AmigaOS versions

AmigaOS versions

There have been many different versions of the AmigaOS operating system during its two decades of history.

The first AmigaOS was nicknamed "Workbench" from the name of its GUI Interface, due to an error of Commodore Marketing and Sales Department, which labeled the OS disk just with the name "Workbench Disk" and not with the correct name "AmigaOS Disk (Workbench)".

The first versions of AmigaOS (1.0 and up to 1.3) are here indicated with the name of their original disks to preserve original custom.

Kickstart/Workbench 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3

The 1."x" series of "Amiga OS" defaults to a distinctive blue and orange color scheme, designed to give high contrast on even the worst of television screens (the colors can be changed by the user). "Versions 1.1" consists mostly of bug fixes and, like version 1.0, was only distributed for the Amiga 1000, and entire OS came on a single floppy disk. The entire set of Amiga OS consists of three disks: "Kickstart", "Workbench" and "ABasic" by MetaComCo.

The Amiga1000 model needs a Kickstart disk to be inserted into floppy drive to boot up. An image of a simple illustration of a hand on a white screen, holding a blue Kickstart floppy, invited the user to perform this operation. After the kickstart was loaded into a special section of memory called the writable control store (WCS), the image of the hand appeared again, this time inviting the user to insert the Workbench disk.

"Workbench Version 1.2" was the first to support Kickstart stored in a ROM. Kickstart disk was still necessary for Amiga1000 models, but it was no longer necessary for Amiga500 or 2000, but the users of these systems must change the ROMs (there were socketed) to change the kickstart version.

AmigaOS now spanned two floppy disks, and supported installing and booting from hard drive (assuming the Amiga was equipped with one), the name of the main disk was still named "Workbench" (the user interface portion of the operation system). The second disk was the "Extras" disk.AmigaOS set of disks was still three disks, due to abolition of Kickstart disk. Users of A1000 could ask a Commodore dealer to obtain one. The third disk was now "AmigaBasic" by Microsoft.

"Kickstart Version 1.2" corrected various flaws and added AutoConfig support. AutoConfig is a protocol similar to Plug and Play, in that it can configure expansion boards without user intervention.

"Kickstart Version 1.3" improved little on its predecessor, the most notable change being auto booting from hard drives.Into "Workbench 1.3" floppy disk, on the other hand, users can find several significant improvements to AmigaOS, including FFS a faster file system for hard disks storage which resolved the problem of old Amiga filesystem which wasted too much hard disk space due to the fact it could store only 488bytes any block of 512bytes keeping 24 bytes for checksums. Many improvements were made to the CLI (command line interface) of Amiga which was now a complete text based Shell, named "AmigaShell", and various additional tools and programs.

AmigaBASIC and ABasiC

Versions 1.1 through 1.3 shipped with AmigaBASIC, a BASIC implementation designed by Microsoft (this was the only software written by Microsoft for the Amiga).

AmigaBASIC was discontinued with the launch of Kickstart/Workbench 2.x. Version 1.0 shipped instead with a different BASIC language, called ABasiC, implemented by MetaComCo. Where AmigaBASIC was oriented around creating graphical user interfaces, ABasiC was more similar to the BASIC interpreters shipped with older 8-bit systems, and was geared towards text based applications.AmigaBasic by Microsoft, for the first time could avoid obliged use of numbering lines in programming, and was very advanced for its times, but suffered many flaws. For example it supported only NTSC TV standard used in USA and not PAL TV standard used in Europe.

Kickstart/Workbench 1.4

Kickstart/Workbench 1.4 was a beta version of the upcoming 2.0 update and never released, but the Kickstart part was shipped in very small quantities with early Amiga 3000 computers, where it is often referred to as the "Superkickstart ROM". In these machines it is only used to bootstrap the machine and load the Kickstart that will be used to actually boot the system. The appearance of a very early first release of 1.4 was similar to 1.3, but with colors slightly changed. A second version was similar to that of 2.0 and higher, with just minor differences. It is, however, possible to dump out of the OS selection screen by clicking where one would expect to see a close gadget. This will cause the machine to boot Kickstart 1.4 using either the wb_2.x: partition, or from a floppy.

