This article was originally written by Nick in 2009 and in keeping with what I wanted to do in archiving all of these difficult to find how-to’s I figured I would post it here. If you find it helpful please go visit him and let him know!

Setting up Renegade with

NetFoss for Telnet under

XP

Posted on May 20, 2009 by Nick

Back in the day I ran a BBS using Renegade BBS software.  I’ve been trying over time to  get this running again.  There are quite a few updated BBSs out there that support Linux and telnet services out of the box; however, I want to get my original BBS running again.  I also have a soft spot for Renegade.

After numerous attempts using dosemu under Linux, WINE, VMware running FreeDOS and implementing my own virtual modem service written in Perl but I just couldn’t get things working right.  As it turns out there’s this nifty set of programs that are part of NetFoss.  NetFoss itself is a fossil driver (communication driver talks between BBS software and modem) but also includes a complete telnet server as well for handling telnet communication with the BBS.  However, this is designed for Windows XP.  So I decided to throw a quick XP install in to a VM and fire this all up.

Please note, to the best of my knowledge this does not work in 64bit Windows XP or IIRC, Vista.  It requires the 16bit NT Virtual Dos Machine (NTVDM), included in XP (and WINE) only under 32bit implementations.

The Windows XP system is running under VMware Server 2.0 on an Ubuntu Server 8.04.2 LTS Linux installation.  The hardware is fairly old, Athlon XP 1700+ w/ 1.5GB of RAM.  I gave the VM 256MB of RAM and 4GB of hard drive space.  Everything appears to run quite well.  Especially considering the server itself is already handling quite a few other tasks.

Documentation is pretty much non-existent for this so I am documenting this for myself and others. It’s very rough and by no means 100% complete. My goal is to be able to easily get a Renegade BBS running over telnet and work with a number of common doors.

Start by downloading the renegade package which includes NetFoss:

http://renegade.bigbig.com/rgv100f.zip

Unzip it and run the installer. This will create the basic BBS structure. Next, copy C:rgnetfossnetfoss.dll c:windowssystem32. Please, replace ‘rg’ and ‘windows’ with your actual paths. The next thing to do is make the necessary changes to the ‘net2bbs.ini’ and ‘nf.bat’ files.

Use the sample net2bbs.ini they give you and alter it to the following:

     [Settings]
     Command=c:rgnetfossnf.bat /n*N /h*H c:rgrenegade -n*N -Q -B115200
     StartPath=c:rg
     Port=23
     Nodes=256
     StartNode=1
     Debug=1
     View=Normal
     Log=net2bbs.log
     Semaphore=wait.sem
     KillList=kill.txt
     KillMsg=You are not welcome here.
     KillMsgFile=goaway.ans
     Editor=notepad.exe
     Resolve=1
     ResolveMsg=Resolving your IP Address, One moment...

They key change here is the ‘Command=’ and ‘StartPath’ lines. Change those to your Renegade paths. Then we specify the node ‘-n*N’, ‘-Q’ to tell Renegade to quit after the connection is gone and ‘-B115200? to set the baud rate.

Now the ‘nf.bat’ file needs a couple of minor changes. First add ‘%1? to the first netfoss line and change all the paths. I used the default ‘rg’ path with my install and the file looks like this:

@echo off
c:rgnetfossnetfoss.com %1
rem ** If running a non-door32.sys system, add a " %1" to end of above line **
if errorlevel 1 goto end
c:rgnetfossnetcom.exe %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9
c:rgnetfossnetfoss.com /u
:end

Okay, we’re all set. Run ‘net2bbs.exe’, make sure port 23 isn’t firewalled and attempt to connect to it. You should see the connection being made in the dos window.  Once the connection is successfully made another dos window will appear with the BBS running in it.

A basic Renegade BBS has now been started. Have fun configuring the rest of the system!

On a side note, Linux, Mac OS X and Windows don’t include very good ANSI terminals.  I came across this excellent one written for all 3 operating systems as well as a few other popular ones that handles ANSI emulation beautifully as well as being fully featured and it reminds me of the old school dialer terminals from the 80s.

SyncTERM

And I created a simple mirror on my BBS server here:

SyncTERM Mirror

This does a near perfect emulation and can run in full-screen mode as well.  I highly, highly recommend this.

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