doscmd: doscat, doscp, dosdir, dosformat, dosmkdir, dosls, dosrm, dosrmdir --
manipulates DOS files and filesystems
[ -r | -m ] file ...
[ -r | -m ] [ -v ] file1 file2
[ -r | -m ] file ... directory
dosdir directory ...
dosformat [ -fqv ] drive
dosls directory ...
dosrm file ...
dosmkdir directory ...
dosrmdir directory ...
Refer to the next section for details of the file and
directory arguments to these commands.
The doscmd commands provide access to the files and
directories on MS-DOS floppy disks and on DOS partitions of a hard
Note that in order to use these commands on a DOS 4.0 partition
the DOS volume label must be non null and the DOS serial number
must be set. In order to use these commands on a DOS 3 partition
the DOS volume label must be non null. It is also possible to
mount and access
a DOS filesystem while operating from the UNIX system partition.
The doscmd commands perform the following actions:
Copies one or more DOS files to the standard output. If
-r is given, the files are copied without newline
conversions. If -m is given, the files are copied with
newline conversions (see
Copies files between a DOS disk and a UNIX filesystem. If
file1 and file2 are given, file1 is
copied to file2. If a directory is given, one or
more files are copied to that directory. If -r is given,
the files are copied without newline conversions. If -m
is given, the files are copied with newline conversions (see
When copying from a DOS disk to the UNIX filesystem, the
-v option writes the names of the newly created files to
the standard output.
See the section
for details of how doscp handles regular expressions.
Lists DOS files in the standard DOS style directory format.
Creates a DOS 2.0 formatted diskette. The drive may be specified
in either DOS drive convention, using the default file
or using the UNIX system special file name.
dosformat cannot be used to format a hard disk. The
-f option suppresses the interactive feature. The
-q (quiet) option is used to suppress information
normally displayed during dosformat. The -q
option does not suppress the interactive feature. The -v
option prompts the user for a volume label after the diskette has
been formatted. The maximum size of the volume label is 11
directories and files in a UNIX system format (see
Removes files from a DOS disk.
Creates a directory on a DOS disk.
Deletes a directory from a DOS disk.
The file and directory arguments for DOS files
and directories have the form:
where device is a UNIX system pathname for the special
device file containing the DOS disk, and name is a
pathname to a file or directory on the DOS disk. The two
components are separated by a colon (:). For example, the argument:
specifies the DOS file, file.asm, in the directory,
/src, on the disk in the device file
/dev/fd0. Note that slashes (and not backslashes) are used
as filename separators for DOS pathnames. Arguments without a
device: are assumed to be
UNIX system files.
For convenience, the user configurable default file,
/etc/default/msdos, can define DOS drive names to be
used in place of the special device file pathnames. It can contain
lines with the following format:
The drive letter ``A'' may be used in place of special device file
pathname /dev/fd0 when referencing DOS files (see
The drive letters ``C'' or ``K'' refer to the DOS partition on the
first or second hard disk, and ``D'' refers to a logical drive in
the extended partition on the first hard drive.
The commands operate on the following kinds of disks:
DOS partitions on a hard disk
5 ¼ inch DOS
3 ½ inch DOS
8, 9, 15, or 18 sectors per track
40 or 80 tracks per side
1 or 2 sides
DOS versions 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.3 or 4.0
In the case of doscp, certain conversions are performed
when copying a UNIX system file. Filenames with a basename longer
than eight characters are truncated. Filename extensions (the part
of the name following separating period) longer than three
characters are truncated. For example, the file
123456789.12345 becomes 12345678.123. A message
informs the user that the name has been changed and the altered name
is displayed. Filenames containing illegal DOS characters are
stripped when writing to the MS-DOS format. A message informs the
user that characters have been removed and displays the name as
When using doscp to copy files from a DOS disk to a
UNIX filesystem, the default action is to force conversion of
filenames to lowercase if the destination filename is not specified.
All DOS text files use a carriage-return/linefeed combination,
CR-LF, to indicate a newline.
UNIX system files use a single newline LF character. When
the doscat and doscp commands transfer DOS
text files to the UNIX system filesystem, they automatically strip
the CR. When text files are transferred to DOS, the
commands insert a CR before each LF character.
Under some circumstances the automatic newline conversions do not
occur. The -m option may be used to ensure the newline
conversion. The -r option can be used to override the
automatic conversion and force the command to perform a true byte
copy regardless of file type.
Accessing DOS filesystems from the UNIX system partition
The ability to mount DOS filesystems is an extension of the DOS
utilities documented here. (See
for details of how to mount a DOS filesystem.) There are several
limitations within the DOS directory structure which make this a
In short, the DOS filesystem does not associate as much
information with each
file as the UNIX system filesystem does. Therefore, allowances and
assumptions have to be made for information that
would be present under the UNIX system but that does not exist
The DOS directory structure contains the following information:
Filename: up to 8 characters with 3 character extension
File Attribute: read-only/read-write, hidden/visible file,
system/normal file, Volume name/normal file name,
subdirectory/normal file, archive/modified bit
Time of last modification
Date of last modification
Starting point (reference through FAT)
File size in bytes
Using this information, it is converted to a UNIX system inode.
