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DOSBox is still alive, with a new bug fix release available

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DOS lives on! Not just in our hearts but thanks to DOSBox [Official Site] you can continue playing some serious classics and a new update is available with some fixes.

Here's what's changed:

  • Fixed that a very long line inside a bat file would overflow the parsing buffer. (CVE-2019-7165 by Alexandre Bartel)
  • Added a basic permission system so that a program running inside DOSBox can't access the contents of /proc (e.g. /proc/self/mem) when / or /proc were (to be) mounted. (CVE-2019-12594 by Alexandre Bartel)
  • Several other fixes for out of bounds access and buffer overflows.
  • Some fixes to the OpenGL rendering.

Compatibility for this release should be no different to 0.74 and 0.74-2, so you should be able to upgrade without seeing any issues appear. They're also still working on the next major release with DOSBox 0.75, but some bugs are currently holding back a release.

I love DOSBox, before OpenXcom became fully playable for the classic X-COM experience I used it quite regularly. Cannon Fodder is also a rather guilty pleasure of mine, a true classic. What are some of your favourites you still play thanks to DOSBox?

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25 comments
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TheSHEEEP 27 June 2019 at 8:35 am UTC
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If only they would fix their window management to allow you to easily change resolutions at runtime, alt-tab, multi-monitor management, etc.
Then again, Wine has similar problems with its virtual desktop, so maybe emulation (yes, yes, Wine is not an emulator, but who cares) devs think window management is something dirty.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP at 27 June 2019 at 8:36 am UTC
dreamer_ 27 June 2019 at 8:43 am UTC
TheSHEEEPIf only they would fix their window management to allow you to easily change resolutions at runtime, alt-tab, multi-monitor management, etc.

I somewhat (not fully) addressed it in https://github.com/dreamer/steam-dos - my project supports multi-monitor setups and prevents DOSBox from changing the native resolution of your display. I can't address alt-tab without patches to the DOSBox itself, though.

Glad to see new DOSBox released, but last time I checked 0.74-3 from SVN it had glaring bugs :/.
sub 27 June 2019 at 8:59 am UTC
QuoteThey're also still working on the next major release with DOSBox 0.75

I know, it's just a number, but isn't DOSBox at 0.74-x for more than a decade?


Last edited by sub at 27 June 2019 at 9:00 am UTC
liamdawe 27 June 2019 at 9:01 am UTC
sub
QuoteThey're also still working on the next major release with DOSBox 0.75

I know, it's just a number, but isn't DOSBox at 0.74-x for more than a decade?
The problem is, for such a project keeping compatibility for so many titles must be a pretty huge order.
Eike 27 June 2019 at 9:04 am UTC
QuoteWhat are some of your favourites you still play thanks to DOSBox?

I wrote a game in the mid-nineties, a scrolling breakout published as shareware. It had a really dumb bug(*) which made it impossible to run on modern system, so DOSBox was the means for me to try my own game again.

(*) I measured the time to draw the game some hundreds of times and divided the number through the time. On modern systems, the time in the given accuracy was zero, so some hundreds divided by zero... *boom*
TheSHEEEP 27 June 2019 at 9:52 am UTC
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sub
QuoteThey're also still working on the next major release with DOSBox 0.75

I know, it's just a number, but isn't DOSBox at 0.74-x for more than a decade?
Few things are as slow as DOSBox development cycle.
To be fair, it's not like new games are coming out to catch up with and it kinda works reliably, but on the other hand, there are so many glaring issues that just are not getting tackled, it's just weird.

Quite frankly, DOSBox is not a good example of how to develop software, but it's the only thing we have doing what it does. *shrugs*


Last edited by TheSHEEEP at 27 June 2019 at 9:54 am UTC
wvstolzing 27 June 2019 at 10:54 am UTC
QuoteWhat are some of your favourites you still play thanks to DOSBox?

Civilization 1, and 2 -- the latter on windoze3.11 which runs very well inside dosbox. (It would be so great if these two were on GOG, with the original booklets, etc. I have a jewel case budget release of Civ 2, which comes with a 'tech tree' poster, but I've never owned a legit copy of Civ 1.)

Also Volfied ... I've been playing it for more than 20 years now, and I think I've beaten it *once*.
dreamer_ 27 June 2019 at 10:54 am UTC
TheSHEEEP
sub
QuoteThey're also still working on the next major release with DOSBox 0.75

I know, it's just a number, but isn't DOSBox at 0.74-x for more than a decade?
Few things are as slow as DOSBox development cycle.
To be fair, it's not like new games are coming out to catch up with and it kinda works reliably, but on the other hand, there are so many glaring issues that just are not getting tackled, it's just weird.

Quite frankly, DOSBox is not a good example of how to develop software, but it's the only thing we have doing what it does. *shrugs*

This is a direct result of using centralised SVN instead of Git, using old forum instead of e.g. mailing list and having closed Wiki - making life difficult for people who want to contribute to the project, making it hard to do automatic testing, etc.

There are several DOSBox "distributions", that try to include community developed patches on top of upstream SVN version (e.g. DOSBox-ECE) and at least one well-maintained fork: DOSBox-X - it includes features such as changing options in runtime (e.g. scaler) and includes some patches from DOSBox-Daum (which seems defunct, but is used by several DOS games on Steam).
mos 27 June 2019 at 12:32 pm UTC
TheSHEEEPQuite frankly, DOSBox is not a good example of how to develop software, but it's the only thing we have doing what it does
https://github.com/stsp/dosemu2
also, unlike $subj not a horrible resource hog. you won't need an i9 to play anything decent. IF it works for your game at all, that is. DosBox has a lot of quirks thats true.
dreamer_ 27 June 2019 at 1:11 pm UTC
mos
TheSHEEEPQuite frankly, DOSBox is not a good example of how to develop software, but it's the only thing we have doing what it does
https://github.com/stsp/dosemu2
also, unlike $subj not a horrible resource hog. you won't need an i9 to play anything decent. IF it works for your game at all, that is. DosBox has a lot of quirks thats true.

DOSBox is not that big resource hog TBH. It can run most games comfortably, as long as you configure it properly - this is the tricky part (use exclusively output=opengl or openglnb, avoid setting cpu.cycles, do not go overboard with forced scalers, never use frameskip, etc). But DOSBox has terrible defaults and it's documentation gives an impression that you need powerful CPU (maybe by 2001 standards).

Good to know there is an alternative, though - I'll check out if I can add dosemu2 support in steam-dos .
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