From DOSBoxWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search
The printable version is no longer supported and may have rendering errors. Please update your browser bookmarks and please use the default browser print function instead.

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:
svga_s3 (vga on DOSBox 0.71 and 0.72) is SVGA (Super Video Graphics Array): A loose standard designed to allow graphics modes superior to that of VGA. This option emulates an S3 Trio64, one of the most compatible SVGA cards, supporting 256 colors at up to 1600x1200 and full (32- or 24-bit) color at up to 1024x768. It is nearly 100% backwards compatible with VGA, and thus is backwards compatible with EGA and CGA (except 16-color composite mode). It is not backwards compatible with special Tandy, PCjr or Hercules Monochrome graphics modes.
(info taken from and

vgaonly (vga on DOSBox 0.70 and previous) 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

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 in composite mode. However, for gaming, by far the most common mode was 4 colors at 320×200 pixels. While various hacks allowed substitution of one of the 16 colors above, 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 SVGA fully supports most CGA modes (except the 16-color composite mode), so you should be able to leave DosBox in SVGA mode and play most CGA games.
(info taken from wikipedia:Color Graphics Adapter,, 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. Also backwards compatible with CGA, except for 16-color composite mode.
(info taken from,31/)

PCjr: Refers not to a graphics mode but an entire system developed by IBM, and the company's first attempt at a home computer. Its graphics modes are identical to that of the Tandy, but it is not 100% compatible with any other IBM computer. Allows the user to boot cartridge files specifically designed for this system (.jrc).
(infofrom wikipedia:IBM PCjr 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 two colors (foreground and background) are supported.
(info taken from and wikipedia:Hercules Graphics Card)

EGA (Enhanced Graphics Adapter): Refers to a graphics card developed by IBM between the CGA and VGA, and thus has capabilities between the two. It supports 16 colors at a time from a set of 64 possible in resolutions up to 640x350. It also supports all the color modes of CGA except 16-color composite mode. This mode is rarely needed as VGA and SVGA can handle all the same modes.
(info taken from wikipedia:Enhanced Graphics Adapter)

Aditional SVGA modes (only necessary if svga_s3 doesn't work.)
  • vesa_oldvbe the same as svga_s3, but uses a lower version of VESA (1.3), the code used to interface with SVGA cards. This is necessary for some older SVGA programs.
  • vesa_nolfb the same as svga_s3 introduces a no-line frame buffer hack. Sometimes runs faster than plain svga_s3. Only needed in a few games due to either a bug in DOSBox or the line-frame buffer mode of the game.
  • svga_paradise emulates the Paradise PVGA1A and is only capable of the SVGA resolutions of 256 colors at 640×480 and 16 colors at 800×600. Like all SVGA modes, it is nearly 100% backwards compatible with VGA.
  • svga_et3000 emulates the Tseng Labs ET3000, which can handle everything the Paradise card can plus 256 colors at 800×600 and 16 colors at 1024×768.
  • svga_et4000 emulates the Tseng Labs ET4000, which is the same as the ET3000 except it can also handle 256 colors at 1024×768.
(info taken from
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).