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How to use relative paths and the cloud to sync your DOSBox games between multiple computers

February 20, 2011 Leave a comment

If you’re like me (and I hope for your sake that you’re not, but that’s another topic entirely), you probably have several computers and would like to share your awesome DOSBox setup on each of them with a minimum of fuss.  In this post, I’ll show how you can use CBoxRun’s relative path support, along with Windows Live Mesh, to synchronize your DOSBox game environment across multiple computers.


Step One – Set up your DOSBox environment to support relative paths

The first step in doing this is to install all of your DOSBox related items in a single folder path.  For example, I have a directory called DOS which contains CBoxRun, DOSBox, and Games folders, as shown here:




In my setup, each DOS game lives in a separate folder under the games directory.


Next, you will need to configure CBoxRun to use relative paths for the DOSBox and programs directories, and most importantly, you will need to move your dosbox.conf file into a folder under your DOS folder.  (It’s stored in your local user AppPath by default.)

For example, my CBoxRun setup looks like this:




With this setup, it doesn’t matter where the DOS directory is actually located.  As long as the DOSBox, CBoxRun, and programs folders are all in the same top-level folder along with dosbox.conf, CBoxRun will be able to find everything that it needs.


Step Two – Set up Windows Live Mesh


Next, you’ll need to set up Windows Live Mesh.  Mesh is a fantastic product that more people should know about.  It has several features, including the ability to remotely access any of your machines running the Mesh software, but the feature that we’re interested in for this post is one that allows you to automatically and transparently synchronize an entire folder tree between multiple machines.  Mesh gives you up to 5GB of online space that can be used as a sync point for these folders.

To get started, download and install Windows Live Mesh on every computer where you want to run DOSBox.  Set each machine to log into Windows Live automatically using the same username and password.

Then, from the machine that has your DOS folder, right-click on the Mesh icon in the system tray and select “Open Windows Live Mesh”.  In the status screen that follows, select “sync a folder” and choose your DOS folder.  You will be prompted for a list of machines to use when syncing the folder, as shown here:




It’s possible to sync between two machines without using the SkyDrive storage, but both machines will have to be powered on at the same time for the syncing to occur.  I prefer to sync to SkyDrive – this will sync your files to the cloud, and the other machines can get them whenever they power on.   Another advantage is that the files will be backed up for you.


Step Three – There is no Step Three


A few minutes after this is done, you should be able to see your DOS folder on each machine.  Any subsequent changes made to your games collection or your DOSBox/CBoxRun settings will appear on all machines.  Just start up CBoxRun and go!

Categories: Uncategorized