Once again, the news has been long delayed, mainly because we've been
too busy adding features and fixes to AROS. In fact, so much has
happened in the last year that what follows is only a selection of
An important new chapter has been opened in AROS's history with the
development of a stand-alone AROS port for the original Amiga computers.
This should also be of great interest to people using WinUAE to run old
Amiga applications. Such is the level of compatibility, the AROS ROM
image can even boot original Workbench disks as old as V1.3. This
development will hopefully also lead to improved integration of original
Amiga software into AROS on x86 platforms and elsewhere.
AROS's platform support has continued to diversify in other directions
too. A Linux-hosted ARM port has emerged, and new hosted ports for Mac
OS X support three different CPU architectures. And AROS may soon become
even more portable with the recent development of new iOS and Android
On the PC-compatible/x86 front, a lot has been happening too,
particularly in the area of graphics. The Intel GMA graphics driver has
been extended to support a wider variety of chipsets, and also now works
with laptop LCD displays as well as external monitors. The Nouveau and
Gallium based driver for nVidia graphics cards has been improved too: as
well as increasing its speed and hardware support, it has also become
the first driver with hardware-accelerated alpha-blending operations.
A notable graphics feature from our Amiga heritage has also been
introduced to AROS: most native graphics drivers now support screen
dragging and scrolling. These include our drivers for nVidia and Intel
GMA chipsets, as well as the generic VESA driver.
Apart from the graphics drivers, AROS also received some additional
graphics libraries: egl.library and openvg.library. The first provides
portable GL initialisation and window management interfaces, while the
second is a vector graphics library accelerated using Gallium. Our port
of the SDL library has become more polished too, with improvements to
features such as SDL-to-GL integration, leading to a more enjoyable
Two significant milestones in network support for laptops have been
reached. Firstly, a modern and secure wireless networking stack has been
added to AROS. The first driver to use this infrastructure supports many
popular cards with Atheros chipsets. Secondly, support has been added
for a wide variety of mobile broadband USB devices.
Debugging support and error reporting have been improved. Misuse and
mismanagement of memory and other resources by applications is now more
easily detected, and error reports now include stack traces showing
where the error occurred.
A lot of fine tuning and ease-of-use improvements have been made to
various components. The FAT filesystem handler has received a number of
important bug fixes. Native graphics drivers are now typically activated
automatically for detected graphics cards, and the AC97 and HDAudio
sound drivers usually need no manual configuration before use. And at
last, AROS is no longer stuck with one unchangeable mouse pointer: the
standard pointer to use can be chosen in a new pointer preferences
program, and applications can change the pointer to suit different
situations. The AROS shell has become more sophisticated, and now has a
scrollable output history, as well as support for more modes and some
bug fixes. AROS's handling of GUI themes has also become significantly
faster. Finally, another piece of the backwards-compatibility jigsaw has
been filled following the transformation of Regina into a much more
complete ARexx clone.
AROS now has a third distribution available in addition to the regularly
updated Icaros Desktop and AROS Broadway. The new AspireOS
distribution is aimed mainly at the Acer
Aspire One 110 and 150 netbooks, but may also be interesting to users of
other PCs looking for a lightweight distribution.
Many applications and games have been added to AROS's software selection
in recent months. Some application highlights include AmiFig, Protrekkr
and Open Universe. 3D games such as Cube, AssaultCube and Super Tux Kart
(with a popular kitty car!) put AROS's 3D graphics enhancements to good
use, while many 2D games such as Giana's Return and Mega Mario have also
arrived. We have added a number of emulators too to allow even more
retro gaming fun to be had.