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"How-to" Documentation

How to access AROS' disk images from UAE

Within UAE, a floppy disk image can be mounted as a hardfile and then used as a 1.4 MB hard disk. After you have put the files you want on the hardfile disk image (or whatever you wanted to do), you can write it to a floppy.

The geometry of the hardfile is as follows:

Sectors    = 32
Surfaces   = 1
Reserved   = 2
Block Size = 90

How to access AROS' disk images from hosted flavors of AROS

Copy the disk image to the DiskImages directory in AROS (SYS:DiskImages, e.g. bin/linux-i386/AROS/DiskImages) and rename it to "Unit0". After starting AROS, you can mount the disk image with:

> mount AFD0:

How to restore preferences to their defaults

In AROS, open a CLI shell, go to ENVARC: and delete the relevant files for the preferences you want to restore.

How to change the screensaver/background

At the moment the only way to change screensaver is to write your own one. The Blanker commodity can be tuned with Exchange, but it's only able to do "starfield" with a given amount of stars. The background of Wanderer is set with the pref tool Prefs/Wanderer. The background of Zune windows is set with the Zune pref tool Prefs/Zune. You can also set your chosen application preferences by using the Zune <application> command.

How to make windows refresh from black on AROS-hosted

You must supply the following string (as is!) to the "Device" section of your /etc/X11/xorg.conf (or XFree.conf):

Option  "BackingStore"

See Installation for details.

How to transfer files to a virtual machine with AROS

The first, and simplest, way is to put files on an ISO image and connect it to the VM. A lot of programs are able to create/edit ISO's, like UltraISO, WinImage, or mkisofs. Secondly, you can set up a network in AROS and an FTP server on your host machine. Then you can use an FTP client for AROS to transfer files (look for MarranoFTP). This is tricky enough not to elaborate on it further, here. User documentation contains a chapter about networking; go for it. Thirdly, there's now a promising utility (AFS Util), allowing you to read (no write support yet) files from AROS AFFS/OFS disks and floppies.

How to clear the shell window; how to set it permanently

Type this command in the shell:

Echo "*E[0;0H*E[J* "

You can edit your S:Shell-Startup and insert this line somewhere, so you'll have a new "Cls" command:

Alias Cls "Echo *"*E[0;0H*E[J*" "

BTW: here's a S:Shell-Startup modified to start the shell in black and with a modified prompt:

Alias Edit SYS:Tools/Editor
Alias Cls "Echo *"*E[0;0H*E[J*" "
Echo "*e[>1m*e[32;41m*e[0;0H*e[J"
Prompt "*n*e[>1m*e[33;41m*e[1m%N/%R - *e[30;41m%S>*e[0m*e[32;41m "
date

More about printer escape sequences:

Esc[0m
Standard Set

Esc[1m and Esc[22m
Bold

Esc[3m and Esc[23m
Italics

Esc[4m and Esc[24m
Underline

Esc[30m to Esc[39m
Set Front Color

Esc[40m to Esc[49m
Set Background Color

Values meanings:

30 grey char -- 40 grey cell -- >0 grey background -- 0 all attributes off
31 black char - 41 black cell - >1 black background - 1 boldface
32 white char - 42 white cell - >2 white background - 2 faint
33 blue char -- 43 blue cell -- >3 blue background -- 3 italic
34 grey char -- 44 grey cell -- >4 grey background -- 4 underscore
35 black char - 45 black cell - >5 black background - 7 reverse video
36 white char - 46 white cell - >6 white background - 8 invisible
37 blue char -- 47 blue cell -- >7 blue background

The codes can be combined by separating them with a semicolon.

How to launch AROS-hosted in fullscreen

Start AROS with the option "--fullscreen".

How to make 2-state AROS Icons

AROS icons are actually renamed PNG files. But if you want icons with two states, normal and selected, use this command:

join img_1.png img_2.png TO img.info

How to mount an ISO image on AROS; how to update nightly builds that way

  • Get the ISO into AROS (by wget or any other way)

  • Copy the ISO into sys:DiskImages (the drawer must be created if it doesn't exist).

  • Rename ISO to Unit0 in that dir.

  • You must add this to your Devs:Mountlist

    ISO:
    FileSystem = cdrom.handler
    Device = fdsk.device
    Unit = 0
    
  • Then mount ISO: You can copy anything from ISO:. Additionally, you can create a script to update your nightly build like this:

    copy ISO:boot/aros-pc-i386.gz sys:boot/
    copy ISO:C sys:C all quiet
    copy ISO:Classes sys:Classes all quiet
    copy ISO:Demos sys:Demos all quiet
    

And so on for each directory except Prefs, Extras:Networking/Stacks, and devs:mountlist itself. Prefs have to be kept if you want it. Also you can set AROSTcp to keep its settings in separate directory.

