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News

March 25, 2006 - There is still an in progress release coming that will introduce a multitude of new features into the ISOs, prominent of which will be the integration of FDPKG into the core of the installation. 

September 7, 2005 - I have uploaded a bugfix release of the ISO with some added packages and a new method to configure the bootsplash. The 386 enhanced kernel is no longer available in the installation program, but it can still be installed by typing "fdcdrom sys32" after the installation is complete. This release should fix some problems people have been having with having to click ignore during the installation, and it should also fix the problems people have been having with booting option 1 after the installation (due to them unknowingly installing the 386-optimized kernel).

August 11, 2005 - I have added xdelta to the ISO as well as a few new games. Also new is a method to automatically set up telnet and mail URL acces for lynx. I am currently working on unattended batch files so that default values will be automatically selected. New ISOs will not be uploaded until there are more features and bugfixes. Soon to be added is Ghostscript for DOS and some more software downloading packages for software like the MS Network client 3, Novell Netware, and the free Borland compilers.

History

The FreeDOS project has many software packages that are meant to be distributed with the FreeDOS releases, but lately with the Beta 9 releases I had noticed that there was only the Base disk set. Wanting to have a complete distribution to install on my own computers, I took the initiative to create my own ISO images for installing FreeDOS, complete with all of the available software on the FreeDOS.org software list and some additional software that I wanted included for my own use. In addition, I also wanted a way to manage my FreeDOS packages on my own PCs, and thus decided to create an integrate my own rudimentary package management system into FreeDOS.

Eventually, I joined the list and learned that there were many who were wanting an updated distribution. I soon volunteered my distribution while the official distribution was still being made, and my project was born. Then came the task of distributing the large ISOs.

Features

In addition to providing the latest FreeDOS software, my distribution also commands many other features. First and foremost, is the package management system. One can easily install extra software packages from the CD-ROM by setting the environment variable "cdrep" to the drive where the FreeDOS CD-ROM is located, and typing "FDCDROM packagename". Another feature of the package management system is the ability to remove packages with "FDPKG BINARY REMOVE packagename", or "FDPKG SOURCE REMOVE packagename" depending on whether the package is a binary or source package. In addition, the user may easily configure binary packages by typing "FDPKG CONFIGURE packagename". Currently, I am rewriting the package management system (currently in batch) in C, to overcom the limitations of batch and provide more features, and the new system will find its way into the next release.

Another feature that isn't found on the original Beta 9 CDs is a LiveCD portion. The LiveCD contains all of the base diskset, in addition to some games and the ability to install Watcom and VIM on a ramdisk. It also contains some useful system utilities like XFdisk and Sysinfo. I may consider adding more things at a later time.

Another very userful feature included on my CD-ROMs is the PCI NIC autodetection process included on both the LiveCD and InstallCD portion. So far, the supported NICs are IBM Token Ring NICs, SureCOM E-320X-S compatible NICs, SMC 9232, 9332, 9334 and compatibles, Davicom DM9102 and compatibles, RealTek 8139 and compatibles, EtherExpress Pro/10, Pro/100B and compatibles, and NE2000 and compatibles. If you would like your NIC supported, e-mail be at the above address with the output of PCISleep and I will see if your NIC can be supported also.

Some of the extra packages available on the CD-ROM include useful software like utilities to set up a bootsplash, internet utilities like WGET, and a package containing crynwr and redistributable packet drivers. With the abilities of WGET, packages are also included that contain batch files to download and install useful software, like F-Prot for DOS, USB drivers, ASPI drivers, and sound card drivers. In addition, all of the software available on the CD-ROM is up-to-date as much as possible, and it is all freely distributable. I have also included a few games in my distribution, as I believe that no OS is complete without games.

Some of the planned features for my CD-ROM are more PCI device autodetection and set-up, and a menu that can allow you to easily launch and install software and drivers. If you have some more ideas or do not like these ideas, just e-mail me at Blairdude AT gmail DOT com.

Download

There are two ISOs available from iBiblio; it's recommended to download either the lastest large ISO or the lastest small ISO. The main difference between the two is that the large ISO contains the sources for at least all of the GPL packages, and the small ISO contains little or no sources at all. The small ISO is the recommended download as most people will not want so many source packages.

If you already have an older ISO, and do not want to download a whole new one, you may download the latest delta for the large ISO or the latest delta for the small ISO or older deltas .

The delta patches are culmitive, so if you have the oldest ISO, you will have to apply all of the patches in order to get the latest version. If you are unsure of what to do with these patches, grab the latest linux version of xdelta, grab the latest windows version, or grab the latest DOS version. To patch the ISOs, let's say that the old ISO is called oldiso.iso, the delta patch you want to apply is called patch.delta, and you want the new ISO to be called newiso.iso. You would do the following command, "xdelta patch patch.delta oldiso.iso newiso.iso". If you need for some reason to downgrade an ISO, there are no xdelta files to downgrade, so it is best to keep an old version that works on your computer, so as not to have the hassle of redownloading the entire ISO.