Summary of FreeDOS Commands

alias   list the aliases currently on the system and creates new aliases for commands   (alias in Linux)

assign   reassign disk operations from one drive to another

attrib   display or change the attributes (i.e., whether it is read-only, hidden, an archive file or a system file) of files or directories

basic   starts the BASIC programming language environment   (qbasic in MS-DOS)

break   set or clear CTRL-C checking

call   call a batch file from within a batch file

cd,   chdir   change the current directory   (cd in Linux)

chcp   display or change the DOS code page

chkdsk   check the disk for errors  

choice   suspend processing and wait for the user to press a valid key

cls   clear the screen   (clear in Linux)

command   start a new command shell

comp   compare two files   (diff in Linux)

copy   copy one or more files   (cp in Linux)

ctty   change the terminal device for the current DOS session

date   show the current date   (date in Linux)

debug   allows access to assembly language programs to modify hardware settings

defrag   defragment a hard disk drive (HDD)

del,   erase   delete files   (rm in Linux)

deltree   delete an entire directory tree   (rm -Rf in Linux)

dir   list the contents of a directory   (ls in Linux)

diskcomp   compare the contents of two floppy disks, track by track

diskcopy   copy the contents of one floppy disk to a second floppy disk

echo   display what follows it   (echo in Linux)

edit   start the built-in text editor   (vi in Linux)

edline   view and edit files   (edlin in MS-DOS, vi in Linux)

emm386   control the expanded memory manager

exe2bin   a software development tool that converts .exe programs to binary format   (dropped from later versions of MS-DOS)

exit   exit the shell   (exit in Linux)

fc   compare two files   (diff in Linux)

fdisk   configure a HDD   (fdisk in Linux)

find   display lines in a text file that contain a specified string   (grep in Linux)

for   run a specified command when a parameter is met or specified

format   format a HDD or floppy disk   (mke2fs or mformat in Linux)

goto   branch to a label in a batch file

help   provide on-line help regarding the topic following it   (man in Linux)

if   perform conditional processing in batch files

join   join a drive to a directory   (mount in Linux)

keyb   configure the keyboard for a specific human language

label   assign a disk label to a drive

loadhigh,   lh   load a program into high memory (i.e., into the first 64KB beyond the first 1M of main memory)

mem   display the amount of memory installed and the amount of memory currently available   (free in Linux)

mirror   mirror information about a disk in a way that the unformat and undelete commands can use to recover the disk

mkdir,   md   create a directory   (mkdir in Linux)

mode   display or set the operating mode of system devices

more   used together with a vertical bar character to display output one screenful at a time   (more and less in Linux)

nlsfunc   add NLS (national language support) functionality

path   set the search path for programs   (echo $PATH in Linux)

pause   suspend execution of whatever is occurring and waits for a keystroke in order to resume  

print   print a file in the background, allowing the user to run other commands   (lpr in Linux)

prompt   set the prompt for a command shell

rem   make a comment, i.e., ignore what follows it in the same line

rename,   ren   rename a file or a set of files   (mv in Linux)

rmdir,   rd   remove a directory   (rmdir in Linux)

scandisk   scan a drive for errors, and report/repair any errors found

set   assign a value to an environmental variable   (set and env in Linux)

share   share large files with other programs

shift   shift the position of all command line arguments; the default is downward by one

sort   sort text data   (sort in Linux)

subst   substitute a path with a drive letter

sys   transfer system files to disk drive

time   display or modify the system time   (date in Linux)

tree   display the structure of a directory tree

type   display contents of a text file   (cat in Linux)

undelete   retrieve a deleted file

unformat   attempt to remove the formatting from a disk

ver   show FreeDOS operating system version   (uname -a in Linux)

verify   turn file verification on or off (i.e., to check that files are correctly written to disk)

vol   display the volume label of a disk

xcopy   copies files and directories, including subdirectories   (cp -R in Linux)


The above list is based on the most recent version of FreeDOS. It might not be complete, and there will be minor differences in which commands are included in each version of FreeDOS.

Linux equivalents are provided if they exist. MS-DOS equivalents are provided only when different from their FreeDOS counterparts.

Detailed information about each of these commands, including options, can be found on any FreeDOS system (including the single-floppy version) by following the name of the command with a forward slash and a question mark (e.g., xcopy /? ). Information can also be obtained on full FreeDOS installations by using the help command followed by the name of the command about which information is sought.

Created July 27, 2005.
Copyright © 2005 The Linux Information Project. All Rights Reserved.