Not to question your goals, but much of DOS was simply accessing PC BIOS 
saved in non-volatile ROM. Yes, the BIOS was copied to RAM at boot. 
Maybe lots of RAM and storage is OK, but many embedded systems like ROM.

Iznogoud wrote:
> ALl ideas welcome. We can dismiss MSDOS anything right away... That is so early
> 90s, and other than retro-gaming, it is dead. Good back then when geeks made things
> happen with non-protected mode multitasking and little memory.
> Andrew's suggestions are spot on.
> My preliminary plan was to pick a distro that has an ARM clone that is almost
> identical to its x86 distro. Then, work out the booting and system configuration
> on the x86 with VMs. Then do the same on the ARM side. Final toolchaining can be
> left to somebody smarter than me.
> I need to think more and ahrd about this now. I need to put some time into it. All
> additional info most welcome.
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