Running CP/M-Live!

CP/M-Live! may be run either automatically or manually directly from the DVD, or it may be installed to your hard drive.


To run CP/M-Live! automatically, simply insert the DVD and reboot. The default CP/M system will automatically load. No changes are made to your system. When auto-booted, the entire contents of the DVD are directly accessible from within CP/M via the DOSDIR and IMPORT commands.

When run from the DVD, either automatically or manually, CP/M-Live! creates a RAM disk and runs CP/M from there. This means any changes you make are lost when you turn off or reboot your system. To save your changes, you must manually back up the RAM disk. Further, you are limited to the default CP/M system. To run a different one (see Available Systems, below), you must start CP/M-Live! manually.


CP/M-Live! may be run manually directly from the DVD. From DOS, simply log into the LIVE/ directory on the DVD and type CPM, optionally followed by the name of the CP/M system (see below) you wish to run.

As with automatic invocation, you must manually back up the CP/M-Live! RAM disk to save your changes. A further caveat is that CP/M-Live! requires the 4DOS command processor. You must make sure 4DOS is available somewhere in your path (a copy may be found in LIVE/BOOT/4DOS on the DVD).


As an alternative to running from DVD, CP/M-Live! may be installed to your hard drive. See Installation below.

Available Systems

Currently, CP/M-Live! comes with the following CP/M-compatible operating systems. To run one of these, you must invoke CP/M-Live! manually (see Running CP/M-Live! above) by typing CPM {system}, where "system" is the name of one of the following:


This is the default system. Based on the ZCPR3 drop-in replacement command processor, the NZCOM Z-System provides many UNIX-like enhancements to CP/M. This Z-System configuration includes ZSDOS, with full time-and-date-stamping facilities.


Written by Simeon Cran, ZPM3 is a drop-in replacement for CP/M 3 which provides many enhancements and improvements while remaining fully compatible with CP/M 3.


Z3Plus is, in a nutshell, the Z-System for CP/M 3. To start Z3Plus, at the CP/M prompt type Z3PLUS{enter}.


MICROCode Consulting's formerly commercial CP/M 2.2-compatible operating system for 8080-based computers.


(Coming soon!) CB Falconer's DOSPlus 2.5.


Not an operating system, but Lee Bradley's introduction to the NZCOM Z-System. The tutorial is available here.


In addition to the pre-supplied CP/M systems above, you can instantly create your own system simply by specifying a new name, e.g., CPM TESTSYS{enter}. CP/M-Live! will automatically create a new system with the name you specified.


"Installing" CP/M-Live! is as simple as copying the contents of the /LIVE directory from the DVD to your hard drive. From DOS this is easily accomplished with the command XCOPY {dvd}:\LIVE\*.* /S /E {destination}. You may then run CP/M by invoking CPM.BAT, optionally followed by the name of one of the systems listed above.

Note that CP/M-Live! requires the 4DOS command processor to be loaded, or located somewhere in your system path. If you don't already have it, a copy is provided in /LIVE/BOOT/4DOS on the DVD.

Technical Notes

Here are some technical notes on CP/M-Live!.

System Requirements

By modern standards CP/M-Live! system requirements are extremely modest. All you need is an 80286-or-better machine (real or virtual) capable of running MS-DOS 3.3 or later. To run CP/M-Live! directly from the DVD (see Running CP/M-Live! above) you will need enough free XMS memory to hold the contents of the /LIVE directory. Currently, this is about 40MB.


CP/M-Live! stands on the shoulders of giants. In particular, it makes use of the following software:

FreeDOS - v1.0. When booting from DVD CP/M-Live! uses FreeDOS 1.0 as its underlying DOS. Many thanks to John Hall and the FreeDOS team.

4DOS - v.8.00. The superb formerly commercial COMMAND.COM replacement by Rex Conn at JPSoftware. Many of CP/M-Live!'s features would have been quite literally impossible to achieve without it. 4DOS comes with an extensive online help system. At any 4DOS prompt, simply type {F1} or HELP.

MYZ80 - v1.24. CP/M-Live! in essence is simply a wrapper around MYZ80. Written by Simeon Cran, MYZ80 is a candidate for Best. Z80. Emulator. Ever. MYZ80 is a complete 8080/Z80/Z180/64180 computer system emulator. Because it emulates the hardware, not CP/M, it is capable of running any 8080/Z80, etc., based operating system. MYZ80 is a truly superior piece of software. The last shareware release of MYZ80 was 1.11. However, because the author has been unreachable for nearly a decade now, I'm treating it as abandonware and including the latest registered version. Documentation for MYZ80 is here.