AmigaOS 4

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AmigaOS 4
[ temporary import ]
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{{lead too short|date=November 2010}}

|supported_platforms = PowerPC|kernel_type = Atypical microkernelWorkbench (AmigaOS)>Workbench|latest_release_version = 4.1 Final Edition Update 1Proprietary software>}}}}AmigaOS 4 (abbreviated as OS4 or AOS4) is a line of Amiga operating systems which runs on PowerPC microprocessors. It is mainly based on AmigaOS 3.1 source code developed by Commodore, and partially on version 3.9 developed by Haage & Partner.WEB,weblink "Amiga Inc vs Hyperion Trial is Over - Part 2 of 4" (AmigaOS 3.1 source code [7:15]),, 2009-10-27, 2010-09-20, "The Final Update" (for OS version 4.0) was released on 24 December 2006 (originally released in April 2004)WEB,weblink AmigaOS 4.0 Developer Pre-release goes gold, Administrator,, after five years of development by the Belgian company Hyperion Entertainment under license from Amiga, Inc. for AmigaOne registered usersweblink{{dead link|date=October 2016 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }}


File:AmigaOne X1000 02.jpg|thumb|240px|AmigaOne X1000AmigaOne X1000During the five years of development, purchasers of AmigaOne machines could download pre-release versions of AmigaOS 4.0 from Hyperion's repository as long as these were made available.On 20 December 2006, Amiga, Inc terminatedWEB,weblink Announcement at Amiga Inc. official site,, 2010-01-31,weblink" title="">weblink July 29, 2008, the contract with Hyperion Entertainment to produce or sell AmigaOS 4. Nevertheless, AmigaOS 4.0 was released commercially for Amigas with PowerUP accelerator cards in November 2007AmigaOS 4.0 for Classic Amiga gone Gold.{{dead link|date=October 2016 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} (having been available only to developers and beta-testers until then). The Italian computer company ACube Systems has announced Sam440epWEB,weblink ACube Systems Srl,, and Sam440ep-flex motherboards, which are AmigaOS 4 compatible. Also, a third party bootloader, known as the "Moana", was released by Acube on torrent sites; it allows installation of the Sam440ep version of OS4 to Mac Mini G4's. However this is both unofficial and unsupported as of today, and very incomplete, especially regarding drivers. During the judicial procedure (between Hyperion and Amiga, Inc),WEB,weblink Amiga Inc v. Hyperion VOF,, 2010-01-31,weblink" title="">weblink 4 January 2010, no, OS4 was still being developedHyperion Entertainment news.{{dead link|date=October 2016 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} and distributed.WEB,weblink AmigaOS 4 for distribution., ACube Systems, 2010-11-05, On 30 September 2009, Hyperion Entertainment and Amiga, Inc. reached a settlement agreement where Hyperion is granted an exclusive right to AmigaOS 3.1 and market AmigaOS 4 and subsequent versions of AmigaOS (including AmigaOS 5 without limitation).WEB,weblink Hyperion, Amiga, Inc. Reach Settlement, All Legal Issues Resolved., OSNews, 2009-10-17 archiveurl=weblink" title="">weblink deadurl= no, Hyperion has assured the Amiga community that it will continue the development and the distribution of AmigaOS 4.x (and beyond), as it has done since November 2001.WEB
, Hyperion Entertainment CVBA and Amiga Inc. reach settlement .
, Hyperion Entertainment
, 2009-10-17
, 2009-10-18
,weblink" title="">weblink
, 23 October 2009
, yes


{{See also|AmigaOS}}AmigaOS 4 can be divided into two parts: the Workbench and the Kickstart.


The Workbench is the GUI of OS4, a graphical interface file manager and application launcher for the Operating System. It also includes some general purpose tools and utility programs such as a Notepad for typing text, MultiView for viewing images and Amigaguide documents, Unarc for unpacking Archives, a PDF reader, a number of small preferences programs for changing settings of the GUI and OS, among other programs.