AmigaOS 2.0, 2.04, 2.05, 2.1

Workbench 2.0 improvements introduced a lot of major advances to the GUI of Amiga operating system. The harsh blue and orange colour scheme, replaced with a much easier on the eye grey and light blue with 3D aspect in the border of the windows. The Workbench was no longer tied to the 640×256 (PAL) or 640×200 (NTSC) display modes, and much of the system was improved with an eye to making future expansion easier. For the first time, a standardised "look and feel" was added. This was done by creating the "Amiga Style Guide", and including libraries and software which assisted developers in making conformant software. Technologies included the GUI element creation library "gadtools", the software installation scripting language "Installer", and the "AmigaGuide" hypertext help system.

Workbench 2.04 introduced ARexx, a system-wide scripting language. Programmers could add so-called "ARexx ports" to their programs, which allowed them to be controlled from ARexx scripts. Using ARexx, you could make two completely different programs from different vendors work together seamlessly. For example, you could batch-convert a directory of files to thumbnail images with an ARexx capable image manipulation program, create and index HTML table of the thumbnails linking to the original images, and display it in a web browser, all from one script. ARexx became very popular, and was widely adopted by programmers.

The AmigaDOS, previously written in BCPL and very difficult to develop for beyond basic file manipulation, was mostly rewritten in C.

Unfortunately, some badly written software – especially games – failed to run with 2.x, and so a lot of people were upset with this update. Most often, the failure occurred because programmers had used directly manipulated private structures maintained by the operating system, rather than using official function calls. Many users circumvented the problem by installing so-called "kickstart switchers", a small circuit board which held both a Kickstart 1.3 and 2.0 chip, with which they could swap between Kickstart versions at the flick of a switch.

2.x shipped with the A500+ (2.04), A600 (2.05), A3000 and A3000T. Workbench 2.1 was the last in this series, and only released as a software update. It included useful features such as CrossDOS, to support working with floppy disks formatted for PCs. Since 2.1 was a software-only release, there was no Kickstart 2.1 ROM.

2.x also introduced PCMCIA card support, for the slot on the A600.

AmigaOS 3.0, 3.1

3.x was another major update. Updates included:

* A universal data system, known as datatypes, that allowed programs to load pictures, sound and text in formats they didn't understand directly, through the use of standard plugs ("see" object-oriented operating system)
* A system-standard localization system, allowing the user to make an ordered list of "preferred languages"; when a locale-aware application runs, it asks the operating system to find the "catalog" (a file containing translations of the application's strings) best matching the user's preferences
* Colour remapping for low-colour display modes
* Improved visual appearance
* Better support for background images

3.x shipped with the CD32, A1200, A4000 and A4000T.

AmigaOS 3.5, 3.9

After the demise of Commodore, the later owners of the Amiga trademark granted a license to a German company called Haage & Partner to update the Amiga's operating system. Along with this update came a change in the way people referred to the Amiga's operating system. Rather than specifying "Kickstart" or "Workbench", the updates were most often referred to as simply "AmigaOS".Whereas all previous OS releases were Motorola 68000 compatible, some OS components from release 3.5 onwards required a 68020 or better.

Updates included:
* CD filesystem support as standard
* Distribution on CD instead of floppy disk
* Supplied with TCP/IP stack (unregistered time limited freely MiamiDX demo in 3.5, unlicenced, unrestricted AmiTCP/IP in 3.9), web browser (AWeb), and e-mail client
* Improved GUI, called "ReAction"
* AVI/MPEG movie player (OS3.9)
* Support for hard disks larger than 4GB (a limitation from 1.x)
* HTML documentation (English and German)
* MP3 and CD audio player (OS3.9)
* Dock program (OS3.9)
* Improved Workbench
* Find utility (OS3.9)
* ASync workbench (no more waiting for files to be copied)
* Unarchiving system called XAD (OS3.9)
* Support for PowerPC CPUs through Haage & Partner's multi-tasking kernel "WarpOS" which operated alongside AmigaOS
* Limited OS support for PowerPC CPUs, for example in picture.datatype (OS3.9)

AmigaOS 4

A new version of AmigaOS was released on December 24 2006 after five years of development by [ Hyperion Entertainment (VOF)] (Belgium) under license from Amiga, Inc. for AmigaOne registered users.

