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.

Icaros Desktop 2.1.1

The best AROS experience you've ever had. Grab it while it's hot!

Enhanced integration of 68K applications

Would you believe they are old Amiga 68K applications running on a common PC? Well, they are! Discover the new AmiBridge integration mode which does not need original Amiga ROMs and OS anymore!

Play Hurrican and other classics

Linux format said "Icaros Desktop is the best OS to frag productivity". Why? Because you can play thousands of old classics and dozens of great remakes. And every game Amiga had.

Image editing with Icaros Desktop 2.0

This video will show you how images can be shown, rotated, edited and cropped using Icaros Desktop's powerful tools.

Some times I like to make silly experiments, for the pure curiosity about their possible results. One of the questions I always wanted to give an answer was: "how fast would Icaros be, if it only could run straight on RAM, without hard drives or SSD involved?". The answer is, of course, in the middle between "amazingly" and "blazingly" fast, and I could prove that quite easily. I've been given, in fact, a brand new Core i5-based notebook with 16 GB of RAM, so I installed onto it SoftPerfect RAM Disk, a software which allows creating on Windows one or more RAM drives. I copied one of my Icaros virtual machine on a newly-created volatile volume and I started it. You can see how it behaves in the following video.

The experiment, for now, is obviously self-contained. But AROS has a built-in RAM drive which has always been used to store environment settings and variables, just think how fast might become a 64-bit version, if a larger RAM partition could be created: most if not all files from the core system might run straight from the hard drive (with a fairly fast copy operation at startup, which would happen almost instantly with a SSD unit), finally making all those GBs of RAM effectively useful for something with an Amiga-like OS.

There's no doubt about this: Norbert Kett is definitely one of our latest heroes. After many weeks of development and internal testing, he just released his brand new filesystem handler for DropBox, and he released it for all Amiga flavours, including x86 AROS. We obviously downloaded it from Aminet immediately, and started extending the "GDrive" preference program to support it. If you wonder why we didn't wait for this and release it straight into Icaros 2.1.1, the answer is always the same: because we have to test it first. For now, enjoy this screenshot:

Icaros flies on the cloud

Nearly a month after Icaros 2.1 release, it's already time for an update. Icaros Desktop 2.1.1 does not introduce new features, but updates OWB 1.25 to its final version and fixes a couple of nasty bugs: VICE does not crash anymore on exit, and HDToolBox will now show text on the right panel again. Newer OWB improves stability and compatibility over the beta version published with Icaros 2.1, and most of all now allows to update files in Google Drive accounts, as explained here. The other addition is obviously the improved LiveUpdater released yesterday, which can now be used to install next Icaros update packs.

- Updated OWB to final release 1.25
- Updated VICE ermulators to version 2.4 (n/a on Light version)
  + Fixed crashing on exit
- Fixed HDToolBox right panel text
- Updated LiveUpdater
  + fixed bug with user-startup being moved to RAM: without motivation
  + Updates are now performed at startup, when no program is running

Icaros Desktop 2.1.1 comes in the usual flavours: Icaros Desktop Live!, tailored for DVD-ROM media and provided with an already configured QEMU virtual machine for Windows; Icaros Desktop Light, the "core system" which can easily fit on a CD-ROM and a small pendrive; and a Update Pack for current Icaros 2.1 users.


Icaros Desktop 2.1, although not mandatorily, should be upgraded to version 2.1.1 using the improved LiveUpdater released yesterday. This should make sure that some little modification to startup files will be handled correctly when upgrading to the latest release.

Once LiveUpdater has been updated, please complete the following steps:
1. download IcarosUpdate210-211.zip from our download page
2. run LiveUpdater on your current installation, set the job for next reboot or reboot immediately
3. choose File option and locate the IcarosUpdate210-201.zip file
4. wait for the updating job to finish
5. proceed with reboot
6. enjoy Icaros Desktop 2.1.1!

Update Pack for Icaros 2.1.1 will not work on Icaros 2.0.3. Icaros Desktop 2.0.x users should update their systems to Icaros 2.1 before upgrading to v2.1.1.

