I have MS-DOS 6.22 installed in a VM with networking, et al.
It also features 32 Bit extension, lots of archivers, a web browser, etc.
Those are my VM settings:
And here are some screenshots:
This is my boot menu:
This is when the system is booted:
This is the current thread as seen from Arachne (DOS Browser):
The browser is actually graphical, but it only supports a very old version of HTML and CSS. The latest version is from 2008, I think it's a bit of a shame, that it doesn't see any further development.
I suggest installing DOS in a VM beforehand, and testing things like networking, etc.
wget for instance, makes it way easier to get stuff onto that machine, as USB sticks etc, aren't that well supported. For quickly dumping data back and forth, I use netcat (
You can install Windows 3.11 over it. It works reasonably well, with networking, etc. I've had IE 5.0 installed for a time, but it was inconceivably unstable, and so I got rid of it, eventually.
The networking stuff is by far the most complicated, I suggest you take a look at mTCP, it'll help a lot.
There are a number of
setup.txt's, so configuring should be somewhat doable, but in case someone needs help, I can post my config files elsewhere.
I suggest you install a mouse driver. You probably won't need it too often, but there are some programs, like Arachne, that work quite well with mouse support. I use CuteMouse. The installation etc. is quite easy.
Since you're going to install it on a machine, rather a VM, you probably need CD-ROM support. You can get all the drivers you need from computerhope.com.
Now, I assume your computer has more RAM, than remotely possible back in the days of MS-DOS 6.22, DOS wasn't designed to manage large ammounts of RAM. I suggest you install drivers for it. I use CWSDPMI. Installation is a bit - well, DOS-like - but certainly manageable. It's a nice open source driver, with lots of documentation.
HX DOS Extender let's you run (most/some) Win32 applications in DOS 6.22. It's not guaranteed to work, but I'd certainly suggest it. Works well with things like command line archivers, etc.
It is a pain in the butt to install, but I suggest you get a copy of Trumpet. It's a generic TCP/IP stack, that some programs need (TSR).
The SoundBlaster 16 driver, works surprisingly fine in my VM, only thing that doesn't work, is MIDI support. I can live without it, though. There is a
run.bat, which can be merged with your
autoexec.bat, but I rather activate sound manually, whenever I need it.
Most network tools, like
nc, etc. come with mTCP. I suggest, however, that you add things like Arachne (scroll up).
Now, you're gonna edit a lot of text file for configuration, etc. To do that, you can install an editor like
vi for DOS, but that one is actually pretty heavy and mostly overkill. I suggest you get the latest version of
edit.com (as weird as that sounds).
Mine is version 2.0.026 from 1995 (so it was used in Windows 95 days). I simply copied mine over from Windows XP!
Now, as "fun" as
command.com is, you just might wanna take a look at an alternative command interpreter. I suggest using 4DOS. If you're used to
cmd.exe or even a UNIXoidal shell, you'll be more comfortable.
OK, now this is something, I couldn't do without: compression and archiving tools. I have quite many of them from various places all over the internet. Once you've got
wget it's way easier to put stuff on that machine, and since most of that stuff is archived/compressed, you need tools for that. Those are my archivers:
The most important are:
7za.exe, among others.
Furthermore, I suggest another text editor: Terse. It won't win in a beauty contest, but it will be just a good editor, when
edit.com doesn't work or something.
In case you installed a sound device driver (see "Driver" section), you might want to get Mpxplay. It's a great audio player, that supports lots of containers and codecs:
I could go on, but probably the largest Program you'd want to install on DOS 6.22 (even if it's just for playing around) is Windows 3.11. Not because it is particularly useful, but it is a certain integral part of "back then":
Kinda feels incomplete without it, doesn't it...
There all sort of things, that I won't list here, like file managers, alternative graphical interfaces, etc. just Google around...
This is probably interesting, when you plan on doing your own boot menu. Sound drivers are activated manually whenever I need them.
LH /L:0;1,3104 /S C:\DOS\CTMOUSE.EXE /R00
call C:\WINDOWS\winpkt.bat C:\WINDOWS\
C:\WINDOWS\MSCDEX.EXE /S /D:MSCD001
C:\DOS\DOSKEY.COM /REINSTALL /BUFSIZE=1024
mode con codepage prepare=((437) C:\DOS\EGA.CPI)
mode con codepage select=437
And here's my
; vim: ft=config.sys
menuitem=normal;Engage all drivers (Video, CDROM, Windows network, 32bit ext., etc.)
menuitem=savemem;Save memory (only Network, Mouse, 4DOS)
SHELL=C:\4DOS\4DOS.COM C:\4DOS\ /P
I could never envision, this would actually be ever of interest to anybody.