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OSdata.com: AmigaOS 





    AmigaOS is an old but popular operating system that is being resurrected.

    The Amiga computer was a landmark computer of the 1980s, the first personal computer capable of true multimedia work. In 1982, Jay Miner and Dave Morris left Atari to co-found Hi-Toro. Miner was the designer of the Atari VCS (2600), Atari 400, and Atari 800. In 1983, Hi-Toro was renamed Amiga. In 1985, Commodore International purchased the company and released the Amiga 1000.m8a

     The Amiga 1000 used the same Motorola 68000 processor as the Macintosh, but also had a famous set of support chips to handle graphics, sound, and other activities, freeing up the main processor from these tasks. At the time, the IBM PC could only display 16 colors and produce beeps and simple tones, but the Amiga displayed 4,096 colors and produced home stereo quality four channel sound. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Amiga became very popular for professional video, graphics, and multimedia work, as well as being a popular home gaming platform.

    The AmigaOS was also the most advanced operating system available on personal computers, offering both a sophisticated command line interface and a sophisticated graphic user interface, as well as multitasking and other capabilities traditional in the mainframe world.


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Intended purpose

server/mainframe: Only low end servers can run on this operating system.

desktop/workstation: general desktop and video editing workstations

handheld: not appropriate

real time: not appropriate

Kind of OS: proprietarye73

Release Date: October 1985, AmigaOS 1.0e95

Current Version: 4.0w82

Cost: under $100e95

Hardware Supported: Motorola 68060, 68040, 68030, 68020, 68000, Motorola/IBM PowerPC

    680x0 assembly language is discussed in the assembly language section.

Maximum Number of Processors: two (one 68060 and one PowerPC)e95

Number of bits: 32e95

Kernel: proprietary

POSIX: supported with free system library extensions (ixemul)e95

Peripherals: BUS: Zorro 1/2 & 3. ISA and PCI by 3rd party hardware/software.e95

File Systems Supported:

    “Also little-known formats such as sample disks for synthesizers that have disk drives.” —Jan Ullrich Bistere69

    “And Amiga can read some SGI made tapes that other SGIs were unable to read. Similarly, I could read X32 made (Posix 3.x) tapes with my tapestreamer when SGI refused to know that they existed. (QIC-150 and QIC-250). Thus I could recover some 2 years of work when one old SGI made a suicide.” —Esa Haapaniemie71

Other Systems Emulated:

    “What is operating system emulation? Each computer family works with specifically tailored software, on the operating system level as well as on the application level. When you supply a computer with soft- and/or hardware so that it’s able to use software written for a different platform, this is called emulation. The Amiga is sort of a world champion in emulating other platforms like the PC, Macintosh®, C64, Atari ST®, and more.” —Amiga Emulationw44

    “For low demands on processing speed there are software MS-DOS® emulators that fake a whole compatible PC purely in software and allow you to run standard DOS applications. For higher demands there are hardware emulators containing their own PC processor, thus offering full working speed.” —Amiga Emulationw44

    “there are emulators (like “Shapeshifter”) available which transform the Amiga into an almost native Macintosh® without any loss of speed!” —Amiga Emulationw44 [NOTE: This only applies to 680x0 Macintosh programs, not the more recent PowerPC Macintosh software.]

Graphics Engine: Intuitione95

Text Command Shell: AmigaDOS CLIe95

User Interface (graphic):

Graphic Command Shell: Amiga WorkBenche95

AmigaOS workbench screen shot

click on the preview image for a larger version

screen shot courtesy of Pat Gunn’s Operating Systemsw59

Disabled support:

Internet Services:

Application Programs:




references within this web site

(for your convenience, look for this symbol marking passages about Amiga)

further reading: web sites

Please send recommendations on additional URLs to Milo.

official web sites

    Amiga Inc.

    Amiga International, Inc.


