Thursday, September 23, 2010

Icaros Desktop VE is dead, long live Icaros Desktop 1.2.4

If you noticed, the Icaros Desktop summary on the top left corner of this site has slightly changed. Some words have been cut off, and these words are "running on real hardware or in a virtual machine". The motivations are simple: first of all, if you exclude real hardware and virtual machines, there aren't so many places left where you could expect Icaros Desktop to run; then, there was a Icaros version called "VE" which, from now on, doesn't exist anymore. It has been deleted from the download page and it won't be released and updated anymore. Why? I will tell the truth: many virtualization technologies emerged in the last three years, and supporting them all is practically impossible. There is a standard virtualization format that should work on all of them, but the recent experience I tried with Icaros Desktop VE 1.2.0 proved it not being as mature as it should be. If I make a virtual machine good for VirtualBox, I receive complaints from VMware users. If I make a virtual machine good for VMware (I did it many and many times... and oldest fans of Icaros should remember this distribution had born long ago as VmwAROS, to run on VMware machines), well, I get complaints from both VirtualBox/Parallels/VirtualPC users and - forgive my roughness - from "this program is not free / it is commercial so I won't use it even if you scare me with a gun" people. Icaros Desktop is mature enough to run hosted on any virtualization technology out there, and can easily be installed on them as like as on real hardware. Even better: installing Icaros on VMware or VirtualBox is easier than on a real computer, so a dedicated VE version is not needed anymore.

But, for a version of Icaros Desktop that goes away, there is a new update already coming! Version 1.2.4 will include many enhancements that notebooks/netbooks and nettops users will love (default sticky menus and ION 2D/3D graphics support), new applications and many, many program updates! See you soon on this website!