posted by paolone on Thu 3rd Feb 2011 22:24 UTC
IconIcaros Desktop, the distribution for i386 PC of the AROS Research Operating System (an open source revival of classic AmigaOS) reached version 1.2.6 and introduces new improvements and features.

They're trying to satisfy both the old Amiga users, with features like the iconic screen-dragging on selected video cards (one of the ingredients that actually made the Amiga look so different to any other computer platform in its gold age), and modern ones like support for encrypted wireless networks and the addition of MESA 7.10, Gallium 3D and EGL/OpenVG libraries, which should make porting and building of modern 3D games and applications easier.

This release includes also the Bochs emulator, which allows Icaros to host in a virtual machine other operating systems like FreeDOS, Linux and, with some efforts, even Windows. Emulation is slow but still usable, although the distributor states that "it is more a proof-of-concept, a way to demonstrate that AROS is ready for this kind of jobs, and an open invitation to port other virtualization technologies".

Since the beginning, Icaros Desktop efforts went in a precise direction: trying to make AROS complete enough for everyday use, with the addition of a wide range of applications and functions (games, emulators, network clients, paint and music programs, programming languages and so on). It's now possible to connect the AROS machine to any Windows, Linux or MacOS X computer or server running VNC or Remote Desktop, and even vice-versa; i.e., exporting the workbench screen on any other system with a VNC client.

Tasks, windows and resources can be handled with the Scout task manager, that now opens in its own screen using a key combination. Files can be exchanged with other computers over the network using an embedded ftp/http server, or manually moved on a pendrive with the Poseidon USB 1.1/2.0 stack. The whole system can also boot up from USB devices, allowing users to bring their whole installation and projects always with them.

Icaros Desktop 1.2.6 is available in two versions, Light and Live!, targeting single CD or DVD installation media.

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