9. Video and sound

9.1. Can I run 32-bit video games under dosemu?

Mark Rejhon reported (95/4/8) that:

You can run many 32-bit video games in dosemu. If the game is compatible in an OS/2 DOS box, there are chances that it will work in dosemu. (Example 32-bit games include Descent, Dark Forces, Mortal Kombat 2, Rise of The Triad, which have all successfully been tested in recent dosemu releases).

Before you attempt to run a video game on the console, you must have the keyboard configured in raw keyboard mode, and enabled VGA graphics modes, in dosemu.conf or run dosemu -s. Moreover you must run DOSEMU as root, execute it via sudo or make dosemu.bin suid root.

Alternatively try running the game in xdosemu; press Ctrl-Alt-F to toggle fullscreen mode. Root permissions are unneeded and in almost all cases no configuration is necessary, but the speed may be slower than on the console, and a few games still exhibit glitches. Use speed 0 or some high value instead of 0 at the DOS prompt to temporarily set your HogThreshold to run DOSEMU at full tilt. After exiting the game use speed 1 or exit DOSEMU to give the CPU some rest.

Note that game timers can be a little bit slow, due to Linux multitasking and lack of high-frequency timer support. So the games may run from anywhere from 5 to 100 percent speed. Typically, the speed is approximately 50 percent in recent dosemu releases and is expected to improve eventually.

Who knows, it might even work. If you can't get it to work, check EMUfailure.txt if the program is listed there, or falls in a category of programs that at present don't or probably never work with dosemu. If you think, it should be listed in EMUfailure.txt, report to .

9.2. Exiting from dosemu on the console gives me a screen full of garbage.

(95/4/8) The problem is that the font information for the VGA text screen is not being saved. Get a copy of the svgalib package. The current source is in:


It may also be available as a pre-compiled package in your favorite Linux distribution (e.g., Slackware, etc.). Use savetextmode to save the current text mode and font to a file in /tmp before running dosemu. Then run textmode upon exiting dosemu to restore it.

Addition from (97/2/11):

Have a look also at README-tech.txt, where it is explained how dosdebug can aid you recovering.

If you use a graphical framebuffer console (but not vesafb) then /usr/sbin/fbset "1400x1050-60" or whatever your normal resolution and frequency are may help.

9.3. Why doesn't my soundcard software work with dosemu?

Dosemu includes a Sound Blaster 16 emulator called SBemu. See sound-usage.txt for information on setting this up. It may not work for everything. Programs that are known to work are Impulse Tracker and most games. One that is known not to work well is FastTracker II.

If you have trouble getting sound to work at all, make sure you have a working OSS driver and have configured everything properly as described in sound-usage.txt. If most of your sound software works but some programs don't detect sound, make sure your BLASTER environment variable is set properly. Finally, make sure you are aware of the difference between digital sound, FM, and MIDI; it may be, for example, that you have digital sound working but MIDI isn't set up properly.

If you believe DOSEMU really is having trouble with a specific program, and it isn't a configuration error on your part, then please, submit a bug report! Have a look at sound-usage.txt for information on getting debugging output.