AmigaOS 4.1 Classic Sneak Peek

Hi everyone, my name is Darren Eveland and I’m one of the AmigaOS 4.x beta testers.  I’ve been on the Beta Testing team since 2003, and I’ve tested AmigaOS 4.0 through 4.1.  My current focus is testing AmigaOS 4.1 for Classic Amigas.  Hyperion announced AmigaOS 4.1 for Classic Amigas at this past Amiwest in California, and that was a few months ago, so I wanted to take this opportunity to give you a sneak peek of what’s coming.

We are working very hard to “catch up” AmigaOS for Classic Amigas since we know it hasn’t been updated like the AmigaONE and SAM versions, and we know you’ve asked for it.   So the Classic release will fix that, bringing your Amiga 1200, 3000, or 4000 to the current AmigaOS 4.1 Update 2 level.  Of course it wouldn’t be fun if we didn’t add some new features, too!

So, lets re-cap what Hyperion Announced at Amiwest:

AmigaOS 4.1 for Classic Amigas, equipped with Cyberstorm or Blizzard PPC accelerator boards
Support for Radeon PCI graphic cards – (assuming you have a Mediator or Prometheus PCI bridge)
Support for PCI SATA cards
Support for ZorRAM memory expansion cards (Zorro 3 only)
Support for additional memory via hard-disk paging from PCI SATA hard disks or Cyberstorm PPC SCSI disks
Support for Graphics Hardware Acceleration via the Radeon card – for Desktop Compositing (transparency) and Warp3D

Ok, I know more was said, and there may be a few surprises, but let’s show you a little sneak peek…(and yes, this is beta, so features are subject to change.)

Screenshot of the upcoming AmigaOS 4.1 Classic release

This screenshot shows the AmigaOS 4.1 Classic Workbench, running on an Amiga 4000 with Cyberstorm PPC, Mediator 4000Di PCI bridge, Radeon 9250 with 256MB video ram, a 200GB SATA hard disk, a ZorRAM 256MB Zorro-3 memory card, and the Ranger system diagnostic utility open.

The next screenshot below shows a rotating 3D cube benchmark using hardware acceleration, the new and updated Extras Installer, and one of the included Extras, Filer, a file management utility designed specifically for AmigaOS 4.1.

Screenshot of the upcoming AmigaOS 4.1 Classic release

Many users often wonder “what’s going on”…well as a Beta tester I can tell you that work is completed every single day, there are many e-mails sent between the developers and beta testers, and sometimes we even get into heated arguments about features or implementations.  But it’s all good fun and we are all working very hard to give you die-hard Amiga users something fun and new for your Classic Amigas.  Keep the faith and check back here for more updates as we get closer to release!  The next post will be some tips on what you can do to get your Classic Amiga ready for AmigaOS 4.1 Classic!

Darren Eveland
AmigaOS 4.x Beta Tester


  1. Thanks to the written text, and the beta test team for an excellent job.

  2. i all most want to get an amiga 4000. i allways dreamed about it. but i think i will keep my amiga one micro until i can efort and x1000

  3. Really good news!
    Looking forward to read the next post.

  4. Antonis Iliakis

    Hi Darren and thanks for the first sneak peak.

    Glad that we can use Radeon PCI cards (via a mediator busboard) or even ZorRAM.

    But what about speed? Older PowerPC boards, like CyberStormPPC aren’t so powerful for such an updated AmigaOS. Even on a 800MHz system, sometimes it’s really slow.

    What we have to expect in speeds? For example, will be sufficient for AmigaOS 4.1 Classic to run OWB smoothly?

  5. Great! I see you implemented DOpusMagellan-like lister!? Am I right? If yes, I will be very happy! 🙂 Finally OS4 looks very very good!

  6. Thanks for the nice comments. The lister is part of Filer – which is optionally installed by the end user as part of the Extras Installer.

    Speed is pretty good considering the age of the hardware. Radeon really helps. But don’t expect X1000 speed 🙂

  7. Nice! Although I own a SAM and would rather like to hear about progress there, I really love the idea of blogging. Thanks a lot!

