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Official Homepage for DBGL: DOSBox Game Launcher

An open-source, free, multi-platform frontend for DOSBox

Latest news: DBGL version 0.83 is available with the recently released DOSBox 0.74-3 and some bugfixes! More importantly though, also released is DBGL 0.90, featuring Java 9+ support, the new DOSBox version and some usability improvements. To conclude, also available is a new brand new GamePackArchive: Ancient DOS Games Collection V !!

If you're willing to volunteer to translate DBGL into another language, I'd like to know! Just know that you don't have to have any programming skills to be able to help! Simply follow these instructions. English, Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portugese-Brazillian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish and Russian are already covered, although some translation are somewhat incomplete. Volunteers are more than welcome.


Introduction

Hi everybody,

DBGL is a Java frontend for DOSBox, based largely upon the proven interface of D-Fend.

DBGL serves as a frontend / Graphical User Interface to DOSBox (configuration). It tries to make creating DOSBox configuration files a little easier by offering a (relatively) simple interface, some shortcuts and a little bit of intelligence (DOSBox behavior). Once your DOS games are configured in DBGL, its very easy to setup or start them, or alter their configuration or associated DOSBox version.

Initial work for the frontend was done in 2006, and the product has gradually improved over the course of the years. Still, it is by no means finished, it's a work in progress. Source code for the complete program is available, please feel free to hack away.

Features

To name some of its features:

  • Multi-platform: Windows, Mac OSX and Linux (both x86 and x64) are supported, and DBGL should be easily portable to other systems.
  • Multi-language support; Currently, English, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Korean, Polish, Spanish, Swedish and Russian translations are available (although some are incomplete).
  • Highly portable: DBGL uses relative paths so that you can use the same DBGL installation on whatever disk/folder/location, and even multiple operating systems.
  • DBGL supports all of DOSBox' official configuration options, and allows the user to add their own option values (if applicable). Most unofficial/experimental options are supported as well, such as Glide, vsync, pixelshaders and the like.
  • Multiple DOSBox versions support. You can configure/manage multiple DOSBox versions (v0.74, v0.73, v0.72, v0.71, v0.70, v0.65, v0.63 or custom/SVN builds) inside DBGL and associate a specific version per profile. What's more, it is possible to change the association to another DOSBox version either by keeping all configuration settings, or just the alterations from the default.
  • Templates support. DBGL comes with an extensive collection of example templates to simplify setting up a game for a specific PC era. And you can create your own templates on which to base your profiles.
  • A simple, yet configurable interface which keeps track of dialog sizes, profile list column settings and ordering, the last selected profile and much more. It also tries to assist the user when entering profile data (for example by pointing out when some information is missing, by reusing directory locations, by implementing auto-completion, auto-mounting, browsing inside ISO/BIN/(7)zip-files, etc.).
  • Many fields in which to define meta information about your games, such as its developer, publisher, status, URLs, PDFs, etc. Also available are 10 extra fields for user-definable content.
  • The ability to create desktop shortcuts on both Windows and Linux (Gnome and KDE) environments.
  • Internet information querying! DBGL can contact MobyGames, hotud.org or Pouet to receive information about a game or demo by using the profile's title. When multiple matches are found, DBGL will display a popup screen in which you may select the correct entry. Even cover-art and screenshots can be fetched and saved in DBGL.
  • Powerful multi-profile editing; selecting multiple profiles to edit will open the profiles editing dialog as usual, showing the common settings or greyed-out settings that differ among the profiles. You can then change the settings as you like (as you would normally do with a single profile). Whether its changing a DOSBox associations, querying MobyGames for information, creating desktop shortcuts or deleting certain profiles, its all possible in a single action.
  • Basic support for 'Windows system integration', meaning you can use the Windows Explorer, right-click on a game executable, and select Send To -> DBGL to add the game to DBGL's profiles list.
  • Easily create duplicates of existing profiles (ctrl-d).
  • Profile/Game Export: Just select the profiles that you want to export in the list, choose File->Export in the menu and go through the wizard to export your profile(s) or game(s).
  • Profile/Game Import: Click File->Import in the menu, and select a package (*.dbgl.zip) to import. You will once again enter a wizard that leads you through the steps. Review package information, select the profiles or games that you want to import and off you go! Some example game packages to try out are available here.
  • Filter tabs; you can add a filter to the profiles list by typing ctrl-f. This creates an inner tab in the profiles list showing a certain subselection of your profiles. For example, you can create a filter to only display profiles with the string 'quest' in it's name, but (much) more complicated filtering is also possible. When multiple profiles in the list are selected upon filter creation, DBGL will keep that selection in a filter tab.
  • Support for so-called Booter games.
  • Has the ability to export your game-list to a file, such as a plain TXT file, a basic .CSV or a fancy HTML page.
  • (7)zip-file mounting support (using a dosbox version that has PhysFS integrated, for example Ykhwong's or Gulikoza's).
  • Performance: DBGL can easily handle thousands of profiles (using the Java HSQLDB database engine and SWT GUI library, caching game screenshots and by using lazy loading when possible)
  • Support for setting custom environment variables to globally override certain DOSBox settings (as explained here).
  • No data replication; all DOSBox profile information that can be stored in the .conf file is stored in there, and only in there. Extra information such as the profile's Title, developer name, status etc. is stored in a single human-readable database file (database.script). What this basically means is flexibility: you can start a profile without even using DBGL (dosbox -conf dosbox.conf -conf profiles\lemmings.conf), if you want.
  • D-Fend profiles importing (both for D-Fend Reloaded and the original but discontinued D-Fend from MabusRaeen)
  • Fully automated build system. Anyone who wants to contribute something codewise, should be able to build the DBGL packages by just downloading the source package and using Apache Ant.

