MorphOS logo
Company / developer The MorphOS Development Team
Programmed in C
OS family AmigaOS-like
Working state Current
Source model Closed source with open source Ambient desktop
Initial release 0.1 / August 1, 2000; 11 years ago (2000-08-01)
Latest stable release 2.7 / December 2, 2010; 11 months ago (2010-12-02)
Available language(s) 19
Available programming languages(s) C, C++, Pascal, Python, Perl, Amiga E, Ruby, Lua
Supported platforms Pegasos, some models of Amiga, EFIKA, Mac Mini G4, eMac, Power Mac G4
Kernel type Micro/pico[1]
Default user interface Ambient
License Proprietary with GNU GPL Ambient user interface
Official website

MorphOS is an Amiga-compatible computer operating system. It is a mixed proprietary and open source OS produced for the Pegasos PowerPC processor based computer, PowerUP accelerator equipped Amiga computers, and a series of Freescale development boards that use the Genesi firmware, including the EFIKA and mobileGT. Since MorphOS 2.4 Apple, Inc. Mac Mini G4 is supported as well, with the release of MorphOS 2.5 and MorphOS 2.6 the eMac and PowerMac G4 models are respectively supported. The core, based on the Quark microkernel, is proprietary, although several libraries and other parts are open source, such as Ambient desktop.


Characteristics and versions

Developed for PowerPC processors from Freescale and IBM while supporting the original AmigaOS MC680x0 applications via proprietary task-based emulation, and most AmigaOS/PPC applications via API wrappers. It is API compatible with AmigaOS 3.1 and has a GUI based on MUI.

Besides the Pegasos version of MorphOS, there is a version for Amiga computers equipped with PowerUP accelerator cards produced by Phase5. This version is free, although it does slow down after each two hour session if it has not been registered. Registration is free. PowerUP MorphOS was most recently updated on 23 February 2006; however, it does not exceed the feature set or advancement of the Pegasos release.[2][3]

A version of MorphOS for the EFIKA, a very small mainboard based on the ultra-low wattage MPC5200B processor from Freescale, has been shown at exhibitions and user-gatherings in Germany.[4] Current (since 2.0) release of MorphOS supports the EFIKA.


Screenshot of Ambient Desktop on MorphOS.


ABox is an emulation sandbox featuring a PPC native AmigaOS API clone that is binary compatible with both 68k Amiga applications and both PowerUP and WarpOS formats of Amiga PPC executables. ABox is based in part on AROS Research Operating System. ABox includes Trance JIT code translator for 68k native Amiga applications.


  • AHI — audio interface: 6.7
  • Ambient desktop — the default MorphOS desktop, inspired by Workbench and Directory Opus 1.43
  • CyberGraphX — graphics interface originally developed for Amiga computers: 5.1
  • Magic User Interface—primary GUI toolkit: 4.0
  • Poseidon (USB stack)— the Amiga USB stack developed by Chris Hodges
  • TurboPrint— the printing system
  • TinyGL—OpenGL implementation and Warp3D compatibility is featured via RAVE low-level API: V 51
  • Quark—manages the low level systems


Supported hardware

  • max. 1.5 GB RAM



Genesi/bPlan GmbH


Evolution of AmigaOS 3.x.

The project started in 1999, based on the Quark microkernel. The earliest versions of MorphOS ran only via PPC accelerator cards on the Amiga computers, and required portions of AmigaOS to fully function. A collaborative effort between the companies bPlan (of which the lead MorphOS developer is a partner) and Thendic-France in 2002 resulted in the first regular, non-prototype production of bPlan-engineered Pegasos computers capable of running MorphOS or Linux. A busy promotional year followed in 2003, with appearances at conventions and exhibitions in several places around the world, including CES in Las Vegas. Thendic-France had financial problems and folded; however, the collaboration continued under the new banner of "Genesi".