  8. Still no 3D drivers for Cyber and BVision?!

  9. Great Stuff, what Radeon should I get for my Prometheus? Yes, I want to get the Best lol Thanks!

  10. Most excellent! A development blog is a great idea! Keep the updates coming.

    Best Regards,
    /Stefan aka shoe

  11. Antonis Iliakis

    Hi Darren, thanks for the reply.

    Did you try ragemem (from OS4Depot) yet? It would be nice to post these numbers here for a comparison with AmigaOS 4.0 for classics mostly.

  12. Hans-Jörg Frieden

    Who knows…? It’s a sneak peek, not a full feature list yet.

  13. Hans-Jörg Frieden

    EDIT: I was too quick. The Radeon 7xxx do not work, only the Radeon 92xx series.

  14. Note that the card you will be using must work in your Prometheus. Not all graphics cards do, since the Prometheus and earlier Mediator models do not support all the voltages necessary (on the PCI slots).

  15. For all Mediator 4000’s and the Promtheus you will need a 5V card. Your safest bet is to purchase the 5V Radeon directly from Elbox.

    I also have a “Sapphire Radeon 9250 256MB PCI” that works. Another tester has confirmed that card also works, although that card has two separate memory devices/segments so it only shows 128MB gfx memory.

    The card shown in the screenshot is the Radeon 9250 from Elbox and has 256MB of ram in a single segment so that is preferable.

    There will be more information in a FAQ when AmigaOS 4.1 for Classics ships.

  16. I actually had some posted on before it got hacked…

    Since RageMem is mostly measuring the speed of the hardware the numbers would be roughly the same as from AmigaOS 4.0.

  17. I’m off to buy this card, no hard feelings if it isn’t supported in the end LOL

  18. Hey, great blog site!

    Can’t wait to see some updates posted here in the new year. 🙂 Looking forward to buy the X1000 – hurry up!

    Things I’d like to see fully complete in AmigaOS by the end of 2011 starting with the most obvious, support for SAM 460ep and Amiga X1000, multicore support, Gallium 3D, integration of Filer into the OS, re-organisation of Preferences (something like this: and deletion of legacy tools eg. Memacs. Lots to look forward to outside the OS as well Timberwolf (!), OpenOffice at some point in the next 6-12 months and of course the myriad of developments IDEs such as AVD of which I am a proud sponsor.

  19. Nice screenshots and blog! Shaping up to be a very nice operating system – well done on the continued support for Classics.

    I’m a little sad that there’s still no mention on the GRex being supported. Is there still a political problem/agreement/contractual obligation preventing this from happening? This is the only reason I’ll never be able to enjoy OS4 🙁

    What would it take for the GRex to be supported? Documentation and/or hardware? Reverse-engineering? If I sent my GRex 4000D to you, would you guys see if writing a driver is possible? 🙂 Or is it more complicated than that?

    There have to be other GRex owners out there who’d love to buy OS4 if it ran on the hardware. Can we help you help us?

    Many thanks and keep up the great work guys!

  20. Will be PPC-only?
    I’d like to buy it and use it under WinUAE + P96 emu… won’t work?

  21. Yes, PPC only. It requires a PowerPC processor on a Blizzard PPC or Cyberstorm PPC accelerator card in an Amiga 1200 or Amiga 3000(T) or 4000(T).

  22. I don’t know for certain, I’m only a Beta Tester, but my understanding is there is no documentation available for the GRex. The only company that had any would have been DCE and they threw out all their Amiga stuff years ago and refuse now to answer any Amiga related questions.

    The Mediator and Prometheus PCI bridges are still available to purchase new from Amiga Dealers.

  23. It seems like it should be good news to have AmigaOS 4.1 for Classic Amigas being developed.

    However, I am more than just a little concerned that most of the updates, seem to relate to PCI GFX cards, which can only be fitted in a Mediator or Prometheus add-on board, and Zorro 3 equipped Classic Amigas. This seems to immediately by-pass the A1200 which does not have the Zorro 3 capability in the first place, and I see no mention of intentions to update drivers/support for the other PCI slots in a Mediator or Prometheus to be used. So will the extra 3 to 5 PCI slots in the Mediator or Prometheus be supported with drivers under OS4.1 to allow for use of a PCI soundcard, PCI NIC, PCI USB, PCI SCSI, or any other additional cards, such as SATA cards, that can be plugged in to those PCI slots, or are they not going to be supported, which is basically the situation since the release of OS4.0 Classic?