During the five years of development, users of AmigaOne machines could download from Hyperion repository Pre-Release Versions of AmigaOS 4.0 as long as these were made available. As witnessed by many users into Amiga discussion forum sites, these versions were stable and reliable, despite the fact that they are technically labeled as "pre-releases".

Last stable version of AmigaOS 4.0 it is the so called "First Update", released for download 18 July 2007 to the registered users of AmigaOne machines ref num|AmigaOS 4.0 first update|1

AmigaOS 4 was released commercially for Classic Amigas with CyberstormPPC and BlizzardPPC accelerator cards in November 2007. It had previously been available only to developers and beta-testers.

In December 26th 2006, Amiga, Inc terminated the contract of Hyperion to produce or sell AmigaOS 4. Currently (April 2008), the future of the OS is in doubt as litigation continues.


The new version is PowerPC native, finally abandoning the Motorola 68k processor. Since there is no more 68000-based Amiga hardware being produced, [ AmigaOS 4.0] will run on some PowerPC hardware, which currently only includes A1200, A3000 and A4000 with PowerPC accelerator boards and AmigaOne motherboards. Amiga, Inc.'s distribution policies for AmigaOS 4.0 and any later versions require that for third-party hardware the OS must be bundled with it, with the sole exception of Amigas with Phase 5 PowerPC accelerator boards, for which the OS will be sold separately.

As of December 2006, there are no license holders. The one and only license agreement was terminated on December 20, 2006.ref num|Amiga Inc. Announcement|2.

Main features planned for AmigaOS 4.0:
* TRIPOS (BCPL) - latest legacy code removed
* Improved TCP/IP stack, including firewall capabilities
* Fully skinnable GUI
* Virtual memory
* Limited memory protection
* CD/DVD writer support, including Mt. Rainier
* Integrated debugger
* Integrated viewer for PDF and other document formats
* Enhanced shared library model
* Support for PowerPC (native) and 68k (emulated JIT) applications
* Improved input device support
* Support for modern hardware devices
* New USB stack
* New PCI stack
* New interface module (replaces the jump table of classic AmigaOS)
* Stack enlargement
* Resource tracking
* Faster memory allocation system, similar to what's used on Solaris
* 2 GB file size limit removed
* New version of AmiDock with plug-in support
* New CDFilesystem with Joliet and HFS support, DVDRW support
* HDToolbox replacement
* New HD Recovery tool
* Added support for Truetype and Postscript fonts, with optional anti-aliasing
* Integrated Picasso 96 2D Graphics API
* Integrated Warp3D 3D Graphics API
* Integrated AHI Sound API

Since AmigaOS 4.0 First Update version, the AmigaOS now could allocate paging memory on mass storage devicesref num|AmigaOS memory system|3 and defragments "on the fly" the memory space ref num|AmigaOS memory allocation|4.

AmigaOS 4.0 July 2007 First Update

Other improvements of AmigaOS first Update are:

* New ExecSG kernel. The new kernel includes, among other things:
** Support for guard-page protected stacks. Stacks will have guard pages at their bottom to prevent programs to write over innocent memory
** A new semaphore-type called Mutex that is Forbid-Free.
** Support for the new pthreads-module
* A new library that supports most of the POSIX thread (pthreads) API
*A new ELF library that implements UN*X-type shared objects and dynamic linking. Shared objects are files that are loaded during runtime of a program and become part of the program's memory image. They have access to symbols and procedures of the main program as well as any other shared object loaded.
* Amiga Python 2.5.1. This new version of the interpreted language is implemented as shared object.

