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04 January 2012, 10:59

FreeDOS 1.1 released

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The FreeDOS project has released version 1.1 of its free software alternative to MS-DOS – more than five years after version 1.0, and almost seventeen and a half years after the project's launch. The new and updated components of version 1.1 provide basic support for USB 1.1 controllers that comply with the UHCI standard. Also new is a generic PCI-IDE driver that supports PIO and UDMA transfers so that (P)ATA/SATA hard disks and CD drives can be connected. The included version, 2040, of the FreeDOS kernel fixes a problem that exists in the FAT32 code of FreeDOS 1.0 and which can damage the filesystem. Another new addition is the flashrom program for performing BIOS backups and updates.

A newsgroup posting and the announcement of version 1.1 list further improvements. Bernd Blaauw, who has been instrumental in the making of FreeDOS 1.1, explained that the new version is best suited for being installed on a hard disk from a CD. However, the developer said that some programs and functions that were available in FreeDOS 1.0 are missing from the new version; these include the support for live operation directly from a boot CD. Blaauw added that he plans to extend the new version's range of components so it matches that of the older version. He also pointed out that some tests didn't run, adding that he can, therefore, provide no guarantees that all storage device installation routines run correctly. The announcement lists the required installation steps, as well as a number of limitations and known issues.


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