SpartaDOS was a command line DOS for Atari 8 bit computers such as the Atari XE range.

All the original DOS packages released by Atari were menu driven - a core DOS loaded into memory at startup, and then the menu system loaded up on request, to do additional functions. However, while these DOSs were quite capable of handling floppy disks, menu-driven interfaces were seen as old fashioned and limited, and they couldn't handle the larger hard disks (20 MB) that were coming around.

Cue SpartaDOS. Why SpartaDOS? To quote from the manual... "Named after a powerful city in Ancient Greece... power!"

SpartaDOS had some of the following functions.

  • Efficient memory usage - most of the system loaded in "Shadow RAM" under the Operating System ROM, freeing up memory for other things.
  • RAMdisk functionality using anything from the 8 K RAM Shadow RAM under the BASIC ROM to the 64 K on the 130 XE, and even larger amount on various custom add-ons.
  • Support for not just standard 5.25" floppy disks, but also 3.5" floppy disks and the early Atari hard disks.
  • Support for the high-speed serial transfer code and true double density with a US doubler upgraded drive.
  • Various additional utilities for programmers.
  • Batch files.
  • Input and Output redirection.
  • Full backwards compatibility with Atari DOS.

Early versions of SpartaDOS were supplied on floppy disk. Later on, a piggyback cartridge version was released, which was faster and more efficient.