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WordPerfect for DOS under Linux and dosemu2


Running WPDOS under Linux | Basic dosemu2 installation | Install WPDOS | Add or modify drive letters | Install a printer | Create autoexec.bat and config.sys | Restore Alt-F-keys to WPDOS | Access Windows drives in a dual-boot system | Create desktop shortcuts | Change font size and text screen size | High-resolution graphics for WPDOS 5.1 | Printing and PDF creation | Use PCL driver for printing and PDF | Refine and improve dosemu2 and WPDOS setup | Replace the dosemu2 icon | Clipboard exchange between WPDOS and Linux | Sound support | Housekeeping | Other distributions | Home page


Do you already use WordPerfect for DOS under Linux, or do you seriously intend to use WordPerfect for DOS under Linux in the future? By "use WordPerfect" I mean "seriously use WordPerfect for writing or other work" - not "experiment with WPDOS or waste time playing with it on different platforms." If the answer to this question is "Yes," then please let me know via the Feedback page, and I will continue to update this page with newer information about dosemu2 and about the newest version of DOSBox-X, which is now highly suitable for application software like WPDOS. But please do not ask me to waste my time if you are not fully serious about using WPDOS under Linux.


 Running WPDOS under Linux

WPDOS can be run under Linux through the use of the superb dosemu2 software that allows DOS to be booted in a virtual machine. Almost all features of WPDOS work extremely well and extremely quickly. You can open large files, print to any printer that works with Linux, and even view WPDOS graphics in high-resolution VESA modes. 

This page explains how to set up recent versions of Linux to use the dosemu2 DOS emulator with WordPerfect for DOS. It is written for use with systems that do not have the older DOSEMU system installed!

If you have the older DOSEMU installed, back up your entire system (everything!) before even thinking about following these these instructions! If your older DOSEMU system used the default FreeDOS installed on a standard DOSEMU setup, and you did not install a different DOS version, then these instructions may give you a working dosemu2 system. But if you installed into DOSEMU a different DOS (perhaps MS-DOS 6.22 or IBM PC-DOS or anything else), then the instructions will almost certainly make it impossible to run any version of dosemu on your system. I do not know of any reliable method of updating an old DOSEMU system to dosemu2 when the old DOSEMU system used a non-default DOS setup. Possibly the only reliable way is to back up the files and folders that you used in DOSEMU, then completely remove the old DOSEMU from your system - removing all folders and files that it created - and then install dosemu2, at which point you can copy your old files into the new system. But I cannot guarantee that this will work and you may make your dosemu2 system unusable! You have been warned!!

For the information on the older DOSEMU system, some of which may still be relevant to dosemu2, see this page.

The following instructions were developed under Ubuntu Linux 20.04, but the basic details should work with any recent Linux distribution. (See the section on other distributions below.) I do not pretend to be an expert user of Linux, but these instructions should work as written.  If you can provide improved or more detailed instructions, please contact me.

An alternate set of instructions with excellent, expert information was posted by Tavis Ormandy here. It uses the terminal mode of dosemu2 instead of the bitmap-font mode described elsewhere on this page. For many users, the instructions given by Tavis Ormandy may be superior to the ones given on the rest of this page!

Note: This page was updated for the current version of dosemu2 on 29 August 2020.

The instructions below assume that you will be using the gedit text editor used in standard Ubuntu Linux. But your distribution might use something different, like pluma or kedit.

Before you begin, you must have the some basic knowledge of Linux. Do not proceed until you fully understand all of the following things:

Note: In Ubuntu Linux, you perform an action with superuser privileges in the terminal by preceding it with sudo as in some examples below; in other distributions, you might need to use su instead of sudo or you might need to use some other method of applying superuser or root privileges.

