VirtualBox - Chapter 2

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Chapter 1: Prepare a virtual machine for FreeDOS in VirtualBox

Chapter 2: Special settings for FreeDOS

Chapter 3: Connect the FreeDOS install CD

Chapter 4: Install FreeDOS

Chapter 5: Install the network

Chapter 6: Mount the FreeDOS image to transfer files

Chapter 7: FTP between host and guest

Bugs: High CPU usage of FreeDOS machine

Bugs: FreeDOS crashes at boot

Bugs: ICH9 chipset breaks networking

Bugs: Old bugs

Special settings for FreeDOS

CPU usage

Some DOS programs send VirtualBox wrong signals about how much CPU power they need. So VirtualBox allows them to run the CPU at 100 percent. You will notice this by a louder fan noise and some laptops tend to get warm when a FreeDOS guest is run.

A workaround is to limit CPU usage to 40 percent. A loss of performance of the FreeDOS guest is - at least for me - not recognizable.

  • To do this, click on System in the right side


  • Then choose the "Processor" tab and reduce the Execution Cap from 100 percent to 40 percent.


Please read here about more ways to solve this.


By default VirtualBox sets the network adapter of the guest to "NAT". This means, the guest communicates to the rest of your network only through the host.

If you install this at home and have a WiFi network there, it might be more convenient to set the network adapter to "Bridged Adapter". This enables the FreeDOS guest to communicate with the network directly.

  • Change the adapter from "NAT" to "Bridged Adapter".


If you really want to use NAT instead, see here how to do it.

Under VERY special circumstances, you might even want to use two network adapters with your FreeDOS guest in VirtualBox. See here for more information.

Continue with Chapter 3