Main DBGL screen (Windows 7)



Importing D-Fend profiles... (Windows XP)



Editing a profile (Ubuntu)



DBGL in Chinese (Mac OSX)

Installation

Just extract the archive to any dir (*) and start launch.exe (Windows), or ./dbgl (Linux). Mac users can simply drag the DBGL icon into their Applications folder and start it. Please note that you MUST have the Java Runtime Environment 1.7 (or higher) installed, it will not work without the JRE1.7, or with an older version.

(*) Due to certain restrictions imposed by DBGL's envisioned portability in combination with Windows' UAC, it is currently not advised to store DBGL in a folder below "C:\Program Files" or "C:\Program Files (x86)". A better location would be C:\DBGL or %USERPROFILE%\DBGL where UAC does not apply.

The archive contains DBGL with some pre-configured templates and the latest DOSBox release, so you can get going instantly.

Since the frontend was written in Java, it should be relatively easy to port to another platform. If anybody is interested in another build, please let me know.

Download

First-time installation Upgrading an existing installation
Download the appropriate archive for your operation system and extract it to a directory of your choice. Just download the JAR and overwrite the single file in this zip archive. It is always a good idea to make backups of your profile information when upgrading; this means the /profiles, /captures, /db and /templates folders.
Special note for users upgrading to DBGL 0.90: Multiple new library files are required. Besides updating DBGL.jar, start by removing all existing *.jar files in your DBGL/lib folder. Then download the full 0.90 package for your platform, and extract all files from the archive's root and lib folder into your DBGL/ and DBGL/lib directory.

DBGL v0.90, using Java version 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12, 64-bit only:

Windows

Extract and run launch.exe

Mac OSX

Open dmg and drag DBGL.app
to Apps

Linux

Install DOSBox with your package manager. Then extract and run ./dbgl

Update

Extract and overwrite the jar

Source Code

Extract and run ant

DBGL v0.83, using Java version 7 or 8, either 32-bit or 64-bit:

Windows

Extract and run launch.exe

Mac OSX

Open dmg and drag DBGL.app
to Apps

Linux

Install DOSBox with your package manager. Then extract and run ./dbgl

Update

Extract and overwrite the jar

Source Code

Extract and run ant

Ubuntu / Debian-based Linux users: Rob Savoury has been so kind to provide a PPA for easy installation of DBGL v0.83 on a Unbuntu system using the following commmands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:savoury1/dbgl
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install dbgl
For more information, please see his post on Vogons and the PPA's webpage.

Legacy builds

Note 1: If you can't use a modern Java version for whatever reason, try using a DBGL version prior to 0.79 which should run on Java 6.

