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.

 Two weeks after announcing the "hybridation" of Icaros Desktop (meaning that you will be able to run it either natively, as usual, OR hosted on Linux, with the same installation medium), works on this process continues. I've enhanced many steps of the "hosted-install.sh" script that you'll find in the root directory of the installation CD (or DVD, for the Live! edition) and I've started placing the basics for activating/deactivating some cosy features "√† la Icaros way", for the simple reason I don't want to force anyone using Linux in a different way they are accustomed to. "Hosted-install.sh" will perform some tasks for you: it will create a script to enable the virtual tap network interface between AROS and Linux, it will copy all needed Icaros files in a chosen directory and will perform all needed modifications to AROS files to let the hosted flavour work. It will also add a nice "disk.info" icon to your home directory and create a proper ./icaros start script for the distribution. In the best case scenario (which means running on a recent Ubuntu/based distribution, like for instance Linux Mint), you will end up with a Icaros installation already being able to play sound and browse the Internet.

Icaros Desktop running hosted (with sound) on a very old Ubuntu release (32 bit).

But that's not over. Although this feature will be most probably disabled in the first 2.2 release, I've already found a cheap but convenient way to run Linux programs and scripts from AROS (using Icaros as a sort of remote command), and this should work on any Linux distribution without requiring further efforts or installing exotic packages. What I still need to do, to make it very easy for user, is creating a engine like AmiBridge which would allow running them with icons and so on, and I am afraid I won't have the required time to do this before releasing Icaros Desktop 2.2. The structure, however, is already in place (now disabled) and allows to do things like these ones (see the following video):

I've been asked many times for a Linux-hosted version of Icaros Desktop but, for many motivations, I've always declined. First of all, I've always thought that one of the main goals of Icaros Desktop would have been motivating coders and users to use and improve the native flavours of AROS: why spending so many time and efforts to make AROS work on the bare metal, if anyone else would have hosted it on a more mainstream operating system? Flight of Icaros started almost ten years ago, in winter of 2007, and many, many incredible things happened in the meanwhile: piece after piece, Icaros Desktop (and AROS itself) became a fairly usable operating system, maybe with a old-style look, but with a incredibly powerful and highly customizable graphic interface (thanks to Magellan). AROS can now do almost everything on its own. So, it's time for Icaros Desktop to 'relax' a bit, and pay attention to all those people who would like a hosted version as well. Why you should run Icaros on Linux? Because it's blazing fast (in some cases, even faster than natively), it's reliable and, most of all, if you need the Icaros environment to test your own programs, without setting up a whole machine - either physical or virtual, nothing would be better. Really. So I've started following this thread on AROS-EXEC (many people there had been source of inspiration and great hints)  with more and more attention, until I could set up a hosted version in a truly Icaros way. Version 2.2 of Icaros Desktop will be hybrid, meaning that you will be able either to run its ISO files or CD/DVDs in native mode (as usual) OR, without downloading anything else, to install the distribution to Linux. Setup and configuration process will be handled by a bash script that runs from the installation media and, once files are correctly placed on the hard drive, Icaros will unpack its packages and create all necessary scripts. In a nutshell, all needed process to transform a native installation into a hosted one have been automatized. Stay tuned...

Icaros Desktop means attention to detail: have you spotted the nice volume icon already associated
to your Linux home directory?

I didn't write anything fancy for a while, so it's time to add some news here. This time, I will talk about next Icaros' installation. As you may know, this procedure is based on two souls: AROS' InstallAROS tool and Icaros' own Post-Install-Script. The former creates partitions, copies all AROS and Icaros stuff onto the hard drive and install boot loader. The latter unpacks Icaros Extras and Development stuff, creates needed environment variables and MyWorkspace drawers. Starting with v2.0, Icaros Desktop allowed two kinds of installation, the full one and the custom one, with the second allowing users to choose what 'packages' install or not. Well, this procedure will be improved a little bit in the next release, since a new "Default Installation" option will be added to the existing ones. This new option will let you save some time, skipping very optional packages like Ken Lester's icons repository, AISS (a new addition), additional wallpapers and others. Moreover, some procedures will be automated. For instance, people not installing SYS:Development stuff won't get Extras:Development too by default, unless they decide to install it anyway with the custom installation option.

Three months after v2.1.2 release, we've built a little update which fixes some of the issues found with applications and introduces some new ones as well. Almost no system file has been updated, but with this release you'll find a brand new version of Mapparium (which now allows to compute routes), a new, more secure build of OWB with upgraded openssl to 1.0.1t, the latest version of SimpleMail and PortablE (which was unluckily left-out by mistake in version 2.1.2). But this is not just a "refresh" update, it also includes some new applications like the FinalBurnAlpha emulator, meteMP3 player and, why not, the ColorCLI scripts, which will help customizing your system a little more.

Icaros Desktop 2.1.3 is available in two formats: the usual Live! distribution, and the update pack for LiveUpdater. There's no Icaros Light release for 2.1.3. Users of the Light distribution should download the update pack and let LiveUpdater install it.

New version of OWB handles better encryption

New from Icaros Desktop 2.1.2

- Updated PortablE to latest release
- Updated Mapparium to v0.6
 + route computation, images now available. And many other fixes
- Updated OWB to August 28th 2016 build
 + openssl upgraded to 1.0.1t fixing some security issues
- Updated SimpleMail to latest release
- Added FinalBurnAlpha to emulators
- Added ColorCLI scripts
- Added meteMP3 player to MultiMedia programs

No clues to your next destination? Mapparium 0.6 provides all the information you need.

The second update pack for Icaros Desktop 2.1 has been released. This time, we focused on enhancements of current features, rather than adding new ones, but we feel that new changes/additions worth the wait. First of all, we added support to Windows 7 (Vista and upwards) shared folders through SMB handler, so exchanging files between your networked computers (or, even better, from your Windows/Linux host and your Icaros VM guest, if you use VMware or a similar product) will be easier. This is a very important enhancement, which brings Icaros on par with other Amiga-like systems in this field and, if I am not wrong, this should also be the first AROS ABIv0-based distribution featuring it. But that's not the only big news in the "networking drives department": we also included Norbert Kett's handler for DropBox and a client for AmiCloud, a very interesting cloud drive service with Amiga roots from our old friend (and nice competitor) Pascal Papara. Since we're talking about him, it's right to mention we also updated the client for his e-shop IndieGO!, but you'll find these additions only in Icaros Desktop Live! edition, since there was really no more space available in the Light one. Users of Amiga productivity applications will enjoy our little big refresh of AROS M68K system files, with a new, faster RTG driver that should enhance global speed. Last but not least, we also added Mapparium 0.4 to our distribution, in Extras/Application drawer (so yes: only Live! users will get it), an astounding application from ALB42 which shows the power of his FreePascal implementation, obviously available - as usual - in the Live! edition.

Icaros Desktop 2.1.2 playing a video from a networked Windows 7 virtual machine, through SMB handler. Please notice the amount of volumes mounted on the left side of this image.
New from Icaros Desktop 2.1.1
- Added DropBox cloud drive handler
 + Added easy DropBox configuration to Prefs
 + "Gdrive" has now been replaced by Prefs/CludDrives
- Added AmiCloud client to extras/FileSystem
- Updated SMB handler, now supporting shared folders from
 + Windows 2008 Server/R2
 + Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10
- Updated AROS M68K environment
 + New RTG driver with enhanced performance
 + ROMs and system files updated to June 2016
- Added Mapparium to applications
- Updated SQLman in applications
- Updated IndieGO! e-shop client
- Updated FlexCat

Life if sexier, when you can transfer files from Windows 7 and upwards without problems...

Norbert Kett's handler for GoogleDrive has changed a lot since its first implementation in Icaros 2.1 (and 2.1.1). It now supports DropBox too, however this forced us to change handler location from Devs:Google to Devs:Cloud. This also required us to heavily update our setting application in Prefs, which is not called GDrive anymore, but CloudDrives. Before updating, please take note of your Google Drive client code, because on first reboot you will be required to enter it again in the new preferences program. Moreover, original .key file for write access is not compatible anymore with the improved cloud drive handler, so you'll need a updated one from Norbert. Don't worry about this, because Norbert is freely updating the .key file to already-registered users requiring it. Just send hime and email and you will get write access to Dropbox too. Unluckily, however, DropBox handler is not as functional as the GoogleDrive one: you may experience crashes and transfer stops while using it. Norbert is already aware of the issue, but he needs more free time to fix it.

Another video stored on a Windows 7 machine, faithfully played by MPlayer on Icaros Desktop...

Icaros Desktop 2.1.2 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 and 2.1.1 users.


Icaros Desktop 2.1.1 can be straightforwardly upgraded to version 2.1.2 with LiveUpdater.

Please complete the following steps:
1. download IcarosUpdate210-212.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 IcarosUpdate210-212.zip file
4. wait for the updating job to finish
5. proceed with reboot
6. enjoy Icaros Desktop 2.1.1!


Icaros Desktop 2.1 must be upgraded to version 2.1.2 using the improved LiveUpdater. 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 IcarosUpdate210-212.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 IcarosUpdate210-212.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 v2.1.2.

Mighty Mapparium showing a map of Milano (Italy).

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.