Category : OS/2 Files
Archive   : OS2-CFG.ZIP
Filename : OS2-CFG

Output of file : OS2-CFG contained in archive : OS2-CFG.ZIP

Version 2.0

For myself and many others the OS/2 2.0 CONFIG.SYS file is
somewhat of a mystery. So, in the hope of learning
something of use, I began researching what many of the commands
were for. This file is the result of that re
search. It briefly describes many of the common commands found
in an OS/2 CONFIG.SYS file. Naturally, not all
possible commands are listed (especially the many hardware device
drivers), but most of the more common ones
are. I've use my own CONFIG.SYS as the foundation for this file.



This OS/2 command installs the HPFS, if you are using it, instead
of FAT. The syntax is

IFS=DRIVE:PATH\FILENAME,SWITCHES. There are three switches:
/CACHE:nnn sets up a disk cache and sets it size; /CRECL sets the
maximum record size for caching, from 2k to 64k in multiples
of 2k; and /AUTOCHECK:nn tells the system to run CHKDSK and sets
the drives to be checked at startup.

If you are using only FAT partitions, then you can REM this


This OS/2 command loads OS/2s user interface program (PMSHELL)
which allows you to make full screen and window sessions work.
The current interface program is the Workplace Shell (WpS),
but in theory you could purchase or develop your own user
interface and use it instead of the WpS.


Tells OS/2 the name and locations of the file that contains your
desktop setup information and the options saved from OS/2
applications which need to do so. OS2.INI is the default file
name. NOTE: OS2.INI is a critical file to the proper operation
of OS/2 and should not be deleted or modified. The file is not
an ASCII file and therefore cannot be modified with an
ASCII editor if it should become damaged. As a result, you
should consider backing up this file with a program such as
WPSBKUP, a shareware program you can obtain on many OS/2 BBSs.
This file remains open the entire time OS/2 is booted and
operating. It only closes upon Shutdown. If it should become
"trashed", MAKEINI.EXE, which ships with OS/2 and is in the OS2
directory, can be used to easily build a new set of INI files.
You will have to boot from an OS/2 floppy to do so.


Tells OS/2 the name and location of its INI file (OS2SYS.INI).
OS2SYS.INI tells OS/2 what kind of equipment your system uses.
NOTE: OS2SYS.INI is a critical files and should not be
deleted or modified. It is not an ASCII file and can't be
edited. Therefore, you should consider backing up this file with
a program such as WPSBKUP, a shareware program you can obtain
on many OS/2 BBSs.

This file remains open the entire time OS/2 is booted and
operating. It only closes upon Shutdown. If it should become
"trashed", MAKEINI.EXE, which ships with OS/2 and is in the OS2
directory, can be used to easily build a new set of INI files.
You will have to boot from an OS/2 floppy to do so.


OS2_SHELL directs OS/2 to load the command-line shell identified
at boot time. The COMSPEC line below helps OS/2 find the
command-line shell later.


This command is used to start parts of the OS/2 WpS. If you
remove any of these statements,then you will be restricted from
accessing portions of the shell.


This line tells the system what interface program is to be used.
In this case it is the Workplace Shell.


This command tells OS/2 what objects/applications to restart
after you suspend operations with or without doing a Shut_down
(as in doing a Ctrl-Alt-Del because some faulty program has
locked up your system). If this statement is not in your
config.sys, then the default is YES, start all objects that were
running at the time of Shut_down or reboot. Other options

NO = do not start any applications that were running at time of
shutdown or reboot.

STARTUPFOLDERSONLY = start objects only in the Startup folder.

REBOOTONLY = Start objects only if the OS/2 WpS is starting from
a reboot or at power on.


This line identifies what command-line shell is to be used and
where its at. In DOS,

COMMAND.COM is equivalent to CMD.EXE.

This is an OS/2 command. It tells OS/2 where to locate Dynamic
Link Libraries or DLLs. LIBPATH is similar to DPATH and PATH,
but the statement can only be used in the config.sys file
and OS/2 does not search the current directory for DLLs unless
you include it in the LIBPATH statement. To have OS/2 search the
current directory, include a period "." right after the equal "="
symbol as noted above. You don't need to use the SET command

Just like in DOS, it tells both DOS and OS/2 where to find


This is an OS/2 command. It tells OS/2 programs where to look
for data files. It is similar to the DOS APPEND command, but
unlike APPEND, DPATH only works with programs designed to use


Standard DOS command for setting how your OS/2 command prompt
will appear. As noted here, the command prompt will appear
showing the current directory of the default drive enclosed in
[], i.e. [C:\]. Having the [] bracket the drive and directory
information lets you quickly know when you are at an OS/2 command
line verse a DOS command line. If you type PROMPT without a
parameter, OS/2 will return its default prompt [$p].
This is for OS/2 only. Set the DOS PROMPT default in your
AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Options include:
$D = Current date
$E = ASCII code 27 (escape) so you can work with ASCII
$G = > symbol
$N = Default drive
$P = Current directory of default drive
$S = Space

$T = Current time
$V = OS/2 version number


Tells OS/2 where the help files are located. OS/2 will only look
for a program's help files in the path shown.


