During the main spread of the Amiga computer, the Internet was neither known nor accessible to a wider public. Mailboxes were slow ( modem speeds up to 2400 bit / s) and expensive in Germany because of the telephone monopoly . Obtaining free software legally was therefore difficult. Numerous providers of software collections were formed which were sent as floppy disks by post. The best known and most widespread were the fish disks of the American Fred Fish , who shipped good quality software worldwide. Over time, however, software packages became larger, telecommunications cheaper, and the Internet came more into the focus of users. This is how free FTP servers emerged as mirrors or in competition with the previous collections. The Amiga community relied on a NASA server for some time . However, when this was no longer available, alternatives became necessary. In the end, Aminet, a generic name for a comprehensive collection of free Amiga software that is available on distributed servers and in the form of CDs, prevailed.
Today Aminet is a synonym for free software on the Amiga. Authors usually upload their software to Aminet. Amiga users usually search for software on Aminet first.
In 1992, on the initiative of Urban Dominik Müller, Aminet began in Switzerland on a borrowed Motorola 68030 25 MHz with 50 MB free space for uploads. In 1992 ab20.larc.nasa.gov, another popular Amiga FTP server at NASA, was just closed. When people from the Amiga community (and "Walnut Creek") donated a 1.5 GB hard drive, one mirror site after the other slowly began to grow out of the ground. Over the years, Müller remained in charge of the worldwide organization and coordination of the Aminet.
In the end, Aminet developed into what it is today: two dozen mirror sites, accessible from various mailboxes, and until the CD distribution was discontinued, 52 individual CD-ROMs and 12 collections of four CDs each, which were sent at regular intervals Provided "snapshots" of the Aminet for Amiga users without internet access.
In order to do justice to the different (more or less) compatible Amiga systems ( AROS , MorphOS , 68k-AmigaOS, ppc-AmigaOS, PowerUP , WarpOS , AmigaDE , Amithlon ), new software is now labeled accordingly.