The Kickstart contains many of the core components of the OS. Prior to version 4 of AmigaOS the Kickstart had been released mostly on a ROM (hardware included with the computer). In OS4 the Kickstart is instead stored on the hard disk. It consists mainly of:

, Friedens explain ownership of ExecSG and licensing to Hyperion Entertainment
, 2006-11-06
, 2015-08-24
,weblink" title="">weblink
, 2016-03-04
, yes
, WEB,weblink DECLARATION of Hans-Jorg Frieden filed by Defendant Hyperion VOF,, 2007-05-21, WEB,weblink Second DECLARATION of Hans-Jorg Frieden filed by Defendant Hyperion VOF,, 2007-05-21,
  • Intuition, a windowing system API.
  • AmigaDOS and AmigaShell, the AmigaDOS is the disk operating system for the OS, whereas the Shell is the integrated Command Line Interface (CLI). The CLI and the GUI complement each other and share the same privileges.
  • Petunia, a Motorola 68020 processor emulator with dynamic recompilation, also called just-in-time compilation (JIT compilation), for PowerPC based Amigas. It gives OS4 backward compatibility to some extent, it will only run system friendly (following the OS3.x API without communicating directly with the classic Amigas' custom chipset) AmigaOS 3.x programs.WEB,weblink Project Petunia, Almos Rajnai, 2006-12-30
Amiga games and Amiga demos>demos, UAE can be used which can emulate different Amiga chipsets (OCS, ECS, AGA) as well.

Development process

There have been many different versions of the AmigaOS operating system (OS) during its three decades of history.

Versions 1.0 to 1.3

missing image!
- Amiga Workbench 1 0.png -
Amiga Workbench 1.0 (1985)
The first AmigaOS was introduced in 1985 and developed by Commodore International. It was nicknamed Workbench from the name of its Graphical user interface (GUI), due to an error of Commodore Marketing and Sales Department, which labeled the OS disk just with the name "Workbench Disk" and not with the correct name "AmigaOS Disk (Workbench)". The first versions of AmigaOS (1.0 and up to 1.3) are here indicated with the name of their original disks to preserve original custom.

Versions 2.0 to 3.1

(File:Wb 20.png|thumb|200px|Amiga Workbench 2.0 (1990))Workbench 2.0 improvements introduced a lot of major advances to the GUI of Amiga operating system. The blue and orange colour scheme was replaced with a grey and light blue with 3D aspect in the border of the windows. The Workbench was no longer tied to the 640×256 (PAL) or 640×200 (NTSC) display modes, and much of the system was improved with an eye to making future expansion easier. For the first time, a standardised "look and feel" was added. This was done by creating the Amiga Style Guide, and including libraries and software which assisted developers in making conformant software. Technologies included the GUI element creation library gadtools, the software installation scripting language Installer, and the AmigaGuide hypertext help system.

Versions 3.5 and 3.9

(File:AmigaOS 3 and clones.svg|right|thumb|200px|Evolution of AmigaOS 3.x)After the demise of Commodore, the later owners of the Amiga trademark granted a license to a German company called Haage & Partner to update the Amiga's operating system. Along with this update came a change in the way people referred to the Amiga's operating system. Rather than specifying "Kickstart" or "Workbench", the updates were most often referred to as simply "AmigaOS".Whereas all previous OS releases ran on vanilla Amiga 500 with 68000 and 512 kB RAM, release 3.5 onwards required a 68020 or better and at least 4 MB fast ram.