Tells OS/2 where the Glossary file and Master Help file is


This is the OS/2 equivalent of the DIR command. In DOS 5.x you
can tell DIR how to present file information. To do this in
OS/2, use the undocumented DIRCMD command. For example:
SET DIRCMD=/ON /P tells OS/2 to display the DIR information in
alpha order and place a pause at the end of each page.
This is for OS/2 only. Set the DOS default in your AUTOEXEC.BAT

Options include:

/A list files with specific attributes. E.g. /AH list only
hidden files. Other options are S A & R.
If you place a negative (-) sign in front of your specified
attribute, all files will list except those with the attribute
specified. E.g. /A-H-S will display all files except hidden and
system files.
/B list directories and files without heading and summary

/F list files with the full drive and path information. Date,
time and size are omitted.

/L displays information in lowercase.

/N lists files on a FAT drive in the same format used for a HPFS
drive, i.e. date, time, size, name.

/O list files according to sort option specified. Sort options
N = alphabetize by file name
-N = reverse-alphabetizes by name
E = alphabetize by extension
-E = reverse-alphabetizes by extension
D = by date, oldest first
-D = by date, newest first
S = by file size, smallest first
-S = by file size, largest first

/P pauses after each full screen of files listed.
/R displays long file names if applicable.
/S searches and displays all directories.
/W displays file names across the screen. Date, time and size
are ommitted.

This command determines whether applications running in the
foreground have priority access to

disks. The default is YES. If you want all applications to have
equal access to your disks,

then change this statement to NO.


This is a standard DOS command which sets the maximum number of
files that DOS can access at

the same time. OS/2 sets the default at 20, but some DOS
programs may require that you in

crease this number.


TESTCFG.SYS is used during the install process to test your
systems configuration. It is also used by the Selective Install
process and during device driver installations. Because of the
latter, this line should not be deleted.


PMDD.SYS makes the Presentation Manager work and OS/2 will not
start unless you have this line in your config file.

Tells OS/2 how many disk buffers to use. Range is from 1 to 100.
Each buffer takes up to 512 bytes of RAM. 30 is the default and
usually works well.

Disk buffers are blocks of memory set aside by OS/2 for use in
reading and writing blocks of data. Generally, you can speed up
your system by increasing the number of BUFFERS. But, keep
in mind that as you increase the number, you reduce available
memory. 30 is the default, but you may wish to experiment with a
higher number. Be careful about using a lower number.


An OS/2 command that, when set to YES, lets programs that need to
bypass OS/2 and work directly with hardware devices, do so. YES
means that all programs can access the hardware directly. NO
means that no program can access the hardware directly. You can
also specify a list of programs that are allowed to work directly
with the hardware. For example, IOPL=WS.EXE,Q.EXE,FLIST.EXE
would allow only these three programs to access hardware


If you are using FAT file system, this command sets up a RAM disk
cache. The DISKCACHE line noted here sets up a 256k cache with
lazy writing enabled. If you don't want lazy write enabled, then
remove ",LW". The default cache size is 64k, which I feel is to
small. If you have the RAM, increase the size to improve system
performance. If you want CHKDSK to automatically check your
startup partition (usually C), then add this switch to end of the
DISKCASCHE command: AC:n where n is your startup partition, e.g.
If you are only using HPFS, then you can REM this statement.


This OS/2 command sets the longest period a program will have to
wait to execute before OS/2 ups its priority. This makes sure
that no program is put on hold forever while some other
program hogs the system. You can set MAXWAIT from 1 to 255
seconds. The default is 3 seconds.


OS/2 can run more programs and use more data than can actually be
stored in memory at any given time. This is done by swapping
large amounts of memory to your hard disk and then read
ing the the data back into memory when needed. This is called
virtual memory. If you only have 4 meg of memory or less (Get
MORE memory fast! You need 8 meg minimum.) and you will see
lots of disk activity while you are working with your system,
this is the process that is more than likely occurring. It will
slow down your system and cause your hard disk to fragment
quicker than normal.

