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1.  About

While COMMAND.COM is a nice little utility/shell, it misses many features as you can find out if you are frequently working. 4DOS is an enhanced shell, which is even much better than BASH (originating from Linux, but there is also a DOS version available).

2.  Features

Some main features are (updates since 7.50 are green):

  • if you press TAB it completes the file name (like in BASH)
  • supports long file names (LFN)
  • highlighting of file types/formats at the DIR command
  • enhanced script-language: internal and user-definable variables and functions, very fast
  • much enhanced script-/batch-file support with debugger
  • command line editing, variable completion, history, scrollback, etc.
  • help system
  • configuration tool (OPTIONS)
  • mouse support (supports wheel using the driver ctmouse)
  • very good file viewer
  • graphical selection tool
  • included “doskey”, you can configure all keys
  • very enhanced internal commands
  • many internal variables

3.  Download & Installation

  1. Download latest version from .
  2. Unzip it into a directory like c:\4DOS .
  3. If you are using 4DOS with DOSLFN or under DOSEMU or Windows, add Win95LFN=Yes in 4dos.ini!
  4. Add shell=c:\4DOS\4DOS.COM c:\4DOS\ /P in config.sys. Maybe you have to change the directory.
  5. reboot

Maybe you will find Directory Navigator interesting, which are listed below.

Additional info is available at:

4.  Open sourcing announcement

Good news everybody! 4DOS 7.50.1 from JP-Soft was released on 2006 Nov 20 by Rex Conn under an open source license. It is available now from FreeDOS homepage. This release of 4DOS is distributed under a modified MIT license (the additions are in the readme.txt) . FreeDOS is the only operating system which may include 4DOS as command line - legal aspects of usage in EDR-DOS have still to be clarified. Also, the released code lacks some (shareware and registration related) files, therefore it does not compile as-is. Fortunately, Kenneth (Jeremy) Davis managed to build it by “stubbing” them and commenting out the calls to their functions. Later Luchezar Georgiev started to modify 4DOS to fix some known bugs, previously detected by Charles Dye (see the “development page” below). So, the thing is under progress by now.

5.  Hints :-)

  • Press F7, a window will pop up with all directories and files matching any partial name typed so far
  • F1 will switch into help
  • If you press TAB it completes the file name
  • With set .ext=program you can start a file with extension .ext with the program program
    • example: set .mp3=c:\mpxplay\mpxplay.exe, if you type example.mp3 and press Enter the mp3 will be played.
  • Different file types can have different color using the dir command. You can change it using the option program.
  • You can define own functions, very useful if you want to write Batch-files.
  • 4DOS have a very good file-viewer: list /?
  • With alias cal=‘echo %@eval[%&]’ you have a calculator: cal 5*5+4

6.  Fast “Directory Navigator” in 4DOS

You want a quick “directory navigator”, which starts, if you press F5. It allows you to navigate on your hard disk, to view text files and to start programs and batch-files. So it doesn’t replace real file managers but is sometimes useful.

Just add this to or create 4start.btm in your 4DOS directory:

alias @@F5=4manager.btm

and download version 1.0 of Florian Xaver’s into your 4DOS directory. Much fun ;-)

6.1  Features

  • starts exe, com, btm and bat files
  • shows txt files
  • you can change directories
  • highlighting of exe, com, btm, bat, txt, me, mp3, ogg, 7zip and zip files
  • mouse support

6.2  History

  • version 1.0 (2006–12–14): first release

6.3  Comment by author

It uses environment variables, so you need to allocate enough memory.

7.  Make an index file of directory

Look at . There you will find the BTM-file (mkindex2.btm) from CBFalconer which generates this page of index.

8.  Login.btm

Dima’s doslogin.btm will ask for login and password, Ctrl-C and Ctrl-Break don’t abort the batch file!

9.  Everyday.btm

Dima’s everyday.btm? will display random picture on every reboot. You have to change some patches in the btm-file!

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Page last modified on February 06, 2013, at 08:46 AM