Frequently-asked question:

Q. What's wrong with you? Why don't you recommend the DOSBox emulation software for running WPDOS? I mean, like, everyone knows DOSBox is cooler than dosemu2! You must be really out-of-date and really uncool. I mean, you must be totally second-millennium to recommend dosemu2 over DOSBox!
    A. DOSBox is a superb platform for running DOS games, but, under Linux, DOSBox is extremely difficult to set up so that it can be used as a platform for WPDOS. Furthermore, DOSBox under Linux offers no simple, practical way to print from WPDOS, so I haven't wasted my time or yours on this incomplete solution. DOSBox-X is a promising solution, but not nearly as well-integrated into Linux as dosemu2 is.

Acknowledgments: I am grateful to Bart Oldeman, Charles Smith, Victor Warner, and Malcolm Wheatley for valuable additions to present and former versions of this page.


Basic dosemu2 installation

All the steps in this section are essential, and will give you a working dosemu2 system under Ubuntu Linux. The next section explains how to install WordPerfect. All the remaining sections on this page are optional.

1. Click on Activities, search for Terminal; when the Terminal icon appears, right-click on it and select Add to Favorites from the pop-up menu. You can press Esc to exit the Activities menu.

2. Click on the Terminal icon in the sidebar and enter these commands, responding to any prompts as they appear (you will need to enter your password):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:dosemu2/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install dosemu2

3. Click on Activities again, search for dosemu (not dosemu2); an icon labeled DOS emulator will appear; right-click on it and select Add to Favorites from the pop-up menu.

4. Click once on the dosemu2 icon on the sidebar; dosemu2 will open; enter the command exitemu to close it.

5. Click on the desktop icon with your home folder to open it (or open the Nautilus file manager from the file-folder icon in the sidebar and click on the Home folder in the sidebar). Click on the options menu on the toolbar (the "hamburger" or three-line icon), and select Show Hidden Files.

6. In the folders shown inside the Home folder, click on .dosemu (note the initial dot) to open it. The folder named drive_c is the C: drive in dosemu2. You can copy files or folders into that folder (perhaps dragging them from your Downloads folder or anywhere else).

7. At any time, you can update dosemu2 (and all other updatable packages on your system) to the latest version by entering this command in the terminal:

sudo apt upgrade


Install WordPerfect

The simplest way to install WordPerfect for DOS into dosemu2 is to copy the folders containing a complete WordPerfect setup from a DOS or Windows machine into the .dosemu/drive_c folder. For example, if you copy a C:\WP51 folder from a Windows machine into the .dosemu/drive_c folder, you can then simply start up dosemu2, and enter

CD WP51
WP

exactly as you did in DOS. See below for creating an autoexc.bat that will perform these steps for you. Follow the lines above with an additional line with the command exitemu if you want dosemu2 to close automatically after you exit WPDOS. Note that some versions of WPDOS 5.1 will require you to enter this instead of simply WP:

loadfix WP

If you want to install WPDOS from floppies or a CD-ROM, then probably the easiest thing to do is to create an INSTALL folder in the .dosemu/drive_c folder, copy the contents of the floppies or CD-ROM to that folder (put all the files in the one folder), and, in dosemu2, run INSTALL from that folder. I haven't tested this, but presumably it will work.


Add or modify drive letters

To modify your dosemu2 system, you must make a user-editable configuration file, with the name ~/.dosemu/.dosemurc (notice the essential dots at the start of the foldername and the filename).

You can create this file in one of two ways: either make a copy of the non-user-editable default configuration file or create an empty file, into which you will write only the commands that need to be changed for your system.

I recommend making a copy of the non-user-editable file, because it contains useful instructions. The dosemu2 authors recommend using an empty file. Either option works equally well, though the empty-file method may perhaps be one or two milliseconds faster.

To create a user-editable copy of the default configuration file, open the Linux file manager. If you have not enabled the Show Hidden Files option, click on the options menu on the toolbar (the "hamburger" or three-line icon), and select Show Hidden Files. In the sidebar, click on Other Locations, then Computer, then navigate to /etc/dosemu and copy the file dosemu.conf. Navigate to the .dosemu folder in your home folder (i.e., ~/.dosemu - and note the initial dot) and paste the file there; then rename it  .dosemurc  (again note the initial dot). This is the user-editable configuration file for dosemu2. You can edit this file by double-clicking on it in the file manager.

