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The [dosbox] section contains various settings that do not pertain to any other section (e.g. setting the language used in DOSBox help texts, where to store screen captures, etc.)

language = path-to-language-file
Select another language file.
The default value empty (language= ).
(since 0.??)
memsize = nn
Amount of high memory (in megabytes) available to programs.
Note: DOSBox always allocates 1 MB of low memory, so the total amount of memory equals 1 MB of low memory, plus whatever is allocated for high memory.
The default value is 16 (memsize=16).
(since 0.??)
machine = hercules | cga | tandy | cga | tandy | pcjr | ega | vgaonly | svga_s3 | svga_et3000 | svga_et4000 | svga_paradise | vesa_nolfb | vesa_oldvbe
(since 0.73)
(previously machine = hercules | cga | tandy | vga)
The type of machine (specifically the type of graphics hardware) DOSBox tries to emulate.
The default value is svga_s3 (machine=svga_s3) (was previously vga)
Definitions are as follows:
vgaonly (previously vga) is VGA (Video Graphics Array): IBM's graphics system introduced with the PS/2. True VGA supports 16 colors at 640x480 resolution, or 256 colors at 320x200 resolution (and not 256 colors at 640x480, even though many people think it does). VGA colors are chosen from a palette of 262,144 colors (not 16.7 million) because VGA uses 6 bits to specify each color, instead of the 8 that is the standard today. (info taken from See also wikipedia:Video Graphics Array and

Tandy: Refers to the additional graphics modes available on a Tandy 1000 or PCjr, which included 160x100x16, 160x200x16, 320x200x16, and 640x200x4. The Tandy RL/SL/TL series also added a 640x200x16 mode. (info taken from,31/)

CGA (Color Graphics Adapter): Refers to IBM's first color graphics card. The CGA supports several different modes; the highest quality text mode is 80x25 characters in 16 colors. Graphics modes range from monochrome at 640x200 (which is worse than the Hercules card) to 16 colors at 160x200. However, for gaming, by far the most common mode was 4 colors at 320×200 pixels. These four colors, however, could not be freely chosen from the 16 CGA colors ? there were only two official palettes for this mode:
  • Magenta, cyan, white and background color (black by default). (much more common for gaming)
  • Red, green, brown and background color (black by default). (Can sometimes be selected as an alternate on some games).
Note that VGA fully supports most CGA modes, so you should be able to leave DosBox in VGA mode and play most CGA games.
(info taken from wikipedia:Color Graphics Adapter,, and

Hercules: Refers to a graphics card developed by Hercules Computer Technology as a competitor to CGA for monochrome monitors. Hercules systems generate both high-resolution text and graphics. The resolution is 720 by 348 and only a single color is supported. (info taken from and wikipedia:Hercules Graphics Card)
(since 0.??)
captures = path-to-capture-directory
Directory where things like music (wave and MIDI) and screenshots are captured when special keys CTRL-F5 and CTRL-F6 are used. Screenshots will be captured and saved as (PNG) files with a resolution of 320x200.
Note: The capture directory will not be created automatically - you must create it before you start capturing music and screenshoots, otherwise nothing will be saved. As of v0.73 (possibly prior) it is created automatically on first use.
The default value is capture (captures=capture).
(since 0.62).