FreeDOS started in 1994, although DOS goes back long before that. Other operating systems used the name "DOS" but we mean disk operating systems compatible with PC DOS, from the original IBM PC in August 1981. DOS and the many applications and games that ran on it remained popular throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s.
Jim Hall started FreeDOS while an undergraduate. He wasn't a fan of Windows 3.x, and when Microsoft announced in 1994 that the next version of Windows would replace DOS entirely, Jim announced a new development effort to create an open source version of DOS.
That project became FreeDOS. Other developers contributed to FreeDOS, adding a command interpreter, kernel, and other tools and utilities. FreeDOS was most popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and we have a small but engaged community today.
For legal purposes, FreeDOS is a trademark of Jim Hall. For details, see trademark claim (2001). All other marks are property of their respective owners.
Thank you to SourceForge for hosting our email lists. Thanks to Ibiblio for hosting our files archive. Thanks to GitLab for hosting our source code.
Thanks to everyone who contributes or has contributed to FreeDOS! FreeDOS is what it is because of a ton of people, like Pat Villani who wrote our first kernel and the long list of people who maintained the kernel and improved it, including Bart Oldeman, Tom Ehlert, John Price, Jeremy Davis. And people like Tim Norman, M. Hannibal Toal, Eric Auer, Aitor Santamaria, Tom, Paul Vojta, Joe Cosentino, Shaun, Till, Martin, Arkady, Bernd, Charles, Eduardo, Rene, Dave, Mike, Imre, Louis, Fritz, Jim Tabor, Jason, Jerome Shidel, Ron, Lucho, ror4, Steffen, Wilhelm, Rugxulo, Mateusz Viste, Gregory Pietsch, Ralf Quint, and the many many others (too many to list here) who created programs, fixed bugs, wrote documentation, translated messages, and did a ton of other stuff to keep FreeDOS moving forward.
Some developers have a Patreon or other donation site. Please support them.