wxqt2 is a graphical front end for qltools and qxltool. qltools is a Unix and Windows program to access QDOS formatted floppy from Unix, Windows and other operating systems, qxltool does a similar job for QDOS formatted hard disk container files (so called QXL.WIN files). wxqt2 is available for both WIN32 (Windows 95/98/NT) and X Window (Unix) platforms thanks to the remarkable wxWindows C++ class libraries that make it possible to write graphical applications for both platforms using the same (well almost) APIs.

Using wxqt2, you can perform almost all file operations on QDOS format media using a graphical interface on Windows or Unix platforms.

A nice picture of wxqlt2

The left hand pane shows a QDOS file system (in this case from a "qxl.win" hard disk container file), the container file is /var/tmp/qxl.win, in the QDOS directory exe. The right hand panel shows a QDOS floppy system, no-label, 758 free sectors on Unix device /dev/fd0.

Usage Overview

wxqt2 may be launched from the command line or from a file or program manager.

The devices loaded are configurable from the File/Options item.

Icons are used to indicate various files. Directories (folders) are denoted by a standard folder symbol, folder; for example the foobarbaz directory in the above example. Some special folder are '.' (the current directory), '..' (go up, indicated by a folder with a up arrow in it folder).

In a window, double (left button) clicking on any of these folder symbols will open that directory.

The rather pathetic QDOS directories are fully supported, even on floppy disks. You can click on them and recurse through the device just like a real file system.

Other icons represent files, the red corner indicates an executable file exe, while a grey corner is a normal file doc, as far as wxqt2 can distinguish.


The File menu contains the following options.

file menu


Selecting Options display the options dialogue.


The OK button causes the displayed values to be current. These are also saved on exit. The Cancel button causes the changes to be lost. The main window size is also saved between invocations.

The two columns of button at the extreme right hand side define while file system will displayed in the respective panel, in the example the QXL container file /var/tmp/qxl.win is shown in the left panel and the QDOS floppy disk in the right.

The QXL I/O Mode window defines whether you can write to a QXL.WIN container file. For some bizarre reason, the documentation for the structure of the QXL.WIN file is a closely guarded secret that is not available to the authors of free programs; you use the Read/Write setting at your own risk!

The Fixed Font button allows you to choose a preferably mono-spaced font for display of text files using the Popup/View menu option. In the example, the fixed width font lucidiatypewriter at 12pt has been selected. An operating system specific font selector is used to choose this font.


It is possible to format a new QXL file at any time (to format a displayed QXL file, you need to have set QXL I/O Mode to Read/Write). Selecting this menu option displays the following dialogue.


The browse button will use an operating system specific file browser to choose a file/directory for the new QXL.WIN file.


This will exit the application. Your current settings are saved.


The menu option will display some version information about wxqt2.



In order to use the help menu option, it is necessary to set the environment variable WXQT2_HELP_DIR to indicate the directory in which the help files are stored (i.e. the entire contents of the doc/ directory from the distribution archive. The following examples assume you've installed contents of the 'doc' directory:


export WXQT2_HELP_DIR=/opt/doc/wxqt2/

or add a [Help] Dir = entry in ~/.wxqt2, for example:



export WXQT2_HELP_DIR=C:/wxqt2/doc


Try set /? then work it out yourself, if you can.

Alternatively, have a look a qltapp.cc and the contents of the Registry. and work it out yourself.

The key (modulo Win32 version) is HKEY_USERS\luser\Software\dld.org\wxqt2\Help\Dir, where luser is the user name.

If you don't understand this, I'm not going to further help you break your Registry.

QDOS panel Popup Menu

The QDOS panels (flp_ and qxl.win) have a right mouse button pop-up menu. This menu offers the following options.


The options available depend on whether any files are selected, and in the case of QXL.WIN container files, whether the qxl file system is writable.


The Delete option will delete, without further prompting any highlighted QDOS files; it will recurse into any highlighted directories. If no files are selected or a QXL.WIN file system is read-only, then this option is greyed out. A progress box is displayed during deletion, where multiple files are being deleted, the operation may be aborted by clicking Abort.



The Format option allows you to apply a QDOS format the the currently selected QDOS device or disk image. The format routine depends on whether you are formatting a floppy disk for a QXL.WIN container file.

Formatting floppies

wxqt2 will attempt to determine the format (DD or HD) as follows.

The label dialogue is presented as:


Press OK to continue with the format, or Cancel to abandon. The label will be truncated to 10 characters.

If wxqt2 is unable to determine the correct format for the disk, then the following dialogue is presented.

flp format

Press OK to continue with the format, or Cancel to abandon.

Formatting QXL.WIN

Parameters for the QXL file are entered in the following dialogue.



The Info item will provide information on the QDOS device / image. A scrolling window is presented, with different views for QXL.WIN and floppy file systems.

QXL Information

qxl info

Floppy Information

flp_ info

Note that the window in non-modal, and any resemblance to the View window is entirely non-coincidental (see polymorphism).


The Mkdir option will create a level 2 directory on the QDOS media according to the usual QDOS rules. A dialogue box is presented asking for the directory name.


Press OK to continue with the directory creation, or Cancel to abandon.


A version dialogue is displayed.

qxl info

flp_ info


The View item will invoke a scrolling window to view a text (i.e. non-directory, non-executable) QDOS file. If no suitable files are currently selected, then this option is greyed out.

The scrolling window is presented as:


Note that the window in non-modal, and multiple views may be invoked.

Copying, using the Arrow Symbols

left right
Files may be copied between panes using the central arrow buttons. Files to be copied are selected by clicking with the mouse. Modifiers of Control and Shift allow selection of dis-contiguous files and ranges in sadly incompatible operating system specific ways.

When a directory is selected for copying all files in the directory will be copied.

When copying, which may be slow, particularly for Windows and floppy disks, a progress box is displayed.


Clicking Abort will terminate the copy.

Bugs and Incompatibilities, Todo

wxWindows v2.1 is still in beta, however it is sufficiently robust to be usable for a project like wxqt2.




QDOS disk access software


Jonathan Hudson <jrhudson@bigfoot.com>


wxqt2 is Copyright (c) Jonathan Hudson and is distributed under the GNU General Public Licence, a copy of which is included in the wxqt2 archive.


The following links may be useful if you want to investigate some of the tools used to create wxqt2.