Note: Or, if you prefer to use the terminal, open the terminal and enter these commands (and notice the dot in the foldername and filenames in each line):

cp -i /etc/dosemu/dosemu.conf ~/.dosemu/.dosemurc
gedit ~/.dosemu/.dosemurc

1. Access a folder in your home folder in dosemu2 (recommended)

I recommend that you make a folder inside your Linux home folder accessible in dosemu2 by assigning a drive letter to it. This makes it easy to access files and folders on your Linux system.

Using the terminal or file manager create a folder with a name like DOSdata (eight letters or fewer).

Edit the ~/.dosemu/.dosemurc file; if you are editing a copy of the default file, find the line (around 117) that reads

# $_hdimage = "+0 +1"

and change it by removing the comment (#) at the start and changing the rest of the line to read like this (replacing YOURUSERNAME with your user name and DOSdata with the name of the folder that you created):

$_hdimage = "+0 /home/YOURUSERNAME/DOSdata/ +1"

This will assign drive_c as drive C:, your DOSdata folder as drive D:., and the three drive letters used internally by dosemu2 as drives E:, F:, and G:. If you are using an empty ~/.dosemu/.dosemurc file then simply write this line into the file.

2. Add additional drive letters to dosemu2 (optional)

You may also want to have one or more separate folders to use as data drives in dosemu2, so that your C: drive contains only program files. For example, if you have set your home folder as drive D:, as described above, you may also want data folders as drives E: and F:.

To accomplish this, do the following. Open your .dosemu folder in the Linux file manager, click on the options button, and then click on the "new folder" icon (the icon with the folder and plus sign near the top of the menu); enter the name drives to create a folder named drives at the same level as the folder na↓med drive_c. Click on the drives folder to open it; when you are in the empty drives folder, click on the options button again, click on the "new folder" icon and create a folder named drive_e then repeat with drive_f if you want a drive F:, etc.

Now, again edit your ~/.dosemu/.dosemurc file, and find the line (around 117) that reads either

# $_hdimage = "+0 +1"

or, if you followed the instructions to add your a folder in your home folder as a dosemu2 drive,

$_hdimage = "+0 /home/YOURUSERNAME/DOSdata/ +1"

Change that line (removing the comment mark # at the start if it is still present) and changing the rest of the line to read (of course replacing YOURUSERNAME with your actual user name and DOSdata with the name of the folder that you created):

$_hdimage = "+0 /home/YOURUSERNAME/DOSdata/ drives/* +1"

If you created two additional drives as described just above, this will cause those drives to be mounted as drives E: and F:, and will mount the three drives used internally by dosemu2 as drives  G:, H:, and I:.

When you have finished modifying the configuration file, save and close it.


Install a printer

You will not be able to print from WordPerfect until you have installed a printer in Linux.

To install a printer in Ubuntu Linux, click Activities, search for Printers, and select Printers. When the Printers window opens, click Add a Printer. When CUPS-BRF-Printer appears, ignore it, and enter the address of a network in the field at the bottom of the dialog box (for example, http://192.168.1.99). Your printer may appear with two or more different names; choose the friendliest name and click Add.

When the printer appears in the printer list, click on the gear icon and add a check mark next to Use Printer by Default. You may want to look other options on this menu. When you are done, close the Printers window.


Create an autoexec.bat and config.sys

The default dosemu2 uses the fdpp (FreeDOS Plus Plus). Under fdpp you can create an equivalent of autoexec.bat and config.sys (where you can set (for example) files=255.

To create a user-level autoxec.bat, start dosemu2 and create a file named C:\USERHOOK.BAT and enter commands into it. You can create and add to the file from the dosemu2 prompt by entering commands like this

echo CD \WP51>C:\USERHOOK.BAT
echo WP>>C:\USERHOOK.BAT

Notice the two greater-than signs in the second line. When you restart dosemu2, these commands will run automatically. Of course, you can create or edit this file in a text editor, for example, by entering this command in the terminal:

gedit ~/.dosemu/drive_c/userhook.bat

You can use the same technique to create a config.sys, by using the filename C:\USERHOOK.SYS.

