Main page I Why Svarog386 I Tech I NLS

Why would I want to use Svarog386

...instead of simply sticking with vanilla FreeDOS?

The FreeDOS project is a free, open-source operating system that aims to be 100% compatible with MS-DOS. And it is awesome. So why would one need to use an alternative FreeDOS distribution, like Svarog386?

Very long release cycle

The FreeDOS project began 29 June 1994. Version 1.0 came around in 2006. Version 1.1 has been released in 2012, and the version 1.2 is likely to be release somewhere at the end of 2016. This translates roughly to a 5-years release cycle. Granted, the DOS scene is not as active as it used to be, but still, many things happen during a few years.

Svarog386 is very different in this regard: there is no versions at all! Svarog386 is always up to date - this implies two things: first, whenever a new program is included into the distribution, or anything is updated, then the ISO release is immediately updated and available through the Svarog\'s website. Second, all existing systems can be easily kept up-to-date, thanks to the distribution\'s package manager. The package manager can keep your system up to date either by using internet repositories (if your system is connected to the internet), or you can feed it with new versions of the Svarog386 CD-ROM from time to time, and it will update whatever packages needs to be updated.

Constraints of legal nature

The FreeDOS project is mimicking a proprietary operating system, with all its APIs and peculiarities. For this reason, the project always had to be extremely careful about what can and what cannot be included within the FreeDOS distribution. As a result, only "free software" (as in freedom, think GPL, BSD, and so on) can make its way into the official distribution. While such cautious approach is sane and legally safe, it is far from practical for users. Allowing exclusively free software means that a high number of very useful programs, tools and games are left behind. For example "freeware" tools (as in "gratis but no source included") are a no-go. Even open-source programs can be rejected, if they do not clearly state that they comply with an OSI-approved license.

Svarog386, on the other hand, takes a much more accepting approach to what can be included as part of the distribution. Basically, anything that is objectively useful, of reasonable quality, free/gratis and can be legally distributed in the form of a package, can be included in Svarog386. The only exception is for the "core" repository (ie. the operating system itself), which must be based exclusively on free/libre software. Read more about Svarog386 package inclusion rules.