Note 2: On DBGL startup, Windows may or may not ask whether or not to allow the program to establish connections to other machines. You can choose 'Block' since DBGL doesn't need to connect to other computers, communication takes place on localhost only. In case you don't want to use the 'Send To' functionality, you can choose to disable it in the Settings dialog window, that will also get rid of the Windows popup.

Note 3: Some users have reported problems starting up DBGL. Please make sure you're using the right package for the right environment, and you have your JAVA_HOME environment setting properly configured.

Attention Linux users: When using DBGL on Linux with an older version of KDE, specifically using the library gtk2-theme-oxygen, you might experience crashes. If so, either use a different theme for GTK2, or try to update gtk2-theme-oxygen to 1.4.6 or later.

GamePackArchives

The following game pack archives can be imported into DBGL using the menu: Profiles -> Import...

Please note that you should not extract these archives. Just store the game.dbgl.zip file somewhere on your disk, and let DBGL import it. Enjoy the games!

  1. The Elder Scrolls: Arena

    This is the game as provided for free by Bethesda Softworks on elderscrolls.com, complete with screen captures, customized DOSBox configuration and game documentation.

    download (11 MB)mirrortorrent

  2. The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall

    This is the game as provided for free by Bethesda Softworks on elderscrolls.com, with screen captures, customized DOSBox configuration and game documentation.

    download (174 MB)mirrortorrent

  3. Apogee Freeware Collection

    This is a collection of all the freeware games found on 3drealms.com, complete with screen captures, customized DOSBox configuration and game documentation.(Adventure Fun-Pak, Alien Carnage, Arctic Adventure, Beyond the Titanic, Bio Menace, Dark Ages, Kroz, Major Stryker, Monuments of Mars, Pharaoh's Tomb, Puzzle Fun-Pak, Stargunner, Supernova, The Thor Trilogy, Trivia Whiz, Word Whiz, Xenophage)

    download (87 MB)mirrortorrent

  4. Apogee Shareware Collection

    This is a collection of all the shareware games found on 3drealms.com, complete with screen captures, customized DOSBox configuration and game documentation.(Blake Stone, Boppin', Commander Keen 1+4+6, Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure, Crystal Caves, Death Rally, Duke Nukem 1+2+3D, Hocus Pocus, Math Rescue, Monster Bash, Mystic Towers, Paganitzu, Raptor, Realms of Chaos, Rise of the Triad, Secret Agent, Shadow Warrior, Terminal Velocity, Wacky Wheels, Wolfenstein 3D, Word Rescue)

    download (50 MB)mirrortorrent

  5. Epic MegaGames Collection

    This is a collection of all the shareware and freeware Epic (Mega)Games found on classicdosgames.com, complete with screen captures, customized DOSBox configuration and game documentation.(Adventure Math, Ancients 1: Deathwatch, Brix (version 2.0), Drum Blaster, Electro Man, Epic Baseball, Epic Pinball, Extreme Pinball, Heartlight, Heros I: The Sanguine Seven, Highway Hunter, Jazz Jackrabbit, Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare 1994, Jazz Jackrabbit: Holiday Hare 1995, Jill of the Jungle, Ken's Labyrinth, Kiloblaster, LineWars 2, One Must Fall 2097, OverKill, Radix: Beyond the Void, Seek and Destroy, Silverball, Solar Winds: The Escape, Space Chase III: Showdown In Orbit, Super ZZT, The Adventures of Robbo, Traffic Department 2192, Tyrian 2000, Xargon, Zone 66, ZZT)

    download (46 MB)mirrortorrent

  6. id Software Collection

    This is a collection of all the shareware games from id Software found on classicdosgames.com, complete with screen captures, customized DOSBox configuration and game documentation.(Commander Keen: Keen Dreams, DOOM, Heretic, Hexen: Beyond Heretic, Quake, Rescue Rover, Spear of Destiny)