(Frequently Asked Questions)



user group web sites

    http://os.amiga.com/ugroups/index.php?browse=1 “Amiga User Groups”w82



    Amiga User Group Network database

other related web sites

further reading: books

If you want your book reviewed, please send a copy to: Milo, POB 1361, Tustin, CA 92781, USA.

Price listings are for courtesy purposes only and may be changed by the referenced businesses at any time without notice.

further reading: books: introductory

    Amiga for Beginners; by Christian Spanik; Abacus Software; January 1988; ISBN 1557550212; Paperback; $16.95

    Amiga Intern; by Maelger Stefan; Abacus Software; May 1992; ISBN 1557551480; Paperback; $39.95

    Amiga System: An Introduction; by Bill Donald; Precision Software; June 1986; ISBN 1852310014; Hardcover; $10.80

further reading: books: introductory/general

further reading: books: administration

further reading: books: internet

further reading: books: enterprise/business

further reading: books: content creation

    The Multimedia Production Handbook for the PC, Macintosh, and Amiga; by Tom Yager; Academic Press Professional; December 1993; ISBN 0127680306; Paperback; 382 pages; $31.96

    Action Amiga: Computer Graphics Animation and Video Production Manual; by John Warren Oakes; Univ Pr of Amer; March 1989; ISBN 081917209X; Paperback; $19.50

    The Amiga Desktop Video Workbook; by Jay Gross; Amigadget Pr; September 1990; ISBN 1879211009; Hardcover (with disk); $34.95

    Amiga Desktop Video; 2nd edition; Compute; August 1991; ISBN 0874551714; Paperback

further reading: books: programming

    Amiga User Interface Style Guide (Amiga Technical Reference Series); by Commodore-Amiga, Inc.; Addison-Wesley Pub Co; June 1991; ISBN 0201577577; Paperback; 206 pages; $17.56

    Amiga Intuition Reference Manual (Amiga Technical Reference Series); by Robert J. Mical, Susan Deyl; Addison-Wesley Pub Co; May 1986; ISBN 0201110768; Paperback

    Amiga Rom Kernel Reference Manual: Devices (Amiga Technical Reference Series); 3rd edition; by Commodore-Amiga, Inc.; Addison-Wesley Pub Co; October 1991; ISBN 020156775X; Paperback; 582 pages; $23.16

further reading: books: hardware

    Amiga Printers: Inside and Out; by Ralf Ockenfelds; Abacus Software; December 1990; ISBN 1557550875; Hardcover (with disk); $34.95

further reading: books: miscellaneous

further viewing: VHS tapes

further viewing: VHS tapes: content creation

    Amiga Animation Vol. 1; by Amiga World; TAPEWORM VIDEO; August 1992; ISBN 6302363586; $19.99

    Amiga Animation Vol. 2; by Amiga World; TAPEWORM VIDEO; August 1992; ISBN 6302363594; $24.99

In Association with Amazon.com

If you want your book reviewed, please send a copy to: Milo, POB 1361, Tustin, CA 92781, USA.


    “Never EVER mess with a jumper you don’t know about, even if it’s labeled ‘sex and free beer’.” —Dave Haynie, Amiga developer

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    A web site on dozens of operating systems simply can’t be maintained by one person. This is a cooperative effort. If you spot an error in fact, grammar, syntax, or spelling, or a broken link, or have additional information, commentary, or constructive criticism, please e-mail Milo. If you have any extra copies of docs, manuals, or other materials that can assist in accuracy and completeness, please send them to Milo, PO Box 1361, Tustin, CA, USA, 92781.

    If you have an extra or unwanted copy of any official manuals or documentation on this operating system, please send them to: Milo, POB 1361, Tustin, CA 92781, USA. I have the following items: NONE.

    Note: I am looking for a fan of the Amiga who has the time to check this web site for completeness and accuracy regarding the Amiga. Just check through the site about once a week or so and report back with any information (including the URL of the web page you are reporting).

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    Last Updated: March 21, 2004

    Created: June 22, 1998

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