Setting up TCP/IP Networking in a FreeDOS VMWare Machine

If you are trying to set up TCP/IP in a FreeDOS machine running in VMWare and connect it to a network, this is the post for you. If you are not trying to do that, this is not the post for you. See you tomorrow.

Also, I don’t know why you’re trying to build a virtual machine using VMWare, installing FreeDOS on that virtual machine, and trying to get TCP/IP working. It’s not for me to ask. If you’re here, I’m assuming that for whatever reason DOSBox didn’t meet your needs and you need to set this up. I’m sure you have your reasons.

Things you’re going to need:

01. VMWare Player (Free Download)
02. FreeDOS ISO (Free Download)
03. Command-line networking files (*1)
04. DOS network drivers for VMWare (*1)
05. mTCP (*2)

*1: I have created a floppy disk image with all these files:
*2: I have created a floppy disk image with all mTCP files:

With all of those files you are ready to begin.

Step one: Install VMWare Player

Step two: Create a new virtual machine. Select installer disc image and use the FreeDOS ISO image.

(We are now assuming you have a working FreeDOS virtual machine running in VMWare Player.)

Step three: On the VM, create a directory called C:NETWORK

Step four: Inside C:NETWORK, use EDIT to create a text file called PROTOCOL.INI. Put the following information in PROTOCOL.INI:




Step five: Mount the protman.flp floppy disk image. Copy all the files into C:NETWORK on the VM.

Step six: Add the following lines to fdconfig.sys:


(Note: If you are using MS-DOS instead of FreeDOS, put the lines in config.sys instead.)

Step seven: Add the following line to autoexec.bat:


Step eight: Create a folder called C:MTCP. Mount the MTCP.FLP floppy disk image. Copy all the files from that image to C:MTCP.

Step nine: Reboot the machine (In FreeDOS, simply type REBOOT)

Step ten: Once the machine has rebooted, the network drivers should be properly loaded.

Step eleven: Change to the MCTP directory. Type DHCP to obtain a DHCP address.

(Note: If you would prefer to use a static IP address, you’ll need to do the following:

– Create a file called TCP.CFG (mine is under C:NETWORK) and put the following lines in the file:

IPADDR 192.168.1.x
NAMESERVER 192.168.1.x
MTU 1500

– Add the following line to autoexec.bat:


This will set your machine up to use a static IP instead of DHCP.

Step twelve: You should now have an IP address and be connected to the network. You can use the MTCP tools to ping, telnet, use FTP, or connect to websites.

That should be everything you need to get up and running! Tomorrow I’ll talk a little bit about getting USB devices to work in on a virtual DOS machine.

NOTE (3/7/15): I have NOT been able to get NET commands (net share, net view, etc) to work with this build. NET gives me a “file not found” error. I have pulled the net files (net.exe, net.hlp, etc) from WFW311 and continue to get prompted to turn the networking service on. Right now, the easiest ways to move files to/from the VM are to use floppy disk images, ISO images, or to launch ftpd.exe from the mTCP tools and connect to the VM using an FTP client (anonymous) and move files to/from the machine that way.

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