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  • Allen Knight 11:00 am on 26 August 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    HowTo: Install Experimental AROS (Amiga) on VirtualBox 

    Translated from Italian. (view original)

    What you have to do to get it all up and working is quite simple, but Google Translate out of the original Italian comes out rather garbled, so I have created this English version. Enjoy:

    AROS  – Amiga Research Operating System, is an Open Source operating system based on  AmigaOS . It keeps features that users of old A500 and A1200 machines are familiar with and extends these features by natively implementing TCP /IP and USB SUPPORT.

    AROS works on x86, x86-64, and PowerPC systems (but not on 68k or PPC Macintosh).

    This post tells you how install it on your computer using VirtualBox .  (AROS can also installed directly to hard disk, but the author recommends only installing on a test PC, not on a your working machine, as the system is experimental and may crash and corrupt your hard disk ).

    Prepare the Virtual Machine

    If you have not yet installed VirtualBox, download the latest version from VirtualBox’s site and install it following the standard procedure for your operating system. There are installers for Windows, MacOS X, FreeBSD, Solaris, OpenSolaris, and for all major Linux distributions.

    Hint: If you are running 32 bit Windows on a 64 bit computer, you will have to install the 32 bit version of Virtual Box, but if you have been reading this blog, you will know you can create a dual boot windows/linux system. Tip: If you have a computer with a 64 bit processor, but only have 32 bit Windows installed on it, you can install 64 bit Linux and run Virtual Box that way.   I used 64 bit OS Elementary Luna to install 64 bit version of Virtual Box. To do this, download the ‘deb’ file from the Virtual Box site and install it using the Software Centre. (right-click and choose Software Centre, easy).

    Download the latest version of AROS Live CD called Icaros Desktop. You can make it into a real CD using a utility such as NTI  Media Maker (on Windows)

    If your Internet connection is unreliable, use Free Download Manager. Copy and paste the above link to FDM.

    The latest available version is 2.2.1 as of 26th August 2017

    Create a new virtual machine with the following settings:

    Name: AROS
    OS: Unknown
    RAM: 256MB (512MB is recommended for the virtual machine if you have at least 1GB of physical RAM)
    HardDisk: 20GB Dynamic Expansion (the really busy space will be just what you will actually install in VM)
    CD / DVD -Rom: ISO Image ( Mount ISO of Icaros Desktop, or use a real DVD you made)
    Step One

    Once you’ve finished configuring your Virtual Machine, start the new system and, if all has been configured correctly, you will see the Live DVD boot screen appear .

    schermata-grub-live-cd (1)

    Select the VESA item, 1024×768, and wait a few minutes until the Wanderer (Open Source version of the  Amiga Workbench ) screen appears .


    This stage will bring back memories for old Amiga users who will be able to start playing right away.

    However if you never owned or used an Amiga, you will need to be briefed on the salient features of what was the world’s most advanced personal computer operating system 20 years ago, as it was the first to introduce preemptive-multitasking and Autoconfig (Renamed Plug & Play from Microsoft 10 years later).

    Exploring the system

    First of all, the use of the mouse is different from that you are used to with Windows or Linux, while Mac users will not find much difference. The main operations are all done using the left button, like the classic click to select, double-click to open an icon, and drag ‘n drop (or click and drag).

    The right button, on the other hand, takes the “open menu” function. After you select a window, you will notice that the top bar will show general information about the currently selected application and, holding down the right mouse button, the menu menus for that application will appear on the bar.

    As far as window management is concerned, the closing icon is not the classic X but a square in the upper left corner. The icons on the right, instead, serve to send the current window forward / backward to the other windows and to return to the previous zoom level.

    The remaining features are quite intuitive and a little playing about will give you a taste of the power us Amigaholics had 20 years ago, when PC users were weighed down with MS -Dos commands …

    The RAM Disk

    Particular mention goes to RAM Disk .
    At that time not everyone could afford a Hard Disk, so the vast majority of programs, data, games etc … were loaded with 3.5-inch floppy disks. These disks, though very large for the era (Amiga recorded disks at 880KB, against MS- Dos for 720KBs for double density disks), had the dual disadvantage of being slow and easily damaged .