There are some UNIX system provisions which cannot be carried over,
because the filesystem must remain sane under DOS.
These commands cannot be used with mounted DOS filesystems. If an
attempt is made to access a mounted DOS filesystem using the DOS
utilities the message:
Any date in the UNIX system inode table for the DOS filesystem is
the same as the modification date (ctime = atime = mtime).
The only types of nodes allowed in the DOS filesystem are
directories and normal files. Pipes, semaphores, and special device
files do not exist because they do not have a counterpart under
The permissions are 0777 for readable/writable files and 0555 for
read only files. If a user can access the filesystem, the user will
be limited by the permissions available under the DOS directory
structure. This permission is read-only or read write. When creating
a file, the creator's umask/mode is examined. The creation mode is
based on the owner write bit.
The GID/UID for all files on the DOS
filesystem is the same as the mount point. The mount point will
maintain the necessary security. If a user can get into the mount
point, then the user has the same access as the owner.
There is only one link for each file under the DOS
filesystem. ``.'' and ``..'' are a special case and are not links.
On every change of the modification time (which on a UNIX system
would change atime, ctime, mtime) the DOS archive bit is set.
Following DOS filesystem requirements, all blocks previous to a
written block are allocated before the original block is
written. This differs from UNIX systems where the program may seek
out beyond the end of a file and write a block. UNIX systems do not
necessarily write blocks which have been skipped over.
If a program does not use the
system calls, but opens the directory in the DOS filesystem as a
file, the program should see the DOS directory structure as it
really exists. By using the directory system calls, the
filesystem switch code
will put together a UNIX system style directory entry.
File contents are not mapped from the DOS filesystem. The file
appears exactly as it is under DOS. For example, \r\n
combinations are left as \r\n and not mapped to just \n. The file
and directory names are mapped to uppercase.
command: filesystem is mounted.
This command does not work with a mounted DOS filesystem.
is printed on the standard error output and the command returns an
exit value of 1.
Accessing UNIX filesystems with DOS utilities
If an attempt is made to access a mounted UNIX system filesystem
using the DOS utilities the message:
command: devicename is mounted
is printed on the standard error output and the attempt fails. If
possible, the command continues to operate on the
remaining parameters and returns a value of 1. Upon normal
completion, these commands return a value of 0.
DOS file conversion
can be used to convert the EOL sequences used to and from
The DOS utilities allow the use of the following wildcard symbols
within DOS filenames:
for matching a single character
for matching zero or more arbitrary characters
When copying from DOS to UNIX:
if the specified destination is a directory and wildcards are used
in the source filename component, all matching files are copied
if the specified destination is a file, the first source file only
is copied (an error message is output to indicate a problem with
multiple source and single destination files)
if wildcards are used in the pathname for the source directory, the
first matching path only is used
Full shell regular expressions may be used with UNIX pathnames. See
for further details.
Note that the forward slash character (/) must be used as
the directory separator character when dealing with DOS
filesystems under UNIX. This is at variance with the usual DOS
practice of using the backslash (\) character as the directory
separator character. For example,
is used instead of the DOS path syntax, which would be
Other examples of doscmd commands are:
doscat /tmp/f1 /tmp/f2 /dev/fd0:/src/file.asm
doscp /tmp/myfile.txt /dev/fd0:/docs/memo.txt
doscp /tmp/f1 /tmp/f2 /dev/fd0:/mydir
dosdir A:/src A:/dev
These commands cannot be used with mounted DOS filesystems.
When copying large files, it is quicker to use the
command with a mounted DOS filesystem than to use the
The programs mentioned above cooperate among themselves so no two
programs will access the same DOS disk. Only one process will
access a given DOS disk at any time, while other processes wait.
If a process has to wait too long, it displays the error message,
``can't seize a device'', and exits with an exit code of 1.
You cannot use the dosformat command to format device A:
explicitly. Device A: is aliased to /dev/install, which cannot be
Specify the drive as /dev/fd0 instead.
The Development System supports the creation of DOS executable
Refer to the C User's Guide and C Library Guide
for more information on using your UNIX system to create programs
suitable for DOS systems.
All of the DOS utilities leave temporary files in
/tmp. These files are automatically removed when the
system is rebooted. They can also be manually removed.
floppy disk devices
hard disk devices
``Working with DOS'' in the Operating System User's Guide,
``Going from DOS to UNIX'' in the Operating System Tutorial
doscat, doscp, dosdir,
dosformat, dosls, dosmkdir,
dosrm and dosrmdir are not part of any currently
supported standard; they are extensions of AT&T System V
provided by The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.
© 2003 Caldera International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003