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Retro x86-based machine emulator 86Box v3.2 brings Linux support

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86Box is a new one to me but perhaps some readers might be interested in it. It's an IBM PC system emulator that specializes in running old operating systems and software. Now with version 3.2 it's available for Linux.

"This Linux version was made possible by the massive work put in by contributors like jgilje, Cacodemon345, ts-korhonen and dob205, who developed the cross-platform Qt user interface or otherwise helped with freeing our code from the shackles of Win32. This new interface should look and feel almost exactly like the old Windows one. A macOS version is also in the works, also powered by the new interface and supporting both Intel and Apple Silicon, though it wasn’t ready in time for this release."

What does it feature?

  • Easy to use interface inspired by mainstream hypervisor software
  • Low level emulation of 8086-based processors up to the Pentium with focus on accuracy
  • Great range of customizability of virtual machines
  • Many available systems, such as the very first IBM PC 5150 from 1981, or the more obscure IBM PS/2 line of systems based on the Micro Channel Architecture
  • Lots of supported peripherals including video adapters, sound cards, network adapters, hard disk controllers, and SCSI adapters
  • MIDI output to Windows built-in MIDI support, FluidSynth, or emulated Roland synthesizers
  • Supports running MS-DOS, older Windows versions, OS/2, many Linux distributions, or vintage systems such as BeOS or NEXTSTEP, and applications for these systems

Downloads available on the GitHub. They went with AppImage for Linux so it should run across most major distributions.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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25 comments
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M@GOid 17 Feb
QuoteThey went with AppImage for Linux so it should run across most major distributions.

I wished more devs wold opt for this for their software. Some things shouldn't need you to plug a new repository, compile code or anything that requires a admin password. Just run it from the Download folder without much fuss.

I can hear the security minded folks furiously typing right now, but remember, I said "some things", not all apps.
F.Ultra 17 Feb
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Quoting: M@GOid
QuoteThey went with AppImage for Linux so it should run across most major distributions.

I wished more devs wold opt for this for their software. Some things shouldn't need you to plug a new repository, compile code or anything that requires a admin password. Just run it from the Download folder without much fuss.

I can hear the security minded folks furiously typing right now, but remember, I said "some things", not all apps.

I agree with "some things", not sure if this type of application fits that category, for me that is. However I think the main problem is that distros don't add new software to their repos until they release a new version of the distro, sometimes I wish that they would just add new interesting software to the existing repos as long as they don't come with dependency breaking stuff.
kokoko3k 17 Feb
Quoting: M@GOid
QuoteThey went with AppImage for Linux so it should run across most major distributions.

I wished more devs wold opt for this for their software. Some things shouldn't need you to plug a new repository, compile code or anything that requires a admin password. Just run it from the Download folder without much fuss.

I can hear the security minded folks furiously typing right now, but remember, I said "some things", not all apps.
Nope.
At least, not for me,thanks.
This is GPL 2.0 code that can be packaged by your distribution and installed and uninstalled by your package manager.
I can understand that for proprietary apps, or if you just need to test the software.
More appimages mean more bloat/useless duplication, more memory use.


Last edited by kokoko3k on 17 February 2022 at 4:52 pm UTC
whizse 17 Feb
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QEMU clearly prioritizes emulating modern systems, so it's becoming harder and harder to getting stuff like BeOS or Windows 3.11 running. This sounds like a much better option for those computational niches!
whizse 17 Feb
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Dev: Hey, take a look at this new interesting software I just released.
Linux users: Screw that! Let's argue about how the software is packaged and distributed instead!
mirv 17 Feb
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Upon reading this, my first thought was if it could be used to get Mechwarrior 2 running. Or possibly even Shadow of the Horned Rat.
Says it also supports doing various old Linux distributions. Maybe I could use it to play my old Loki games.
Geamandura 17 Feb
Representing all the noobs out there, and taking one for the team.

Could anyone kindly explain the difference between this, and DosBox? As long as I can run Transport tycoon and Sim city 2K and Mortal kombat in DosBox, what can I use this tool for?
TrainDoc 17 Feb
Quoting: GeamanduraRepresenting all the noobs out there, and taking one for the team.

Could anyone kindly explain the difference between this, and DosBox? As long as I can run Transport tycoon and Sim city 2K and Mortal kombat in DosBox, what can I use this tool for?

Super over-simplification:
DOSBox is for running games mostly from the late 80's to the mid nineties etc. This if for when you want to your software to think you're running some sort of IBM PC or PC Compatible (Clone) which did run DOS but also ran any number of other tools. Think of this as more of a VM like platform rather than a games playground like DOSBox.
kokoko3k 17 Feb
Quoting: whizseDev: Hey, take a look at this new interesting software I just released.
Linux users: Screw that! Let's argue about how the software is packaged and distributed instead!
Of course, because there are Linux users more concerned about the proliferation of appimages than interested in a particular software.
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