Wednesday, July 7, 2021

AmigaOS 3.2 on Amiga 1200

Finally the latest AmigaOS 3.2 from Hyperion Entertainment has arrived in the post for me this week! I decided to try it out on my Amiga 1200 first!

It has been frustrating for me watching everyone else in Europe and the US playing with AmigaOS 3.2 and simply having to wait for the CD, 3.2 roms and floppy disks to arrive in Australia. There was no option to download the ISO from the seller I bought it from, so sadly I have had to be very patient.

Unfortunately it means most people already know how it works and have tried it out. So I am not sure how many people will want to read another guide on it! I find these guides useful for myself for rebuilds, so if nothing else, I will benefit from writing this! 

Anyway, it is truly fantastic in 2021 to see another new release of AmigaOS for Classic Amiga systems, following on from the AmigaOS 3.1.4 release a couple of years ago.

AmigaOS 3.2 supports the original Kickstart 3.1 roms (if you have those), or the 3.1.4 kickstart roms, and will soft kick the newest 3.2 roms in that case. That said, I dislike that, and prefer to have the physical roms so that soft kicks and multiple reboots are not needed. With the real physical rom chips installed the Amiga supports all the new functionality from power on.

Accordingly, I ordered from Alinea Computer a few different AmigaOS 3.2 kickstart physical roms with AmigaOS 3.2, including for Amiga 500/2000, Amiga 4000, Amiga 4000T, and Amiga 1200. I also ordered two CD's and 2 AmigaOS 3.2 disk sets and 2 CD's:

A close up of the included disk sets - Install, Workbench, Storage, Extras, Classes, Fonts:

There are way more disks than this though, and actually, a lot of the extra missing disks are REQUIRED for the installation if doing a disk based installation rather than from CD. It is a little frustrating that when ordering a disk set, the full set of disks was not provided...anyway. More on that later.

Be very careful with the registration code included on the outside plastic film of the CD case. I peeled it off carefully and put it on the inside of the CD case. You need this to register your AmigaOS 3.2 from Hyperion Entertainment (on their website) for downloading future updates/patches to AmigaOS 3.2.

The CD is a bootable disc and can install AmigaOS 3.2 from it, as long as you have an Amiga with a CD drive. The install disk includes a utility to mount that CD drive if for some reason you can't boot from the CD because (for example) you are using 3.1 roms on your Amiga.

The CD also includes the ADF (virtual floppy disks) of all the floppy disks in the AmigaOS 3.2 set, and even the labels to print out to put on the disks if you want to make a perfect original looking disk set. A physical instruction guide is also included. Definitely read it first - it has a lot of important information in it.

Minimum system requirements for AmigaOS 3.2 are covered:

How to do a floppy disk only based installation of AmigaOS 3.2:

Today though, I am going old school and doing the floppy based disk installation. My Amiga 1200 is the first Amiga I will try AmigaOS 3.2 on. It has no CD drive attached, so I decided to tackle the disk based installation of AmigaOS 3.2:

As a refresher, lets take a look at the Amiga 1200 as it is currently setup. 

My Amiga 1200 is using an ACA1233n 68030-55Mhz accelerator card, with 128MB fast memory, along with a Rapid Road Clockport USB card, and Indivision AGA Mark 2 scan doubler with Kickstart 3.1 roms. 

I currently have AmigaOS 3.9 BB2 installed on the Amiga 1200, using a IDE to CF adapter as the hard disk. The CF card is a 32GB CF card, seen by AmigaOS as a 30GB CF:

I have partitioned it off into multiple FFS partitions (HD0 to HD8), being careful to ensure no partition is larger than 4GB. 

I have 2x2GB system partitions, with one being a backup system partition where I copy the main system partition before I make any significant changes to the system in case I need to roll back.

Originally I had AmiKit Real 9 on this system (the boot drive is still named AmiKit), but I decided a while back to simplify it back to a very basic AmigaOS 3.9 install so that it ran faster and left maximum Chip memory for demos. As a point of interest, the Amiga 4000T in the linked AmiKit Real 9 blog post I wrote is still running AmiKit Real 9 today.

This Amiga 1200 is now primarily used for running AGA demos from the 030 era of the mid-1990's, as most of these demos don't run well (or at all) on 060 AGA Amiga systems. It also has a large number of AGA/ECS WHDLoad games and of course the all important MODs for listening to :-)

I don't use it for running other Amiga applications really, as I have much faster and better equiped Amiga systems for that purpose.

