Icaros Desktop is a pre-configured AROS desktop environment for the PC platform, distributed on a bootable live media. The AROS Research Operating System is a open source lightweight, efficient and flexible desktop operating system, aiming at being compatible with AmigaOS 3.1 at the API level, while improving on it in many areas.

Icaros Desktop 1.5.2

A new, improved version of Icaros Desktop is now available for download.

Enhanced integration of 68K applications

Would you believe they are old Amiga 68K applications running on a common PC? Well, they are! Discover the new AmiBridge integration mode which does not need original Amiga ROMs and OS anymore!

Play Hurrican and other classics

Linux format said "Icaros Desktop is the best OS to frag productivity". Why? Because you can play thousands of old classics and dozens of great remakes. And every game Amiga had.

Patch 02 for Icaros Desktop 1.4.5

People who, for any reason, still run Icaros Desktop 1.4.5, do not forget to apply this patch! It brings many little and big enhancements here and there...

Icaros Desktop running on the new QEMU VM
OWB 1.23 kindly brought to AROS by Deadwood
Pascal's application store. Find it in Extras/Demos
It took 18 months of work. Very hard work. But the new major release of your favourite AROS distribution is finally available for download! We needed all this time to provide a completely new Icaros Desktop, which could be considered an effective milestone in our short history. Seven years after our debuct, and almost 2 years after our latest release, we have practically changed everything: new kernel, new TLSF memory management, new GUI/file manager, new version of Janus-UAE, new AROS system files, and all libraries, all system commands and utilities brought up to their latest version, with two clear goals in mind: improving system stability, speed and responsiveness, while keeping compatibility alive with your usual applications. Two goals we have humbly accomplished thanks to AROS developers and heroes like Krzysztof Smiechowicz, who practically backported everything he could from AROS ABIv1 to v0 and updated our browser; Neil Cafferkey, who fixed countless bugs to AROS; Oliver Brunner, who kindly fixed many quirks in Janus-UAE and made 1.4 the best release so far; Szilárd Biró, who ported DirectoryOpus 5 "Magellan" to AROS and generally contributed to further developments of this application for all Amiga-like systems. Heroes like Magorium and other beta testers, who had been so patient to install at least 15 work-in-progress versions and two release candidates, test every application, report issues, hinting solutions and bring new ideas. And, why not, heroes like our users, who followed us on Facebook and Amiga forums, and encouraged us to go on, even in these hard times. Regarding myself, all I could do was trying to fit all these pieces together as best as I could. I am really proud of the result and that's why I've spent all these words to thank our wonderful team, instead of showing you what's new in the distribution.

Icaros Desktop 2.0 should be installed from scratch. Please backup all data of your existing Icaros 1.x installation and clean your partition. If you wish to try the distribution before installing it, we suggest a virtual environment like VMware, VirtualBox or, if you can't install anything on your computer, the QEMU virtual machine bundled with the distribution.

New version of LunaPaint running in full-HD
A whole new experience
For the first time on Icaros... ScalOS for AROS x86!
Icaros Desktop 2.0 is completely different from previous releases. The same care that was used to turn AROS nightly builds into a pre-configured desktop environment has been applied to DirectoryOpus 5 too, whose default configuration has been completely overhauled to turn it into a reliable, usable and enjoyable replacement for Wanderer. You can still choose to use your old workbench if you like (just open the new Icaros Settings panel in Prefs and select it), but we warmly suggest to try using Icaros Desktop 2.0 as we intended: you will discover a much more powerful approach to file management, where practically every action can be performed with a single click or a convenient keys combination. Just right click on icons to send your text files to the speech synthesizer (Amiga could 'say' words, why shouldn't Icaros as well?), use the new actions bar to perform management operations, discover how we set up file types and program associations. Dopus 5 default options were great, but we extended them as much as we could, adding buttons to create image thumbnails, pack directories into compressed archives, and so on. And the best has still to come: thanks to the included documentation, you will easily discover how to set up new files, associations and options. Everything in Magellan is customizable!

How to mount a virtual floppy in Icaros. Easy! Isn't it?
Make it easy!
We've tried to speed up operations which had been a little painful in the past. A new (and finally working good!) version of DiskImage GUI allows to mount and unmount ADF and ISO files with ease, both with Wanderer and Magellan. In a few clicks you'll be able to transparently access these files as virtual volumes (IDF0, IDF1, ICD0, ICD1), and virtually eject them from the system a minute later. Images management and little re-touching has turned to a very simple matter with the addition of programs like PictureAlbum, ZuneView and ViewBox, but we've added many other gems for music as well.

