Tuesday, September 19, 2017

New AROS videos from Stephen Jones

by on Tuesday, September 19, 2017
[updated] Our old and dear friend Stephen Jones (you'll surely remember him for his iMica computer systems) has made two three amazing videos about setting up an AROS computer from scrap parts. They are very interesting, since include some tips and hints you should take into account, if you'd like to build the perfect Icaros-computer.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Monday, June 26, 2017

Icaros Desktop 2.2.1 is ready!

by on Monday, June 26, 2017
First update to Icaros Desktop is now available for download. This is a bugfix-only release, so no new features or programs are added to the distribution. People who haven't downloaded and installed Icaros Destkop 2.2 should choose this one instead, while users of Icaros Desktop 2.2 should update their installation using LiveUpdater.

Icaros 2.2.1 fixes some italian translations as well. Not much, but Wanderer's menus are a starting point...


- removed duplicated FinalWriter demo from Utilities
- removed duplicated MESA demos from Extras/Demos
- removed other duplicated files here and there
- replaced make with AROS one, now it should find makefiles as expected
- Aminet's version of make moved to Storage
- replaced ata.device with better working one
- replaced most AROS system files with newer components
- added alternative ATA device to advanced boot options
- removed faulty rtl8168 network device
- updated AROS 68K ROMs for playing games and demos
- started updating italian catalogs, starting with Wanderer menus


1. prior to anything, download Icaros 2.2 patch 01 to fix a mistake in Icaros-Sequence. Instructions are provided here.

2. download the update pack from our download page and save it wherever you like on your hard drive. Don't use RAM disk since LiveUpdater requires a reboot.

3. run LiveUpdater (from System drive -> tools -> LUPD) and reboot

4. choose the File option, locate the update pack on your local drive and accept to proceed. Wait for unpacking and updating to finish

5. enjoy!

icaros-sequence bug blocking LiveUpdater

by on Monday, June 26, 2017
Today I found a mistake in icaros-sequence, preventing LiveUpdater to work as intended. Please download this patch to fix the issue (instructions about installation will follow). The bug is in this section:

01. ; RunMe if proper settings are made 
02. if exists sys:dvdmode
03.   execute s:dvd-startup
04. endif 

05. IF ${Icaros/1sttime} EQ "True"
06.  execute S:1sttime-setup
07. EndIf 

08. IF ${Icaros/2ndtime} EQ "True"
09.  execute S:2ndtime-setup
10.  echo "false" >envarc:Icaros/2ndtime
11. EndIf

12. ; create MyWorkspace
13. execute S:myworkspace-startup

these lines enable DVD mode when Icaros Desktop is running from the read-only optical media, launch a couple of scripts (if they exist) that must be executed before the GUI and enable the ASSIGNs for MyWorkspace and subfolders. So where is the mistake, exactly? If you notice the sequence, MyWorkspace's script is the last one being executed but... what happens if either 1sttime or 2ndtime setup scripts need to address MyWorkspace's assigns? Run LiveUpdater on Icaros Desktop 2.2 and discover yourself! Unfortunately, I introduced this bug while working on HostBridge. If you ever ran it once, you'd know that HostBridge will, first of all, extract all files from installation archives and complete Icaros setup. It will also create MyWorkspace folders so, in the end, when bringing back control to Icaros-Sequence, myworkspace-startup script will find the right directories and proceed normally with ASSIGNing them. If I just moved back lines 12-13 between lines 04 and 05, I'd have gotten ugly ASSIGN errors when installing Icaros in hosted mode, forcing user to reboot Icaros in order to use it correctly. Baaaad solution.

So I had to modify also Windows and Linux hosted installation scripts, to make them create MyWorkspace folders and subdirectories. In the end, I could let both LiveUpdater and HostBridge work as expected, although a false-alarm error message about a directory that can't be created will appear anyway (until I'll fix this as well, obviously).


