AROS (operating system)

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AROS Dark Kitty.png
AROS with Cyrillic support

AROS Research OS
developer Various
License (s) APL, based on the MPL
ancestry TRIPOS
   ↳ AROS
Architecture (s) PPC, M68k, i486, ARM

The AROS Research Operating System ( AROS for short ) is a free operating system that is API-compatible with AmigaOS 3.1. The operating system, initially called "Amiga Research Operating System", was renamed to the recursive acronym AROS due to the protected Amiga brand .


Due to the uncertain future for the Amiga computer and the associated AmigaOS operating system after the bankruptcy of Commodore , the development of AROS began in 1995.

Over the years there was a new development from AmigaOS , written in C , which was ported to many different platforms. In 2011 AROS was finally ported to the original Amiga hardware, so that, for example, a Kickstart ROM could be published for Amiga emulators such as WinUAE , with which Amiga programs can be started without operating system components that need to be licensed.

AROS and its relationship to AmigaOS



Since AROS is a portable operating system, it is available for several platforms.

In the past there was also an exchange with Amiga programmers (AfA approach: AROS for Amiga) and with MorphOS . The functionality of AROS or the other operating systems is expanded and mutually tested via so-called backports.

Lines of development


Portings are divided into two lines of development, namely "native" and "hosted".

"Native" ports run directly on the hardware and have complete control over the computer. An AROS in such a variant is not emulated, but is an independent operating system. This is the development goal, as it allows the hardware to be fully utilized. However, not all ports are currently productive.

"Hosted" ports are run on the host operating system, e.g. B. Linux or Windows emulated. The advantage is that they are easier to create since there is no need to write drivers for the hardware.

Kickstart ROM Replacement

For the emulation of older 68k Amigas or their direct replication, e.g. in FPGAs, you need so-called kickstart files. With the Kickstart ROM Replacement Project, which was part of the native porting of AROS to 68k Amigas or 68k Amiga emulators, a compatible and free Kickstart ROM was created. This Kickstart ROM is also included in WinUAE, which makes it possible, for example, to start Amiga demos without the original Kickstart ROMs.


The different AROS ports have the form AROS / <Platform> - <CPU>, where <Platform> is a symbolic name of the platform and <CPU> is the CPU architecture. The platform of a port can either be the native hardware such as “PC” or “Amiga”, or an operating system for “hosted” ports such as “linux” or “freebsd”.


AROS programs for a specific CPU can be "moved" across all ports with this CPU. This means that programs that are compiled for “pc-i386” can also run on “linux-i386” and “freebsd-i386”.

Existing ports

List of all AROS ports that are in progress:


  • AROS / pc-i386
    Line of development: native
    Status: executable
    AROS / pc-i386 is the port of AROS for IBM - PC and compatibles with x86 processors.
    The i386 port is next to the Linux i386 hosted development branch the most developed port at the moment. However, only a selection is supported from the large number of hardware available on the PC market.
  • AROS / pc-x86_64
    Line of development: native
    Status: executable
    AROS / x86_64 is the port of AROS for IBM-PC and compatibles or their successor with 64-bit ( x64 , AMD64 ) -processor.
    The availability for drivers corresponds to the i386 port.
  • AROS / linux-i386 and linux-x86_64
    Development line: hosted
    Status: working, most complete port from Aros.
    AROS / linux-i386 is the port of AROS for GNU / Linux on x86 processors.
    It uses the host operating system's drivers.
  • AROS / freebsd-i386
    Development line: hosted
    Status: executable
    AROS / freebsd-i386 is the port of AROS to the FreeBSD operating system for x86 processors.
    This port is relatively complete as it shares most of the code with AROS / linux-i386.
  • AROS / darwin-i386 and darwin-x86_64
    Development line: hosted
    Status: executable
    The hosted version of the operating system that runs on MacOS has been available for download since December 8, 2011.
  • AROS / mingw-i386 ( Windows with Cygwin )
    Development line: hosted
    Status: executable
    This hosted version of the operating system, which runs under Windows (probably all Win32 versions since Windows 98) with Cygwin , has also been available since December 8, 2011. Cygwin contributes the X11 server (for display) and the MinGW (Minimalist GNU for Windows: Compiler, Linker, etc.).


  • AROS / PPC
    Line of development: native
    Status: executable, the Sam440ep mainboard is currently supported.
    AROS / PPC is the porting of AROS for computers based on PowerPC processors (PPC).
    The Sam440ep mainboard from Acube Systems is currently supported. A port for the EFIKA is in progress.
  • AROS / linux-ppc
    Development line: hosted
    Status: executable
    AROS / linux-ppc is the port of AROS for PowerPC processors.
    This port is relatively complete as it shares most of the code with AROS / linux-i386.


  • AROS / m68k
    Line of development: native
    Status: executable
    AROS / m68k is the port of AROS for classic Amiga hardware. There is now an executable version.
    Thanks to the Aros for Amiga (AfA) project, parts of the Aros code can be used in the classic Amiga operating system in order to expand the functionality and test AROS code in a productive environment.


  • AROS / android-arm and linux-arm
    Development line: hosted
    Status: executable
    AROS / arm is the port of AROS for the ARM architecture and requires at least one ARMv6 compatible CPU.
    Specific ports have been available for Android and Linux since December 8, 2011; AROS runs under Android without modifying the host system.

Web links

Commons : AROS Research Operating System  - collection of images, videos and audio files