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 1.5.2

A new, improved version of Icaros Desktop is now available for download.

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.

Patch 02 for Icaros Desktop 1.4.5

People who, for any reason, still run Icaros Desktop 1.4.5, do not forget to apply this patch! It brings many little and big enhancements here and there...

Some days ago I wanted to mount some ADF files to try installing a old classic application on the AROS M68K environment of Icaros Desktop. Nothing can be easier - I thought - I just needed to switch screen, enter Janus-UAE GUI and change floppies as I needed. I soon realized this operation is fast and reliable only if you have a few disk changes to do, but very borig for complex software that required 5, 7 or more disks. Having the ability to mount ADF files from the guest side of emulation would have been faster. So I thought to use the 68K version of DiskImageGUI, just to discover that it would kill AROS and nothing else (Icaros crashed as soon as I tried that). Whoever met me at least once, already knows how stubborn I can be, when I try to accomplish futile goals. I then figured that Amiga Forever used a great little tool called UAE-Control, which allows exactly to do what I wanted. I took it from my AF installation and ran it on AROS: it worked quite well, but had a limitation I felt really hard to accept. It required me to insert path and file name for every ADF file I needed to enter, a real pain. So I asked Michele Battilana from Cloanto for its sources and, once he very kindly sent them to me, I forwarded them to our beta testers, asking if someone would have been so kind to add a simple "Select" button near the field for path and filenames. Oliver Brunner informed me that the lack of browseability was there for a reason: selected path should have been converted from the guest side to the host's point of view to correctly work. For instance, a path like Work:Download/ADF should have been converted to something else, like SYS:UAE/MyFiles/Dowload/ADF to let Janus-UAE use it as required. Luckily enough, Icaros Desktop has a "MyWorkspace:" assign which is globally set on both x86 and m68k sides, pointing exactly at the same drawer, so the problem would have been easily fixed. Just place your ADF files in a subdirectory of MyWorkspace, for instance MyWorkspace/Downloads, and mounting would have run fine. In the end, Oliver has been very kind and once again he made the modifications I needed. Now Icaros Settings allows to change AmiBridge's welcome message with UAE-Control (see the top corner screenshot): just keep it somewhere on the screen and, every time you need to mount an ADF, reset or close the emulator, you won't have to switch screens anymore.

UAE-Control, customized for Icaros Desktop, running inside Janus-UAE on AROS M68K



Icaros Desktop is traditionally packed into a self-executable 7z archive which includes QEMU for Windows and two different script for 32 and 64 bit releases of Microsoft's operating system. While Icaros changed a lot in the latest 5 years, almost nothing happened to this 'external box', which allows easy testing of Icaros Desktop under Windows, albeit quite slowly. With version 2.0 of our distribution, this will change: we've moved to a newer release of QEMU (2.1.50) and we already configured it to use SB128 emulation for sound and VMware SVGA for graphics, enabling many wide screen resolutions and enhancing a little the overall experience, which will still be, unluckily, considerably slower than a installation on real hardware or on a VMware/VirtualBOX virtual machine. There is, however, an interesting development in QEMU which didn't exist in previous version: QEMU's relatively new ability to mount a directory as a virtual FAT drive. We're adding a 'share' subdirectory in our file extraction path where you can easily place whatever file you want to share with your Icaros environment, and have it shown by Icaros Desktop among the virtual drives. This shared portion of Windows filesystem will be read only: you can copy things from Windows to Icaros using it as a temporary directory (just place your files there), but you won't be able to follow the other way around. In the "corner screenshot" you can see how it works. In the backward window you can see explorer showing the content of this 'share' subdirectory, while on the front one you can see QEMU output, with the same directory shown as a lister in Dopus 5. 

It's been a while since our last site update, so maybe it's time to share some news about latest developments. The good news are that our beta testers and developers already got two RC releases and, just a few minutes before writing this post, an important update for the integrated M68K environment. Please enlarge the screenshot on the corner and you'll notice some interesting facts about its contents. First of all, there's DirectoryOpus 5 open on the screen, and this shouldn't be a surprise. What's new, however, is that's running on AROS M68K, as the "about" window on the right suggests. We'll not replicate the whole file management stuff we made for x86, but at least you'll find the same toolbars also when running the Amiga environment. And, since we were at it, we've updated all AROS system files to oct. 7th nightly build, and added DirectoryOpus 4 for Amiga as well. Our goal, in a nutshell, was making life a little easier under the 68K side of Icaros, even if our main focus will always be the x86 one. Another little great improvement we made (well, Deadwood made...) has been fixing that damn old issue with AROS x86 crashing, or reporting ugly errors, when trying to run 68K software without starting Janus-UAE before. This bug has gone, hopefully, forever, and now AROS will just gracefully do nothing when no emulator is up.


We are pleased to announce that Icaros Desktop will be part of the incoming edition of Game Over, underground festival of indie developers, which will take place in Milano, Italy, on saturday 20th and sunday 21st. Icaros Desktop 2.0 will be presented on saturday afternoon only (beware: on sunday we will not be there!), with precise timings still TBA. Our location will be in the Green Area, under the YATTA! banner (Many thanks to YATTA! for hosting us). Address of Game Over is: Spazio Autogestito Leoncavallo - via Watteau, 7 - Milano, and the whole event will start at 2.30 PM. Please go to event's website for all necessary informations.


Now that you've seen a couple of screenshots, why don't we shot a short footage of common everyday's operations on Icaros Desktop? In this video, we will learn how to add thumbnail icons to images, crop pictures and set them as background using Magellan, ZuneView and ViewBox. Sorry for voice-over mistakes, but I'm talking while performing tasks and without any previously-written script. This video has been shot using Fraps for Windows, while Icaros Desktop was running on a VMware Player virtual machine. Please select 720p HD for better results.


Time for a couple of HD screenshots of the incoming distribution. Please don't ask for the wallpapers, since they've been randomly chosen from various websites that collect them. As usual, Icaros Desktop will come with its traditional collection of older official and authorized desktop images.

Vampires are sexy. Aren't they? And when you can set 'em as background with a single click, they're even sexier!

Problems understanding toolbars? Not a problem, really, thanks to Icaros' caption images. You can always access them using the help option in toolbars (the one with the lamp-headed man).