Note: The autoexec.bat used by default for dosemu2 is /usr/share/dosemu/commands/fdppauto.bat. You can edit it by opening it with sudo gedit [filename] in the terminal but you shouldn't need to. The commands in C:\USERHOOK.BAT are run after the default autoexec.bat is finished. Similarly, the config.sys used by default for dosemu2 is /usr/share/dosemu/commands/fdppconf.sys, and the items in C:\USERHOOK.SYS are processed together with the commands in the default config.sys; highest-priority items (in either file) are processed before lower-priority ones.


Restore the Alt-F-keys to WPDOS

In many Linux distributions, the desktop window manager seizes the Alt-F7, Alt-F8, and other Alt-function keys for use in managing windows on the Linux desktop, and does not let the keystrokes be read by WPDOS. When working in WPDOS, you may possibly be able to use Shift-Alt-F7, Shift-Alt-F8, etc., instead of Alt-F7, Alt-F8, etc., and WPDOS will detect them as their Alt-function key equivalents. But this procedure is inconvenient and does not always work. If you intend to use WPDOS often, you should reclaim the Alt-function keys from the desktop window manager, by using the following procedure. The changes that I recommend will let you use Shift-Alt-F-key combinations to control windows in Linux, while leaving the Alt-F-key combinations available for use with WPDOS.

In Ubuntu, click on the Activities button, search for settings, and open the Settings application. (Different distributions will have similar ways of reaching a Control Center or Settings application.) Find the panel that controls Keyboard Shortcuts. In the list of shortcuts, scroll down the list until you find an Alt-F-key combination that you want to use in WPDOS. Click on the name of the key (for example, Alt-F1), then, press the new key combination that you want to use instead (for example, Shift-Alt-F1). The new combination will appear in place of the old one. When you are finished, click the Close button, and your new key combinations will take effect.


Access Windows or other partitions in a dual-boot system

If your computer dual-boots between Linux and Windows, you can access partitions or folders on your Windows system from within dosemu2. For convenience, first make certain that you have given your Windows drives descriptive labels like "WinDrive" or anything else, and that they do not appear in Windows Explorer as "Local Disk (C:)" or something similar.

This procedure requires that you add one or more Linux commands to your .dosemurc file. In the terminal, enter:

gedit ~/.dosemu/.dosemurc

Find the line that begins

# $_unix_exec = ""

and edit it by removing the comment mark and adding these commands ("ls" is there for convenience; "gio" is needed for this procedure):

# $_unix_exec = "/usr/bin/ls /usr/bin/gio"

Save the file; but you may want to leave it open for further editing.

In debian-based Linux, either search for the Disks command and launch it, or, from a terminal, run the command gnome-disks to open the Disks window. If gnome-disks is not installed on your system run sudo apt install gnome-disk-utility to install it (notice that the package that you install has a different name from the one that you will run).

In the Disks window, find the partition that you want to access from dosemu2 and write down its device name or, if you prefer, its UUID. The device name might be something like /dev/sda4 and the UUID will be a string of 16 hex digits. For convenience, keep the Disks window open.

Start dosemu2 and enter this command, replacing DEVICENAME or UUID with the name or string that you wrote down earlier.

unix gio mount -d DEVICENAME [or UUID]

In the Disks window, you should see the Linux path of the newly mounted partition. If the volume label of your Windows disk is WinDrive, you will see something like /media/YOURUSERNAME/WinDrive.

You almost certainly do not want to map your entire Windows drive to a drive letter in dosemu2, so choose a folder in your Windows drive to map to a dosemu2 drive, perhaps a folder named Transfer on your Windows drive (or you can choose a folder that contains a DOS-based application).

