What is FreeDOS?

What is FreeDOS?

FreeDOS is a type of DOS-based operating system that emerged after Microsoft discontinued the development of the MS-DOS system in 1999. It is developed as open source under the GNU framework. Its founding purpose was to be fully compatible with the DOS system, and it succeeded in achieving 100% compatibility.

Today, there are computers and laptops sold without any operating system installed. FreeDOS is installed on these computers and laptops. They are sold at more affordable prices compared to computers with pre-installed operating systems. In fact, there are users who prefer computers with FreeDOS solely for this reason.

FreeDOS has many positive and negative features compared to other operating systems. It is possible to specify its system features under a few headings:

It is a completely free operating system. It is installed during the production of all laptops and desktop computers.
It has an open source structure.
It is DOS-based.
It provides a 16-bit working environment, especially for those who want to develop an operating system.
It can run not only newer but also older DOS systems.
One of the most prominent features of the FreeDOS operating system is its support for FAT32.
It has USB support. Additionally, a 32-bit version is also used.


There is usually a state of concern about whether devices with FreeDOS will be purchased or not. To summarize this issue briefly, computer manufacturers may choose to sell their hardware with only FreeDOS installed in order to avoid paying additional fees for operating systems like Windows in some cases. Consequently, the device costs are slightly lower. However, it should be emphasized here that FreeDOS is not a usable operating system. In other words, individuals need to manually install an operating system to use the computer they have purchased.

The project for the FreeDOS operating system, which has a significant usage rate today, started in the United States in 1994. Jim Hall, a student, published a manifesto stating that he would develop an open source system. Shortly after, the team that was formed started their work. And when the developments were completed, the first version, FreeDOS 1.0, was released.

Additionally, when purchasing a computer with FreeDOS, the usual steps are followed and installation of Microsoft Windows operating systems takes place. However, it can be beneficial to receive technical support from experts during the installation process.

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