FreeDOS 1.3 RC2 now available with “Live CD” support

The main highlight of this release is undoubtedly the "Live CD" capability. Yes, you heard that, right! More details below.

Before we get to the release of FreeDOS 1.3, the brains behind the product have announced another release candidate that accompanies a new feature and various changes.

In this article, we will discuss what the new release candidate of FreeDOS has in store for us. But first, let’s take a brief look at what the OS is actually about.

As the name implies, FreeDOS is an operating system for anyone who wants a taste of the DOS environment and has an IBM-compatible computer. With this OS, you will not only be able to run legacy software but also support embedded systems. Other than that, FreeDOS is based on the monolithic kernel and offers a command-line interface.

FreeDOS 1.3RC1
FreeDOS 1.3RC1

Now that we’re done introducing the product, it’s time to see what’s new in this release candidate.

What’s New

The main highlight of this release is undoubtedly the “Live CD” capability. Yes, you heard that, right! FreeDOS 1.3 RC2 will come with a LiveCD version, which you can get your hands on by clicking this link and opting for the ‘FD13-LiveCD.zip’ file.

Apart from the Live CD version, there are also multiple other versions available such as LiteUSB, LegacyCD, FullUSB, and Floppy.

What sets apart the LiveCD version from LegacyCD is the fact that the former boots an emulated floppy disk using MEMDISK and SYSLINUX, while the latter depends on the BIOS floppy disk emulation.

Another unique feature in the LiveCD version is its ability to bypass the installation procedure to an HDD and run the OS directly from CD or RAM. With that being said, it is possible to install FreeDOS on your system entirely.

For those worried about their CDROM booting outdated hardware, we recommend you opt for the LegacyCD version. However, for all the other regular users, the LiveCD version should be just fine.

With this release candidate, we also got to know about what’s to come in FreeDOS 1.3. Although the developers have discussed a 32-bit variant, FreeDOS 1.3 will still be based on 16-bit and accompany a single-user CLI. Now when it comes to the changes, there are chances of the Help program receiving an update and Zip and Unzip being moved into Base.

Moreover, users should also expect changes in included games as the company has made it clear that games are neither their primary concern nor forte. Another thing worth mentioning is that systems based solely on UEFI will not be supported by FreeDOS 1.3. Accordingly, there would be a requirement of BIOS emulation, which you can satisfy by enabling “compatibility” or “legacy” mode in your UEFI.

Conclusion

With the announcement of a second release candidate, users will have a chance to get a better view of the soon-to-be-released FreeDOS 1.3. If you want to get to know more about this RC, make sure to check out its official release notes.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. It would be good if it could actually be downloaded, rather than download fail at 81.5MiB (3 times!). And why is there not a torrent available? It is 2020CE!

    It would also be good to know whether it can actually be installed to hard-drive from the CD/USB, unlike FD1.2, which required BOTH a USB install AND a CD to achieve this, rather than running it in a virtual machine.

    The FreeDOS website provides no such information.

  2. FreeDOS 1.3rc2 still cannot be downloaded, only now the download fails at around 52MiB.

    I guess that the FreeDOS people don’t really care about anyone else testing it.

  3. FreeDOS 1.3rc2 still cannot be downloaded, and there still is no torrent available.

    Oh well, I still have good old MS-DOS that can be installed and still works.

  4. I eventually managed to download FreeDOS 1.3 rc3 live (as recommended by FreeDOS).

    Avoid this version like the plague.

    Running it live reveals that it has no real ‘live’ features, e.g. applications that would normally run in a live operating system.

    It is also uninstallable to hard drive, because it either goes round in a ‘format hard drive’ loop, or cannot locate the installation medium.

    Wait until a final version is released.

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