To do this, in dosemu2, first make a further change in your .dosemurc file. Find the line that begins:

# $_l_redir_paths = ""

and edit it to include the Linux path of your Windows disk, something like this:

# $_l_redir_paths = "/media/YOURUSERNAME/WinDrive"

Save the file.

Then, in dosemu2, enter a command like this, which maps drive W: in dosemu2 to the the Transfer folder in your WinDrive partition:

lredir W: /media/YOURUSERNAME/WinDrive/Transfer

When you are ready to exit dosemu2, enter this command to unmount your Windows drive:

unix gio mount -u /media/YOURUSERNAME/WinDrive

Note that this command should specify the entire drive, not the folder that you linked with lredir.

Also note that if you want to remove a mapping made via the lredir command, you can use a command like this in dosemu2:

lredir -d W:

You can automate this entire procedure in a separate batch file or include the commands in C:\USERHOOK.BAT. For example, your batch file might mount a partition, lredir a folder in the partition, run a DOS application, then umount the partition.

Alternatively, if your Windows drive is already mounted in Linux, you can start dosemu2 with this command, which will mount the specified drive for the current session only, and will automatically assign to it the next available drive letter:

dosemu -d /media/YOURUSERNAME/WinDrive


Create desktop shortcuts

You can create a desktop shortcut for dosemu2, or application-specific desktop shortcuts. For example, if you want to create a desktop shortcut that runs dosemu2 in the same way that the icon in the sidebar runs it, enter this command in the terminal:

cp /usr/share/applications/dosemu.desktop ~/Desktop

Right-click on the dosemu.desktop icon on your desktop and select Allow Launching.

To create an application-specific desktop shortcut, for example, to WordPerfect for DOS, enter a command like this in the terminal:

cp /usr/share/applications/dosemu.desktop ~/Desktop/WPDOS.desktop

Right-click on the WPDOS.desktop icon on your desktop and select Allow Launching. Then right-click on the icon again and choose Open With Other Application; from the menu, choose Text Editor. When the file opens, change line 2 to read something like:

Name=WordPerfect

and change line 6 by adding  -E  followed by the DOS path to your application, double-escaping the backslashes (that is, use three backslashes instead of one), like this:

Exec=/usr/bin/dosemu -E c:\\\wp51\\\wp.com

If you want dosemu2 to remain open after running your application add -T after the path.

Alternatively, you can use the -K switch  followed by the unix path; use $HOME instead of ~ and match the lower-case or upper-case path names in Linux, like this:

Exec=/usr/bin/dosemu -K $HOME/.dosemu/drive_c/WP51/WP.COM

Again, you can use the -T switch to make dosemu2 remain open after closing the application.


Change font size and  text screen size

If the text in the dosemu2 window is too small for comfortable reading, open your .dosemurc file (as described above) and make this change. Find the line that begins:

# $_X_font = ""

remove the comment mark at the start of the line, and edit it to read:

$_X_font = "vga11x19"

Save the file.

At the dosemu2 command prompt, you can change the text screen size or type with these commands (using decimal numbers for video modes):

xmode -mode 80  [this sets the screen to 80x30]
xmode -mode 81  [this sets the screen to 80x43]
xmode -mode 82  [this sets the screen to 80x60]
xmode -mode 264 [this also sets the screen to 80x60]
xmode -mode 83  [this sets the screen to 132x25]
xmode -mode 265 [this also sets the screen to 132x25]
xmode -mode 84  [this sets the screen to 132x30]
xmode -mode 85  [this sets the screen to 132x43]
xmode -mode 266 [this also sets the screen to 132x43]
xmode -mode 86  [this sets the screen to 132x60]

Also, to switch back to standard VGA 80x25, enter

xmode -mode 3

and for 25-line mode mono, enter:

xmode -mode 7

You can add any of these commands to your C:\USERHOOK.BAT file as described elswhere on this page.

