Before getting certain DOS games to run in Windows XP, I spent some time getting them to run on Linux. I was able to run "Wargame Construction Set II: Tanks!" and "Steel Panthers II" in Linux by using a DOS emulator. I have not been able to get sound to work in either game, but that may be because I am running Linux in a VMware virtual machine; the VMware virtual machine's sound support is incomplete. Here are the steps you need to take to run DOS games on Linux...
First obtain the dosemu emulator from the project Web site Get the stable binary release even if your Linux distribution comes with a dosemu package. I run Mandrake and had no luck with the Mandrake-supplied RPMs. Follow the instructions on the README.bindist file and install the emulator and FreeDOS tar files in your home directory.
The dosemu binary package is set up so that FreeDOS sees Linux directories as DOS directories. You can edit, add, or remove dosemu files from Linux - they are in the freedos directory that is created when you unpack the tar files. Don't do this when the emulator is running, however!
The dosemu and FreeDOS tars from the dosemu site give you everything you need except for the mscdex.exe program that is required if you want to access a CD-ROM drive. Download the free replacement scsucdx.exe and put it in the FreeDOS root directory (i.e., the freedos directory created when you installed dosemu).
Now edit the FreeDOS autoexec.bat file, adding this line:
You don't have to worry about mouse or CD drivers since those functions are provided by dosemu.
Now run the emulator using the xdosemu command. Once you have it running you simply install your games as you would on a real PC.
I had two problems running games this way. First, as noted above, I had no luck getting sound to run. I finally just ran the games' sound setup programs and specified "no sound card". Second, when running the emulator on a KDE desktop the mouse was jerky and almost impossible to use. When I switched to the Blackbox desktop the problem went away.
You may find that the emulated PC screen is too small. You can make it larger (keeping the same virtual screen resolution, of course) by adjusting the $_X_winsize parameter in the dosemu.conf file. I use this setting:
$_X_winsize = "960,720"
I was not able to get "Steel Panthers, World War II" running in the emulator. The game told me there was "not enough memory" despite the fact that dosemu gives you 612K of free conventional RAM. Since I now have that game working in Windows XP, I have not investigated further.
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