Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Navigating FreeDOS - CD and DIR (with video)

Welcome to the new video series about FreeDOS! I'll be covering some useful and quick tips for getting the most out of FreeDOS.

For this first video, I wanted to show the basics of getting around.

You can break down any DOS system as files and directories. The very first versions of DOS didn't support subdirectories; this was added in MS-DOS version 2.

Let's look at the standard DOS prompt, so you can see where you are during the video. The first letter is the drive letter. Modern DOS systems probably boot to the first partition on the first hard drive, or the C drive. (The colon is not actually part of the drive's name; that's just a separator—but people usually write it as C: anyway.)

When you boot your system, you will be at the "root" directory, or "top level" directory. You'll see this represented as \ in the prompt.

The > in the prompt is the actual command prompt. That's where you type your commands.

To see the files in the current directory, type the DIR command. This generates a listing of all the files and subdirectories of where you are. You can also give DIR a path to show instead, such as

To navigate to different directories, you use the CD command ("Change Directory"). It's common to change the directory one level at a time, so you might type CD DATA if DATA is a subdirectory in your current directory. You can also give a full path, such as

And with that, you're ready to explore the FreeDOS command line!

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