For convenience, you may also want to download this mode.com file (from the old dosemu-freedos project) to your Downloads folder:

This reports the hex number of the current mode, the number of lines and columns, and the font height. You may also use it to set some combinations of lines and columns, like this:

mode con lines=60 cols=80

For other possibilities, enter:

mode con /?

For a scaled-up full-screen mode: You can toggle between windowed and scaled-up full-screen mode by pressing Ctrl-Alt-F. The result will be ugly, but you may prefer it. If you want to start up in scaled-up full-screen mode by default (and toggle back to windowed mode by pressing Ctrl-Alt-F) then modify the line in your ~/.dosemu/.dosemurc file that reads

# $_X_fullscreen = (off)

Remove the comment mark (#) and change (off) to (on).

If you want dosemu2 to "stretch" the screen in full-screen mode so that WPDOS fills your monitor, instead of retaining the proportions of the original DOS-style window, the results will be extremely ugly, but, again, you may prefer it. Do accomplish this, change the relevant setting in ~/.dosemu/.dosemurc to:

$_X_fixed_aspect = (off)

Alternative method for WPDOS 5.1: When running in a window, dosemu emulates a Trident video card. Two WPDOS 5.1 video drivers are available for Trident video cards, one for text mode, available in a corrected version elsewhere on this site (TRIDEN_T.VRS) and one for graphics mode (TRIDENT.VRS), available from Corel's web site. The text mode driver lets you select among a number of screen sizes for WP in text mode; use Shift-F1, Display, Text Screen Type to select the Trident VGA driver and select a font size; but you will get better results by using the xmode settings described above. The Trident graphics driver causes errors in some screen sizes, and has no advantage over the VESA driver supplied by this site.


High-resolution graphics for WPDOS 5.1

Dosemu2 supports high-resolution VESA graphics. WPDOS 6.x includes a VESA driver for high-resolution graphics. This site provides a high-resolution VESA graphic driver for WPDOS 5.1 that was written by Michal Necasek; it works perfectly with dosemu2. Download the driver from another page on this site.


Printing and PDF-creation from WPDOS under dosemu2

You can print from WPDOS under dosemu2 if, and only if, you can print from Linux applications. Set up your printer within Linux before you try to print from WPDOS.

By default, dosemu2 allows WPDOS to print to the default Linux printer, however that printer is attached to your computer (on a network, through a USB or parallel port, etc.). For simplicity, I strongly advise you to use a PostScript-compatible printer with Linux, and I strongly advise that you choose a standard PostScript printer driver in WPDOS (for example, Apple LaserWriter IINTX). If, and only if, you have an HP LaserJet or compatible printer that supports traditional PCL-based printing from WPDOS, you can use a LaserJet PCL printer driver in WPDOS (instead of, or in addition to, a PostScript driver) to print to your Linux printer; see the section below on printing to PCL printers.

If you want to create PDF files from WPDOS, using the same PostScript driver that you use for printing, then you must first install cups-pdf in Linux:

sudo apt install cups-pdf

Then edit your ~/.dosemu/.dosemurc file, remove the comment at the start of the line:

# $_lpt2 = "lpr -P PDF"

and close and save the file.

I cannot help you to use any kind of non-PostScript or non-PCL printer with WPDOS under Linux, but you may wish to experiment with the settings in the ~/.dosemu/.dosemurc file.


Use a PCL printer driver for printing or PDF files

WordPerfect can print either PostScript or PCL code. By default, Linux expects PostScript code and is set up to use it by default. However, if you prefer to use a PCL driver in WPDOS, then you can set up dosemu2 to send PCL printer output to either a PDF file or an actual printer. First, download and extract the GhostPDL source code from https://ghostscript.com/download/gpdldnld.html

Then trom the top level of the folder containting the extracted files, enter these commands in the terminal:

sudo apt install autoconf
./autogen.sh
./configure
make
sudo make install

This will install gpcl6 (and also gxps, which you don't need) in /usr/local/bin.

