MS-DOS subsystem commands

Windows XP includes 16-bit commands (nonnative) for the MS-DOS subsystem and other subsystems. These include older commands, such as edlin or graphics, and MS-DOS-specific commands, such as debug or exe2bin. These 16-bit commands are included to maintain MS-DOS and MS OS/2 version 1.x compatibility.

Other MS-DOS subsystem commands, such as share, perform functions that are now inherent to Windows XP or the MS-DOS subsystem. The commands are accepted to preserve compatibility with existing files, but they have no effect at the command line because the functionality is automatic.


  • The following 16-bit MS-DOS subsystem commands are not available on Windows XP 64-Bit Edition.

For more information, click a command:

To configure the MS-DOS subsystem, use configuration commands, such as device or lastdrive. Place these commands in the Config.nt file in the systemroot\System32 directory or in the Config file specified by an application's program information file (PIF). These commands affect the MS-DOS subsystem only. The MS-DOS subsystem ignores many of these commands, such as buffers and break, because the MS-DOS subsystem works without them. They are accepted for compatibility only.

For more information about MS-DOS subsystem configuration commands, click a command: