Thursday, November 16, 2017

A plea: let's bring Folio to AROS!

by on Thursday, November 16, 2017
Some advanced options of Folio being used.
While thinking about new features to add to Icaros Desktop, I landed on Morphzone and stumbled upon a very interesting project by Andé Siegel, the Folio word processor. Feature wise, it is quite far from being like big office suite applications like LibreOffice Writer or Microsoft Word, but it is easily comparable to Windows Wordpad and many other modern editors coming with mainstream operating systems and Linux distributions. You can import files, you can edit texts, you can change font and style, use tables and add pictures to your documents. In a nutshell: you can do with Folio most of things you would normally do with any word processor, including, and this is an obvious feature in 2017, printing to PDF files. But Folio's best feature is not what it does, but how it does it: from your web browser. You do not need a Internet connection at all, because all needed files and components are stored locally on your hard drive. André published long ago a 'tech demo' of Folio (let's call it 'version 0') which needed OWB 1.23 to properly run on MorphOS: people who already updated it to 1.24 needed to step back to 1.23. At the same time, however, I could already run it on AROS' OWB 1.25 with no issue (see screenshots).
Folio "v0" running on Icaros Desktop
I could print to PDF using OWB export option and even print to a PostScript .ps file using AROS printer driver, the only problem I got was that Folio user interface got printed as well, with the document, at its beginning. In the following weeks, André brought his program to version 1, which was then released free of charge on MorphZone. Unfortunately, the new version does not work anymore on AROS, probably due to some Javascript issues. It does not work correctly on Windows Firefox as well, but on MorphOS OWB it should work properly, so making it work again on AROS should not be so terribly difficult. The software comes with a LGPL license and further development is bound to users good will (please read: donations). So, if noone of you would dig into the Javascript code assembled by André, please consider to leave him a donation, tagged with a "please port it to AROS" request. So far, and until Final Writer will be completed, this is the fastest and more viable way to finally get a modern word processor, able to deal with current file formats, running on AROS.

> Folio's page on MorphZone

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

New AROS videos from Stephen Jones

by on Tuesday, September 19, 2017
[updated] Our old and dear friend Stephen Jones (you'll surely remember him for his iMica computer systems) has made two three amazing videos about setting up an AROS computer from scrap parts. They are very interesting, since include some tips and hints you should take into account, if you'd like to build the perfect Icaros-computer.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Monday, June 26, 2017

Icaros Desktop 2.2.1 is ready!

by on Monday, June 26, 2017
First update to Icaros Desktop is now available for download. This is a bugfix-only release, so no new features or programs are added to the distribution. People who haven't downloaded and installed Icaros Destkop 2.2 should choose this one instead, while users of Icaros Desktop 2.2 should update their installation using LiveUpdater.

Icaros 2.2.1 fixes some italian translations as well. Not much, but Wanderer's menus are a starting point...


- removed duplicated FinalWriter demo from Utilities
- removed duplicated MESA demos from Extras/Demos
- removed other duplicated files here and there
- replaced make with AROS one, now it should find makefiles as expected
- Aminet's version of make moved to Storage
- replaced ata.device with better working one
- replaced most AROS system files with newer components
- added alternative ATA device to advanced boot options
- removed faulty rtl8168 network device
- updated AROS 68K ROMs for playing games and demos
- started updating italian catalogs, starting with Wanderer menus


1. prior to anything, download Icaros 2.2 patch 01 to fix a mistake in Icaros-Sequence. Instructions are provided here.

2. download the update pack from our download page and save it wherever you like on your hard drive. Don't use RAM disk since LiveUpdater requires a reboot.

3. run LiveUpdater (from System drive -> tools -> LUPD) and reboot

4. choose the File option, locate the update pack on your local drive and accept to proceed. Wait for unpacking and updating to finish

5. enjoy!

icaros-sequence bug blocking LiveUpdater

by on Monday, June 26, 2017
Today I found a mistake in icaros-sequence, preventing LiveUpdater to work as intended. Please download this patch to fix the issue (instructions about installation will follow). The bug is in this section:

01. ; RunMe if proper settings are made 
02. if exists sys:dvdmode
03.   execute s:dvd-startup
04. endif 

