Dedicated DOSBox system

I've written set of scripts that will create dedicated DOSBox system from minimal installation of Ubuntu 18.04. It's designed for retro gaming on old laptops or netbooks, possibly providing better performance on slow hardware than full installation of Windows or Linux.


The system includes only the minimum to be usable on modern hardware, performance and simplicity is the priority.
The features include:

  • USB automount in to DOSBox environment
  • Fn keys control of volume and brightness
  • Auto suspend when lid is closed
  • Simple power management provided by upower
  • DOSBox autostart
  • Options menu include:
    • Audio mixer - alsamixer
    • DOSBox configuration editor - nano
    • Updater - secured with gpg signing
    • Battery monitor
    • USB unmounter - use before unpluging any USB drive
    • Reboot and shutdown

Installation is very simple. Just install Ubuntu 18.04 from minimal installation media - without any added features. Then download and run the script and that's it. Don't use it in dual boot - use dedicated machine and the entire disk.

In case you have no experience with linux I have prepared video that with guide you through the installation.


The system works in two ttys (screens). On first is DOSBox and Main menu - that will show up when DOSBox stops. On second screen is Options menu. You can switch between those two screens by pressing Control + Alt + F1 / F2.

For transfering files use USB. You can plug-in up to four USB drives at once, they will be accessible as the A: drive in DOSBox. After you plug in the USB drive, wait for the LED on the drive to stop blinking before you switch to A: drive, otherwise DOSBox may fail to see the contents. Always use the Eject USB function in Options menu before unpluging USB drives.

I was able to test it only in VM and on my HP Mini 5103, more testing is needed. If you encounter any problems, please let me know and I will try to fix them. Anyway it was good practice of bash scripting, you can see the code on my GitHub page.

Links Downloads

Size: 9.6 KB
License: GPL v2
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