Edit your ~/.dosemu/.dosemurc file, and find the line that begins # $_lpt1 etc. To print from a DOS application (using a PCL driver) to your default Linux printer, replace that line with (all on one line):

$_lpt1 = "/usr/local/bin/gpcl6 -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=ps2write -sOutputFile=%pipe%lpr -"

Save and close the file. When you print to LPT1 from your DOS application, the output will print to your default Linux printer.

If you want to create PDF files from a DOS application that uses a PCL driver, make a folder named PDF in your Home folder. Then edit your ~/.dosemu/.dosemurc file, and find the line that begins # $_lpt2 etc. Replace that line with (all on one line):

$_lpt2 = "/usr/local/bin/gpcl6 -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -o $HOME/PDF/$(date +%Y-%m-%d-%H:%M:%S).pdf -"

Save and close the file. When you print to LPT2 from using a PCL driver, a PDF will be created in your PDF folder, with a filename based on the date and time of printing


Refine and improve your WPDOS and dosemu2 setup

Install a VESA graphics driver: dosemu2 supports VESA graphics internally; no matter what video card is actually installed in your computer, dosemu2 can use the WPDOS 6.x VESA VBE graphic driver or the third-party WPDOS 5.1 VESA graphic driver available elsewhere on this site. When installing WPDOS 6.x, always select the VESA VBE graphics driver that is supplied with WPDOS 6.x; if you use an already-existing setup, add the VESA.VRS graphics driver to your WPDOS directory (a copy of the file may be downloaded from this site's graphics mode page) and under Shift-F1/Display/Graphics Mode, select VESA VBE and choose a screen size suitable for your system.

Increase dosemu2's speed: By default, dosemu2 uses only a limited amount of your computer's processor (CPU) time. You can increase dosemu2's share of the computer's CPU power by editing your ~/.dosemu/.dosemurc file and changing the line that reads

# $_hogthreshold = (1)

Remove the comment marker (#) and change 1to a higher number, perhaps 3 or 5 to start with, but you might experiment with much higher numbers. The default setting (1) claims the least amount of CPU power; higher numbers claim more. A setting of zero claims all the CPU power, which is probably not something you want to do (I have not tried it). You may change these settings while running dosemu2 by giving the command:

speed 10

Replace 10 with any other number that you might want to try.

Ways to start and close dosemu2:  You may close dosemu2 by pressing Ctrl-Alt-PageDown, or by entering the command exitemu at the DOS prompt, or simply by closing its window.

Capture the keyboard in the dosemu2 screen: If you want the keyboard to be available only to dosemu2, and not in any other Linux application while you are running dosemu2, press Ctrl-Alt-K. All keystrokes and mouse clicks will go only to dosemu2. Press the same combination of keys again when you want to use the keyboard and mouse in both dosemu2 and the rest of your Linux setup.

Capture the mouse in the dosemu2 screen: If you use the mouse in WordPerfect, and you do not want the mouse to be available outside the dosemu2 window, press Ctrl-Alt-Home to "capture" the mouse pointer for dosemu2. You will not be able to move the mouse pointer outside the dosemu2 window until you press Ctrl-Alt-Home a second time or close dosemu2.

Note: You can change the mouse-capture key from Ctrl-Alt-Home to Ctrl-Alt-ScrlLock by editing your ~/.dosemu/.dosemurc file and editing the line that reads # $_X_mgrab_key = "Home". Remove the comment mark (#) and insert the keyname "Scroll_Lock" between the quotation marks in place of "Home". You may also use other keynames such as "a" to enable Ctrl-Alt-a as the mouse-capture key. If you leave the quotation marks empty ("") the mouse-capture function is not available.


Replace the dosemu2 icon

If you don't like the default dosemu2 icon, download this dosemu.xpm file to your Downloads folder:

Then, open the terminal and enter this command:

sudo cp -i ~/Downloads/dosemu.xpm /usr/share/dosemu/icons

Depending on your distribution, you may need to log out and in again before the new icon appears.


