Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Workaround for Help bug

Updated so you don't need to hard-code your preferred language.

There's a bug in the HELP.EXE program on FreeDOS 1.2. If you try to run Help with the language set to anything other than English, it hangs. I don't know why, but I haven't looked at the code. (I'm not the maintainer. But if you'd like to fix this bug, email me.)

Here's a simple workaround to get Help working on your system, regardless of what language you use:

1. Rename the HELP.EXE program
2. Create a new HELP.BAT program
3. Add these lines to HELP.BAT
4. Save and exit

This workaround is a "wrapper" that always sets the language to English before running the Help command. Here, I've renamed the HELP.EXE program to HHELP.EXE, so it will show up next to HELP.BAT when you view the directory.

Note that in DOS, batch files (*.BAT) are just shortcuts to what you would type at the command line. So in HELP.BAT, you need to save your language so you can set it back to whatever you usually use, or it will remain English.

Friday, January 27, 2017


We released FreeDOS 1.2 on December 25, and since then we have seen keen interest in the latest version of FreeDOS. As of January 26, we had 100,000 downloads of FreeDOS 1.2. That's just a month and a day to reach this major milestone.

While FreeDOS 1.2 is the latest version, we do see some folks still downloading the older 1.0 and 1.1 releases. If you consider downloads for all versions of FreeDOS we actually reached "100,000 since December 25" on January 25, a month after the release of FreeDOS 1.2. That's pretty cool too!

If you're curious, our peak day for FreeDOS 1.2 was December 27, at just over 12,000 downloads. And That's pretty impressive! We figure releasing the new version on Christmas Day meant some FreeDOS users weren't able to download it right away, because they were visiting family for the holidays.

We're holding steady now at about 1,800 to 1,900 downloads of FreeDOS 1.2 per day.

It's interesting to compare the difference between FreeDOS 1.2 and 1.1. In the previous version, released January 2, 2012, we didn't see nearly the same initial interest in FreeDOS. Our peak day for FreeDOS 1.1 was a few months later, in April 2012, as though people suddenly found out about FreeDOS. We reached 100,000 downloads of FreeDOS 1.1 on May 24, 2012.

So I think we've done something right with the new version of FreeDOS. I'm very excited by FreeDOS 1.2! I think the latest FreeDOS is a great little operating system that meets a lot of needs.