    download (21 MB)mirrortorrent

  7. PLBM Collection

    This is a collection of all the freeware games from PLBM found on plbm.com, complete with screen captures, customized DOSBox configuration and game documentation.(Abductor, Ack-Ack Attack!, Crawly-Pede, Galaxi, Gravity Well, Heli-Jeep, Hyper Tank, Island Hopper, Kerboom!, Meteor Rescue, Nitro!, Pong-Out, Revenge of Froggie, Roxx, Scud Attack, Spaced-Out Invaders, Speed-Kar, Splat!, Stalactites, Star Fortress, Submarine Fury, Swar, Viper, Zee Artillery)

    download (9 MB)mirrortorrent

  8. Soleau Collection

    This is a collection of all the shareware games from Soleau found on classicdosgames.com, complete with screen captures, customized DOSBox configuration and game documentation.(Alpha Man, Ant Run, Balloon Challenge, Banyon Wars, Battle for Atlantis, Blind Wars, Block Man 1, Block Man 2, Bolo Ball, Crusher, Crusher Castle II, Dotso, Doubolo, Gold Hunt, Isle Wars, Numlo, Sea Run, Sink'em, Spider Run, Tribolo, Wordle, Wordmax)

    download (3 MB)mirrortorrent

  9. Ancient DOS Games Collection

    This is a collection of freeware, shareware and demo games as reviewed by Kris Asick from Pixelmusement in his webshow called Ancient DOS Games, episodes 1 to 46. Also included are three of his freeware games, complete with screen captures, customized DOSBox configuration and game documentation.(Captain Comic, Command & Conquer, Cybersphere (Plus), Dangerous Dave, Descent, Flightmare, FX Fighter, Jade Fighter Arena, LineWars, Magic Carpet, Caverns of Zeux, Round 42, Sango Fighter, Snarf, Space Fortress, Star Gladiators 2, StarMines 2, Dark Forces, Stunts (4D Sports Driving), Supaplex, System Shock, Tank Wars, Teenagent, Thor's Hammer)

    download (93 MB)mirrortorrent

    ADG logo © Pixelmusement
  10. Ancient DOS Games Collection II

    This is a collection of freeware, shareware and demo games as reviewed by Kris Asick from Pixelmusement in his webshow called Ancient DOS Games, episodes 47 to 98, complete with screen captures, customized DOSBox configuration and game documentation.(Abuse, Amulets & Armor, Animal Quest, C-Dogs, Cash Invaders, Catacomb (Abyss 3-D), Caverns of Xaskazien, CD-Man, Crime Fighter, Cyberdogs, Electranoid, Excelsior Phase One: Lysandia, Galactix, Googol Math Games, Highway Hunter, Kosmonaut, Lacewing, MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat, Moraff's World, Paku Paku, Reaping the Dungeon, Scorched Earth, SkyRoads (Xmas Special), Space Adventure, Star Quest I, Star Wars: TIE Fighter, TechnoVenture, Telengard, Ugh!, Visual Star Trek, X-COM: UFO Defense)

    download (44 MB)mirrortorrent

    ADG logo © Pixelmusement
  11. Ancient DOS Games Collection III

    This is a collection of freeware, shareware and demo games as reviewed by Kris Asick from Pixelmusement in his webshow called Ancient DOS Games, episodes 99 to 133, complete with screen captures, customized DOSBox configuration and game documentation.(3D CyberPuck (a.k.a. 3D Ball Blaster), Amulets & Armor Classic, Aquanoid, Betrayal at Krondor, Carmageddon, Crusader: No Remorse, Descent II, Earthworm Jim, God of Thunder, Impulse Tracker, Advanced Tactical Fighters, Lawn Mower, Magic Carpet 2: The Netherworlds, Out of This World (a.k.a. Another World), Rogue (a.k.a. Dungeons of Doom), Roketz, Sango Fighter 2, SimCity 2000, Skunny Kart, Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri, Words of Jesus, Worms, Worthy Opponent)

    download (225 MB)mirrortorrent

    ADG logo © Pixelmusement
  12. Ancient DOS Games Collection IV

    This is a collection of freeware, shareware and demo games as reviewed by Kris Asick from Pixelmusement in his webshow called Ancient DOS Games, episodes 134 to 176, complete with screen captures, customized DOSBox configuration and game documentation.(Amy's First Primer, Blood, Cannon Fodder, Chopper Commando, DreamWeb, Full Throttle, Jetpack, Nitemare-3D, Sam & Max: Hit the Road, Slipstream 5000, Squarex, Squarez Deluxe!, Street Rod (Special Edition), Street Rod 2: The Next Generation, Xerix, Xerix II: The Caverns of Mars)

