Creating a Bootable DOS USB Stick

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This article explains how to create a bootable FreeDOS USB stick.[1] FreeDOS is GNU licensed and DOS compatible. To create the stick, you will need either the program Rufus for Windows or Unetbootin for Linux and Windows.

Creating a Bootable DOS Stick in Windows

Rufus is an open source program licensed under the GPL scheme.[2]

  1. Download Rufus from the Rufus website under Rufus downloads (
  2. Rufus does not need to be installed. After the download has been completed, you will need to run the program as administrator.
  3. You do not need to download FreeDOS, since Rufus will install it directly using a template.

After starting Rufus as Admin, follow these instructions:

OS-independent Alternative

A further possibility for installing FreeDOS on a USB stick comes in the form of UNetbootin. It is available for all conventional operating systems.[3]


A FAT32 formatted USB stick is needed for the installation. To do this in Ubuntu, use the following command:

  • The USB stick is the device /dev/sdb
  • Note: Formatting the stick will erase all of its data
sudo mkfs.vfat -F 32 /dev/sdb1

Creating a DOS Stick with Unetbootin

  1. In Ubuntu, the code is installed via apt using apt-get install unetbootin
  2. A download of FreeDOS is not necessary as Unetbootin distributions can independently download and install the program.


  1. FreeDOS (
  2. Rufus website (
  3. Discover UNetbootin (

Author: Dominik Hilpert

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