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LiveDosGames
December 17, 2008 11:03 AM   Subscribe

LiveDosGames is a free, portable, fast Linux Operating System, which contains old, but legendary Dos games (and fits on a USB stick)
posted by Wolfdog (45 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
I confess I haven't tried installing it myself yet.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:04 AM on December 17, 2008


Golden Axe! X-Com! Monkey Island!

This is pretty sweet. I would build a PC just for this.
posted by GuyZero at 11:15 AM on December 17, 2008


Looks a lot like Gentoo XFCE. I love that they use a bunch of DOS games as the attratction point. I might download it and try a pendrive version.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:20 AM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, if I put this guy on a USB stick, I can run it on any computer without, like, wiping that computer's operating system first?
posted by roll truck roll at 11:22 AM on December 17, 2008


I confess I haven't tried installing it myself yet.

Could someone let me know when someone does. Love the dos games.
posted by therubettes at 11:25 AM on December 17, 2008


So, if I put this guy on a USB stick, I can run it on any computer without, like, wiping that computer's operating system first?

Yes, just like a LiveCD. You might have to go into BIOS and change the boot order though.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:25 AM on December 17, 2008


Yes, as long as your PC allows booting from USB drives, RTR.

Most modern ones do. Check your BIOS settings to be sure. You know, that menu you never look at that you can get to by pressing FWhatever on startup.
posted by rokusan at 11:25 AM on December 17, 2008


Could someone let me know when someone does. Love the dos games.

I'll give it a test drive tonight. Downloading now.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:26 AM on December 17, 2008


(Goddamn Marissa, sneaking in between my typing and the website again. Stop wasting time on MeFi and get back to work!)

(Me too, yeah.)
posted by rokusan at 11:26 AM on December 17, 2008


Really? The operating system contains the games? </pedantry>

This sounds cool. I'm going to recommend to a friend that he try it out, since one of his motivations for future Linux dabbling is to play old DOS games.
posted by jock@law at 11:26 AM on December 17, 2008


Well, that's pretty cool.

But I'm assuming you can't run it on a Mac, right?
posted by roll truck roll at 11:27 AM on December 17, 2008


PS - I've used DOSBox on OS X before to play Skyroads. It is indeed pretty great.
posted by jock@law at 11:27 AM on December 17, 2008


It's less than 600MB?! That's pretty light weight. Should work fine from a pendrive.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:28 AM on December 17, 2008


Is there a 'notify me when you have master of magic working' button? If not, why the hell not?
posted by WinnipegDragon at 11:29 AM on December 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


As a long-time DOS abandonware geek, I'm not sure that a lot of these games are actually abandonware. They have a lot of high profile games on there from companies that are still around (such as LucasArts) and usually those companies assert their intellectual property rights pretty forcefully when people openly provide their games for download.

Generally the idea is that you never distribute the emulator with the games, so that the people who write the emulators never face any legal action unless the actual emulator contains copyrighted material. Then the end users are on their own to either load up their old floppies or find some other way to get the games.

Also, how do they get around the copy protection schemes that most of these games had? Do they use cracked versions, do they provide some sort of virtual cardboard decoder wheel, or are users on their own to figure it out?
posted by burnmp3s at 11:37 AM on December 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Great idea. (Needs more Quest for Glory. And the aforementioned Master of Magic / Master of Orion.)
posted by kid ichorous at 11:38 AM on December 17, 2008


Just wanted to point out that there is now a Scorched Earth 3d:
http://www.scorched3d.co.uk/
posted by joecacti at 11:38 AM on December 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


If they have a legacy version of Print Shop I will be stoked. I can almost taste that blocky pixelated birthday cake now.
posted by benzenedream at 11:39 AM on December 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Gametap and Steam are also options for some of these games.
posted by Artw at 11:40 AM on December 17, 2008


Which, um, probably makes them NOT abandonware.
posted by Artw at 11:43 AM on December 17, 2008


For those, like me, who blanched at the thought of downloading 600 meg on a direct http link in this day and age there are torrents available from most of the usual places.

Oddly enough, though, I couldn't find it down by the Bay. Go figure.
posted by Freon at 11:51 AM on December 17, 2008


Yeah, weird that it's not torrented, and it seems a bit pirate-y, but Stock Car! Man, I sucked at that game!
posted by graventy at 12:00 PM on December 17, 2008


I've been wanting to replay the original Dune game for quite some time. Thanks for this.
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:01 PM on December 17, 2008


Preeeetty slow download right about now. I'll stick it in my DropBox and do a double-whammy product test when I get home.
posted by AwkwardPause at 12:34 PM on December 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just wanted to point out that there is now a Scorched Earth 3d

Which is pretty darned playable, although I don't think it quite captures the (awesome) dynamics of the original.
posted by brennen at 12:34 PM on December 17, 2008


What, no Flightmare? Jet? Wizard's Crown?How about something more "modern" like Bard's Tale or One Must Fall 2097?

