counterargument from me 😀.

Now that we've established the widely felt interest for such a piece of software, would anyone know where to find such a thing, or a group who might be working on it? After all, it has been some time since the last DOSBox release and it is conceivable that people have been forking and working on such an emulator without informing the wider community about their plans...

Reply 5 of 14, by DosFreak

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DOSBox not having a release in a long time does not mean it's not being actively developed. Check the changelog and you'll see updates. http://source.dosbox.com/dosboxsvn.txt

Also the next release of DOSBox is being worked on and will be released....eventually.

There is also work being done for 9x compatibility if you check the forums. This doesn't necessarily mean it will be in the official dosbox but it's a step in the right direction.

As for the NTVDM in ReactOS.... although the NTVDM in Windows worked well enough for the time it was severly lacking compared to other emulators and then when DOSBox was released it very quickly blew them all away (except for fringe cases) that's not to say that this NTVDM will be the same just that there is a reason DOSBox was created and I don't see this NTVDM coming even close to it any time soon or even surpassing it.

I have issues with them stating that DOS apps prefer a real PC. DOS "apps" don't prefer anything and they aren't apps. You could said that DOS PROGRAMS that require direct access to hardware would be better on a real PC but support for those could also be coded in DOSBox (and has been by those companies that require it).

I'm wondering what the point is of ReactOS bothering with NTVDM unless they also plan on supporting it on 64bit processors like NT4/2000 did on the DEC Alpha. ( http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2 … /25/607075.aspx ) If so they would be re-inventing the wheel since DOSBox already does the same thing.

Backwards compatibility with 16bit is a noble goal but it's something they shouldn't be devoting a significant amount of time to.
NTVDM in ReactOS should be so far down on their development concerns as to be nonexistent if they every hope for ReactOS to be relevant to anyone.

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Reply 6 of 14, by mr_bigmouth_502

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At first I thought this was going to be about some sort of a "Win9xBox" program being developed by the ReactOS people, then I realized that they're just trying to create a ripoff of DosBox to build into one of the future versions of ReactOS. 🤣 It's a noble effort, but it seems kind of pointless to me. That being said, if they manage to implement this in a 64bit build so that 16bit installers can be run, then kudos to them. 😁

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Reply 7 of 14, by Jorpho

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DosFreak wrote:

As for the NTVDM in ReactOS.... although the NTVDM in Windows worked well enough for the time it was severly lacking compared to other emulators at the time and then when DOSBox was released it very quickly competely blew them all away. (except for fringe cases)

Except of course DOSBox can't possibly run anything that isn't a game, right? 🤣

I'm wondering what the point is of ReactOS bothering with it unless they also plan on supporting it on 64bit processors like NT4/2000 on the DEC Alpha.

NTVDM in ReactOS should be so far down on their development concerns as to be nonexistent if they every hope for ReactOS to be relevant to anyone.

Actually, it seems like relatively low-hanging fruit as far as things that might make ReactOS "relevant to anyone" are concerned – such that it might bring in more users and spur on development of tricker aspects.

Reply 8 of 14, by Stiletto

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Errr... if this "NTVDM" they're working on does not have all the same flaws of the REAL NTVDM (that basically caused us to start this forum), then they're doing their raison d'être a disservice. ReactOS was made to clone, in open-source software, all the quirks and foibles of the Windows NT OS.

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Reply 9 of 14, by crazyc

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mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:

That being said, if they manage to implement this in a 64bit build so that 16bit installers can be run, then kudos to them. 😁

That, at least, shouldn't be a big problem since x86-64 only removed Virtual 8086 mode, 16bit protected mode works fine. ReactOS borrows from Wine which implements Win16 as a Win32 app that doesn't require Virtual 8086 mode unlike NT.

Reply 10 of 14, by ovvldc

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Funny bit here is that Wine now apparently tries to launch DOSBox for 16 bit apps. Or if they don't, they at least have the infrastructure in place to hand them off to DOSBox. And Wine is building down its support for 16 bit Windows, so that leaves a gap. At the moment, Daum seems the best filler of that gap but that is less official and supported that one would like.

Aside from that, all these open source projects are somewhat incestuous 😉.

Reply 11 of 14, by crazyc

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Well, without V86 mode, DOSBox and DOSEmu are really the only simple options for DOS app support and DOSEmu is barely maintained and very tied to Linux (although, some DOS pmode apps could work with a DPMI server which DOSEmu may already do). As for Wine and Win16, it's probably been stuck in maintenance mode since Wine finished the Win32-Win16 separation but that no changes have been made by Microsoft to the API in ~15 years, it doesn't require much maintenance. It'll likely be supported as long as Linux supports user apps setting LDT entries. There is a official way to run Win16 apps in x86-64 Windows though, XP mode. ReactOS could use KVM if they wanted to go that way.

Reply 12 of 14, by Jorpho

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crazyc wrote:

As for Wine and Win16, it's probably been stuck in maintenance mode since Wine finished the Win32-Win16 separation but that no changes have been made by Microsoft to the API in ~15 years, it doesn't require much maintenance.

It's still far from 100% compatible, isn't it?

crazyc wrote:

There is a official way to run Win16 apps in x86-64 Windows though, XP mode.

XP mode isn't officially included in Windows 8 anymore.

Reply 13 of 14, by DosFreak

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You might be able to load DOS in Hyper-V (included in Windows 8 ). Not sure how useful it would be tho.

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Reply 14 of 14, by crazyc

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Jorpho wrote:

It's still far from 100% compatible, isn't it?

Compatible enough to run a large majority of installers.

Jorpho wrote:

XP mode isn't officially included in Windows 8 anymore.

On Windows 8, I guess, the official way would be to run a licensed copy of 32-bit Windows in Hyper-V. That doesn't chance ReactOS's options though.