DESKTOP2 – A Graphical User Interface for DOS

Felix Ritter

Horiz Line


DESKTOP is a graphical user interface for DOS, which ones used to be a commercial shell like MS-Windows™ 3.0 or GEOS™. However, due to the dominance of MS-Windows 95, we were forced to stop publishing the program, so it's free now…


DESKTOP is somewhat in the middle between MS-Windows and Norton Commander™, and mainly consists of the following components:

  • Hierarchical program manager
    • lets you group your software and documents together by topics
    • supports multiple layers
    • includes over 100 ready-to-use icons (MS-Windows Icon format)
    • Visual Schnauzer for the icons
  • Sophisticated file manager
    • extensive Drag&Drop functionality
    • all functions of file and directory management
    • virtual directory windows
    • disk operations, such as:
      • Format, Copy, Compare, Full&Quick Erase, Recover, Verify …
      • Search for files on drives
      • Identify, Show FAT
  • Block-oriented editor
    • Cut, Copy, Paste
    • shares the clipboard with the other text-fields in DESKTOP
  • The inevitable CD player
  • Calculator
  • Screen savers
  • Config tool
  • etc.


Everyone likes screenshots: (click to enlarge)

Program manager

Program manager


File manager

File manager


  • IBM PC with 286 processor or better
  • VGA graphics card
  • 640 KByte RAM (2 MB recommended)
  • DOS 3.3 or higher
  • Mouse and running mouse driver
  • Extended Memory is also used if available (requires HIMEM.SYS)

Download & Installation

Just click on one of the links in the Ready-to-install section to download a compressed copy of the distribution disk. Before you may start to install DESKTOP, you need to unpack the files (e.g. pkunzip -d in a temporary directory, such as C:\TEMP. After that, just change into this directory and key in INSTALL. The install program launches and tells you what to do next.

The command to start DESKTOP after the installation is DBD.BAT.

User comments

Instead of preying how great and handy this program is, I decided to let the users tell you what they think about DESKTOP2 ;-) :

i love your gui!!! it's great! my only problem is that i can't read german so i am forced to navigate using either trial-and-error or my trusty german-english dictionary (which is not well equipped at translating computer jargon!!) anyway, this is probably a lost cause and i understand you not wanting to go through all the hassel of translating it -- i was just wondering!! but all the same, great job!! it's a wonderful piece of software!!

Michael Moore

I came across your "Desktop" program and thought it was excellent. However, despite my name, I don't speak German! Which is a pity because "desktop" is the best DOS shell and a better file manager than Windows FileManager or Explorer.

K.H. von Kaufmann

I have just downloaded a copy of Desktop v2.61 and found this to be an excellent program. Keep up the good work.

Pete Edwards


The English language release (1998) is due to the great job of the guys listed below:

  • Sarah Bown
  • Catfish (Nathan Stanley)
  • Pop (Paul Stanley)
  • Mark Ray