AmigaOS is a unique single-user operating system known for its preemptive multitasking kernel called Exec. It provides a software abstraction of Amiga hardware, a hard disk operating system called AmigaDOS, a windowing system API called Intuition, and a desktop file manager called Workbench. It’s worth noting that AmigaOS has no built-in memory protection.
Components of AmigaOS
AmigaOS consists of two parts – a firmware component called Kickstart and a software part commonly known as Workbench. While matching versions of Kickstart and Workbench were released together until AmigaOS 3.1, newer versions only update the software component, and the role of Kickstart has been reduced somewhat. This changed in 2018 when the license holder of AmigaOS 3.1 released an update with an updated Kickstart ROM. The CLI and Workbench components share the same privileges.
The Amiga OS requires only low hardware requirements, running on Amiga hardware with a Motorola 68K CCU. Since 1997, extensions with PowerPC 603e and 604e CPUs are also possible. The Amiga OS is controlled by preemptive multitasking, and the 512 kByte Rome chip (Kickstart) contains the entire OS core. Workbench is used as the GUI. The internal file system is FFS.
Graphics and Display
Prior to 1991, Amigas could display only 8 to 16 colors (out of a possible 4096) simultaneously. Since the AGA chipset was introduced in 1991, the displays could show 16 million colors out of which 4096 could be displayed simultaneously. Additionally, Amigas can be upgraded with graphics cards, including 3D accelerators since 1998.
Is AmigaOS still relevant?
While AmigaOS is not as widely used today as it was in the past, it has a small but dedicated community of users who continue to develop and use the operating system.
What programming languages can be used to develop for AmigaOS?
AmigaOS supports a wide range of programming languages, including C, C++, Java, Python, Free Pascal and many others.
AmigaOS is a unique operating system known for its single-user approach, preemptive multitasking kernel, and graphical user interface called Workbench, among other things. AmigaOS supports low hardware requirements and provides a wide range of programming languages for software development. Although not as widely used today, it remains relevant to a dedicated community of users.