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Linux Gazette: Easily Porting MS-DOS Diagnostics to Linux

Oct 15, 2000, 15:05 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Mark Taylor)

"With a code few modifications and one powerful Linux module, you can compile and run your favorite MS-DOS diagnostics code on Linux on an X86 machine. Here's how!"

"Diagnostic applications do their job by reading and writing the hardware registers of the devices on the mainboard. This is easy to program in MS-DOS since the processor is running in real-address mode and there are no protection mechanisms."

"Writing code to access the hardware under Linux is quite a bit more difficult since (in most cases) a separate device driver must be coded and installed into the kernel. The protection mechanisms that prevent harm to the system by misbehaving user processes stymie the diagnostic developer. This article explains the porting 16-bit MS-DOS Diagnostics source code developed using Visual C++ 1.52 to the GNU C++ compiler and Linux OS environment."

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