Let's get into the build now.

First step is putting in the new AmigaOS 3.2 kickstart roms into my Amiga 1200.

The Amiga 1200 has two kickstart roms to install. Other Amigas like the A500/600/2000 only have the one rom chip needed.

I set to work unscrewing the case, which is a lot nicer than the original Commodore case, especially when fitting upgrades. I covered the Amiga 1200 upgrade to case build in my blog post here.

With the case opened, you can see the setup I described earlier, the ACA 030 accelerator, Indivision AGA mk2, IDE to CF adapter and the Rapid Road USB clock port. (I covered my registration serial numbers on the kickstart 3.1 roms with the Gotek USB stick from another Amiga):

I then removed the two kickstart 3.1 rom chips using a chip removal tool, revealing the sockets. As you may know, for some reason the kickstart socket is one pin longer than the actual rom chips.  It is important to put the chips in the right socket on the motherboard, which is labelled above (U6B) and below (U6A), as shown:

The new AmigaOS 3.2 kickstart roms should be oriented the same way as the chips you removed, and right justified on the socket, leaving one pin free on the left side, as below:

I needed to gently push in the pins on the chips to make them fit nicely in the socket, YMMV.

That done, I removed the CF card and closed up the case to check the kickstart 3.2 rom chips work correctly. I am pleased to say they did, first time. 

How cool is it to see 2021 on the Kickstart insert disk screen on your Amiga! :-)

Yeah, my Amiga 1200 looks pretty cool in my opinion :-)

Ok, time to get started with the AmigaOS 3.2 installation itself. As with other AmigaOS, boot from the Install disk to get started.

It boots into a barebones AmigaOS 3.2 workbench:

Inspecting the Install disk contents, you can see the ActivateCDROM software for mounting the AmigaOS 3.2 CD if you have a CD drive attached, and the HDTools drawer (HDToolbox for prepping the hard disk - not required here), and the Install drawer, which is where we start the hard disk installation from.

Before I start the installation though, I decided to reformat the Amikit hard disk boot partition ready for a vanilla AmigaOS 3.2 installation. I decided not to do an upgrade as I want to start from scratch. I named the partition AmigaOS32 and enabled long file names. You could also do this in AmigaOS 3.1.4 but I didn't do it then. For this setup though I decided to enable it.

Ok, empty disk ready for AmigaOS 3.2:

As mentioned earlier, the 6 disks included in the disk set are NOT all the disks needed for a disk based AmigaOS 3.2 hard disk installation. I consulted the instruction manual included with the package which explains this quite well.

I was provided the first 6 disks of the AmigaOS 3.2 disk set with my purchase, but in reality I also need another 6 disks to be able to do the installation (in US English) on this Amiga 1200. 

I needed these extra disks: Glowicons, Backdrops, DiskDoctor, Locale, Locale-EN, and finally MMULibs as I have an 030 accelerator installed. So I fired up my A4000T to copy the ADF files from the CD and use GoADF to write them out to actual floppy disks. 

With that done, I ended up with this enlarged disk set for my AmigaOS 3.2 installation. I also wrote out the HDSetup disk for my A3000 later, and Modules A1200 disk (which I didn't need as I have the physical  3.2 roms installed)

I didn't print out the labels for the extra disks sorry. I was keen to get going on the installation...

As feedback for the all suppliers of the AmigaOS 3.2 disk sets, please give us the option to have a COMPLETE disk set with the purchase, rather than just 6 disks which is not enough for any AmigaOS 3.2 install to complete successfully. I would have paid for the complete disk set if I had known I needed them to complete the installation. It is confusing and a little misleading for people when buying the disk sets.

If you have a Gotek floppy emulator hardware installed in your Amiga, you can also just copy the ADF files to the USB stick on that and swap as needed. This is of course much faster for the installation and don't need actual floppy disks. My Amiga 1200 doesn't have a Gotek installed so I am using real floppy disks.

And yes, apparently you can also copy the CD contents to a USB stick, and copy them to the hard disk on your Amiga (if it is USB enabled) and assigned the CD device name to the drawer to do the installation from the "CD" on your hard disk. I do this trick with AmigaOS 3.9 installs - but I am not doing it today.