Versions 4.0 and 4.1

In 2001 Amiga Inc. signed a contract with Hyperion Entertainment to develop the PowerPC native AmigaOS 4 from their previous AmigaOS 3.1 release.WEB,weblink Amiga/Hyperion contract, 2010-10-10, 2010-09-03, Unlike the previous versions which were based on the Motorola 68k central processor, OS4 runs only on PowerPC computer systems. Amiga, Inc.'s (current Amiga trademark owners) distribution policies for AmigaOS 4.0 and any later versions required that OS4 must be bundled with all new third-party hardware "Amigas", with the sole exception of Amigas with Phase5 PowerPC accelerator boards, for which OS4 is sold separately. This requirement was overturned in the agreement reached between Amiga, Inc. and Hyperion in the settlement of a lawsuit over the ownership of AmigaOS 4.In 2014 Hyperion introduced AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition incorporating all previous downloadable updates and some new features like unified graphics library with RTG support and support for more than 2 GB RAM.WEB,weblink News,,

Versions 4.2

In May 2012 Hyperion announced that they were working on AmigaOS 4.2. It would introduce hardware accelerated 3D support, multi-core support, a vastly improved file system API and many other features.WEB,weblink publisher=Computerworld accessdate=2012-06-02,

AmigaOS 4 prominent features

{{Original research|section|date=November 2010|discuss=Talk:AmigaOS_4#Fast ON and OFF}}{{Unreliable sources|section|date=November 2010}}Prominent features compared to other operating systems or previous versions of AmigaOS:WEB,weblink YouTube video "Why use Amiga in 2009? - Long cut",, 2009-03-23, 2010-01-31,


(File:AmiagOS 4 screen drag.png|right|thumb|Workbench screen in front, web browser screen behind)
  • Screens: You can have as many different screens as you like for any purpose, each with its own application on it; or you can open a public screen which several applications can share. Switching between screens can be done in an instant, and you can come back to an application and find it exactly how you left it. It is even possible to drag the current screen down to reveal another screen behind it, (even if they have different display resolutions) so that you can view two screens simultaneously, or even drag and drop files and other content from one screen to another.WEB,weblink YouTube video Amiga OS4 Intuition,, 2007-01-19, 2010-01-31,
  • Menuing: The menu bar appears at the top of the screen when the right mouse button is pressed down and disappears when it is not needed, thus reducing screen clutter and giving more room to work.

File handling

  • Descriptive file structure: Operating system files are divided up into clearly labelled drawers (folders). For example, all libraries are stored in "Libs:" standard virtual device and absolute path finder for "Libs" directory, Fonts are all in "Fonts:" absolute locator, the files for language localization are all stored in "Locale:" and so on.
  • RAM disk: A virtual hard drive, it acts like any other disk, and stores files and data in memory rather than on your actual hard drive. The RAM disk is dynamically resizable and takes up only as much of your memory as it needs to. It can be used as a temporary store for your own purposes or as a place for software installers to put temporary files, and is cleared out at reboot so you won't be cluttering up your computer with thousands of unnecessary files that bog down your system. Additionally there is an optional RAD disk, a recoverable version of the RAM disk, which preserves contents after a reboot.Feature Spotlight: The RAM Disk. {{dead link|date=October 2017|bot=medic}}{{cbignore|bot=medic}}
  • Datatypes: Recognises and handles file types: displaying a picture, playing a music file, decoding a video file, rendering a web page etc. Any application can access Datatypes transparently, and thus have the ability to use any file that you have a Datatype for.
  • Icon handling: A file can have a default icon representing the type of file or a custom icon specific to the individual file. Additionally icons can store extra commands and metadata about the associated file â€” which program to open it in, for example.
  • Assigning devices: Instead of assigning drives (devices) a letter or fixed label, each drive can be given a name. Drives can be given more than one name so the system always knows where things are, if it is the system boot drive it is also known as "Sys:". Areas of hard drive can be assigned a label as if they were a virtual disk. For example, it is possible to mount MP3 players as "MP3:" and external networked resources as logical devices.


