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linux dosemu

Von: Trifle Menot (triflemenot@beewyz.com) [Profil]
Datum: 16.03.2010 02:15
Message-ID: <6ujtp5ttfajro9usulrdthj68tncasrerq@4ax.com>
Newsgroup: alt.bbs
I prefer linux to Windows, so I've been testing dosemu to see if it's
usable for running a legacy DOS BBS.  At first, the dosemu docs were
hard to grasp, but with perseverance, I eventually made some progress.

I got PCBoard running both over a serial null modem cable, and telnet
too, using the common linux xinetd/telnetd.  The performance is good,
without hogging the CPU, I was surprised.  I think 20-40 nodes on one
host would work.  I'd hate to try that with Desqview.

One thing bugging me was the display of fonts.  Most linux use iso8859
or utf8 and so the dos screens were not true replicas like I wanted.  So
I started reading up on linux fonts:

http://tldp.org/LDP/LGNET/91/loozzr.html

to get a better understanding of the possibilities.  Once I got my head
around it, I realized I needed a cp437 font, but alas, my distro did not
supply one.  Bummer.  But after more reading I realized that linux will
default to the ROM font from the graphics card if you can figure out how
to stop the init scripts from loading any font.

Once I did that, my dosemu screens looked like real DOS.  But trying to
use the video ROM font gets messy if you want to do anything else on a
linux console, because some linux distros will load other console fonts
automatically, and when that happens you can't get the ROM font back
without rebooting.  So then, I wondered if I could capture the ROM font
into a psf font file that linux understands.

http://www.seasip.info/Unix/PSF/

On that page there is a link to a utility called GRABFONT.EXE which runs
in DOS.  So I rebooted into real DOS, ran grabfont, and it gladly dumped
the three standard psf files for the cp437 ROM font.  Cool.  So I booted
back to linux and fixed up the init script to load the cp437 font, along
with a unicode map suitable for cp437.  By writing some shell scripts to
use the setfont command, I will be able to switch linux console fonts as
the need arises.

So far so good with dosemu.


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