Amiga Notes

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Some notes while learning about the Amiga, may break into proper pages later...

Target Machine

The point is to emulate an Amiga 1200 with realistic (ie cheap) upgrades, in the optic of moving away from emulation at some point. So fs-uae-launcher needs to have a profile with the following:

  • Amiga Model: A1200 with 3.1 ROM (standard with recent model)
  • Hard Drives: Pick a folder, the standard parent directory in ~/FS-UAE/Hard Drives is fine (HD are standard in stock A1200?). I made 2 subfolders Vanilla (for Workbench install) and Chocolate (for collection of software and files).
  • Kickstart ROM: Custom, kick.a1200.46.143 (comes from Workbench 3.1.4 distro)
  • Chip RAM: 2MB (standard)
  • Fast RAM: 8MB (optional, these are relatively cheap)
  • CPU: 68EC020 (standard)
  • MIDI support: add serial_port = /dev/snd/midiC1D0 in the Advanced tab of the Settings menu. Adjust to your sound card.


  • Floppy Drive Speed: Turbo, because emulating slow drive access is a bit pointless here
  • Floppy Drive Sound Emulation: Set to 0 (disabled) because...
  • Video Settings: There is little value to do proper emulation of scale, pixel ratio, etc, for Workbench use, so I picked Integer Scaling, Square Pixels, Hide Bezel and Full Frame.

Workbench/AmigaOS 3.1.4

Workbench is the file manager of AmigaOS, the operating system of the Amiga. The last version is 3.1.4 released in 2018.


  • Purchase, or find a way to get the disks (you need the Kickstart ROM anyway, there is one single for emu use and 2 files for flashing on real hardware). Make sure you add all the floppies in the swap list of the emu.
  • Boot from floppy Install3_1_4.adf
  • Open Install3.1.4 from Workbench, and start Install (choose fav language)
  • Installation is straightforward, I picked "Expert User" to only install the ps printer driver and the American keyboard mapping
  • As requested, swap disks during the install (press F12 to do that)
  • When finished, you can eject the last inserted disk and reboot, done

Making use of Workbench

Best is to watch the following:

Note: On fs_uae The left and right Amiga keys are the left and right SUPER (aka Windows) keys.

Installing software

Command line software is usually installed to be available system wide, while GUI software can run from their own media (CD-ROM, Floppy), or can be executed from any folder on the HD. Some software comes with an Installer script, some don't. If your software comes with an install script, then usually you just have to double-click on it (granted you have Installer already installed, see below).

Let's make a vault directory to keep all the stuff we're going to be hoarding, in the Chocolate HD. See HD config above. We also make a run folder for the applications we install manually.

  • From host
cd ~/FS-UAE/Hard\ Drives/Chocolate
mkdir vault run

System wide installs for CLI software

Example with installing the very much needed lha compression utility.

  • From host, cd to the vault and download the software
  • From Workbench, start a shell, we're going to unpack the self-extracting archive of lha to the Ram Disk, and copy/rename of the binaries to the C: directory.
cd Chocolate:vault
dir Ram:
copy lha_68020 C:lha  # we only install the binary matching our CPU
  • Now you can run lha from any location in the shell

Another Example with the Installer software that's needed for install scripts.

  • From host, cd to the vault and download the software
wget Installer-43_3.lha
  • From Workbench, start a shell, we're going to unpack the archive to the Ram Disk, and copy the Installer binary to the C: directory.
cd Chocolate:vault
lha x Installer-43_3.lha Ram:
copy Ram:Installer43_3/Installer C:

Custom location installs for GUI software

GUI software can generally be installed and run pretty much anywhere. Example with OctaMED Soundstudio.

  • From host, cd to the vault and download the software
  • From Workbench, we're going to unpack the archive to the Ram Disk
cd Chocolate:vault
lha x OctamedSS1.03c.lha Ram:
  • After that, you can open the Ram Disk, and enter the Soundstudio drawer (make sure you Window/Show/All Files)
  • Open also the run drawer
  • Drag the big OctaMED icon from the Soundstudio drawer to the the run drawer.
  • Done, you can double-click the icon to start OctaMED.

Note: Instead of dragging/copy you can also copy from the shell.

Adding Icons to files

The thing that's a bit confusing with WB is that a file or directory may or may not have an Icon. It's not just cosmetics, if a file or directory does not have an Icon, not only it's not visible by default in the WB windows, but it also limits some interaction (for instance configuring Default Tool is only possible if there is an Icon). If you need to make a file or directory visible by default when displayed in WB window or if you need to associate it to a specific software, then it needs to have icon metadata, which are just a bunch of extra files that will sit next to the original file. The quickest way to add an Icon, is to drag the file into IconEdit located in Prefs/Tools drawers and save.

Useful software