When comparing FreeDOS vs GNU+Linux, the Slant community recommends GNU+Linux for most people. In the question“What are the best Operating Systems for x86 PCs?” GNU+Linux is ranked 2nd while FreeDOS is ranked 10th. The most important reason people chose GNU+Linux is:
It is a Unix clone.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Open Source
Pro Large and friendly community
You won't be let alone, any question submitted on FreeDOS forums will be detailedly answered in a few hours time.
Pro Compatible with MS-DOS apps
Pro Supports FAT32 partition
As opposite to every MS-DOS version equal or older than 6.22, or any DR-DOS version, you won't be restricted by a 2 Gb large FAT16 partition.
Pro Highly portable OS
It takes ten minutes to make a portable, USB FreeDOS drive, All you need is a USB device FAT or FAT32 formatted (128 Mb should be enough, but a 2 GB device would be better). First make a FreeDOS bootable USB drive with a program like Rufus (on Windows) or UnetBootin (on linux or Mac). Select it at boot and run fdisk to make a Primary DOS partition and install FreeDOS on it. Final step: reboot and run fdisk again to make the new partition active (optional: delete the installer partition). After that, the system is ready to boot with any computer.
Pro Extremely lightweight
Takes less than 10 seconds to boot.
Pro Easy to dual-boot, either with any Linux distro or Windows
If you install a Linux distro after Freedos, GRUB2 will automatically detect it. As for Windows, newer EasyBCD releases implemented FreeDOS and automatically recognize it.
It is a Unix clone.
Pro Many different desktops to choose
Just use whatever you want. Some are lightweight, others are full of extravagant features. There is a flavor for each taste.
You don't have to pay anything.
Uses the same userland as other GNU variants.
Con Unlikely going to be your PC main OS
If looking for a lightweight OS, and thinking of FreeDOS as a possible option, consider that it will only useful when having to deal with legacy software, or other dos-based programs still commonly used at workplaces. Nonetheless it's a fantastic solution for Retro-Gamers who still own a a supported sound card. However the lack of modern software makes it hard to accomplish common everyday tasks, such us opening a document written in UTF-8, not mentioning, obviously docx and pdf files. The best choice is to install it on a USB drive, in order to have a portable OS, with basic hardware and all your files (and if you want games) ready to be launched with every machine. Useful to edit partitions, as well as restore MBR, check errors, install a light bootmanager on any kind of FAT partiton of every IDE-mode compatible hard-disk.
Con Obvious lack of sound card drivers
If you own a sound card produced after than 2000, you won't find a driver to make it work.
It's only a clone and some things work differently.
Con Many distributions
There are just too many of them to know.
Con Often limited by decisions of the Kernel developers
Support for the latest features in Linux is often limited by their kernel developers, for example, Nvidia once had added patches to support Optimus on Linux, however, the kernel developers rejected those patches resulting in still no official Optimus support for Linux.
Con No interface Guidelines
Since there are plenty of X11-Desktop environments and two big Widget Toolkits, every app works and feels differently.
Con Frankenstein OS
The whole OS is mixed together with software from different sources.
Con GNU Copyleft
The coplyleft in the GNU licenses make it unattractive to many developers. It s also impossible to port GPLed Linux improvements to other more open operating systems like BSD or Haiku.
Con Most Distributions are not LSB-conform
The most Distributions don't follow the Linux Standard Base which results in different package formates, package management tools, bootloaders, init-systems or even filesystem hierarchy standards.
Con Most 3D drivers are not as fast as their Windows counterparts
The only display driver that comes close to their Windows counterpart is the nvidia driver. Both AMD and Intel drivers miss a Control Panel on Linux to adjust more settings than just your resolution they also usually much slower than their Windows counterparts.
Con No graphical user-interface
As the most unix systems this also comes without a graphical user interface by default.