DOSBox and Mac OS X

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For long time users of the Apple Macintosh, the DOS environment might appear confusing at first. It helps to have experience with the System Terminal and the Command Line. Once set up however a simple shortcut will be all you need.


This guide will use the 0.74 Mac OSX version which is available for download. The 0.74 release is compiled as a Universal Binary, and will run on PowerPC and Intel based Macs. To install DOSBox, first expand the .ZIP file and copy the contents into a folder like DOSBox. Move this folder into your Applications folder.

Now you need to create a folder to MOUNT as your C: drive and hold your games. The most convenient location for this folder would be your home folder (which can be referenced as ~). In This example we will call our folder DOSGAMES. Inside this folder we can place all of the programs that we want to be available in our emulated DOS environment. Remember that while these files are buried deep in the file system with paths like ~/DOSGAMES/TESTDRV, inside DOSBox they appear as though they reside in the root of their mounted drive letter, so the above example in DOSBox would be located at C:\TESTDRV (assuming that ~/DOSGAMES was mounted as C:).

Running DOSBox for the first time

Double click on the DOSBox icon in Finder to launch DOSBox for the first time. This will cause the DOSBox window to appear. By default no drives are mounted (except the DOSBox default Z:) From here you need to mount your DOSGAMES folder. Assuming you placed it inside your home folder you should be able to run this command to MOUNT the folder.

Drive C is mounted as local directory /Users/[your username]/DOSGAMES/

Now type this command to navigate to your newly mounted drive


Editing DOSBox preferences

After you first run DOSBox, go to the ~/Library/Preferences/ folder and open the newly created file DOSBox 0.74 Preferences. The exact folder name in the Finder may vary, depending on the language you use for OS X.

By editing this file, you can set the system settings and initialization values that define your emulated environment. You can also add MOUNT commands to the AUTOEXEC section at the bottom of the configuration files, so that you do not have to type them in every time you start DOSBox.

Running DOSBox with custom config

You can create configuration file for individual games. It can hold specific configuration options and even commands for invoking game in the AUTOEXEC section. Then you can run DOSBox with your config by calling following command from terminal:

open -a DOSBox --args -conf path/to/your-config.conf