Which Free Boot Manager?

Want to quadtruple boot my computer’s 13meg HD with DOS 3.3, Win98, and Red Hat 8.0, and OpenBSD.

Tried XOSL with little success.

Ranish seems restricted to hard drives less than 8 meg.

Anyone have experience with these or other free boot managers?

Well, you could use LILO with Linux. If you’re at all thinking about NT\2000\XP, you can use BOOTPART (free download) to add entries for just about any OS (other than OS/2) to the BOOT.INI file. That’s what I do with XP Pro and RH 8.0.

I’m using Grub to boot W2K Pro, Win 98 & RH 8. I like it a lot more than LILO, as I don’t have to muck about with dd whenever I want to upgrade my kernel. Plus, if you’ve got RedHat 8, you’ve got grub, since it’s RH 8’s default bootloader.

Though to be honest, I haven’t tried that many more, since it’s worked so well for me. The phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” applies doubly to bootloaders.

How would Grub work with this partitioning?

Need a small 500 meg or less at front for DOS 3.3. That version of DOS doesn’t work with large drives. It doesn’t see my entire 13 gigs (not megs.) I need DOS for some very old EISA and COM1 hardware that was designed for TRS80!
Then about 3 gigs for Win98.
Then about 3 for Red Hat.
About 1 for OpenBSD.
Finally a shared DOS partition.

You might be able to get by without a DOS partition. Would software like dosemu (a Linux DOS emulator) work, or is it to hardware-dependent? dosemu is specifically aimed at full MS-DOS 3 compatibility, but the processor is configurable to be anything from 386 to 586.

DosEMU main site.

Rereading your post, what about the hardware makes it OS-dependent? Do drivers only exist for DOSes? Would those drivers (and the software that depends on them) work from inside dosemu?

Sorry. I rushed through your post the first time. :slight_smile:

  • One item is Needham Electronics EPROM programmer that is no longer supported and only DOS drivers exist.
  • The other is item is a program written for TRS80 and uses COM1 to communicate with an embedded MPU device (coin mech.) This program does not work on PS/2 with shared interrupts. May have to try a local computer store’s trash bin for a 486 for this one.
  • Also have a FORTRAN compiled program that chokes in WIN98 DOS. I’m not 100% sure Pentium is fully backwards compatible with 486 with this program.
    ( - Was at an old .edu ftp site and was tempted to try a CPM program just to see if I get it to run on Win98 DOS.)

Don’t know if any would work with DosEMU. I’m a hardware kind of guy.

I do know that dosemu can emulate a 386 and a 486 well enough to fool a few programs I have. I also know that you can configure what the COM ports point to in terms of Linux files in the /dev directory (make COM2 point to /dev/modem, for example), so if you can see the device from inside Linux, you’ll be able to see it inside dosemu.

Only being able to find binary drivers compiled for DOS or MS-Windows is crap Linux enthusiasts have to put up with. I have faith in dosemu, however.

An interesting thing you can do is get a freeware CP/M emulator for DOS and run it inside dosemu. I’ve done it and gotten acceptable speeds. (Google for the software, it’s easy to find.) This has gotten easier since Corel, which now owns the Digital Research properties, has put all flavors of CP/M into the public domain. Both binary and source distros exist for free download.