Anyway, now I have all the floppy disks needed, I can move on with the installation. I run the installation in English icon from the Install drawer on the Install floppy disk to get started:

You get the option to install AmigaOS 3.2, add more languages from other Locale disks to an existing 3.2 HD install (Locale-XX), Install Glowicons or CPU support Libraries (MMULibs Disk) to an existing 3.2 HD install.

The help guide explains this quite well too. I find often the installer help guides are not that useful, but here they actually are, so please review them as you go if you need help on what to select.

I picked intermediate user for the installation, the default is Novice but I want some control over the installation.

By the way, has anyone *EVER* clicked on "Pretend to Install" in the next step? Just a question...

Now the installer checks the hard disk and asks if I want to install to my freshly formatted AmigaOS32 partition. Yes, please!

Which languages you want is prompted next, with all selected by default. If you proceed that way, you need EVERY Locale ADF disk written out from the CD. I only want English (US). So I deselect all the other languages and just leave English selected - that way I only need the Locale Disk and Local-EN disk for this part of the installation:

Printer drivers to install are next up, all are selected by default. I don't need them, but left this as-is as they come from one of the 3.2 floppy disks I have.

Keymaps are next - again all are selected and again, you need all the Locale disks if you leave it like that. I selected Amercian keymap only, because in Australia the Amiga keyboard is actually the US keyboard.

I am then asked if I want to install the new Glowicons icon set for AmigaOS 3.2! This is wonderful, as in 3.1.4 there was no option to do this in the installation, and had to be done manually afterwards using the Shell. I criticised this a lot at the time, and I am glad they fixed it in 3.2. Note you need the glowicons floppy disk for this.

There are many more glowicons on the CD too, to use for other applications, tools, etc, you might install later on.

Now the installation begins, and I get the pleasure of swapping a lot of floppy disks!

I don't know about you, but there is something satisfying about being able to install a 2021 operating system from floppy disk still :-)

The installer warns me that the CPU is 030 or above and I need to install the MMULibs disk contents after the installation is finished and rebooted.

The install completed successfully! Reboot time.

On first boot from the hard disk, AmigaOS 3.2 warns of the CPU issue needing MMULibs to be installed. Press return key to continue booting to the Workbench. We will fix that shortly.

My first look at the new AmigaOS 3.2 Workbench, using the Glowicons and suitable AmigaOS 3.2 backdrop:

I am pretty excited to have my first AmigaOS 3.2 installation up and running:

There is still plenty to do though on the installation. Next up is the CPU support libraries. I put the Install floppy disk back in the Amiga 1200 and re-run the Installation, this time selecting the "Install CPU Support Libraries" option:

The installer checks where the AmigaOS 3.2 installation is, and locates the AmigaOS32 partition installation:

We then need to specify which CPU accelerator maker my card is from. The choices are limited here, GVP, Individual computers (ACA line) and Phase 5 the choices, and a blanket "Other" if you have an accelerator card from somewhere else. In my case I have an Individual Computers ACA1233n card, so I select that option:

The install prompts for the MMULibs floppy disk, and completes the installation. A reboot is then needed:

With MMULibs installed, I no longer get the warning message on starting up AmigaOS 3.2 from the hard disk. I also took the opportunity to adjust the screen mode in Prefs to use the High Res interlace mode, as the Indivision AGA mk2 card I have uses a flicker fixer (as well as scan doubler), and I get a bigger Workbench display to work with, and the icons and text now look right, rather than stretched in the standard HiRes non-laced default mode.

Next up I installed MUI 3.8 from floppy disk, which worked fine:

I have a registered key for MUI, so I copied that to S: as part of the process to unlock MUI's full functionality. I will upgrade to the latest MUI 5.0 eventually, but until I get USB working I need versions that fit on a floppy disk, so 3.8 it is.

I then set to work on getting the Rapid Road USB working under AmigaOS 3.2, with the Poseidon USB stack install disk which was included with my Rapid Road USB.

The install went fine, and I selected the clock port version driver of the Rapid Road, which is included on the disk and installed as part of the install:

However, on reboot I got an error message saying it couldn't run ENVARC:psdstackloader as it couldn't be found. 