1. download the file here.
2. extract files in a temporary directory (RAM drive will fit as well)
3. enter the directory and double click on the runpatch script

It will basically replace your current icaros sequence with the fixed one from Icaros 2.2.1. Once done this, please also upgrade Icaros Desktop to v2.2.1. Did I mention the update is now available for download? ;-)

(no, it will the topic of the next post...)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Networking with Icaros hosted on OpenSUSE Linux

by on Saturday, June 03, 2017
Icaros Desktop should be usable in hosted mode under any Linux distribution, however startup and configuration scripts were written with Debian-based distros in mind (in practice: Icaros should work at its best with Ubuntu, Mint and derivatives). Unfortunately, we simply haven't the power, the time and the resources to support other Linux 'implementations', but luckily we have a very smart community of proactive users helping us even without asking them! So, if you have issues configuring the network on your hosted installation of Icaros Desktop running on OpenSUSE, please read and follow these instructions from AROS-EXEC's user Superchicken:

"After 2 months of tinkering, I finally figured out how to make networking work in Linux Hosted Icaros on OpenSuse Linux.

After installing, Icaros can ping the host controller, but cannot access or ping the outside network and no internet access.

The problem is that SuSEfirewall2 is not configured properly and blocks IPs that are not configured. Turning the firewall off WILL NOT work as the virtual networking adapter won't work when the firewall is off in OpenSuse.

You need to edit the SuSEfirewall2 config file at /etc/sysconfig/SuSEfirewall2 and find the line with "FW_FORWARD_MASQ" and change it to reflect what adapter is forwarded to what IP. Ex:


The first IP will be your host adapter IP address (use your host's IP here). The second IP being the Icaros GATEWAY IP, not the adapter IP inside Icaros. Then tcp and port 80.

After saving the file, you need to restart the firewall using
"sudo systemctl restart SuSEfirewall2". After that you will be able to access the internet with Icaros. Since the adapter is not started at boot, you will need to restart the firewall after the adapter is started. To do that, I just edited the "tap_on" script to include "sudo systemctl restart SuSEfirewall2" AFTER the adapter is brought up.
After this, you are ready to surf the internet in Icaros hosted by OpenSuse."

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Icaros Desktop 2.2 has been released

by on Thursday, June 01, 2017
The brand new main release of Icaros Desktop is now available for download, and it brings many little and bigger enhancements over the last Xmas Preview, like a complete new look, which involves both Magellan toolbars and decoration theme, and a completely new feature called HostBridge, which allows people running Icaros Desktop in a hosted environment to launch host applications along with (or instead of) AROS ones. This applies, obviously, only on Windows and Linux hosted Icaros (please read this page to understand the difference), not on native installations - being them on real hardware or virtual machines. In a nutshell, if you're running Icaros Desktop hosted on Windows or Linux, you can now start your common programs (like MS Office, Photoshop, GIMP, Inkscape and others) from AROS as well, and even use them to open your AROS documents. That's not, obviously, the only news here. As we said, we've completely overhauled Magellan's lister toolbar, adding some labeling and making - we hope - everything more intuitive to use. We have also changed placement to some tools, so maybe you'll have to change your habits a little bit, but we're really sure in the end you'll find the new GUI much better than it was before. For this release, we've opted for a new, white/grey/cyan flat theme, which almost reprises the original Workbench 2.X color scheme and mixes it with the one from AROS nightly builds (which we used for Xmas Preview 6 months ago), but uses colors in a different and more modern way. We sincerely hope you'll like it.

ZunePaint is getting better and better...

