How To: Emulation


  • Convert an emulator disk image from one format to another:
qemu-img convert -f raw -O qcow2 image.img image.qcow2
qemu-img convert -f vmdk -O raw image.vmdk image.img
  • Windows 9x

For TrueColor SVGA, the standard CirrusLogic 5436 driver that ships with Windows 9x works perfectly well.

Command line:

qemu-system-i386 -vga cirrus -m 256 -device sb16 -device adlib -drive file=win98.bin,snapshot=on
  • The snapshot=on parameter can be used if you want to keep your disk images pristine and untouched.
  • If the host OS is Windows, you may need to add a parameter like -L "C:\Program Files\qemu" to explicitly specify the working directory for qemu.


  • Run without the extra console window:
    dosbox -noconsole
  • Use a specific configuration file:
    dosbox -conf myconf.conf
  • Mount a disk image as a drive:
    imgmount C mydisk.img
  • Boot from a mounted disk image:
    boot mydisk.img -l C
  • Although DosBox itself still seems to be “active”, i.e. not abandoned, it looks like DOSBox-X is the spiritual successor.

PCem and 86Box

  • PCem is an excellent lower-level emulator, supporting a ton of chipsets, features, and peripherals.
  • 86Box started as a fork of PCem, but now seems to be its successor, with much more active development.