Oh wait..it has Blackthorne? Sweet.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 1:08 PM on December 17, 2008


No Sopwith?

meh

Flightmare

True. True.
posted by smoothvirus at 1:22 PM on December 17, 2008


Bah, rebooting to run these seems like a waste. They should just release it as a vmware image.
posted by heathkit at 1:49 PM on December 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh wait..it has Blackthorne?

You just said the magic words.
posted by regicide is good for you at 2:39 PM on December 17, 2008


heathkit: "Bah, rebooting to run these seems like a waste. They should just release it as a vmware image."

Yup, that's exactly what I'm gonna try to do (if this thing ever finishes downloading).
posted by team lowkey at 2:42 PM on December 17, 2008


Is there a notify me when you have master of magic working' button? If not, why the hell not?

Seconded.
posted by furious_george at 2:47 PM on December 17, 2008


I've been wanting to replay the original Dune game for quite some time. Thanks for this.

The making of Dune II
posted by Artw at 3:01 PM on December 17, 2008


But I'm assuming you can't run it on a Mac, right?
I haven't tried this yet, but I will as soon as I find a spare USB drive. As a DOSgames geek running KUbuntu on a MacBook, I can say that between DOSBox and Wine I have had no trouble indulging all my DOSgames geekiness. It may take a little tweaking, but getting everything working shouldn't be a huge problem on a Mac, sound and all.

It should not be difficult to get a portable Linux distro that can work with the Mac hardware. And if this lets you get Wine, DOSBox, MAME, Apple/Amiga/Whatever emulators working easily, you can probably download all the titles that you want and just mount your HD from this distro if you don't have the emulators set up on your system already.

(Needs more Quest for Glory. And the aforementioned Master of Magic / Master of Orion.)
Amen, Kid Icarus. Yeah, and MOM too.
posted by Avelwood at 3:22 PM on December 17, 2008


It's not a true DOS emulator if you don't have to spend hours trying to get the sound card to work (Sound Blaster Compatible) only to realize you set the wrong IRQ.
posted by ALongDecember at 3:35 PM on December 17, 2008 [8 favorites]


Here is the copyright notice on the site:

All of the games that are avaible from our website are abandonware. This means, that the these games are no longer sold, or supported.
There are some games whose copyright ownership may be unclear for some reasons. These games are not part of the official LiveCd AND ARE NOTE hosted on this server! The users can only download them from each other using bittorrent.

If you think some of the games shipped with the official LiveCd are not abandonware, then let us know, and we will remove them as soon as possible.


So, apparently note all the listed games actually come with the iso file.
posted by lenny70 at 3:42 PM on December 17, 2008


I'm going to try running it in a Parallels VM on my MacBook.
posted by mike3k at 3:45 PM on December 17, 2008


Uh, guys, is there anything to this but a Linux LiveCD image with DOSbox and some games preinstalled? Cos if all I want is DOSbox and some games, I would as soon install DOSbox on my existing operating system and torrent a game collection for it.
posted by LogicalDash at 4:09 PM on December 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the link to DOSbox, LogicalDash - I've wanted to play Commander Keen again for a while now. That may be a really lame thing to say in computer game circles, but as far as I'm concerned Commander Keen and Harrier Attack on the Amstrad CPC 464 are the only two computer games that are even remotely entertaining (ie, I can actually get to the end of the easiest level!) and I could never make the Amstrad emulator I have work properly.
posted by jack_mo at 5:13 PM on December 17, 2008


The site has three versions listed as available for download; does anyone know what the difference is between them? I couldn't find anything on a very quick inspection advising which one it's best to grab.

Are they the same base system just with different games on each or something?

And I suspect this is something that you ought to grab now if you're interested in it; I don't think it'll survive the lawyering it's about to receive.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:09 PM on December 17, 2008


I couldn't get the .sh file to run on a pendrive. Guess I'll burn the image to a CD-R and give it a go.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:41 PM on December 17, 2008


I booted it under VirtualBox, but the sound didn't work. Yeah, it's a live CD with DOSbox. I figured it would have some easy interface to update the games or something, but it wasn't obvious if it did. It did have the games in the menu for easy access, but that's about it. Does anybody package a distro that already has DOSbox/MAME/UAE/etc ready to go, with a combined interface? That seems like a better project; providing a "classic games machine" instead of just a small distro with a few DOS games.
posted by team lowkey at 11:04 PM on December 17, 2008


But I'm assuming you can't run it on a Mac, right?

Try VirtualBox if you don't have Parallels.
posted by rodgerd at 12:40 AM on December 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


(Of course, if you're going to use VirtualBox, you might as well install FreeDOS and the games instead of going through layer upon layer of emulation)
posted by rodgerd at 12:41 AM on December 18, 2008


Running this off a CD, it's fun and a cool resource for a bunch of games that are somewhat difficult to find (all the Ultima's, Space Quest IV) but they are certainly NOT all Abandonware. I'm glad I got a copy before the ensuing legal barrage, but it's by in large a useless Linux distro except as a delivery system for some cool old DOS games..
posted by mediocre at 6:21 AM on December 18, 2008


it's by in large a useless Linux distro except as a delivery system for some cool old DOS games..
Which is pretty much the only claim they're making for it.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:10 AM on December 18, 2008


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