AmigaOS 4.1

AmigaOS 4.1 was presented to public July 11 2008, and is scheduled to be put on sale for september 2008.

This is a new version and not only a simple update as it features:

* Intelligent memory paging
* Hardware compositing engine (Radeon R1xx and R2xx family)
* Implementation of the Cairo device-independent 2D rendering library
* JXFS filesystem with the support for drives and partitions of multiple terabyte size
* Improved Workbench functionality
* New and improved DOS functionality (full 64 bit support, universal notification support, automatic expunge and reload of updated disk resources)
* Improved 3D hardware accelerated screen-dragging
* Reworked AmiDock with true transparency
* Reworked Warp3D Radeon drivers with new functionality

# [ AmigaOS First Update Release announcement] at Hyperion site.
# See also [ this announcement] at Amiga Inc. official site.
# [ AmigaOS new memory system revisited] article on OS4.Hyperion site
# [ AmigaOS new system for allocating memory] article on OS4.Hyperion site
# AmigaOS 4.0 image included in this article is intended for fair use. In the past, neither Hyperion VOF (Belgium), nor Amiga Inc. (USA) were opposed to publishing in internet sites of AmigaOS 4.0 screenshots kindly donated by users. Owners of copyrights are free to register and write in the talk page of this article to ask for the removing of this image from article, and to ask also for its deletion.

External links

* [ AmigaOS 4 launches after last Amiga compatible dies]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • AmigaOS 4 — A screenshot of AmigaOS 4.1 Update 2. Company / developer Hyperion Entertainment Programmed in C OS family …   Wikipedia

  • AmigaOS — Infobox OS name = AmigaOS logo = caption = A screenshot of AmigaOS 4.0 family = Amiga OS developer = Commodore International (1.0 3.1) Haage Partner (3.5 3.9) Hyperion Entertainment (4.0) source model = Closed source working state = Current… …   Wikipedia

  • AmigaOS — Type de noyau exo noyau Plates formes Amiga (680x0, PowerPC) Entreprise / Développeur Commodore Licence Licence propriétaire Dernière version stable …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Workbench (AmigaOS) — Workbench Overview [Classic Amiga] With the Amiga computer, the name Workbench refers to the native graphical interface file manager and application launcher of the Amiga Operating System typically presented to users upon booting the Amiga. The… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the graphical user interface — The graphical user interface, understood as the use of graphic icons and a pointing device to control a computer, has over the last four decades a steady history of incremental refinements built on some constant core principles. Several vendors… …   Wikipedia

  • Resource fork — The resource fork is a construct of the Mac OS operating system used to store structured data in a file, alongside unstructured data stored within the data fork. A resource fork stores information in a specific form, such as icons, the shapes of… …   Wikipedia

  • NewIcons — is a third party extension to the icon handling system for AmigaOS 2 and newer. NewIcons was first invented and developed by the Italian programmer Nicola Salmoria. Subsequent development was done by Eric Sauvageau. Contents 1 History 2 Features… …   Wikipedia

  • Intuition (Amiga) — The Amiga computer was launched by Commodore in 1985 with a GUI called Workbench based on an internal engine which drives all the input events called Intuition, and developed almost entirely by RJ Mical. Users may remember the initial releases… …   Wikipedia

  • AmigaOne — is a computer platform based on the Teron series of PowerPC POP mainboards, mainly intended to run AmigaOS version 4.0 created by Hyperion Entertainment in Belgium. These motherboards are based on Articia northbridge chipsets designed by MAI… …   Wikipedia

  • AmigaBASIC — was a BASIC programming language implementation for the Amiga, designed and written by Microsoft. AmigaBASIC shipped with AmigaOS versions 1.1 to 1.3. It succeeded ABasiC, which was included in AmigaOS 1.0 and 1.1, and it was replaced with ARexx …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”