This OS/2 command controls this process. The syntax is
MEMMAN=s,m,PROTECT where s=SWAP or

NOSWAP; m=MOVE or NOMOVE; and PROTECT allows memory compaction
with protected dynamic link libraries. The default is to have
virtual memory on. To turn off virtual memory, which is
NOT recommended, the config.sys line should read:

As noted above, OS/2 can allocate more memory than it actually
has available. It does this by swapping data to a disk file
The syntax is SWAPPATH=DRIVE,PATH,mmm,nnn where DRIVE AND PATH is
the location where you want the SWAPPER.DAT file to be placed;
mmm is a number from 512 to 32767 and specifies how large
the SWAPPER.DAT file can growth before it stops consuming hard
disk space. The size is stated in the negative. In other words,
if you have the mmm set to 512 and you have a 105 meg hard
drive, the SWAPPER.DAT file will not grow larger than 105meg
minus 512k. The variable nnn is the starting size of the
SWAPPER.DAT file. In the config.sys line above, the starting
size is 2000k or 2 meg.


For DOS programs only. Many DOS programs can be stopped by
holding down the Ctrl key and then pressing the Break key. BREAK
controls how quickly DOS programs stop when you interrupt them
with the Ctrl-Break sequence. If BREAK=OFF, DOS will stop the
program only when the programs next reads a character from the
keyboard or writes to the screen or printer. With BREAK=ON,
DOS will check for the Ctrl-Break on a more frequent basis.
Remember that this extra checking can make your DOS programs run


OS/2 programs can have several different processes running at the
same time. These are called threads. This OS/2 command sets the
maximum number of threads, from 32 to 4095, that OS/2 can
run at the same time.


This OS/2 command sets the size of the print buffers for your
parallel ports. The syntax is
PRINTMONBUFSIZE=lpt1,lpt2,lpt3 where lpt1 is the buffer size for
the parallel port LPT1, lpt2 is the buffer size for LPT2 and lpt3
is the buffer size for LPT3. The default and minimum is
134 bytes and the maximum is 2048 bytes. If you are not using
LPT2 or LPT3, then do not set up a buffer for them and use these
bytes to increase the buffer for LPT1 (PRINTMONBUFSIZE=402,0,0)
which should increase the speed of printing. Note that you still
need to define a buffer for LPT2 and LPT3, but you indicate of
0 byte size. You will get an error message at startup if you


Customizes your system for the country you wish to use. It
establishes which defaults to use when it comes to decimal
separators, date and time formats, currency symbols, etc. The
syntax is COUNTRY=xxx,PATH,FILE NAME. xxx is a three-digit code
number that tells what country to use. The number is usually
(but not always) the same as the telephone international dialing
prefix for the country desired. Several example: United
States=001, United Kingdom=044, France=033, Germany=049,


When using the Command-line, KEYS tells CMD.EXE whether to
remember previous keystrokes so they can be recalled with the up
arrow key. OS/2 maintains a 64k buffer for storing keystroke
history. KEYS can be ON or OFF.


To use OS/2s UNDELETE command, you must first establish a
directory in which to store the deleted files. To do this,
create a directory called DELETE in your root and then remove the
"REM" from this config.sys line. This command points OS/2 to the
directory you created to place deleted files in. It also in
dicates the maximum number of files that will be stored in the
DELETE directory. If the number of deleted files exceeds the
maximum number that you specified, then files are automatically
removed from the directory on a first-in-first-out basis.


BASEDEV installs a base device driver used by OS/2 when it is
first started. The statement cannot contain either a drive or
path because OS/2 cannot process such information at the stage at
which these statements are process.

PRINT01.SYS supports attached printers on non-Micro Channel PC's.
IBM1FLPY.ADD supports diskette drives on non-Micro Channel PC's.
IBM1S506.ADD supports non-SCSI disk drives on non-Micro Channel
OS2DASD.DMD is a general purpose driver for disk drives.

This command points to the on-line documentation provided with
OS/2 and to any on-line documentation provided by other OS/2
programs. I have the GAMMATECH utilities installed on my
system which contains on-line documentation.


According to Mel Hallerman of IBM, EPATH is used by the Enhanced
Editor (EPM.EXE). I assume it points to where the Editor is


An OS/2 command. Allows you to choose between a shared DOS and
OS/2 operating environment or just an OS/2 environment. If you
plan to run only OS/2 programs, then set PROTECTONLY=YES.
If you plan to run DOS programs (this includes Windows programs
also), then set PROTECTONLY=NO.


