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.

One of the most welcome features of Icaros 1.4.5 has been AROS M68K integration in AmiBridge, which made running old applications possible even without original AmigaOS or KickStart. Yes, there are still some little shortcomings, but they will be hopefully fixed soon. Careful people, however, may have noticed that the AROS side of AmiBridge is somehow better than the AmigaOS one: scripts are cleaner, better written, and definitely clever than the ones handling the integration of AmigaOS, and may have wondered why. The question is quite simple: they are newer, and I learned many things since the days of the first release of AmiBridge. So I decided to handle AmigaOS scripts to bring them to the same level of AROS ones. So far, I got some interesting results:

1) During set-up, when setting the AmigaOS resolution, user is not required anymore to unlock the backdrop, nor to resize workbench window. He just needs to set the resolution, save and close Janus. I am quite confident that Janus can be automatically closed using some 68k command from the inside. Once I'll figure it out, user won't have to close Janus manually anymore.

2) The silly habit of starting up Workbench and then hiding its window has gone. Not running the Workbench at all is a much clever solution. On the AROS M68K side, I had put a icaros-sequence.m68k file in S which handles some events like, for instance, running screenmode or a shell when a particular environment variable is set. I reproduced the same on the AmigaOS side.

3) Now also AmigaOS can take advantage of AmiBridge's global environment variables. Did you know them? They are placed in env(arc):Icaros/68K on the x86 AROS side. What do they do? Look in the AROS M68K drawer for a very, nicely interesting readme file! ;-)

4) AmigaOS applications can now access to MyWorkspace drawer and sub-drawers. Same ASSIGNs are valid.

Something that can't be reproduced, is sharing the same preferences for locale, input, icontrol, zune and so on, as it happens on the AROS side. Which means, unluckily, that you will have to set them up manually on the AmigaOS side. In a nutshell, if you use the italian keyboard on a system localized to spanish, you will have to choose the italian keyboard and the spanish locale both in AROS x86 and AmigaOS 68k. With AROS M68K, these things are now in sync. This is due to the different format of AROS and AmigaOS setting files. But I guess we can easily live with it...