A more polished 68K environment
Can you spot the 68K applications, here?
Good news also for people fond of legacy Amiga applications. We've improved AmiBridge adding a (selectable) temporary FFS image drive (for applications which wouldn't install on large-size drives like current ones), the ability to run AmigaOS 3.X and AROS M68K concurrently, the new option to create shortcuts to Amiga applications (in order to run just them without overhead), the ability to manage the emulator from the guest side with a customized, renewed version of UAE-Control, and we updated AROS M68K to a fresh release, eliminating unused parts (for instance, programs that were pointless like M68K InstallAROS, duplicated font/image files, or that didn't work like BoingIconBar) and improving both the emulator and its companion tools. You can now run great programs like Amiga Writer (not included) on AROS M68K and, once again thanks to Deadwood, trying to run a 68K executable under x86 AROS won't crash the system anymore.

The usual (incomplete) list of "what's new"
- Brand new AROS core system files from ABIv0-on-trunk
- Kernel and system files updated to XX XX nightly build
- Added DirectoryOpus 5 Magellan as desktop replacement
- Added ScalOS to file managers (Live! only)
- Added Wastebasket function (smart recycle bin)
  + Files can now be recovered from deletion
- new "Icaros Settings" application in Prefs for environment and services
- Configured Magellan to replace Wanderer in all its functions
  + configured action bar (graphical and textual)
  + configured FTP bar (graphical and textual)
  + configured lister toolbar
  + configured many filetypes
  + configured keyboard shortcuts
  + added options to create zip and lha archives on the fly
  + added options to create selective/directory thumbnails
  + added option to speech-read text files
  + added options for wave/mp3 conversion
  + added options for image managing
  + changed default behavior to a more modern one
  + added the M68K version too
- Enhanced M68K Support
  + newer AROS ROMs and system files from Oct 7th, 2014
  + reorganized AmiBridge preset loading
  + fullscreen AROS now default behavior
  + fixed issues with right-click menus in integration mode
  + fixed issues with inherited (host->guest) screen resolution
  + emulation should now be more stable
  + added the ability to create shortcuts to "sandboxed" applications
  + added a 20 MB FFS tempdrive to help old apps installation
  + added 68K version of DirectoryOpus 4
  + AmiBridge advanced options now included in "Icaros Settings"
- fixed LiveUpdater to actually update needed files only
- updated FreePascal to the latest version
- updated AntyriadIDE to the latest version
- updated ZuneFIG and LunaPaint to latest versions
- added ZuneView and promoted as default image editor under Magellan
- updated ArosPDF to the latest version
- updated Dega and other emulators to latest versions
- updated ZUNE for better MUI compatibility (still work in progress)
- Intel GMA driver should now support more chipsets
- HD Audio driver should now support more codecs
- updated SATA and AHCI support
- some drawers have been overhauled and reorganized
- updated OWB to version 1.23
- added ArTorr Torrent client
- added MUI-AYlet sound player to MultiMedia
- added cabextract and other command line archive managers
- updated DiskImage device to latest version
  + mounting of ISO and ADF files is now much easier!
- updated HFinder and many other programs to reflect changes in AROS
- added DaySleeper to system files
  + turn off or reboot AROS at scheduled time
- added subversion (SVN) client to development tools
- added Viewbox and PictureAlbum to image viewers
- added zunzip and arzip (graphical zip managers)
  + no more "frozen installation" screens during package expasion
- added AROS Debug View to system tools
  + debug output can be transmitted to a Linux or Windows client through the local network
- updated QEMU to version 2.1 with executables for 32 and 64 bit Windows
  + Serial and parallel consoles are now accessible in QEMU
  + A read-only "VFAT" directory has been set to easily trasfer files from host

So... What are you waiting for? Download Icaros Desktop 2.0 right now in the download section of our site. You can choose, as usual, the whole Live! package, with all AROS software already configured and a comfortable QEMU virtual machine to run everything in a Windows session without a physical hard disk installation, or the tiny Light version targeted for CD-ROMs and small (1 GB) USB pendrives. And if you enjoy our hard work, please make us a donation to keep this dream alive.