After some bitter disagreements within the MorphOS development team in 2003 and 2004 culminating with accusations by a MorphOS developer that he and others had not been paid, the Ambient desktop interface was released under GPL and is now actively developed by the Ambient development team. Subject to GPL rules, Ambient continues to be included in the commercial MorphOS product. An alternative MorphOS desktop system is Scalos.[5]

On April 1, 2008 the MorphOS team announced that MorphOS 2.0 would be released within Q2/2008. This promise was only kept by a few seconds, with the release of MorphOS 2.0 occurring on June 30, 2008 23:59 CET. MorphOS 2 is commercially available at a price of 150 EUR per machine (111,11 EUR as a special promotion within the first two weeks of its release). A fully functional demo of MorphOS is available, but without a keyfile, its speed is decreased significantly after 30 minutes of use.

Release history of 2.x series

Version Release Date Information Notes
2.0 June 30, 2008 MorphOS 2.0 release notes Added support for Efika 5200B platform
2.1 September 6, 2008 MorphOS 2.1 release notes
2.2 December 20, 2008 MorphOS 2.2 release notes
2.3 August 6, 2009 MorphOS 2.3 release notes
2.4 October 12, 2009 MorphOS 2.4 release notes Added support for Mac mini G4
2.5 June 4, 2010 MorphOS 2.5 release notes Added support for eMac G4
2.6 October 10, 2010 MorphOS 2.6 release notes Added support for Power Mac G4
2.7 December 2, 2010 MorphOS 2.7 release notes

MorphOS 2.x includes a native TCP/IP stack ("Netstack") and two web browsers, Sputnik and Origyn Web Browser.[6] Sputnik was begun under a user community bounty system [7] that also resulted in MOSNet, a free, separate TCP/IP stack for MorphOS 1 users. Sputnik is a port of the KHTML rendering engine, which WebKit is also based on. All TCP/IP stacks

Version 2.0

MorphOS 2.0 was released on June 30, 2008. The new version included (along other improvements) the previously missing native TCP/IP stack, an updated Sputnik release, AltiVec support, alpha compositing 3D layers for the graphical user interface, new USB components (including USB 2.0 support), new screenblankers, and Reggae, a new, modular, streaming multimedia framework. MorphOS 2.0 also included support for the EFIKA, Pegasos I and Pegasos II machines.

Version 2.1

On September 5, 2008 MorphOS 2.1 was released, fixing numerous bugs and adding support for the EFIKA's audio.

Version 2.2

On December 20, 2008 MorphOS 2.2 was released, fixing numerous bugs, adding a TrueCrypt-compatible disk encryption suite and several small items.

Version 2.3

On August 6, 2009 MorphOS 2.3 was released, fixing numerous bugs, adding Origyn Web Browser as the default browser, read only HFS+ filesystem support and several small items.

Version 2.4

On October 12, 2009 MorphOS 2.4 was released, adding support for Mac Mini G4 platform, as well as fixing various bugs and adding new features. Write support for Mac HFS disks were added and new charsets.library was included to provide better multilingual application support.

Version 2.5

On June 4th, 2010 MorphOS 2.5 was released, adding support for eMac G4 platforms and drivers for SiI3x1x based 2-port Serial ATA PCI cards.

Version 2.6

On October 10th, 2010 MorphOS 2.6 was released, adding support for Power Mac G4 platforms and 2D drivers for Rage 128 Pro graphics cards., Released at precisely 10.10.10 10:10

Version 2.7

On December 2nd, 2010 MorphOS 2.7 was released, improving support for Power Mac G4 platforms and fixing various bugs.

See also


  1. ^ "Basic Kernel Information". MorphOS Home Page. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  2. ^ Piru (February 23, 2006). "Announcements : Updated MorphOS for PowerUP Users". Archived from the original on 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  3. ^ Thom Holwerda (August 24, 2005). "MorphOS 1.4.5 Released for Classic Amiga". OSNews. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  4. ^ Thom Holwerda (October 17, 2006). "MorphOS 1.5 Running on EFIKA to Be Shown". OSNews. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  5. ^ Chris Haynes (March 21, 2007). "Scalos - The Amiga Desktop Replacement". Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  6. ^ "MorphOS 2.0". Retrieved 2010-06-19. 
  7. ^ "Morph Bounties". MorphZone. Archived from the original on 2007-03-06. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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