    download (158 MB)mirrortorrent

    ADG logo © Pixelmusement
  13. Ancient DOS Games Collection V

    This is a collection of freeware, shareware and demo games as reviewed by Kris Asick from Pixelmusement in his webshow called Ancient DOS Games, episodes 177 to 258, complete with screen captures, customized DOSBox configuration and game documentation.(Albion, Alien Breed: Tower Assault, Alley Cat, Alone in the Dark, Assault Rigs, Backlash: A Turret Gunner Simulation, Big Red Racing, Blackthorne, Galactix, Game-Maker, Gladiator, Hoosier City, Hugo's House of Horrors, Lemmings, Lords of the Realm, Master of Magic, Mega Man X, Pickle Wars, Popcorn, Redneck Rampage, Relentless: Twinsen's Adventure (Little Big Adventure), Roboman, Shooting Gallery, Railroad Tycoon Deluxe, Star Control II, Strife, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Syndicate, The Dig, The Dungeons of Grimlor, The Incredible Machine, Ultima Underworld, Velcro Mind, Where in Europe is Carmen Sandiego?, Whiplash)

    download (161 MB)mirrortorrent

    ADG logo © Pixelmusement

Random bits of in-depth Information

To start a profile, press enter. To run the setup for a given profile, use shift-enter (as in D-Fend). Ctrl-enter and F2 bring up the profile-editing screen.

GamePackArchives are plain zip files, optionally containing captures. In the root of the archive is a special file called profiles.xml which contains all the meta-data for the game(s) inside the package. The xml is human-readable and well-structured which should make it easy to understand.

Please note that there are certain restrictions (currently) when exporting complete games; For one, they have to reside in a directory below the dosroot.

DBGL can optionally use the DOSBox 'Multiple Config Files' functionality (which is enabled by default), to use incremental config files. What this means, is that your game profile only stores the differences compared to the main dosbox.conf file. Then, suppose you want to switch all profiles from say output=surface to output=opengl, you only have to alter the main dosbox.conf setting to instantaneously alter all corresponding child profiles. Another advantage is that the resulting .conf files are smaller and simpler. 'Multiple Configuration Files'-functionality is available in DOSBox since v0.70 (or CVS since october 2006). An example:

	[dosbox]
	captures=..\captures\9
	memsize=4
	
	[cpu]
	cycles=10000
	
	[autoexec]
	mount C "."
	C:
	cd \adv\amazonge
	amazon.exe
	exit

...As they say, beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder...

Profile information is stored in the various [ID].conf files in the 'profiles' subdirectory. Normally, only _changes_ (to the default settings) are stored in these .conf files. So, suppose you create a profile and you only change the cycles value and store the profile, then only that specific cycles setting is stored in the .conf file (well, together with the autoexec section and captures setting, obviously). Upon running the profile, dosbox is started with dosbox.conf as its base settings file, together with [ID].conf which overrides the cycles setting and contains a set of autoexec commands to run the game. However, if you should choose to disable the 'Multiple Configuration Files' setting (for example when using the official DOSBox release v0.65), ALL settings are stored in the [ID].conf file and only that file is handed over to dosbox to lauch the game. In that case, dosbox.conf is only used to provide default values for the profile-editing dialog.

Templates are stored in ./templates/[ID].conf files and also only contain differences between your settings and the associated dosbox.conf settings.

Config-files, captures, file-links and mounting locations are all relative to the dosroot folder, if possible. That's what makes DBGL highly portable; for example, if you have DBGL on an external harddrive with all your games stored in the dosroot, then changing the hdd's driveletter would be totally painless, all games would still work without any reconfiguration. You could even move the DBGL directory structure to another drive and/or subdirectory, everything would still work.
If you would decide to store your games in another location than the dosroot folder, absolute paths will be used. It will work, but you will loose the portability.

