Is it Possible to Build a Knoppix-Like CDROM Version of DOS?

John "Jack" Heim jheim at
Mon Nov 6 20:38:06 UTC 2006

Have you tried it without the drive specification? I don't think they are 

Somewhere around here, I have a CD that boots and runs the JAWS for DOS 
installer.  I never got any further than that with it though.  The trick 
would be to have a working version of JAWS for DOS *installed* on the CD so 
it could come up talking.

AFIK, everybody uses Bart's tools to create bootable DOS/Windows CDs.

I used Bart's stools to create a bootable CD but I don't know why you 
couldn't do it with the usual linux tools. Take a bootable  diskette, make 
an image of it with dd, ufeed that to mkisofs.

If you intend to distribute your CD, you can't use Microsoft DOS. It is 
still copyrighted. You can use FreeDOS though.  I'm not sure JAWS for DOS 
works with FreeDOS though.

Have you tried some of the bootable linux CDs to see if they include kermit 
or some other comm program? In fact, it might be easier to modify a linux CD 
than it would be to create a DOS CD from scratch.

Useful tools are:
1. Re-writable CDs. You'll waste too many of the write-once kind.
2. PC Weasel. I guess this is an unrealistic tip because the buggers cost 
$350. But what this thing does is  it acts like a video card except that it 
puts it's output to a serial port built into the card.  So you can run a 
terminal emulator on another PC and see/hear the output to the console of 
the machine with the PC Weasel.  I don't think I could have gotten as far as 
I have with my attempt to build a bootable DOS CD w/o this card.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Martin McCormick" <martin at>
To: "Linux for blind general discussion" <blinux-list at>
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2006 1:46 PM
Subject: Is it Possible to Build a Knoppix-Like CDROM Version of DOS?

> If you build a bootable CDROM containing DOS, what letter is it
> likely to assume?  I wanted to be able to install Linux on a
> system but be able to stick in a CDROM containing DOS, MSKermit
> and a screen reader to use that system as a talking serial
> terminal in to other Linux boxes.  One must set the path in
> autoexec.bat and that includes the drive designation.  It
> occurred to me that I wasn't sure what letter it would assume so
> I am asking whether anyone else has done this and  whether or not
> it worked.  Is there already an image of a bootable version of
> DOS I could add the speech to?
> The actual speech comes from one of the Echo
> synthesizers.  This setup works great on a conventional hard
> drive and even can be made to work with just floppies, but a
> CDROM would have everything one needed all on one disk.  It
> should work on just about any system with two serial ports.
> I guess you could even use the vdisk application found in
> some versions of DOS to make a virtual disk out of some of the
> RAM so one could log to a file if desired and save it to a floppy
> although most of the time, all that is needed is the working DOS
> and screen reader.
> Any ideas welcome.
> Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK
> Systems Engineer
> OSU Information Technology Department Network Operations Group
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> Blinux-list mailing list
> Blinux-list at

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