HDToolBox is correctly running again

This is a list of modifications introduced by Krzysztof Smiechowicz from v1.23:

- Updated to WebKit r187682 (July 2015).
- Ported Odyssey directly on top of WebKit repository.
- Enable HTML5 video feature.
- Bookmarks management panel has been made functional (needs updated MUI components).
- Cookies management panel has been made functional (needs updated MUI components).
- Fixed "second download crash".
- Updated to ffmpeg 2.6.2.
- Fixed problem with Odyssey not remembering window width after closing.
- Fixed problem with pressing enter not being handled in search window.
- Added a "graceful exit" option on crash of Odyssey allowing to close the application and free memory.
- It is possible to disable JavaScript Just-in-Time compiler using NO_JSC_JIT tooltype.
- WebKit codes revision is now presented in AboutBox.
- Browser spoofing agents are updated for Firefox and Chrome.
- Added option to disable/enable MP4 support (enabled by default).
- Fixed crash when closing bookmarks panel (needs updated MUI components).
- Double-clicking on bookmarks opens it in current tab.
- Fixed list-related code that was trashing memory.
- Lists (download, mime settings, history) now have a scroll bar (needs updated MUI components).
- Fixed "division by zero" error in Quick Links handling
- Synchronized display of checkboxes and radioboxes
- Updated Russian and Italian catalog
- Provided HTML documentation
- Messages console is enabled
- Fixed continuous allocations of memory when browsing
- Made memory freeing more aggressive
- Enabled disk cache by default
- Fixed setting proxy users/password
- Fixed cookie handling on numerous sites

It's time to add LiveUpdater a very old requested feature which, for a reason or another, I always forwarded to better days: update on reboot. What happens, currently, when you perform a system update with LUPD? Basically, every file gets updated no matter if it is in use or not. Just think about big programs like OWB, Magellan, or Janus-UAE: they might be updated when you're using them, and even if AROS is clever enough to handle this situation (don't ask me exactly how: it simply worked), it's not a safe way to do things. So, I finally decided to poke into LiveUpdater and change its script a little bit. With the new version, the LiveUpdater script has been changed to let Icaros run the (real) tool again at startup. The new version is also able to run a preparation script, before actually replacing files, if an update pack comes with it. So, situations like "if you wish to correctly update this program you need to rename this, delete that, move that directory before updating" should now be gone forever. In order to update your LiveUpdater, all you need is:

1. be a Icaros Desktop 2.1 user (but it may work on Icaros 2.0.3 as well: try this at your risk, it's not officially supported)

2. download new LiveUpdater here and save LUPD211.zip files somewhere

3. run your current LiveUpdater and choose the "File" option

4. locate LUPD211.zip

5. ...and wait for LiveUpdater updating itself.

Why is it called "LiveUpdater 211"? Because it may be needed to upload Icaros Desktop 2.1 to the incoming version 2.1.1 (which will bring final OWB 1.25 and correctly-exiting VICE 2.4).

You have downloaded Icaros Desktop and - hopefully - installed it onto your hard drive. You learnt from the manual (or from our site) how to access in read-only mode your Google Drive stuff but... well, it would be awesome to write it too! There are at least two ways to do it, and if you carefully looked to our screenshots, you would have noticed that we actually did that before shooting them. Otherwise, that nice "GoogleDrive" icon would not have been on the workbench. So, here's explained how to write to your GoogleDrive account from Icaros Desktop


First way to get write access to Google Drive space is registering your legitimate copy of the handler from its author, Norbert Kett. Doing that is very simple: just send him an email to the address anchor(at)rocketmail(dot)com, as explained even in the GDrive Prefs program:

Open GDrive preference program in Prefs to obtain info about write access to Google Drive

Currently, registration fee is only 10 euros and, trust me, they are absolutely well-spent money! You will have to provide Norbert also your current username and, some hours/days (depending on his time) later, you will receive an activation key that must be placed in devs:Google/. When you're done, your Google Drive space will become writable from Icaros desktop as any other mounted volume on your system. Please save your activation key somewhere and keep it carefully, so you won't have to repeat the same steps for further installations of Icaros Desktop.


Your Google Drive account can always be accessed with any browser. Uluckily, the ones provided with Icaros 2.1 don't work very well with that. Even pretending you're using Firefox with OWB's browser spoofing option would not work, with uploads interrupting at 50%. The good news about this is that Deadwood has fixed this in his latest builds of OWB 1.25 for AROS, so the next Icaros Desktop update 2.1.1 will enable this option as well. If you can't wait, please download the latest version from AROS-EXEC and extract it somewhere, then replace your current browser with the new one...

when done, just run OWB and go straight to your Google Drive account. Enter your credentials...

...and ignore the "unsupported browser" advice. Click on the NEW file or folder button as you would do on whatever browser/platform. Select the files you'd like to upload, and you're done. Sorry for screenshots in Italian but well... it happens to be my own language.

New -> Upload File -> choose from file requester

upload of file completed


Now that we learned how to upload files to Google Drive, here's the little how-to for the icon. If you browse contents of the DEVS:Google/.data (pay attention to initial dot in subdrawer name), you will find a Disk.info file which already provides a Ken Lester icon for your Google Drive account, already set to show all files in detail (name) mode, both for Wanderer and Magellan. Just put this file in the root of your Google Drive space and refresh your desktop (or restart Icaros if it isn't enough).