(File:AmigaOS 4.1 Update 1 Live CD.png|thumb|right|Booted from AmigaOS 4.1 Update 1 Live CD)
  • Live CD: The OS4 installation CD can be used as a Live CD.
  • Dockies: It is a fully configurable docking bar for icons, allowing quick access to most used applications. These dock bar icons, "Dockies", are fully dynamic, which means they can show real-time content and act as useful micro tools. A Docky might act as a magnifying glass, display the time, or show you the latest weather forecast or stock market information direct from the Internet.
  • Scripting: Implemented scripting as a fundamental feature. Using the AREXX scripting language and Python it is possible to automate, integrate and remote control almost every application and function of the computer. Function sets and tools from several applications can be brought together into a single, integrated interface to allow the most complex jobs to be performed with the utmost simplicity.
(File:Amiga-grim1.png|thumb|right|A visit from the Grim Reaper)
  • The Grim Reaper: The "Guru Meditation" is replaced by "The Grim Reaper", a crash handling system that attempts to catch crashes and attempts to stop them from getting out of control. It can provide complete information about the crash and optionally suspend the offending task.
  • AmiUpdate: Is an updating system designed purely for the latest incarnation of the AmigaOS 4.WEB,weblink AmigaOS 4 updating system,, 2010-01-31, It is able to update OS files and also all Amiga programs which are registered to use the same update program that is standard for Amiga. Updating AmigaOS requires only few libraries to be put in standard OS location "Libs:", "Fonts:" etc. This leaves Amiga users with a minimal knowledge of the system almost free to perform by hand the update of the system files.

Compatible hardware

{{See also|Amiga models and variants}}


Released for Amigas equipped with third party PPC add-on boards:


Released for AmigaOne motherboards:
  • AmigaOne-SE (A1-SE)
  • AmigaOne-XE (A1-XE)
  • Micro-AmigaOne (Micro-A1)
  • AmigaOne X1000 (A1X1K; A1-X1000)
  • AmigaOne 500 (A1-500), an AmigaOne computer based upon the Sam460ex board introduced by Acube Systems.WEB,weblink ACube Systems announcement,, 2011-10-11,
  • AmigaOne X5000 (A1X5K; A1-X5000)


Released for Pegasos systems:
  • Pegasos II (Peg2)WEB,weblink AmigaOS 4.1 for Pegasos II,, 2010-01-31,