    In addition, many Amiga models (such as the author’s A500) normally contained just a single floppy drive, and an external drive was quite expensive. So it was complicated to work with.

    It was not uncommon to find 2-3 different floppy disks swaps, because maybe we had a floppy on which we were working, on the second there was the Workbench (which in practice contains the main applications Of the operating system) and maybe on the third there was the accounting program we were using.
    All this slowed down the work and worn out the media (but at that time the development houses “strongly advised” users to run numerous backup copies of their programs!), But fortunately AmigaOS came to our aid with the fantastic function of RAM Disk.

    In essence it is a real virtual disk , totally resident in RAM, on which you could copy the work files when you turned on the machine, and then they were saved on the floppy before turning it off. This greatly hastens the work and saves the floppy disk … then the hard drive came up to20 MB !!! And the rest of history we all know it!

    Installation on Hard Disk

    After doing the rite tour, you start to install on Hard Disk (in our case that Virtualized by Virtual Box).
    Open AROS Live CD , go to Tools and open the InstallAROS application .


    There will be a simple Gaphical User Interface with which we will have to use in two separate ways. During the first phase you only have to create the partitions. I recommend you create two distinct partitions for the system and data , so it will be easier to later upgrade the system to later versions without the risk of losing data.

    The partitions will be called DH0: and DH1:partizionamento-disco (AROS uses the same Amiga convention), the first will be 2GB, while the second will not specify the size, so all remaining space will be used.

    Once the partitioning is finished, the system will restart.
    Return to AROS Live CD: Tools (on Amiga disks have a name followed by two points, such as DH0: or AROS Live CD :, paths are Disk type : Folder / Other Folder ) and restart InstallAROS.
    This time select ” Use existing AROS partitions ” to continue with the installation.

    Select the options:

    Choose Language Options
    Install AROS Core System
    Install Extra Software
    Install Bootloader
    And click on Proceed


    Then select the boxes

    • Format Partition (DH0)
    • Use ‘Work’ Partition
    • Use ‘Work’ Partition for Extras and Developer Files
    • Format Partition (DH1)

    And click on Proceed again .


    After formatting the partitions, the program will ask you to specify the language settings .
    Choose your  language, but note that the translation is largely incomplete and that many programs will continue to have the interface in English even if you choose another language as the default language.


    Remember to also specify the time zone correctly


    Finally, the system will proceed with copying the files


    Once the copying is done you can restart your virtual machine, but this time you eject the  CD-Rom and start the system from the partition you have just installed on the hard disk.

    If you own an original Amiga A500,  you can transfer your work files from it. It is not necessary to transfer games and applications because these are all available on the Internet. To transfer, for example a Wordprocessing file, format a disk to 720k MS-DOS format using MessyDOS. Use DIRWORK 1.62 to transfer the file from Amiga floppy to RAM disk and then transfer it from the RAM disk to the 720k MS-DOS disk. Then put this disk in your MS-DOS computer.  You can use a 720k floppy disk on a Windows PC which has a USB floppy drive. You cannot format a 720k floppy on a modern windows system – you have to format it on the Amiga using Messyformat.

    AROS Desktop does not include an Amiga Emulator, because the Kickstart ROM files are not open source. If you own an Amiga, you don’t have to purchase Kickstart ROM files – you can just download them off the Internet.

    Good fun!

    Thanks to Antonio Barba  Gracia

  • Allen Knight 11:13 am on 2 July 2015 Permalink | Reply  




    I hope you will enjoy my woodland observations and paintings.

    It is a work ‘in progress’ and I will be adding to it as I go along.  It is not intended to be any kind of text book, but I hope it will inspire you to get out into your local countryside to see what you can find and perhaps to take photos or draw pictures of your own.

    If you want more detailed information about any of the flowers and animals there are excellent books to be found in your library and wonderful websites to check out.







    Just one thing – please remember to respect the countryside on your walks.  Leave everything as you found it and please, please take your litter home with you.

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