86Box is a low level x86 emulator that runs older operating systems and software designed for IBM PC systems and compatibles from 1981 through fairly recent system designs based on the PCI bus.
- Easy to use interface inspired by mainstream hypervisor software
- Low level emulation of 8086-based processors up to the Pentium with focus on accuracy
- Great range of customizability of virtual machines
- Many available systems, such as the very first IBM PC 5150 from 1981, or the more obscure IBM PS/2 line of systems based on the Micro Channel Architecture
- Lots of supported peripherals including video adapters, sound cards, network adapters, hard disk controllers, and SCSI adapters
- MIDI output to Windows built-in MIDI support, FluidSynth, or emulated Roland synthesizers
- Supports running MS-DOS, older Windows versions, OS/2, many Linux distributions, or vintage systems such as BeOS or NEXTSTEP, and applications for these systems
System requirements and recommendations
- Intel Core 2 or AMD Athlon 64 processor
- Windows version: Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10
- Linux version: Ubuntu 16.04, Debian 9.0 or other distributions from 2016 onwards
- 4 GB of RAM
Performance may vary depending on both host and guest configuration. Most emulation logic is executed in a single thread, therefore generally systems with better IPC (instructions per clock) should be able to emulate higher clock speeds.
It is also recommended to use a manager application (Windows only) with 86Box for easier handling of multiple virtual machines.
- WinBox for 86Box by Laci bá'
- The new manager with improved new user experience; installer, automatic updates of emulator files and more.
- While development is suspended and the repository is archived, the latest version is fully functional.
- 86Box Manager by daviunic (Overdoze)
- The traditional 86Box manager with simple interface.
However, it is also possible to use 86Box on its own with the
-P command line option.
See our documentation for an overview of the emulator's features and user interface.
We operate an IRC channel and a Discord server for discussing 86Box, its development and anything related to retro computing. We look forward to hearing from you!
86Box is released under the GNU General Public License, version 2 or later. For more information, see the
COPYING file in the root of the repository.
We do not charge you for the emulator but donations are still welcome: https://paypal.me/86Box.
You can also support the project on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/86box.