You will notice, though, that your change of behavior won't be saved. For instance, if you'll select to show icons only and snapshot lister/all, your selection won't be kept at reboot. Why? Because Google Drive does not allow direct saving of your files: you always have to download them, modify them, send them back to Google Drive. The workaround for this is creating a drawer somewhere on your drive and call it "Disk" (don't do that in the root, but in a subfolder, for instance in MyWorkspace), then copy Disk.info in its parent dir. Do all this with a shell:

makedir Disk
copy devs:google/.data/Disk.info MyWorkspace:

now open your Disk drawer and select the view you prefer. Snapshot window/lister, snapshot all. Turn back to your shell and

copy Disk.info Google:

refresh/restart and you'll be done. Yes, I know it might be annoying, however it's a Google Drive "issue", not an Icaros Desktop or Norbert's handler one.

Yes, it's true: after some testing of work-in-progress releases from our beloved community, Icaros Desktop 2.1 has been released. This brand new "point release" (which means "with increased first decimal in the version number") is based on the same codebase of version 2.0.x, so you won't have to format your drive and reinstall Icaros from scratch. Just delete your old OWB drawer and preferences, and you'll be fine. However, since some programs and files have changed location, you may prefer to install it from scratch to get a pefectly clean system on reboot. Icaros Desktop 2.1 might be named "the handlers release", but also "the YouTube one", since the best enhancement over the previous versions are the addition of new NTFS and EX-FAT filesystem handlers and the free, read-only version of GoogleDrive handler, a "driver" which allows to mount your Google Drive handler onto AROS as if it was a normal USB stick or a CD-ROM. But that's not the only good news: we've talked bout YouTube because Deadwood did the miracle again, and we can now enjoy HTML5 video as well, playing your favourite contents from YouTube and other sites. But there have been lots of little/big additions, fixed and enhancements. Here's the list (but - as usual - it may not be exactly complete).

OWB playing YouTube videos on AROS
New from Icaros 2.0.3

Writing to a NTFS partition
- Updated OWB to version 1.25, build from march 2016
  + Youtube, Vimeo and other similar sites are now supported (HTML5 video)
- Updated DirectoryOpus 5 "Magellan" to latest release
- Updated FPC and PortablE to latest release
- Added a lot of development libraries
- Added GoogleDrive Handler (allows read only access)
- Added configuration tool for GoogleDrive handler
- Added Filesysbox library
- Added NTFS-3G handler (supports Windows NTFS partitions up to Windows 10/2016)
- Added EX-FAT handler (for larger, modern VFAT volumes)
- Improved help pictures for Magellan interface
- Added SNUG HTTP server to network startup daemons
  + you can now access MyWokspace files with a browser
- Enhanced AmiBridge's "Amiga as a service"
Ignition M68K running on x86 desktop
- Updated PortablE to latest release
- Updated FPC to latest release
- Updated ZuneView to latest release
- Cleaned up GRUB2 boot menu
- Restored "complete" user manual and updated to v2.1
- Applications: updated Amath, EdiSyn, metaDiary, RPNScientific
- Benchmarks: added Water, updated GLMark
- New Demoscene folder in Extras with Fract and Timeless
- Design: fixed GrafX2, updated ThemeEdit
- Filesystem: updated Scalos, Unarc
- Games: updated/fixed Ri-Li, added RotateGear, Skunks (OpenGL)
- Media editors: added FFMPEG, ImageMagick
- Misc: added meteData, RFT-Riddle
- Networking: added toram
- Updated AROS system files to Jan 6th, 2016

Ri-Li working again out of the box


As usual, Icaros Desktop 2.1 comes into two different sizes. Icaros Desktop Light is tailored for a single CD-ROM or a 1 GB sized pendrive. It includes the core system files and mandatory software. Icaros Desktop Live! includes everything from the Light version, and adds all the best applications for AROS, with ton of games, emulators, editors, players and artistry.

Current Icaros Desktop 2.0.3 users may follow these steps to perform a reliable upgrade to 2.1. Please notice some features might not be available to "updaters": as usual, for instance, GRUB boot menu won't be modified by LiveUpdater.

Snug HTTP server may run at startup as a service. You can access files from MyWorkspace
with any browser on the local network.
GoogleDrive handler with Icaros' own configuration tool. You won't find it anywhere else!
GrafX2 version 2.4 working again on Icaros Desktop.

"Timeless" demo (included) working in its own screen (now in the background)

Please donate!
Icaros Desktop is free but donations are very welcome! The mantainer urgently needs a new monitor since the one of the main development system has broken. With your help, he will buy a new, larger one, which will significantly improve his coding skills!
(well, no, it won't improve his coding skills, but at least he will see what's doing, thank you).