Playing old DOS games on the Raspberry Pi

Retro Gamer

© Lead Image © lightwise, 123RF.com

© Lead Image © lightwise, 123RF.com

Article from Issue 261/2022
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Play old DOS games on the Dosbian operating system, which turns the Raspberry Pi into an 80486 PC.

Many users still hold old DOS games dear despite, or maybe precisely because of, their blocky graphics, beeping sounds, and chiptune music. Of course, state-of-the-art PCs are not much use for installing games for the old 16-bit operating system. The installation will typically fail, the hardware is far too fast, and the systems no longer support numerous components such as Soundblaster 16 sound cards or floppy drives. DOS runtime environments and DOS emulators such as DOSEMU and DOSBox often require a complex setup on Linux to run old DOS games.

Because older computer systems that are still suitable for the 16-bit operating system from the 1980s and early 1990s are becoming increasingly rare, the Raspberry Pi is a great alternative platform for the old games. Paired with Dosbian [1], a development by Italian programmer Carmelo Maiolino, you get a mature and easy-to-deploy solution.

Prerequisites

Dosbian on the Raspberry Pi does not take much in terms of resources. The operating system can be used on a Raspberry Pi 2B, although some modifications of the configuration are required to run games smoothly. All of the more recent generations of the small-board computer (SBC) will support Dosbian without problem. However, for old Windows games to run well on Dosbian, a Raspberry Pi 4 with added RAM is recommended because the software for these games requires fairly extensive memory capacities.

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