Slarti and other applications running on Icaros 2.2

- Updated AROS system files to feb 20th nightly build, plus some further updates here and there
 + introduced more than 16 Months of changes from AROS developers
- Added Windows hosted environment option
 + installation script for Windows 2000/XP/7/8.x/10
 + Documents directory automatically mounted on AROS
HostBridge on Linux
- Added HostBridge for Icaros in hosted mode
 + users can access Windows and Linux programs
 + use Windows or Linux apps to open AROS files from GUI and AROS shell
 + transparent path conversion from AROS to native format
 + use Windows or Linux apps as default tools
 + add whatever Linux or Windows application you like
 + you may use Icaros Desktop as GUI to drive your host OS
- Updated Windows hosted installation script
 + easy access to Windows volumes and Linux filesystem
 + added warning about current status of Windows port
- New desktop theme with modern "flat-white" decoration
- Updated user interface using Magellan
 + no more confusing toolbar on the top right corner
 + new lister toolbar with labels for common file operations
- Added MuiMapparium and updated Mapparium
- Added ZunePaint, a handy brilliant AROS image editor
- Added minipicolisp to development languages
All files were open by AROS
- Updated ZuneView to latest version
- Updated ZuneFig to latest version
- Updated (again) user manual to reflect latest changes
- Added icoutils, wput, gsar and other utilities in C
- Updated MUIRoyale to version 1.6
- Updated Zune MCC classes to latest release
- Updated HFinder to latest release
- Updated SnapIT to latest release
- Added ogg encoder-decoder to utilities
 + integrated HFinder in Magellan to search for files
- Fixed: Zune prefs now shows class icons on the left
- Fixed: OWB now displays images correctly
- Fixed: AROS 68K in coherency mode now works again
- Added Linux hosted environment option
When OWB is not enough...
 + ubuntu/mint-based distros compatible installation script
 + network and audio setup automatically performed on the AROS side
 + user Home directory automatically mounted on AROS
 + implementing Icaros-daemon for Linux (still work in progress)
- Updated SFSundelete to a newer version
- Updated SYSmon to a newer version
- Updated ZuneView to latest release
- Updated dgen and MAME to latest releases
- Added protracker to multimedia tools
- Added complete AISS package to distribution
 + Installation performed only under user request, within Icaros installation
- Changed directory structure in Extras
- Moved FryingPan and Cinnamon Writer back to Extras
 + this makes them available on Icaros Live! edition only
- Moved Protrekkr and LunaPaint to Utilities
 + this makes them available on Icaros Light edition too!
- Cleaned some parts of S:icaros-sequence startup script
- Updated user manual to version 2.2
- Fixed some little bugs in Icaros installation procedure

ZuneView allows applying filters to images, while vieweing them.

MuiMapparium is a new Zune-compatible version of Mapparium

Icaros Desktop 2.2 is now available for download in three flavors:
  • The complete Live! edition
  • The smaller Light "system core" edition
  • The update pack for users of Icaros 2.2 Xmas Preview
Please notice the update pack won't work on Icaros Desktop 2.1.x installations. Users of Icaros 2.1 should backup their files and perform a new installation. Updating Icaros 2.1.x to 2.2 is not supported and manually updating might bring to unpredictable results. 
All packages are now available from our Download page in the more traditional .zip format. Although 7zip produced smaller packages, too much people complained they had issues handling its archive format. Zip should be easy for everyone.


  1. Icaros Desktop Live! does not include QEMU-based virtual machine anymore. You can download it separately from our Download page (see other resources section)
  2. Please donate! This project lives thanks to your help, being it some bucks or, why not, collaboration on writing software for AROS! 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

First version of HostBridge is done

by on Wednesday, May 31, 2017
I'd like to tell you a story. There are no enchanted woods or castles, nor knights and dragons, but a very simple and clear request from many people on AROS-EXEC: "would you make a hosted version of Icaros Destkop?".