I used the news Failsafe boot mode in AmigaOS 3.2 (from the early boot menu) and then edited and commented out the line in s:user-startup that calls envarc:psdstackloader so I could get to my Workbench again.

After a lot of troubleshooting the issue was not AmigaOS 3.2. The issue was the RapidRoad itself. It was not working at all. This is the second Rapid Road that has died on me with no warning. They are pretty expensive so I am disappointed in that. 
Annoyed at losing a bunch of time to find this out, I pulled the Subway USB from my Vampire destroyed Amiga 600 and installed it in the Amiga 1200 instead. 
Before anyone mentions it, I did fix the clock port wiring after the photo - it was wrong!  

I added the subwayusb.device driver to the devs:usbhardware drawer and added the device in via Trident Prefs as below. The USB then worked and the system booted fine with the psdstackloader command reinstated.
This meant I could now transfer the software I wanted to install on the Amiga 1200 via USB stick, starting with the kickstart roms and WHDLoad latest 2020 version:


I'll come back to trying out WHDLoad under AmigaOS 3.2 later on.

For now, let's take a quick look around AmigaOS 3.2 now it is installed. Checking the About in the Workbench title bar menu, we now have Kickstart version 47.96 and Workbench version 47.2. 

On the Amiga 1200, Screenmode selection and colours for the Workbench is a delicate balancing act due to the effect on available Chip memory, which then affects being able to run some Amiga programs if you use too many colours or use too high a screenmode. 

For big box Amiga systems with RTG cards, all chip memory is left available, and you can go nuts on the available colours and screen resolution. Here on the Amiga 1200, I chose 32 colours High Res Laced as my setup. I think the Glowicons look great in 32 colours - here is the Prefs drawer contents:

I took the opportunity while in Prefs to adjust the Locale preferences to South Australia, which is where I am:

Looking at the Control preferences, you can see there is new options to allow you to move Workbench windows partially off screen, and to allow resizing of windows from any side of the window, not just the bottom right corner as has traditionally been the only way in AmigaOS previously. You can also allow for scroll wheels (if you have a suitable mouse) and keyboard shortcuts for screen drag, along with the usual screen prefs from earlier AmigaOS versions.

Workbench prefs gives you the ability to set MagicWB colours for the Workbench to make it compatible with MagicWB icons that were used a lot in the past. You can also turn off support for NewIcons, another icon format popular in the 1990's.

You'll also notice as a new function that you can now customise the Screen Title format text on the Workbench screen. Previously you needed a patch, separate tool, etc to achieve this. Now it is finally built into the OS. Didn't take me long to change that! :-)

Looking around the hard disk, the new Glowicons under AmigaOS 3.2 look great.

The ShowConfig tool has had a GUI makeover, looking a lot nicer now in AmigaOS 3.2:

There is now support for GIF, JPG and PNG (amongst other) image formats built in to AmigaOS 3.2 now for Multiview Datatype handling. As you can see the default backdrop pictures in AmigaOS 3.2 are png files, directly usable from WBPattern since the support is now built in.

Changes are definitely not limited to the cosmetic in 3.2. The Early boot menu also sees changes, with new boot options added. You can now press the Return key to switch the Early boot between 15kHz and 31Khz mode for those without scan doubling hardware.

Under the Boot options, we have new features to enable system log, startup-sequence tracing, enable failsafe boot (which is kinda like the old Safe mode in Windows, to fix issues preventing normal bootup), and being able to prevent updating ROM modules if you want to. Great to see these new functions:

I had already tried out the Failsafe boot option, which boots into a basic workbench to allow you to fix any boot issues, generally something new installed that stops the system booting up as normal.

Rebooting and moving back to the normal Workbench again, next I change that really awful Topaz font...I do wish there were a few more font options included by default, like the XEN ones included in MagicWB for example...for now Times and Courier will do, anything is better than Topaz.

I used the new png and jpg file support in Multiview to view some photos on my hard disk. Of course, running a 32 colour workbench limits how nice this can look. I imagine when I install OS3.2 on a RTG based Amiga things will look and run much faster for displaying large photos - that said, the output under 32 colours is not too bad:

As a future improvement, I would like to see a default image resize to window option in Multiview.

Another big change is the inclusion of a useful and updated AmigaOS 3.2 Help guide, written using the AmigaGuide system. This basically replaces the old physical manuals you used to get with older AmigaOS versions, and is now available in the OS anytime you need it. Good to see AmigaGuide being used for this. Very useful.