05. IF ${Icaros/1sttime} EQ "True"
06.  execute S:1sttime-setup
07. EndIf 

08. IF ${Icaros/2ndtime} EQ "True"
09.  execute S:2ndtime-setup
10.  echo "false" >envarc:Icaros/2ndtime
11. EndIf

12. ; create MyWorkspace
13. execute S:myworkspace-startup

these lines enable DVD mode when Icaros Desktop is running from the read-only optical media, launch a couple of scripts (if they exist) that must be executed before the GUI and enable the ASSIGNs for MyWorkspace and subfolders. So where is the mistake, exactly? If you notice the sequence, MyWorkspace's script is the last one being executed but... what happens if either 1sttime or 2ndtime setup scripts need to address MyWorkspace's assigns? Run LiveUpdater on Icaros Desktop 2.2 and discover yourself! Unfortunately, I introduced this bug while working on HostBridge. If you ever ran it once, you'd know that HostBridge will, first of all, extract all files from installation archives and complete Icaros setup. It will also create MyWorkspace folders so, in the end, when bringing back control to Icaros-Sequence, myworkspace-startup script will find the right directories and proceed normally with ASSIGNing them. If I just moved back lines 12-13 between lines 04 and 05, I'd have gotten ugly ASSIGN errors when installing Icaros in hosted mode, forcing user to reboot Icaros in order to use it correctly. Baaaad solution.

So I had to modify also Windows and Linux hosted installation scripts, to make them create MyWorkspace folders and subdirectories. In the end, I could let both LiveUpdater and HostBridge work as expected, although a false-alarm error message about a directory that can't be created will appear anyway (until I'll fix this as well, obviously).


1. download the file here.
2. extract files in a temporary directory (RAM drive will fit as well)
3. enter the directory and double click on the runpatch script

It will basically replace your current icaros sequence with the fixed one from Icaros 2.2.1. Once done this, please also upgrade Icaros Desktop to v2.2.1. Did I mention the update is now available for download? ;-)

(no, it will the topic of the next post...)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Networking with Icaros hosted on OpenSUSE Linux

by on Saturday, June 03, 2017
Icaros Desktop should be usable in hosted mode under any Linux distribution, however startup and configuration scripts were written with Debian-based distros in mind (in practice: Icaros should work at its best with Ubuntu, Mint and derivatives). Unfortunately, we simply haven't the power, the time and the resources to support other Linux 'implementations', but luckily we have a very smart community of proactive users helping us even without asking them! So, if you have issues configuring the network on your hosted installation of Icaros Desktop running on OpenSUSE, please read and follow these instructions from AROS-EXEC's user Superchicken:

"After 2 months of tinkering, I finally figured out how to make networking work in Linux Hosted Icaros on OpenSuse Linux.

After installing, Icaros can ping the host controller, but cannot access or ping the outside network and no internet access.

The problem is that SuSEfirewall2 is not configured properly and blocks IPs that are not configured. Turning the firewall off WILL NOT work as the virtual networking adapter won't work when the firewall is off in OpenSuse.

You need to edit the SuSEfirewall2 config file at /etc/sysconfig/SuSEfirewall2 and find the line with "FW_FORWARD_MASQ" and change it to reflect what adapter is forwarded to what IP. Ex:


The first IP will be your host adapter IP address (use your host's IP here). The second IP being the Icaros GATEWAY IP, not the adapter IP inside Icaros. Then tcp and port 80.

After saving the file, you need to restart the firewall using
"sudo systemctl restart SuSEfirewall2". After that you will be able to access the internet with Icaros. Since the adapter is not started at boot, you will need to restart the firewall after the adapter is started. To do that, I just edited the "tap_on" script to include "sudo systemctl restart SuSEfirewall2" AFTER the adapter is brought up.
After this, you are ready to surf the internet in Icaros hosted by OpenSuse."

