SvarDOS origins (history from the point of view of its creator)
Mateusz Viste, the SvarDOS author, says:
In the years 2005-2015, I used to perform packaging work for the FreeDOS
project. I wasn't pleased with the packaging tool that FreeDOS used back then
(FDPKG), so in 2012 I started working on a new package manager, with network
support, automatic updates, etc - I named it FDNPKG. Later I also devised a
scripted way of generating an "always up to date" FreeDOS CD that I
unimaginatively called "all_cd.iso". This CD included FDNPKG and all the
FreeDOS packages available at the given moment.
I still wasn't satisfied with how FreeDOS clings to its notion of "releases"
and that it cannot include some software because of licensing issues, so in
2016 I decided to create my own distribution, that I called Svarog386 (there
was also a Svarog86 project that I had created a couple of months earlier,
dedicated to 8086 machines). Svarog386 naturally relied on the FreeDOS kernel
and used the FDNPKG package manager.
Then, in 2021, I started to be tired of having two separate distributions to
care about. Over time, FDNPKG also became a huge piece of protected mode code,
and although it was magnificent code, I was no longer happy with it: too many
features, too complex data processing, too high memory requirements... In a
word: too much fluff. I longed for something simpler, that would do perhaps
less, but with more transparency towards the user - and something that would
work in real mode with not much RAM, so it could be useful even on ancient
The result of these thoughts was SvarDOS: a distribution that replaced both
Svarog86 and Svarog386, and that came with its own package manager - a much
simpler (and in my opinion much more elegant) tool than FDNPKG.