Released for Sam440 systems: archiveurl=weblink" title="">weblink deadurl= no,


{| class="wikitable"|+ AmigaOS 4 Version Information!! Version! Release Date! Introduced Features4.0Developer Pre-releaseAmigaOS 4.0 Developer Pre-release goes gold.{{dead link>date=October 2016 fix-attempted=yes }}April 2004 First public release| 4.0First AmigaOS 4.0 Pre-Release update available.{{dead link>date=October 2016 fix-attempted=yes }}| 10 October 2004| AltiVec support, PowerPC-native Picasso96 and MUI, USB support for input devices| 4.0 PUBLISHER=HYPERION-ENTERTAINMENT.BIZ ACCESSDATE=2010-01-31, | 27 December 2004| Mass Storage Support for USB| 4.0PUBLISHER=HYPERION-ENTERTAINMENT.BIZ ACCESSDATE=2010-01-31, | 14 June 2005| PowerPC native Warp3D drivers for Voodoo 3 (Avenger), Voodoo 4/5 (Napalm) and the Radeon 7x00 series of graphics cards; WarpOS support| 4.0PUBLISHER=HYPERION-ENTERTAINMENT.BIZ ACCESSDATE=2010-01-31, | 8 February 2006| Petunia just-in-time 68k emulator; Warp3D with support for Voodoo 3/4/5 and ATI Radeon models 7000, 7200, 7500, 9000, 9200 and 9250; Intuition supports screen dragging| 4.0| The Final Update| 24 December 2006| Virtualized memory and faster memory allocation system (Slab allocator); new icon theme (Mason icons)| 4.0PUBLISHER=HYPERION-ENTERTAINMENT.BIZ ACCESSDATE=2010-01-31, | 18 July 2007Shared objects; Python (programming language)>Python 2.5.1; merge of Tools and Utilities drawers| 4.0LANGUAGE=IT DATE=2009-12-22, 2010-01-31, | November 2007| July 2007 Update baseline| 4.0PUBLISHER=HYPERION-ENTERTAINMENT.BIZ ACCESSDATE=2010-01-31, | 23 February 2008| Addressed some issues and compatibility problems| 4.1| AmigaOS 4.1| 17 September 2008paging>Memory paging; JXFS filesystem; Hardware compositing engine; Cairo (graphics) device-independent 2D rendering libraryHyperion Entertainment announces AmigaOS 4.1.{{dead link>date=October 2016 fix-attempted=yes }}| 4.1PUBLISHER=HYPERION-ENTERTAINMENT.BIZ ACCESSDATE=2010-01-31, | 21 June 2009| Addressed some issues (Warp 3D drivers, IDE drivers, JXFS)| 4.1PUBLISHER=HYPERION-ENTERTAINMENT.BIZ ACCESSDATE=2010-01-31, | 14 January 2010drop shadows); New notification system Ringhio; Display Data Channel>DDC support; AppDir: handler and URLopen; new Startup preferences; new icon set; MiniGL V2.2| 4.1| Update 2WEB
, Update 2 of AmigaOS 4.1 available
, 2010-04-30
, 2010-05-01
, yes
,weblink" title="">weblink
, 2011-07-06
, | 30 April 2010| Updated Python; Cairo 1.8.10 (partial hardware acceleration); AmiDock supports icon scaling| 4.1AUTHOR=STEVEN SOLIE,, | 29 August 2011| USB 2.0 (EHCI) support; Updated MUI (for easier porting of MUI 4 applications)| 4.1| Update 4| 22 December 2011| Emulation drawer with AmigaOS 3.x ROMs and Workbench files; RunInUAE contribution| 4.1| Update 5| 28 January 2012, 16 August 2012AmigaOne X1000,HTTP://WWW.AMIGANS.NET/MODULES/NEWS/ARTICLE.PHP?STORYID=1542, AmigaOne X1000 Update 5 CD goes gold! date=2012-01-29 date=2012-08-16, 2012-08-18, Improved Warp3D and IDE drivers; optimized DMA copy support for Sam440ep and Sam460ex systems; improved Classic compatibility (support for Catweasel)| 4.1date=2012-11-30, 2012-12-01, | 30 November 2012| Auto-update of system components through AmiUpdate| 4.1| Update 7|| Internal update, not released for end users, features unknown| 4.1date=2014-12-18, 2014-12-19, | 18 December 2014WORK=HYPERION-ENTERTAINMENT.BIZ, new unified graphics library with RTG support; improved console; new Intuition and Workbench features; updated Python port; improved DOS; updated context menus; new menus system with unlimited menus and sub menus; thumbnail previews of photos, images in menus; stand alone product, does not require previous releases and does not work as an upgrade over 4.1 Update 6NEWS,weblink AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition available before the end of 2014 date=2014-10-26, 2014-12-19, | 4.1PUBLISHER=HYPERION-ENTERTAINMENT.COM ACCESSDATE=2017-01-01, | 31 December 2016PUBLISHER=AMIGAWORLD.NETDATE=2016-12-31, 2017-01-01,


For the AmigaOS 4.2, Hyperion Entertainment planned the following updates:
  • Multiple core support (SMP)
  • New ExecSG scheduler
    • Selectable policy for scheduling (may include per task)
    • Scheduling of task groups with internal scheduling of tasks within that group
    • Scheduling of tasks across multiple CPU cores (may include core affinity)
    • Support for real-time scheduling
  • Graphics and Gallium3D
    • Enables access to full OpenGL implementations like Mesa
    • Compositing may be done via Gallium3D
    • Opens the door to replacing the entire graphics subsystem
    • multi-header support

See also




External links

{{AmigaOS 4}}{{AmigaOS}}

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