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esxDOS is one of the operating systems that can be run on the Next. It provides a POSIX-like API to access the SD card as disk and it provides a familiar interface to the disk from BASIC. esxDOS from version 0.8.6 supports the Real Time Clock of the Next; a new version 0.9.x is being written with features like Long File Name (LFN) support. esxDOS currently only supports the so-called USR0 mode in BASIC (single keyword/48K Basic) - there is an experimental .128 command to allow the editor to be started.

You do not need to install esxDOS if you just want to run software designed for it as NextZXOS implements the esxDOS Application Programming Interface (API) so programs will work anyway. This includes running "dot commands". You can copy your dot command files to the /DOT folder of the SD card. Note that NextZXOS already includes several dot commands that are newer than the ones included with esxDOS, so you may want to use these. Many of these work on both systems. For esxDOS compliant versions, use the ones located under c:/dot/extra.

If you want to use its other features like BetaDisk support or just want to see what it is like you will need to follow the instructions to install it as another identity on the Next.

Instructions to Install esxDos on the Next

1. Download the esxDOS distribution (minimum version 0.8.6) from

2. Within NextZXOS, create two folders on the root of your SD card, named "bin" and "sys" by giving:

 mkdir "c:/BIN"
 mkdir "c:/SYS"
 mkdir "c:/TMP"

3. Using a PC, unzip the contents of

4. If you have an esxmmc.rom file in what you unzipped, rename esxmmc.rom to esxmmc.bin. If you have an esxmmc.bin file, proceed to the next step.

5. Copy the esxmmc.bin file into /machines/next/ on the SD card

6. Copy the contents of the "BIN" and "SYS" folders in the esxDOS distribution into their respective places on the SD card.

7. You need enter to "ZX Spectrum Next Configuration" menu by hard reset your Spectrum Next. Just holding Reset key pressed for a second. Then as soon as the logo shows press the Space key. In "ZX Spectrum Next Configuration" menu press "E" and change "DivmmcROM" and "Divmmc HW" to YES by Space key. Then press Enter.

8. You will also want to choose one of the non-Next personalities from the menu that displays when you press the Space key. esxDOS should work on most classic Spectrum models 48K, 128K, +2, +2A, Pentagon, etc.

Done! While loading you will see the ESXDOS logo.

Video instruction

NMI Browsers


esxDOS comes with an integral NMI browser written by UB880D which is ready to use, so the alternative browsers below are optional.

Bob Fossil

There is a new NMI browser for esxDOS written by Bob Fossil, which supports long filenames and has a bunch of extra features. You may wish to try this out. Details and the latest version are available here.

Note that this browser is not compatible with NextZXOS (main Next boot personality). It is compatible with esxDOS on the Next (other boot personalities).

Dr Slump

There is also another NMI browser for esxDOS written by Dr Slump. This one doesn't support long filenames, but has 64 column text and a bunch of extra features. It can be downloaded here.

Note that this browser is not compatible with NextZXOS (main Next boot personality). It is compatible with esxDOS on the Next (other boot personalities).