Monday, May 29, 2017

Unix utilities for FreeDOS

Years ago, there was the "GNUish" project, which ported the GNU utilities to DOS. But eventually the project stalled. Before GNUish shut down, they reached out to me to mirror their files. You can find them at ibiblio.

I think it would be great for someone to pick up the GNUish project again. Port the GNU Utilities to FreeDOS using OpenWatcom, or DJGPP. This is likely challenging, as it will require creating wrappers for different functionality, and workarounds for other functionality that doesn't exist on DOS.

I think Unix utilities for FreeDOS would be really interesting on FreeDOS! We already have some Unix-like programs in FreeDOS and a few utilities exist at DJ Delorie's website, but as far as I know no one has created a comprehensive update to GNUish.

In the absence of a "GNUish 2.0" project, I have started to collect the Unix-workalike programs to a single directory on our files archive. You can find them under "unix" at ibiblio. So far, we've collected these programs:

  • awk
  • cal
  • cron
  • ghostscript
  • gzip
  • head
  • nroff
  • perl
  • sed
  • sleep
  • tail
  • tar
  • tee
  • touch
  • uptime
  • which

If you're interested in contributing to FreeDOS, but you aren't sure what to work on, you might consider porting the GNU Utilities or other Unix utilities to FreeDOS. We'd love to add them to our archive.


  1. When is wc going up on ibiblio?

  2. I emailed you, asking if you could provide a DOS binary for wc, so it's not a source-only release. Did you send it?

    If you can send me a version with an EXE, I'll put it on ibiblio.


  4. Under the address
    there are several utilities ported from UNIX as well as DOS assembly utilities which everybody can download

    Prof. Dr. Burkhard Mei├čner
    Helmut-Schmidt-Universitaet / Universitaet der Bundeswehr Hamburg
    Lehrstuhl fuer Alte Geschichte
    Holstenhofweg 85
    D-22043 Hamburg


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