Mostly freeware, mostly harmless

Recent changes

Recommended OS/2 utilities (mostly freeware)


Some popular archive sites

Where to go next

Miscellaneous pointers

Warp 4 tuning tips

OS/2 home page for this site.

A swapfile-friendly page. No artificial colourings, flavourings, or graphics.

Recent changes

Some people have asked me why I dropped the "dropped" items. This doesn't indicate that there's anything wrong with these applications, it's merely my way of keeping this page to an acceptable length. When there are two or more programs that do roughly the same thing, I recommend only the one I prefer.

Recommended OS/2 utilities


In the hope of saving you time searching through archives, I've collected here a list of utilities that I personally recommend. Tastes vary, of course, and your taste might not match mine. Here are the biases that affect my choices:

Except where otherwise noted, all software in this list is free. Freeware authors often request some sort of acknowledgment: a postcard, an e-mail, etc. Please respect their wishes; they're doing us a valuable service, and we don't want to discourage them.

Where do you get it? From Australia you should go to the local Hobbes mirror at or If you're not in Australia, find your nearest OS/2 archive site from the list below. I've included hyperlinks for files that aren't available on the "standard" archive sites. I'd rather not add links for the others, because that discourages people from going to the site nearest to them.

For each application I've given a directory and file name, but often files are updated faster than I can update this information. If you can't find a file that I mention, look for one with a similar name; this usually means different digits at the end of the name.


System maintenance and tuning

Remark: all of the programs in this category are potentially dangerous to some degree. You probably shouldn't try deregistering classes or tampering with the INI files unless you're a very experienced OS/2 user. The Association Editor and Mole are safe for just about anyone. CheckINI, Config Info, Config Maint, and LXLite involve a little more risk, but the potential benefits from these are quite substantial, so it's worth making the effort of learning how to use them.

Screen saver

Desktop enhancements

Note: desktop enhancers usually assign new functions to the mouse buttons. If you run more than one of these, it's a good idea to disable some of their functions to avoid ambiguities over what each mouse operation does.



System status

Network utilities

Network servers

Note: don't install any server software unless you're sure you need it. The average OS/2 user doesn't need any servers running.



Fixpacks and video driver updates

Hints for installing programs ported from Unix

Once you start using programs ported from Unix you'll have to fiddle around with environment variables, and there's also a high probability of conflicts caused by having multiple copies of the same DLL. To avoid future confusion, I suggest that you proceed as follows.

  1. Create a special directory (e.g. e:\Apps\Unix) to act as your Unix "home" directory, and put any Unix ports in subdirectories of that. This will reduce the likelihood of conflicting SET statements.
  2. Install a clean copy of the latest EMXRT library (dev/emx/v0.9d/
  3. Hunt down and delete any other copies of emx*.* that you have on your disk. (If you've installed a lot of shareware/freeware, you'll be surprised at how many obsolete copies you have of emx. While you're at it, you might as well also clean up all the duplicates of VROBJ.DLL.)
  4. Put the following lines into your CONFIG.SYS, adjusting the directory paths as appropriate:
     SET HOME=e:\Apps\Unix

    SET TERMCAP=e:\Apps\Unix\emx\etc\termcap.dat
    Also include e:\Apps\Unix\emx\dll in your LIBPATH. Depending on the programs you install, you might have to make further CONFIG.SYS changes; but as a general rule I ignore any instructions to add rubbish to my CONFIG.SYS until I discover whether it's really necessary. (It usually isn't, despite what the authors say).


Some popular archive sites

Remark: there's an enormous amount of overlap in what's held at these sites. Normally it suffices to look at the site nearest to you, and ignore the others.

Where to go next

Miscellaneous pointers

No particular reason for listing these pointers, they're here just in case you want a look.

Back to the OS/2 home page
This information was compiled by Peter Moylan.
Last modified: 27 August, 2005