However, another approach is feasible: you can use a raw OS like Free-DOS or MS-DOS running in 16-bits mode and use a DOS-Extender system to run 32-bits applications. This was the "old fashioned mode" to use a full x86 machine in the pre-Linux/Windows era.
Is it possible to use the same approach for an OS? Well, OSLib
gives you a positive answer!
We implemented a strongly customized extender system,
which is able to boot a 32-bits Operating System (ELF/COFF executable format,
MultiBoot Compliant) and return back to DOS when necessary.
Downloading, Compiling and Using Xregister; The Borland Community Museum offers a rich collection of the good old software of the fascinating DOS era...
The older TLink (available with 2.01) wont'link X correctly, because the it doesn't support very well 32 bits executable code. Luckily, the problem has been fixed under TLink 3.01, available with the Turbo C++ 1.01.