installing SL in Dosbox

All discussion related to Searchlight BBS
DeadMeat
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:31 pm

installing SL in Dosbox

Post by DeadMeat » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:14 pm

Well, I found a really easy to setup dosbox. It's called d-fend. It's a front end for dosbox with dosbox inside of it.

I can get the config.exe to run fine but I can't get slbbs.exe to run. It keeps asking for share.exe. It's been so many years, I forgot how to it to load or even where to find it.

Any help would be appreciated

kparadine
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:08 pm

Re: installing SL in Dosbox

Post by kparadine » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:12 pm

share is not supported on redirected drives, only on disk images. This limits the utility of dosbox, and is why dosemu on linux is a superior performer for these kind of things.

DeadMeat
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: installing SL in Dosbox

Post by DeadMeat » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:26 am

kparadine wrote:share is not supported on redirected drives, only on disk images. This limits the utility of dosbox, and is why dosemu on linux is a superior performer for these kind of things.
That's good, Kevin but my project is to get Searchlight to run under a 64 bit system with no 16 native windows.

Sounds like something that needs to be addressed on dosbox.

kparadine
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:08 pm

Re: installing SL in Dosbox

Post by kparadine » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:01 am

I would suggest that they probably don't care that much, since their stated goal is to run DOS games, not things like Windows for Workgroups or SLBBS.

The fix is a locking code update that passes the file locks to the host OS, ala dosemu. It's a not inconsequential task, though looking at the dosemu code for this would help on the Linux side, at least. Dosemu has multiple host platforms, which is one big reason why they probably haven't invested the effort.

You're right inasmuch as it has to be fixed, if not for running the BBS, but for running multiplayer doors. They all need direct SHARE support with real multisession file locking or software just won't work in a multiuser environment. Otherwise, the only real solution is in fact Linux/dosemu. All the other emulators work off disk images only and don't let you have direct host HD access. It's considered a breach of security for the likes of Vmware.

DeadMeat
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: installing SL in Dosbox

Post by DeadMeat » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:38 am

I just tried vmware. What a friggin nightmare. It took control of my network, erased all my settings and still wouldn't run the dos like it claimed. I list vmware right up there with a virus.

Coz
Site Admin
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:09 pm

Re: installing SL in Dosbox

Post by Coz » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:00 am

kparadine wrote: You're right inasmuch as it has to be fixed, if not for running the BBS, but for running multiplayer doors. They all need direct SHARE support with real multisession file locking or software just won't work in a multiuser environment. Otherwise, the only real solution is in fact Linux/dosemu. All the other emulators work off disk images only and don't let you have direct host HD access. It's considered a breach of security for the likes of Vmware.
Exactly the reason I just bit the bullet and installed 32-bit Windows to run my board in. I ran DOSBox for a few days, but the lack of SHARE support was a bust for most doors. I am going to give things a whirl using dosemu under Linux, though. Kevin - it's been awhile since I've used dosemu - does it have good support built in for emulating COM ports with socket based (telnet) connections?

Thanks,
Chris

kparadine
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:08 pm

Re: installing SL in Dosbox

Post by kparadine » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:29 pm

Coz wrote: Exactly the reason I just bit the bullet and installed 32-bit Windows to run my board in. I ran DOSBox for a few days, but the lack of SHARE support was a bust for most doors. I am going to give things a whirl using dosemu under Linux, though. Kevin - it's been awhile since I've used dosemu - does it have good support built in for emulating COM ports with socket based (telnet) connections?
The answer is yes, Chris.

$_com1 = "virtual"

That's a line from the dosemu conf file for all four of my nodes. It basically does the whole job. What it really does is put the serial port onto an external socket of dosemu which is what the telnet daemon uses for its thing. I configure all the nodes for com1.

My telnetd is configured as such:

service telnet
{
disable = no
port = 23
socket_type = stream
protocol = tcp
user = root
wait = no
server = /usr/sbin/in.telnetd
server_args = -n -h -L /root/bbs/scripts/bbs
}

My script for running the BBS nodes:

#!/bin/bash
export HOME=/root
unset DISPLAY
total=4
current_sessions=`ps aux | grep in.telnetd | grep bbs | grep -v grep | wc -l`
if [ $current_sessions -ge $total ]; then
echo "Too many connections, please try again later."
sleep 2
echo "Goodbye."
sleep 1
else
NODE=1
for i in `seq 1 $total` ; do
if [ -e "/tmp/bbsnode$i" ] ;
then
DUMMY=1
else
let NODE=$i
touch /tmp/bbsnode$i
break
fi
done
echo "Loading Zeppelin BBS [node $NODE/$total]..."
sleep 2
dosemu -n -f /root/bbs/node$NODE.conf -E "e:\sl20\batch\node$NODE.bat"
echo "Goodbye."
rm -rf /tmp/bbsnode$NODE
sleep 1
fi

My only beef with the current config is that I have to get screen into there somehow to suppress the 25 line notification in dosemu. Otherwise, it just works. Obviously, there are some more details, like your drive order in dosemu - note I am invoking a batch file to run the BBS and it is sensitive to the drive order inside the dosemu nodes.

Obviously, from a security standpoint, I should (and will) create a lesser user account to run the BBS, but for now, this works. One problem with dosemu is that it requires root for certain activities. Not the serial port stuff, but for graphics access. The lack of desire to hack dosemu heavily to get it to work in a lesser security context is why I haven't done it yet.

kparadine
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:08 pm

Re: installing SL in Dosbox

Post by kparadine » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:37 pm

DeadMeat wrote:I just tried vmware. What a friggin nightmare. It took control of my network, erased all my settings and still wouldn't run the dos like it claimed. I list vmware right up there with a virus.
I have a DOS vm that you can use if you want to try. It's running 6.22. Yes, I made it. it's possible, just more annoying than windows or linux.

The virtual networking in Vmware is what you want. It will control your NIC if you tell it to, but you don't want that. The virtual net uses inherent NAT/IP masquerading/whatever you want to call it - to provide virtual NICs behind your primary on the box, which still works.

DeadMeat
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: installing SL in Dosbox

Post by DeadMeat » Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:57 pm

I asked one of the Authors for Dosbox if Share.exe was going to be supported. he was brisk in his reply with a "No" and that was pretty much his answer. I followed up on it nicely and he never answered the question of why.

I notice that others are having trouble with dosbox for some of the multiplayer games as well. He claims it is a gaming system. I find that hard to believe when some pretty good games requires share.exe. Sounds to me like it will never be that usable.

For any BBS that needs share.exe, just file dosbox in the trash bin.

kparadine
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:08 pm

Re: installing SL in Dosbox

Post by kparadine » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:00 pm

DeadMeat wrote:I asked one of the Authors for Dosbox if Share.exe was going to be supported. he was brisk in his reply with a "No" and that was pretty much his answer. I followed up on it nicely and he never answered the question of why.

I notice that others are having trouble with dosbox for some of the multiplayer games as well. He claims it is a gaming system. I find that hard to believe when some pretty good games requires share.exe. Sounds to me like it will never be that usable.

For any BBS that needs share.exe, just file dosbox in the trash bin.
It's forkable, as it is OSS. However, I won't be fixing it today.

Post Reply