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Icaros Desktop 2.2 has been released

by on Thursday, June 01, 2017
The brand new main release of Icaros Desktop is now available for download, and it brings many little and bigger enhancements over the last Xmas Preview, like a complete new look, which involves both Magellan toolbars and decoration theme, and a completely new feature called HostBridge, which allows people running Icaros Desktop in a hosted environment to launch host applications along with (or instead of) AROS ones. This applies, obviously, only on Windows and Linux hosted Icaros (please read this page to understand the difference), not on native installations - being them on real hardware or virtual machines. In a nutshell, if you're running Icaros Desktop hosted on Windows or Linux, you can now start your common programs (like MS Office, Photoshop, GIMP, Inkscape and others) from AROS as well, and even use them to open your AROS documents. That's not, obviously, the only news here. As we said, we've completely overhauled Magellan's lister toolbar, adding some labeling and making - we hope - everything more intuitive to use. We have also changed placement to some tools, so maybe you'll have to change your habits a little bit, but we're really sure in the end you'll find the new GUI much better than it was before. For this release, we've opted for a new, white/grey/cyan flat theme, which almost reprises the original Workbench 2.X color scheme and mixes it with the one from AROS nightly builds (which we used for Xmas Preview 6 months ago), but uses colors in a different and more modern way. We sincerely hope you'll like it.

ZunePaint is getting better and better...

Slarti and other applications running on Icaros 2.2

- Updated AROS system files to feb 20th nightly build, plus some further updates here and there
 + introduced more than 16 Months of changes from AROS developers
- Added Windows hosted environment option
 + installation script for Windows 2000/XP/7/8.x/10
 + Documents directory automatically mounted on AROS
HostBridge on Linux
- Added HostBridge for Icaros in hosted mode
 + users can access Windows and Linux programs
 + use Windows or Linux apps to open AROS files from GUI and AROS shell
 + transparent path conversion from AROS to native format
 + use Windows or Linux apps as default tools
 + add whatever Linux or Windows application you like
 + you may use Icaros Desktop as GUI to drive your host OS
- Updated Windows hosted installation script
 + easy access to Windows volumes and Linux filesystem
 + added warning about current status of Windows port
- New desktop theme with modern "flat-white" decoration
- Updated user interface using Magellan
 + no more confusing toolbar on the top right corner
 + new lister toolbar with labels for common file operations
- Added MuiMapparium and updated Mapparium
- Added ZunePaint, a handy brilliant AROS image editor
- Added minipicolisp to development languages
All files were open by AROS
- Updated ZuneView to latest version
- Updated ZuneFig to latest version
- Updated (again) user manual to reflect latest changes
- Added icoutils, wput, gsar and other utilities in C
- Updated MUIRoyale to version 1.6
- Updated Zune MCC classes to latest release
- Updated HFinder to latest release
- Updated SnapIT to latest release
- Added ogg encoder-decoder to utilities
 + integrated HFinder in Magellan to search for files
- Fixed: Zune prefs now shows class icons on the left
- Fixed: OWB now displays images correctly
- Fixed: AROS 68K in coherency mode now works again
- Added Linux hosted environment option
When OWB is not enough...
 + ubuntu/mint-based distros compatible installation script
 + network and audio setup automatically performed on the AROS side
 + user Home directory automatically mounted on AROS
 + implementing Icaros-daemon for Linux (still work in progress)
- Updated SFSundelete to a newer version
- Updated SYSmon to a newer version
- Updated ZuneView to latest release
- Updated dgen and MAME to latest releases
- Added protracker to multimedia tools
- Added complete AISS package to distribution
 + Installation performed only under user request, within Icaros installation
- Changed directory structure in Extras
- Moved FryingPan and Cinnamon Writer back to Extras
 + this makes them available on Icaros Live! edition only
- Moved Protrekkr and LunaPaint to Utilities
 + this makes them available on Icaros Light edition too!
- Cleaned some parts of S:icaros-sequence startup script
- Updated user manual to version 2.2
- Fixed some little bugs in Icaros installation procedure

ZuneView allows applying filters to images, while vieweing them.

MuiMapparium is a new Zune-compatible version of Mapparium

Icaros Desktop 2.2 is now available for download in three flavors:
  • The complete Live! edition
  • The smaller Light "system core" edition
  • The update pack for users of Icaros 2.2 Xmas Preview
Please notice the update pack won't work on Icaros Desktop 2.1.x installations. Users of Icaros 2.1 should backup their files and perform a new installation. Updating Icaros 2.1.x to 2.2 is not supported and manually updating might bring to unpredictable results. 
All packages are now available from our Download page in the more traditional .zip format. Although 7zip produced smaller packages, too much people complained they had issues handling its archive format. Zip should be easy for everyone.


  1. Icaros Desktop Live! does not include QEMU-based virtual machine anymore. You can download it separately from our Download page (see other resources section)
  2. Please donate! This project lives thanks to your help, being it some bucks or, why not, collaboration on writing software for AROS!