Since AROS is a portable operating system, it is available for several
different platforms. A "port" of AROS is exactly what the name implies, i.e. a
version of AROS ported to some specific platform.
Ports are divided into two major groups, or "flavors" in AROS terminology,
namely "native" and "hosted".
Native ports run directly on the hardware and have total control over the
computer. They will become the recommended way to run AROS in the future since
it gives superior performance and efficiency, but they have currently only a
limited support for hardware.
Hosted ports run on top of another operating system and do not access the
hardware directly, but use the facilities provided by the host OS. The
advantages of hosted ports is that they are easier to write since it is not
necessary to write low-level drivers. Also, it greatly speeds up programming
since we can run the development environment and AROS side-by-side
without wasting time on constant reboots to try out new code.
The different AROS ports have names that of the form <platform>-<cpu>, where
<platform> is a symbolic name for the platform and <cpu> is the CPU
architecture. For a native port, the platform refers to the hardware, such as
"pc" or "amiga"; for a hosted port it refers to an operating system, such as
"linux" or "freebsd". In situations where it might not be obvious that the
topic is AROS, "AROS/" is commonly prefixed to the port name, giving you e.g.
AROS executables for a specific CPU are portable across all ports using that
CPU, which means that executables compiled for "pc-i386" will work fine on
"linux-i386" and "freebsd-i386".
Below is a list of all AROS ports that are in working order and/or actively
developed. Not all of these are available for download, since they might
either not be complete enough or have compilation requirements that we can't
always meet due to limited resources.
|Status:||Working, incomplete driver support
AROS/pc-i386 is the native port of AROS to the common IBM PC AT computers and
compatibles using the x86 (or x86-64) family of processors. The name is
actually a bit misleading since AROS/pc-i386 actually requires at least a 486
class CPU due to usage of some instructions not available on the 386. This
port also requires that the computer is PCI-based.
This port works quite well, but we only have the most basic driver support.
One of the biggest limitations is that we currently only have support for
accelerated graphics on nVidia and ATI graphics hardware. Other graphics
adapters must be used with generic (non-accelerated) VGA and VBE graphics
drivers. There are more drivers in the works, but development is quite slow
since we only have about 2.5 hardware hackers.
This port is available for download.
|Status:||Partly working (in an emulator), incomplete driver support
AROS/pp-m68k is the native port of AROS to the Palm line of handheld
computers and compatibles ("pp" stands for "palm pilot", which was the name of
the first handhelds of this line). This means that you might be able to take
AROS with you in your pocket when travelling in the future...
This port is currently very raw. It does mostly work (running in an emulator,
since nobody wants to risk trashing their expensive hardware just yet) but
there is still a lot of work left. There is a graphics driver, but not any
This port is not available for download at this time.
AROS/linux-i386 is the hosted port of AROS to the Linux operating system
running on the x86 (or x86-64) family of processors.
This is the most complete port of AROS, feature-wise, since most of the
developers currently use Linux when developing AROS, and there are far
fewer drivers to write.
This port is available for download.
AROS/freebsd-i386 is the hosted port of AROS to the FreeBSD operating system
running on the x86 family of processors.
This port is relatively complete since it shares most of it's code with that
of AROS/linux-i386, but since there aren't many developers that use FreeBSD
it is lagging a little bit behind.
We try to compile AROS/freebsd-i386 when doing snapshots, but that's not
always possible. It's, thus, not always available for download.
AROS/linux-ppc is the hosted port of AROS to the Linux operating system
running on the PowerPC family of processors.
Rebuilding requires a patched gcc3.4.3. The diff file can be found in
This port is intended to run on Microsoft Windows (beginning from Windows 98)
as the hosted system. The port is in its early days but is developed
The port maintainer is Pavel Fedin. GDI is used to make the screen output.
This port can be downloaded from our download page.