It works as follows: Two entries are used in Settings.conf to specify the locations of the 'DATA' and 'DOSBOX' directories (either relative to the DBGL dir, or using an absolute path). The DATA dir specifies the folder in which DBGL expects the 'captures', 'profiles', 'templates', 'export' and 'xsl' subdirectories. More importantly is the subdir below the DATA dir called 'dosroot'. If you would decide to move your game-files into that subdirectory, DBGL will treat all mounting and game-related information relative to that special location. Likewise for DOSBox versions; put them in a subdirectory of the DOSBOX directory setting to make them relative. If possible, document links are also stored relatively to the DATA folder. Note that the DATA and DOSBOX directories are '.' by default (i.e. the DBGL directory itself).

The migration dialog can be used to alter existing DBGL profile information with absolute paths to use relative paths instead. So, for example, if you select your '/Users/Me/Documents/Dosgames' as 'From' location, DBGL will update all profiles that are somehow using that directory location to use (a subdirectory under) the dosroot instead, to make it relative.

When editing a profile, you can doubleclick on the mounting list to add or edit an entry. The dosroot (.) is used as the default mounting location. If you browse and select a game executable with no mounting locations defined, DBGL will autocreate one.

To create a filter showing a certain subselection of your profiles, use ctrl-f. For example, you can create a filter to only display profiles with the string 'quest' in it's name by simply creating a filter with that title. To remove a filter-tab simply click on its close button, or double click on a tab to change it. More advanced filtering is also possible; for that you'll have to write a sql 'where clause' in the filter's condition field. Some examples:

When using Gulikoza's or YKHWong's special DOSBox builds, you may have to place glide2x.ovl and the Shaders folder into DBGL's dosroot folder for it to work properly. This is necessary because DBGL's dosroot folder is the directory from which all DOSBox versions are started ('current working directory'). Those special DOSBox builds expect these files to be in the cwd, apparently.

dosbox.conf is never manipulated in any way by DBGL, but DBGL does have a button for launching a text-editor so you can manually edit the file. Changing the dosbox.conf settings is not recommended since its defaults are wisely chosen. Only system-specific settings - such as the output setting - should be changed from the default if that works better for a particular videodriver/platform combination.

Changelog

v0.90 & v0.83 (07/06/2019)

v0.82 (10/25/2017)

v0.81 (01/31/2017)

v0.80 (11/27/2015)

  • Added basic event logging and a new dialog (File->Log..) to view DBGL's log (history), sort it, filter it (right-click on a table field), enable or disable it, or clear the log.
  • Implemented basic statistics for profiles, DOSBox versions and templates such as creation time, number of starts, etc.
  • Fixed grabbing screenshots and cover-art from MobyGames.
  • Many improvements for Linux and Mac users; Implemented alternative DOSBox startup mode for both platforms which should help when using for example YkhWong's DOSBox builds (Lewis). Also fixed the automatic creation of dosbox.conf for a newly added DOSBox version (Jan Baumann) and improved the logic for opening the associated application upon clicking a link.
  • A workaround on Mac systems where browsing for the DOSBox executable inside a DOSBox.app wasn't very user-friendly. Now you should be able to simply point to your DOSBox.app (Jan Baumann).
  • A few improvements for the Add Game Wizard: Allow for choosing the DOSBox version in the wizard when installing a game from source media, and fixed a weird error message when using CD cue+bin images located in the dosroot folder or below.
  • Some minor GUI improvements here and there such as button sizes for high-dpi systems.
  • Major cleanup of source code layout and the translation files. Updated SWT to 4.5.1 and commons-lang to 3.4.


The new LOG dialog.

Legacy builds

Screenshots


The main dialog showing a list of profiles


Access the contextmenu by right-clicking


Click the Templates tab in the main window to manage them


This shot shows the profile's general information


Set the associated Dosbox version or load a template
with preconfigured settings

More profile settings; the audio section


The mounting tab where one
can select the mount location and game.exe

Editing a template is very similar to editing a profile


Click on a capture to view it enlarged, like this

Future work

Contact the author

Hi there, my name is Ronald Blankendaal, you may contact me by mail, or use the information provided at Vogons (rcblanke).

Of course, bug-reports and/or suggestions are very welcome. Please let me know what you think!

License

DBGL is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

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