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Oct 31, 2014

Trick or treat? Icaros Desktop 2.0 is here!

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 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.

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