This line identifies and loads the DOS command processor
COMMAND.COM which you must have to make DOS sessions work. The
/p switch keeps the command processor in memory until shutdown.
You can also load and run other command processor's such as 4DOS.
To do so, just put 4DOS in the MDOS directory and change the
SHELL line to read 4DOS.COM instead of COMMAND.COM. You
will also need to add another line to your config.sys: SET


File control blocks (FCBS) give information about a file to DOS.
This config.sys line tells DOS how many FCBS can be open at once,
or, when DOS needs to open more FCBS than are available, how many
currently open but not active FCBS may be closed to make room for
new ones. The syntax is FCBS=a,b where a=the number of FCBS that
DOS can have open at one time and b=the number of FCBS DOS cannot
close to make room for new FCBS. "a" can be as high as 255. "b"
can have a value of 0 to 254, but must be less than "a".


This is a DOS command and sets the amount of memory available for
DOSs use. The maximum is 640 kilobytes. Since many DOS programs
require 640k, its best to have RMSIZE set to 640, but if you have
only DOS programs which take less than 640k, say 512k, and you
could use extra RAM for OS/2, then set the value at 512 or
something less.


VEMM.SYS lets DOS programs use expanded memory unless you
override it by changing a DOS programs SETTINGS.


Identifies and loads the mouse driver to let you use a mouse with
DOS. Mouse support for OS/2 is loaded below.


This is a standard DOS command that lets you control how DOS uses
memory. The OS/2 default is DOS=LOW,NOUMB.


VXMS.SYS is a device driver that provides Extended Memory
management to DOS sessions. XMS allows DOS programs to access
more than one meg of memory.


Your config.sys may contain various device drivers for various
DOS related devices based upon your systems hardware
configuration. This is a CDROM device driver.


This command prepares your monitor to display information based
upon the CODEPAGE specification. VIOTBL.DCP is the file that
contains the video fonts for displaying characters for each of
the CODEPAGES supported by OS/2. See the CODEPAGE command line


Your config.sys may contain various device drivers for various
DOS related devices based upon your systems hardware
configuration. This is a VGA video driver.


POINTDD.SYS is the file that contains information on what the
mouse pointer looks like and draws it on you screen. It is
required to make your mouse work correctly. I think it would
be nice if someone could write a few different POINTDD.SYS files
with different looking mouse points.


Lets you use a mouse or track ball with OS/2. This line also
identifies the type of mouse you have and which COM port it is
on. QSIZE is a number from 1 to 100 which indicates how many
mouse actions are to be saved when you execute mouse actions
faster than your system can handle them.


Lets you use the communications ports one and two (COM1 and
COM2). If you want to use COM3 or COM4 or change the IRQ of a
COM point, then add the next line below. This line MUST appear
after any driver that uses the communications ports. Use
COM02.SYS if you have an IBM PS/2 model 90 or 95.

DEVICE=C:\OS2\COM.SYS (3,3E8,4) (4,2E8,3)

This line adds support for COM3 and COM4 in OS/2 at location 3E8
with IRQ 4 and 2E8 with IRQ 3

respectively. Instead of adding this line to provide support,
you can just add (3,3E8,4) (4,2e8,3) to the DEVICE=C:\OS2\COM.SYS
line above.


Lets you use the communications ports for DOS sessions.


Lets you use the alphabet of various countries and languages.
The syntax is CODEPAGE=ppp,sss, where ppp is the number of the
primary national alphabet to be used and sss is a secondary
alphabet number. 437=US English alphabet and 850=multinational
alphabet. The multinational alphabet contains most of the
accented letters used in various European languages. Several
other alphabets that can be supported by your version of OS/2
include Turkish (857), Portuguese (860), Iceland (861) and Nordic
(865). Japanese (932 & 942), Korean (934 & 944) and
Chinese (938 & 948) require a special version of OS/2 and special
If there is not a CODEPAGE statement in your config.sys, your
keyboard will use an alphabet based on the COUNTRY statement, but
your screen and printer will use their built-in defaults.


Tells the keyboard which international character set to use and
where to find the file KEYBOARD.DCP which translates keystrokes.
The syntax is DEVINFO=KBD,cc,DRIVE,PATH,FILENAME. cc equals the
character set to be used, e.g. US = United States, UK = United
Kingdom, BE = Belgium, FR = France, GR = Germany, etc.

  3 Responses to “Category : OS/2 Files
Archive   : OS2-CFG.ZIP
Filename : OS2-CFG

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: