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How to get Command and Conquer Red Alert running on a newer Mac or PC

By Edited Nov 14, 2015 1 14

Want to see what other games you can install on your newer Mac, Windows or Linux Machine? Go to The InfoBarrel list of Running Older Games on Newer Mac Windows or Linux Machines now!

To celebrate 13 years of Command and Conquer, Electronic Arts is giving away the full version of Command and Conquer: Red Alert as a free download. This is a solid introduction to the series and a great primer for the soon to be released C&C: Red Alert 3. If you've never played it before, or have a craving for some serious PC gaming nostalgia, I highly recommend downloading it and giving it a shot on your computer.


Though the website offers the download, it doesn't tell you how to get it working on newer computers.

There is a video tutorial on youtube that shows you how to get it installed and running in Windows Vista or XP, but there are some problems with screen resolution and sound when running it this way. The instructions below will help you get this game running on your new fangled PC, whether you're running Windows Vista, XP, a Mac OS or some variant of Linux.

Step 1: Download and Extract Command and Conquer: Red Alert.

You can download the full version of the game, 2 discs from the bottom of this page.

When you download these you will end up with 2 RAR files. You will need to open up these RAR files and extract the .ISO files out of them. I use a program called 7zip to extract the files, and save them to My Documents.


Step 2: Get Dosbox

Download and install a program called dosbox

Dosbox is a cross-platform dos emulator that lets your computer run older software and games. Once installed you can run this game and many others through a dosbox command window by mounting directories and iso files as virtual disks in your dosbox environment.

Step 3: Install C&C:RA

Follow these install as Dosbox webpage for C&C:RA

First, create a folder on your PC where you plan to install C&C:RA.

Next, Start Dosbox, and in the command window run the following to mount the folder you just created and the .ISO file you extracted in the previous step:


Next, run this command to change dosbox to run from dynamic core to normal core, so the install won't error out.


Now change directories to your virtual disk and run the install program.


After the install finishes, copy the 1.08PE patch to your virtual C drive.

D:>copy D:Patch*.* C:

Before you can run the patch, switch dosbox back to dynamic mode, and change the cycles from auto to max so the patch install goes smoothly.


Run the patch installer.


Now put the core and cycles back to their default values:


Finally, you can run the game by issuing the following command:


If all went well you should be playing C&C:RA in no time. The next time you want to play, all you need to do is launch dosbox and run the following:



Feb 20, 2009 8:34pm
thanks a ton but your syntax is slightly off in one spot. To mount the iso in dosbox use:

Z:&gtimgmount D "PATH-TO-ISO-FILE-YOU-EXTRACTED" -t iso

runs great on my macbook
Feb 20, 2009 8:37pm
hmm the angle bracket didnt print right. to mount the iso use " imgmount" instead of "mount"
Mar 26, 2009 4:44pm
how do you type in the commands for the mac?
what kind of directory name do I use?
when I type in
"imgmount C "/Users/XXX/Red Alert" (Folder Name is "Red Alert"),it tells me "The image must be on host or local drive"
what exactly do i have to do?
May 14, 2009 11:58am
Thanks for the advice on getting RA running in DosBox, took me a while to find some useful pointers on it! The issue I'm having now is a lack of ground texture/background, at the moment it looks like Red Alert in a black hole. Also nasty trails whenever troops/units move, any way of fixing this?
Nov 4, 2009 1:16pm
For Mac OS users:
Create a folder for use in your user directory folder found in "users/(your user name)/
You do not need to know the label of the hard drive because you are essentially creating a virtual hard drive with this command:

z:&gtmount c ~/(name of folder you created)

~ = shortcut name for directory of /users/(your user name)

Next find the ISO file you want to install within the extracted contents of the rar files you downloaded. Use either soviet or allied your choice. Place the ISO file in an easier folder to locate in dosbox command prompt. Also rename the file so it is easier for you. I used ~/redalert/soviet.iso since the file is only one word long it is easier for typing in the command prompt.

now run this command:

z:&gtimgmount d ~/redalert/soviet.iso -t iso

depending on what you named your iso file replace "soviet.iso" accordingly.

now type "c:" to open your virtual c drive and run this command:


go through the setup and enjoy your game. Hopefully this clears things up.
Nov 4, 2009 1:18pm
please omit &g from all the commands it should be a back slash. sorry it came out looking wierd
Nov 22, 2009 9:08pm
jd20: The instructions you posted work great, but when I type in "setup" to c:&gt, dosbox says: "Illegal command: setup." Is there anything I can do?
Nov 23, 2009 4:33am
Never mind - I got it to work. Thanks!
Nov 23, 2009 12:03pm
i am having the same problem (setup = illegal command in dosbox). how did you resolve this issue?

Jun 16, 2010 6:52pm
So I realize that this thread is a little old, however I have attempted the system as painstakingly (thank you!) laid out by JD20, but I still can't it running. After mounting the disk image, the "c:" and "setup" won't work. I then try it with "d:" and "setup" which makes it work, but then during the install, I can't seem to find a correct directory to install all the files?

Anyone still out there that has gotten this to work?

I have also attempted opening the ISOs on Boxer and installing that way, the install directories work, but when I start the game, the same old problem of no ground textures and wicked-bad "smearing" of characters happen. BUST.
Jun 23, 2010 5:03pm
I use mac.

how do I extract ISO files???
Jan 7, 2011 1:28am
You shouldn't need to extract the ISO using this tutorial, simply mount it in dosbox.
Feb 16, 2011 3:56pm
So this thread is a little old, I hope anyone who uses mac can help me activate this. I've been trying to make this work for several hours and to no avail.

Actually, I'm done with the sound test in the setup and then "Please Standby"...this what bothers me most! I've been waiting for 1 hour now and still "Please Standby".

How long should I wait? Did I do something wrong with my setup? Please help! Thank you!
May 26, 2012 1:52pm
I am a MAC user and have managed to follow most of this but become stuck at the patch section, it cant find the patch? i have the patch .exe files but not quite sure what to do. i tried missing this step out but when I load the game the background is just black and everything that moves leaves a trail.
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