A hosted Icaros. Why not? After all, drivers development for native AROS is quite slow and many developers would find a hosted Icaros environment extremely comfortable to test their applications, so I started adding Linux, and also Windows hosted options to the distribution. But, you know, having Icaros running all alone in a window didn't satisfy me. I made Icaros to show that AROS is usable every day, but Windows users have Photoshop and millions of other image editors: why should they use LunaPaint or ZunePaint? Linux users have Inkscape and LibreOffice, why should they use ZuneFig, Cinnamon Writer or Ignition? Both have Firefox and Chrome... why should they browse the web with OWB? Let's get real: being AROS or Amiga fanatics wouldn't just be enough to use our programs instead of the "competitors" when the others are easier to use, do more or just work better in many cases.

"Never give up, Paolo!"

I thought a lot about that, and I understood that the question was wrong. What Icaros Desktop can do inside of Linux or Windows does not matter; on the contrary, what Linux and Windows may do outside of Icaros Desktop does! If I found a way to use host applications along with native ones - I thought - people would have been able to speed up their work and get the best of both worlds. The answer to this question is now part of Icaros Desktop 2.2 and it's called HostBridge! (Yes, in the end I chose that name, even if I didn't initially like it).

HostBridge allows to "integrate" host applications into Icaros Desktop, allowing people to invoke them straight from the AROS shell, from Wanderer, Magellan, AmiStart or any other AROS file manager or launcher dock. In the top left corner of this post I'm showing a couple of notes I wrote on paper before actually starting to code. There were many compelling missions that HostBridge had to achieve, but the result is really encouraging (keep in mind this is just the first release).

First of all, it must run on any Linux distribution and Windows. I initially asked Pascal Papara if he would let me use AEROS' lx command, but he sincerely answered to me that lx requires so many changes to the host system, that I would have ended up into making a complete Linux distro, exactly like he did. That's not the goal I had in mind: hosted Icaros must try to adapt to users' operating systems, not force users to change their habits. Moreover, lx couldn't run with hosted Windows, so I needed a completely different approach. I ended up making a very simple "icaros daemon" which runs on the host system, looking for a command to execute, and run it when AROS passes it. Plain, easy and, best of all, good for any host system.

Then, it must feel natural to use from the AROS side: when you tell a Linux or Windows program to open a file, it expects that your file is stored in a reachable folder of your host system. If you simply tell Photoshop to open an image stored in SYS:Temp/MyDiary, Windows would have to complain that the image path, that's so easy to understand for AROS, is completely meaningless to him. So paths must be converted, but user should not be bugged about this. Having the AROS user entering a command like "hbridge Photoshop.exe C:\IcarosDesktop\Temp\MyDiary\myphoto.png" was not an option to me. HostBridge converts 'alien' paths for you.

"hbscript home:make-live.sh"
Moreover, it must be cosy. The "command program" approach didn't satisfy me: it's good to run a program alone or a script just once. Why not simply entering the program name to make things easier? "Photoshop myphoto.png" should be enough if you are already in the same directory of your image. So yes, HostBridge remembers the names of your applications and uses them like shell commands, allowing you to enter also a file name to open. This happens because HostBridge, for every integrated application, creates a script for you which accepts parameters, and calls it with the same name of your Windows or Linux executable (without that ugly .exe extension!). You can obviously modify the name of this script as you like, once it has been created.

"Photoshop Pictures:deadddreamer_giftgas.jpg"
 There is an obvious limitation, though: if your file is stored on the RAM drive, or in a Janus-UAE hard drive, your host system has no way to reach it. But this unfortunate condition is handled as well, so HostBridge will warn you when it's not applicable. It also recognizes Internet paths starting with http: and ftp: once you have integrated Firefox, when you'll cast a command like firefox http://www.youtube.com it won't look for www.something files into the fictional volume 'http:'. But it will open that site with Firefox as expected.

"Firefox http://www.icarosdesktop.org"

HostBridge also allows to add an icon to your integrated apps. This is mandatory to let you run them from Wanderer, Magellan etc. But there is also a way to set a host application as default tool for a single file or for a whole kind of files. This can be done with Migario's wbXcli command and it will be well explained in Icaros Manual.