Free BIOS (was Resources for DOS (was: DOS Compatable OS))

Scott Stevens chenmel at
Fri Dec 16 18:31:59 CST 2005

On Fri, 16 Dec 2005 09:26:28 -0800
"Robert Armstrong" <bob at> wrote:

> Hi Hans,
> >
>   This is probably the best bet for me - I was thinking of
>   something that
> could run FreeDOS on a PC/XT type platform.  No chipsets; no
> fancy CPUs...
> > The BIOS is written in Forth
>   A BIOS written in Forth?  I dunno - I don't want to start any
>   flame wars,
> but I'm just not comfortable with that :-)
> > Now, a complete different aproach here is LinuxBIOS
>   Which, I assume, is unable to run FreeDOS or, indeed, anything
>   except
> Linux ...

Peeking in from the outside (not having looked at any of these
codebases) it sounds like they are bootloader projects with
varying degrees of elaborateness.  The original BIOS code on x86
hardware was used as recallable routines that the OS would
actively hook into, and that programmers (at their peril) could
utilize as well.  The concept of 'BIOS' in the modern era has
degraded to the bootload function.  The freenixes and modern
Microsoft OSes don't generally touch the BIOS once they are up and

So a Fourth-based bootloader would be much the same as any other. 
Load the kernel and get outta the way.

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