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Version 0.74svn
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DOSBox compatibility list
Non-Pandora-specific compatibility list
Forum Discussion About Compatibility

DOSBox is an emulator for older x86 systems. Latest update: Nov. 9, 2010.

The Pandora can emulate "about 5000 cycles in DosBox, which is roughly a 386/33Mhz x86 PC.

Simple way to get DOSBox working

1. Put your DOS game directories in /media/[your SD card]/pandora/appdata/dosbox/games

2. Open up dboxfe, the DOSBox GUI that comes with the download.

3. Click on the default profile, click "start". (before doing that, you can click on the "systems" tab, and set "cycles" to "max", for better speed)

4. Type in cd [directory where your game is located]. For example, if you want to play Keen 4 and it's in the directory "Keen4", you would type in cd keen4

5. Type in the name of the executable file for your game, with or without the extension (it's usually the one ending in .exe or .bat). So for "keen4.exe", you would type in keen4. (some games will want you to run setup.exe first - in which case, you type in setup)

6. The game should now start. By the way, at any time in steps 4 or 5, you can type in dir /p or just dir to see a list of the files and directories in that folder

7. To quit DOSBox, close your game (in most games, you press the "Esc" key), then type in exit.


Assigning action keys to A/B/X/Y

By default, DOSBox on the Pandora just assigns keys to their regular keyboard positions. This makes playing games very awkward unless you remap them to the action buttons.

The simplest way to do this is to go to the /media/[your SD card]/pandora/appdata/dosbox/.dboxfe directory and edit the mapper.txt file that you'll find there (if you can't see it, press CTRL and the "H" key to view hidden files).

To make things really simple, download this mapper.txt file and copy it into that directory, replacing the existing mapper.txt file. Then you'll get the following key mappings when you start a game in Dboxfe:

Pandora key (Keycode) DOSBox key
A (key 278) lctrl
B (key 279) rshift
Y (key 280) space
X (key 281) lalt
L (key 303) rshift
R (key 305) lalt

That should be comfortable, since most DOS games use Space, Alt, Ctrl or Shift for their action buttons. Enter is also used (usually to bring up a menu), but it's already in a comfortable spot on the Pandora.

Using the keymapper

You can also re-assign keys by using the keymapper in dboxfe. However, for mysterious reasons, the method doesn't work for some people ([1]).

1. Open dboxfe, select your profile, press "start".

2. As it says on the blue box at the top, press Ctrl+F1 to activate the keymapper (by the way: R is also Ctrl on the Pandora)

3. A screen will pop up. Use the touchscreen to select keys. The bottom part of the screen is below the taskbar on the Pandora, so you'll need to press Shift+leftclick to move the window around. The easiest way is to hold the left shoulder button (which is "Shift", by default) while moving the window with the stylus.

4. "Ctrl", "Alt", "Shift" and "Space" are used as the action keys by most DOS games. By default, A/B/X/Y are mapped to home/end/pg up/pg down.[2] Remove the mappings for those keys (select them in the keymapper window, and press "del" for each in turn), and then map "Ctrl", "Alt", "Shift" and "Space" to A/B/X/Y.

Mounting ISOs (CD games)

mount c games
imgmount D "FILENAME.iso" -t iso

Known bugs and how to fix them

  • For mysterious reasons, dboxfe will sometimes open up in Z: instead of in C:, as it should. If that happens, go to /media/[your SD card]/pandora/appdata/dosbox/, and delete the configuration files for DOSBox and DOSBoxFE (if you can't see any, press CTRL and the "H" key to view hidden files). Running it again after that should show that everything is back to normal. -[4]
  • In Jazz Jackrabbit CD, the character will always walk to the left. Prometheus says: "Whilst I do not know what causes it, I now know that trying to load Jazz from a folder that was set up on another machine (in this case, my main computer, which runs Xubuntu) seems to result in the problem with Jazz automatically walking to the left. Just now, I re-copied the files afresh (which I described on the other forum, previously), and, here's the important bit: I ran the setup program on the Pandora. This seems to have solved the issue for me, although I don't know exactly why that would be."
  • Note that activating the checkbox of "dboxFE -> System -> Render -> aspect" will enable the correct aspect ratio (4:3) for most games but it will also render your nub input and touch screen unusable [5]. Fix still needed.

Other tips

  • Replace DOS4GW with DOS/32A extender (Not working for some games...for example, later Sierra Games like Larry 7 or Gabriel Knight 2). Every little bit helps. -[6]
  • An important thing to try when game doesn't work or is unstable is to run it with the normal core setting rather than dynamic. -[7]

External links