Turning our attention to the Workbench title bar in AmigaOS 3.2, we see some changes here too. A new Open volume option is now in the Workbench menu, allowing a quick launch of any hard disk volumes and Ram Disk windows under Workbench. I love this - very handy.

Under the Tools menu, we now have a Auto-arrange Icons function for icons on the Workbench screen.

Under the Window menu, we see a few new options including Resize to fit, to resize a Wokrbench window to fit the icons in it automatically.

There is also a Clean up by option, to clean up the active window by Column, Name, Date, Size and Type.

There is now also a new useful Find.. option under the Window menu, which launches a new find tool to look programs and files across all or a specific volume or drawer location:

You can click on the found results (in this case Sysinfo), and Open the drawer, View the file (in Multiview) or Start the program, as appropriate. Neat.

Continuing on the the new feature front, AmigaOS 3.2 now support mounting/ejecting ADF (Amiga Disk format) floppy disk images directly in the operating system! 
I tested this with an ADF of the recently release game I purchased called Turbo Sprint. To mount it I just double click on the ADF file and it mounts automatically! I can open the disk and view/interact with the contents! 
There are multiple ADF tools available to mount/eject/write ADF files - the excellent GoADF is an excellent example I use everyday and other free tools like TransADF, ImageMount, etc. But this is the first time to have this functionality built into AmigaOS natively. It is a very welcome new feature.

That said, there is an important point to note that this new functionality makes it very easy to mount ADF disks. But not so intuitive to eject them. I was expecting a right click Workbench title bar option to eject, but no, there isn't. This is an improvement I would like to see.

I did some reading in the new very helpful Help system, and it explains that there is a new tool called DAControl that controls the ADF disk image management under AmigaOS 3.2.

I fired up the Shell, and via the info command worked out ADF volumes are mounted as DA0, DA1, etc...

I then type the command DAControl EJECT UNIT DA0: in the shell to successfully unmount the ADF file.

It works, but as I said already this eject functionality really should be integrated into the operating system via the title bar menu or better yet via right click menu on the ADF icon. Regardless, I am glad ADF file support is now being handled in the OS though, it is a good step forward.

I haven't tried playing with writing data to mounted ADF's using this functionality yet (only reading was tested here as that is what I mainly use it for), but I will look at it. 
I think I will still need GoADF for writing ADF disk images out to real floppy disks and imaging real floppy disks to ADF - I prefer the nice GUI. But I won't need GoADF for mounting ADF disks any more under AmigaOS 3.2.

I next tested with mounting 4 floppy disk images using the new ADF handling functionality in AmigaOS 3.2 and it works well:

I am particlarly happy to finally see volume/filename/directory tab completion in the AmigaShell become a standard part of the operating system in AmigaOS 3.2. For over twenty years I have had to install alternative Shells to get this functionality under Classic Amiga. No longer required!

The updated Default Icon prefs is also worth a mention:

I am loving AmigaOS 3.2 so far. Compared to 3.1.4 I can see a lot more new features, rather than just bug fixes, which is wonderful. 

That said there are bug fixes too - the fixup of input.device in this version means the Poseidon modified input.device for USB support is no longer needed, as mentioned in the AmigaOS 3.2 FAQ.

I have touched on some of the new features for AmigaOS 3.2, but this is not an exhaustive list. The included AmigaGuide help lists all the new features (over 100!) and there are a lot more to explore.
Moving on with my AmigaOS 3.2 build, things I still need to do on AmigaOS 3.2 include installing Music players, AHI. Turning on MagicWB icon support is important as plenty of programs still use this colour palette for their icons, eg. MUI:

Moving on to the all important music player installs...I created an Applications drawer in AmigaOS32 partition to put them in.

Digibooster 1.7 is first off the ranks for installation. Why? Umm, just because why not!
 Works fine! Mod time!

While leaving the Digibooster icon out on the workbench desktop for easy launching, I noticed above that there is a new UnSnapshot icon function in the Workbench Title bar Icon Menu.

Next I installed Hippoplayer, Delitracker 2 and then Eagleplayer, my favourite mod players on the Amiga.