If you want to write all over, just do:

copy ISO:C sys:C all quiet newer

How to unmount a volume

Launch these two commands in CLI:

assign DOSVOLUME: dismount
assign DOSVOLUME: remove

where DOSVOLUME: is DH0:, DF0:, etc

How to mount a FAT Floppy with the FAT.handler

Currently the FAT volumes are auto-detected and auto-mounted, but here's how to manually mount it.

Create a mountfile (text file) with these 3 magic lines:

device = trackdisk.device
filesystem = fat.handler
unit = 0
  • Pick a name, PC0 for example. Set this file default tool to c:mount in properties (or put mountfile to devs:dosdrivers or sys:storage/dosdrivers)
  • Double click on it.
  • Insert a FAT formatted floppy.
  • See the icon appearing on Wanderer's desktop.

How to mount a real HD FAT partition with the FAT.handler

Currently the FAT volumes are auto-detected and auto-mounted, but here's how to manually mount it.

First you'd need to read the drive's geometry and write down some values. You can use HDToolbox or Linux fdisk for that. The BlocksPerTrack value is taken from the sectors/track value. Note that it has absolutely nothing to do with the physical disk geometry - FAT only uses it as a multiplier. If you get the Cylinders e.g. from HDToolbox or using the Linux fdisk like this:

sudo fdisk -u -l /dev/hda,

Then you'll need to set BlocksPerTrack=63. To ensure you have numbers in cylinders look for Units=Cylinders in output. If you got fdisk output in sectors (Units=sectors), set BlocksPerTrack=1.

LowCyl and HighCyl are the partition's cylinders, like:

mark@ubuntu:~$ sudo fdisk -l -u /dev/hda
...
/dev/hda1 * 63 20980889 10490413+ c W95 FAT32 (LBA)

So, LowCyl is 63, and HighCyl is 20980889, blockspertrack=1

Create a mountfile (text file) with these lines:

device = ata.device
filesystem = fat.handler,
Unit = 0

BlocksPerTrack = 1
LowCyl = 63
HighCyl = 20980889
Blocksize=512
  • Pick a name, FAT0 for example
  • Set this file's default tool to c:mount in properties (or put mountfile to devs:dosdrivers or sys:storage/dosdrivers)
  • Double click on it
  • See the icon appearing on Wanderer's desktop

Note: Formula for counting the blocks: block = ((highcyl - lowcyl) x surfaces + head) x blockspertrack + sec

How to use a joystick or gamepad with AROS

Just plug your digital/analogue joystick or gamepad into a USB port. The device will be handled by the Poseidon USB stack.

How to change joystick mode to analogue

By default a connected USB joystick emulates an Amiga digital joystick. To change this behaviour, so that the joystick is presented as analogue, you have to use the Trident preferences application (System:Prefs/Trident).

Open Trident and go to the Devices window. Select your controller from the list and click the Settings button. This will open a new window. On the "General" tab, find the "Lowlevel Library Joypad Emulation" section. Find the ports that are set to "Merge with USB" or "Override with USB" and change them to "Analogue Hack".

Please note that analogue joystick support is an extension of original Amiga-functionality, thus an Amiga application must be explicitly written to use it. AROS' SDL library uses this functionality, thus all SDL applications that use a joystick, can use the analogue joystick feature.

How to change the joystick port assignment

By default a connected USB joystick is present in Port 1. To change its location to Port 0 you need to use the Trident preferences.

Open Trident and go to the Devices window. Select your controller from the list and click the Settings button. This will open a new window. On the "General" tab find the "Lowlevel Library Joypad Emulation" section. Port 1 should be set as either "Merge with USB" or "Override with USB". Change this setting to "Don't touch". Change Port 0 setting to "Merge with USB".

Go to the "Actions" tab. In "Reports and collection" select the first entry named "Joystick". in the "Usage items" select "X axis". Go to the "Performed actions" area. On the left there will be a list of triggers. Each of them should have (port1) in their parameters. Click on the first trigger and, using the buttons to the right of the list, change port1 into port 0. Repeat this for all triggers and for all items on "Usage items" list.

How to make joystick simulate keyboard keys

With Poseidon it is possible to make the joystick simulate key presses. This allows using the joystick for playing games that have keyboard support only. This feature is configured in the Trident preferences.

Open Trident and go to the Devices window. Select your controller from the list and click the Settings button. This will open a new window. Go to the "Actions" tab. On the right top window, select X axis. On the left bottom list, select an entry "Digital Joystick, Push left(port 1)". On the panel to the right, change "Digital joystick" to "Raw Key". A list of keys will be displayed. Select the key you wish to send. Repeat the procedure for the "Digital Joystick, Release left (port 1)" option, but this time check "Send key up event instead of key down".

Open shell and move your joystick to the left - your selected letter should appear in the shell.


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