|Original author(s)||Kevin Lawton|
|Developer(s)||Community based; owned by Mandriva|
|Stable release||2.6.2 / 26 May 2013|
|License||GNU Lesser General Public License|
Bochs (pronounced "box") is a portable x86 and x86-64 IBM PC compatible emulator and debugger mostly written in C++ and distributed as free software under the GNU Lesser General Public License. It supports emulation of the processor(s) (including protected mode), memory, disks, display, Ethernet, BIOS and common hardware peripherals of PCs.
Many guest operating systems can be run using the emulator including DOS, several versions of Microsoft Windows, BSDs, Linux, Xenix and Rhapsody (precursor of Mac OS X). Bochs can run on many host operating systems, like Windows, Windows Mobile, Linux, Mac OS X, iOS, PlayStation 2.
Bochs is mostly used for operating system development (when an emulated operating system crashes, it does not crash the host operating system, so the emulated OS can be debugged) and to run other guest operating systems inside already running host operating systems. It can also be used to run older software – such as PC games – which will not run on non-compatible, or too fast computers.
Bochs started as a program with a commercial license, at the price of 25 USD, for use as-is. If a user needed to link it to other software, that user would have to negotiate a special license. That changed on 22 March 2000, when Mandrakesoft (now Mandriva) bought Bochs from lead-developer Kevin Lawton and released it for Linux under the GNU Lesser General Public License.
Bochs can emulate the hardware needed by the guest operating system, including hard drives, CD drives, and floppy drives. Disk and ISO images can be "inserted" while the system is being run. However, the system performance is very poor because it is only emulated. It doesn't provide any CPU virtualization features. But it is useful for capturing screen shots in researching old DOS software though DOSBox can serve a similar purpose when documenting old DOS games. Bochs is widely used for hobbyist OS developing, as it saves the need for constant system restarts (to test code). Bochs is also convenient for OS developers because it has error reporting and dump files that other emulators may lack. Bochs is also very helpful for Operating System development since it contains a debugger that is displayed during emulation, so that you can view what is going on within the virtual machine.
|Video card||Cirrus Logic CL-GD5430 ISA|
|Cirrus Logic CL-GD5446 PCI|
|Sound card||Sound Blaster 16 card (ISA, no Plug & Play)|
|Ethernet network card||NE2000 Ethernet|
|Chipset||Intel 440FX PCI. Host-to-PCI bridge (PMC/DBX), PCI-to-ISA bridge, PCI IDE controller (PIIX3) are available. For PCI cards there are 5 PCI slots.|
|USB||Root hub and the devices mouse, tablet, keypad, disk.|
|SMP||Can simulate up to 8 CPUs.|
|Enhanced BIOS||ElTorito, EDD v3.0, basic APM, PCIBIOS features, PCI interrupt routing table. 32-bit init for ACPI, SMM and SMP.|
PlayStation 2 port
The PS2 version was ported by KarasQ (psx-scene forums).
- Comparison of platform virtual machines
- DOSBox (a convenient DOS emulator that simplifies the interface with a command line to navigate with like actual DOS operating systems)
- Gael Duval (March 23, 2000). "MandrakeSoft buys Bochs for Linux and commits it to Open Source". Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- Thinking inside and outside the Bochs with Kevin Lawton, By Ken Hess, August 25, 2011, ZDNet
- Bochs was written by Kevin Lawton starting in 1994., 1.1. What is Bochs?, Chapter 1. Introduction to Bochs, Bochs User Manual
- "Bochs User Manual - Features". Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- Bochs development homepage
- Bochs for DOS host
- x86 Emulation makes it to the Handheld PC discussion of BOCHS running under Windows CE
- Bochs project of the month interview on sourceforge.net
- A Guide and Tutorial for Windows users
- Peter-bochs debugger. A Bochs debugger frontend