Clipboard exchange between WPDOS and Linux

When dosemu2 is running in a window (not in scaled full-screen mode) you can copy text from the Linux clipboard into WPDOS by holding down the shift key and pressing the middle mouse button (or whatever equivalent button or button-combination used by your mouse).

To copy text from WPDOS to the Linux clipboard, the most reliable method is to use the copy-text macros described below.

This site provides macros for copying and pasting between WPDOS and the Linux clipboard.

For WPDOS 5.1, download LinClip5New.ZIP. Then:

For WPDOS 6.x, download LinClip6New.ZIP. Then:

If you skipped any of the above steps, then these macros are guaranteed not to work! You must perform all the above steps!

Next, perform the following steps, and, yes, they are all essential.

1. Install the Linux program xsel into your Linux system. On debian-based systems like Ubuntu, enter this command in the terminal (or use your distribution's package manager to install the software):

sudo apt install xsel

Do not skip this step! It is absolutely essential! If you do not perform this step, the macros are guaranteed not to work!

If you find that the macros produce text that includes the string "No newline at end of selection", then your distribution does not have the latest version of xsel. You will need to perform the following steps in the terminal:

sudo apt install autoconf git libtool libx11-dev
cd ~/
git clone https://github.com/kfish/xsel.git
cd xsel
./autogen.sh
./configure
make
sudo make install

2. Make sure that you have the iconv command installed in your Linux system. (It is almost certainly there already.) Open the terminal and type the command  which iconv  and press Enter. If no file path appears, then install iconv in your system. This step is absolutely essential!

Troubleshooting:  If the LINPASTE macro produces an error message that says "unix: execution of iconv is not allowed", then open your .dosemurc file (as explained elswhere on this page; search for the entry for $_unix_exec_list and edit it to add the path of iconv on your system; remove the comment mark (#) at the start of the line if it is present.

3. Open the terminal and enter the following command (another step that is absolutely essential)

chmod +x ~/.dosemu/drive_c/clipcopy.sh

You may assign each of the the two macros to a keystroke by editing a  keyboard definition in WordPerfect. I recommend that  you assign the copy macro to Alt-C and the paste macro to Alt-V. If you do not know how to do this, study your WordPerfect manual.


Sound support for WPDOS 6.x

Dosemu2 emulates a Sound Blaster Pro card, and thus makes it possible to use the sound-clip feature in WPDOS 6.x. To play sound in WPDOS 6.x, perform the following steps:

Download this patched copy of the WP media player vmp.com, and place it in your WP6x folder in .dosemu/drive_c . Remember that Linux is case-sensitive, so if your existing copy of the file is named VMP.COM , you must rename the patched copy to be named VMP.COM before copying it into the WP6x folder (or simply delete the existing VMP.COM). This patch was generously provided by Stas Sergeev, the lead author of dosemu2.

In WPDOS 6.x, use Ctrl-F7, Sound Clip, Setup, and choose the "Sound Blaster Pro, Stereo" driver. Set the IRQ to 5 (not the default 7) and leave the base address at 220.

The dosemu2 package includes the recommendation that you choose the option "External Synthesis (via MIDI port)"; if I select that option on my system (running Linux under VMware), no sound is heard,, but that may be a problem with my specific system.

Technical note: The patch to vmp.com involves three bytes:

Compare  vmp.old & vmp.com
00002C4B:  72       90
00002C4C:  0D       90
00002C5B:  01       00


Some housekeeping suggestions

I don't want to waste bandwidth and your time with pointless suggestions, but if you find the standard Ubuntu background image as annoying as I do, then take these steps in the terminal to set up a neutral-color background:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri ''
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background primary-color 'rgb(66, 81, 100)'

I'll add further suggestions as they come to mind.


Other Linux distributions

I will try to add details of other Linux distributions that support dosemu2 as I learn of them.

Fedora 31: Perform these steps, then perform the Fedora equivalents of the setup methods described above:

sudo dnf copr enable stsp/dosemu2
sudo dnf install dosemu2

You should probably also install qemu-kvm and other packages described elsewhere on this page.


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