I enjoyed listening to my favourite mods while preparing some new release Amiga games to try out on my Amiga 1200 later on :-)

Keeping to the music theme, next up is installing AHI (for retargeting Amiga audio for external sound cards and can be used with the onboard Paula sound chip too). Quite a few programs on the Amiga use AHI, and so I need to have it installed - I downloaded it from Aminet.

The AHI installation is easy enough:

During the installation it does ask to confirm what sound cards are installed. It selects Filesave and Paula for me, and since I don't have any other audio devices connected to the Amiga 1200, I leave it there.
With the install completed, I rebooted and ran the AHI Prefs program to configure it for use. I selected Music Unit 0 and selected Paula HiFi 8 bit Stereo++ and modified the options to use 22050Hz output, 32 channels for playback of music that has many channels:

That done, I could now install AmigaAmp, a music and MP3 player for Classic Amiga that needs AHI configured in order to work. I downloaded the latest version from their website. After installation, I ran the AmigaAmp Prefs program in the AmigaAmp drawer so I could configure the AHI Unit to 0 and also the MP3 playback settings. Given this is an 030 based Amiga, I need to reduce the settings a lot for playback to work at all.

I also adjust the loading playback buffer to make it less likely the system will stutter during playback.

I then launch AmigaAmp and it looks pretty cool still in 2021! I still need to install the mpega.library though, which is not included in the AmigaAmp distribution.

With this all done, I deserved a break so I booted no startup to run some demos under AmigaOS 3.2. The newer setpatch is nice and less verbose in it's output.
AGA 030 demo time :-)

Some Haujobb and some TBL goodness too :-)

In some shameless self-promotion, I also tried out the Terminal demo I helped to write on the Amiga 1200/030 back in 1998 when part of The Experience demo group, that I formed here in South Australia.

Demo relaxation done, I rebooted back into AmigaOS 3.2 to try out some new games I bought and received recently on the Amiga 1200, like Fred's Journey.
It is typical platform game fare, but still nice to have a new Amiga game to play on my rebuilt Amiga 1200, now running AmigaOS 3.2.
I also tried out a game I got ages ago but never tried, Retro Wars:

This kind of point and click adventure game is not really my thing, but it is nice to see games of different genres appearing on Classic Amiga still!
 The graphics are kinda cute though.

Recently I bought and tried out Turbo Sprint, the newly released game for AGA Amiga on my Raspberry Pi 400 running AmiKit XE 11.5. I was waiting for the boxed version to arrive, which it finally did this week. 

 The F1 model car included in the box is actually a USB stick - how cool :-)

So I could try the game out on my Amiga 1200 under AmigaOS 3.2. I found I had to run it boot no startup to run Turbo Sprint - most likely due to not enough Chip memory. 
There is a WHDLoad archive included on the CD to install the Turbo Sprint disk version to Hard disk to run under WHDLoad. I will try this out later on. For now though, it works well on HD copied straight from the disk and run on early boot no startup.

As a kid, I loved Super Sprint in the arcades. I am so glad to see this game finally released on AGA Amigas in 2021. It works very well, the graphics and sound are excellent and pay great tribute to the original arcade game.
Last, but not least, I also tried out some WHDLoad games under AmigaOS 3.2, using the latest WHDLoad which I installed earlier in this build. Some games worked well, and some didn't. I still need to work out why that is.

Blood Money was one of the ones that worked fine.

Killing Game Show worked well too - issue I found in testing seems to affect the AGA WHDLoad stuff more, maybe a 3.1 A1200 kickstart rom issue...maybe I should try a 3.2 rom!

WHDLoad Demos also were a mixed bag - I need to find out what is causing some to work and not others.
There is still plenty to do and explore on AmigaOS 3.2, including trying it on other Amiga systems with more complex hardware requirements, but hopefully I have given you a taster on what to expect on the Amiga 1200, and the compatibility to games, demos and a few applications.
In summary, AmigaOS 3.2 is a must have upgrade for your Classic Amiga.
I hope this encourages people to go and buy a copy of AmigaOS 3.2 and some of the many new games out there for Classic Amiga and support ongoing Amiga development. 


  1. Hey Sir, have you ever thought of upgrading the blue 1200 with a black (mechanical) keyboard? I think it would look even cooler!

    I got a grey 1200 case and waiting for the keyboard to arrive!

    They are around 200€ and are built to order by hand.