Some days ago I wanted to mount some ADF files to try installing a old classic application on the AROS M68K environment of Icaros Desktop. Nothing can be easier - I thought - I just needed to switch screen, enter Janus-UAE GUI and change floppies as I needed. I soon realized this operation is fast and reliable only if you have a few disk changes to do, but very borig for complex software that required 5, 7 or more disks. Having the ability to mount ADF files from the guest side of emulation would have been faster. So I thought to use the 68K version of DiskImageGUI, just to discover that it would kill AROS and nothing else (Icaros crashed as soon as I tried that). Whoever met me at least once, already knows how stubborn I can be, when I try to accomplish futile goals. I then figured that Amiga Forever used a great little tool called UAE-Control, which allows exactly to do what I wanted. I took it from my AF installation and ran it on AROS: it worked quite well, but had a limitation I felt really hard to accept. It required me to insert path and file name for every ADF file I needed to enter, a real pain. So I asked Michele Battilana from Cloanto for its sources and, once he very kindly sent them to me, I forwarded them to our beta testers, asking if someone would have been so kind to add a simple "Select" button near the field for path and filenames. Oliver Brunner informed me that the lack of browseability was there for a reason: selected path should have been converted from the guest side to the host's point of view to correctly work. For instance, a path like Work:Download/ADF should have been converted to something else, like SYS:UAE/MyFiles/Dowload/ADF to let Janus-UAE use it as required. Luckily enough, Icaros Desktop has a "MyWorkspace:" assign which is globally set on both x86 and m68k sides, pointing exactly at the same drawer, so the problem would have been easily fixed. Just place your ADF files in a subdirectory of MyWorkspace, for instance MyWorkspace/Downloads, and mounting would have run fine. In the end, Oliver has been very kind and once again he made the modifications I needed. Now Icaros Settings allows to change AmiBridge's welcome message with UAE-Control (see the top corner screenshot): just keep it somewhere on the screen and, every time you need to mount an ADF, reset or close the emulator, you won't have to switch screens anymore.

UAE-Control, customized for Icaros Desktop, running inside Janus-UAE on AROS M68K

Icaros Desktop is traditionally packed into a self-executable 7z archive which includes QEMU for Windows and two different script for 32 and 64 bit releases of Microsoft's operating system. While Icaros changed a lot in the latest 5 years, almost nothing happened to this 'external box', which allows easy testing of Icaros Desktop under Windows, albeit quite slowly. With version 2.0 of our distribution, this will change: we've moved to a newer release of QEMU (2.1.50) and we already configured it to use SB128 emulation for sound and VMware SVGA for graphics, enabling many wide screen resolutions and enhancing a little the overall experience, which will still be, unluckily, considerably slower than a installation on real hardware or on a VMware/VirtualBOX virtual machine. There is, however, an interesting development in QEMU which didn't exist in previous version: QEMU's relatively new ability to mount a directory as a virtual FAT drive. We're adding a 'share' subdirectory in our file extraction path where you can easily place whatever file you want to share with your Icaros environment, and have it shown by Icaros Desktop among the virtual drives. This shared portion of Windows filesystem will be read only: you can copy things from Windows to Icaros using it as a temporary directory (just place your files there), but you won't be able to follow the other way around. In the "corner screenshot" you can see how it works. In the backward window you can see explorer showing the content of this 'share' subdirectory, while on the front one you can see QEMU output, with the same directory shown as a lister in Dopus 5. 

It's been a while since our last site update, so maybe it's time to share some news about latest developments. The good news are that our beta testers and developers already got two RC releases and, just a few minutes before writing this post, an important update for the integrated M68K environment. Please enlarge the screenshot on the corner and you'll notice some interesting facts about its contents. First of all, there's DirectoryOpus 5 open on the screen, and this shouldn't be a surprise. What's new, however, is that's running on AROS M68K, as the "about" window on the right suggests. We'll not replicate the whole file management stuff we made for x86, but at least you'll find the same toolbars also when running the Amiga environment. And, since we were at it, we've updated all AROS system files to oct. 7th nightly build, and added DirectoryOpus 4 for Amiga as well. Our goal, in a nutshell, was making life a little easier under the 68K side of Icaros, even if our main focus will always be the x86 one. Another little great improvement we made (well, Deadwood made...) has been fixing that damn old issue with AROS x86 crashing, or reporting ugly errors, when trying to run 68K software without starting Janus-UAE before. This bug has gone, hopefully, forever, and now AROS will just gracefully do nothing when no emulator is up.

We are pleased to announce that Icaros Desktop will be part of the incoming edition of Game Over, underground festival of indie developers, which will take place in Milano, Italy, on saturday 20th and sunday 21st. Icaros Desktop 2.0 will be presented on saturday afternoon only (beware: on sunday we will not be there!), with precise timings still TBA. Our location will be in the Green Area, under the YATTA! banner (Many thanks to YATTA! for hosting us). Address of Game Over is: Spazio Autogestito Leoncavallo - via Watteau, 7 - Milano, and the whole event will start at 2.30 PM. Please go to event's website for all necessary informations.

Now that you've seen a couple of screenshots, why don't we shot a short footage of common everyday's operations on Icaros Desktop? In this video, we will learn how to add thumbnail icons to images, crop pictures and set them as background using Magellan, ZuneView and ViewBox. Sorry for voice-over mistakes, but I'm talking while performing tasks and without any previously-written script. This video has been shot using Fraps for Windows, while Icaros Desktop was running on a VMware Player virtual machine. Please select 720p HD for better results.