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SvarDOS - an open-source DOS distribution

for PCs of the 1980-2000 era

SvarDOS is an open-source project that is meant to integrate the best out of the currently available DOS tools, drivers and games. DOS development has been abandoned by commercial players a long time ago, mostly during early nineties. Nowadays it survives solely through the efforts of hobbyists and retro-enthusiasts, but this is a highly sparse and unorganized ecosystem. SvarDOS aims to collect available DOS software and make it easy to find and install applications using a network-enabled package manager (like apt-get, but for DOS and able to run on a 8086 PC).

Minimalist and 8086-compatible

Once installed, SvarDOS is a minimalistic DOS system that offers only a DOS kernel, a command interpreter and the most basic tools for system administration. It is then up to the user to install additional packages. Care is taken so SvarDOS remains 8086-compatible, at least in its most basic (core) configuration.


SvarDOS is published under the terms of the MIT license. This applies only to SvarDOS-specific files, though - the auxilliary packages supplied with SvarDOS may be subject to different licenses (GPL, BSD, Public Domain, Freeware...).


The system can be set up in a wide selection of languages: English, German, French, Polish, Russian, Italian and more.

No "versions"

SvarDOS is a rolling release, meaning that it does not adhere to the concept of "versions". Once the system is installed, its packages can be kept up-to-date using the SvarDOS online update tools (pkg & pkgnet).

Community and help

Need to get in touch? Wish to submit some packages, translate SvarDOS to your language, or otherwise contribute? Or maybe you'd like some information about SvarDOS? Come visit the SvarDOS community forum. You may also wish to take a look at the project's bug tracker.

Downloads (build 20240201)

SvarDOS is available in a variety of installation images. Some may be available as multilingual and English-only. The EN-only variants are smaller because they miss all the translations, which makes them fit on a lower number of floppy disks. You can always upgrade an EN-only installation to multilingual support simply by upgrading its packages.

International edition

English only

(no translations, less floppies)

Bleeding edge

⚠ This build has not been tested! Try it and let us know how it works for you.

The links above point to the latest builds of installation images. Archival builds can be found in the files section.

Wondering how SvarDOS is built? Take a look at the project's SVN, where all the build-related files and scripts are stored. To pull the sources using the standard subversion client use this:
svn co svn:// svardos