    If only one PCI slot in a Mediator, that can have up to 6 PCI slots, is going to be functional I do not see that I would be interested in OS4.1 Classic as it would be poor value-for-money or support offered for a newly developed Amiga OS, in fact a backwards step, considering the functionality under Amiga OS3.9

    I dislike keep having to ask this for this information, but it seems I must, as no information is forthcoming from yourselves.

    I cannot understand you exerting all the effort on OS4.1 for the Classic hardware if you do not support the obvious advantages of PCI boards, and the enhancement of their functionailty and diversity of operation they offer over the original/limited/out-dated Amiga Classic hardware soldered to the mainboard.

    The older, comparatively slow, Amiga developed PPC accelerators are very hard to come by, and I am surprised that someone has not stated they would develop/release such a board if OS4.1 is being developed for the older Classic Amiga hardware, or is this kind of hardware already underway?

    Will the SATA HDD memory paging allow the additional PCI cards to be utilised via this form of memory system as the DMA in the original PPC hardware is supposed to be unsupported and was the cause of additional PCI cards being unusable, or has that hurdle now been overcome?

  24. We do not have documentation for the GRex, and moreover, certain people made sure we don’t get the documentation.

    Reverse engineering is of course a possibility, but the little amount of GRex owners out there does not justify the associated cost/effort.

  25. First of all, “Mediator support” means all Mediator boards, which includes the A1200. Secondly, where do you get the impression that only one PCI slot is supported ? Because quite frankly, it isn’t, you can of course use all PCI slots in all PCI busboards we support. You may dislike asking that, but there is no information forthcoming from us because quite simply, “Support of PCI busboard X” of course implies full support, not partial support.

    If you compare OS3 to OS4 and only reduce that to the differences in PCI support (OS4 is actually on par with the OS3 PCI support), you are not looking at the full picture. OS 4.1 on the Classic will have all the advantages of the OS 4.1 on other platforms as well, which improves AmigaOS in so many areas that it’s not even comparable anymore to OS3.9.

    Also, Hyperion does not do hardware development, so I don’t really understand the point in asking Hyperion for new PPC accelerator cards.

    Finally, how does missing DMA support make additional PCI cards unusable ? For your information, neither the Mediator, nor the Prometheus can do DMA. Period. Some models support busmastering which allows DMA capable controllers to access memory on other controllers. But DMA from a hard disk controller to the graphics card just adds an additional overhead since the data has to be copied out of the graphics card memory, anyway, which totally defeats the purpose of DMA. All those issues aside, I don’t see how this prevents the use of other PCI cards at all.

  26. Hi Thomas, I am very grateful for your response, which is much appreciated.

    First or all, I think I may have incorrectly assumed I put some comments on the blog for the OS4.1 video that Darren Eveland uploaded, instead of here, and thought they had been deleted, so I posted a similar number of questions on there instead of checking back here initially, so my sincerest apologies if this has caused any upset, as this was not my intention, once again my apologies. As I have only just realised my comments are here, and you have been kind enough to reply to them.

    However, I’d still like a specific list of PCI cards that when plugged into a Mediator board will offer further types of connectivity than graphics, such as Soundcard, USB, SCSI, SATA, etc. but which other PCI cards will be supported. It’s all very nice having a GFX card supported but what other PCI cards will be directly supported under OS4.1 Classic in any Mediator?

    I only remember the 8029AS NIC being supported under OS4.0 Classic. So will there be any newer NIC chipset PCI card supported or soundcard?

    If Hyperion does not do hardware development, then will the Sirion USB stack support any generic or specific chipset PCI USB cards available in the wider computing community, such as Windows, and Linux, etc. when plugged into a Mediator board, in any or specific versions of the Mediator boards?

    You are developing OS4.1 Classic for hardware that is becoming hard to come by, so naturally if you are expecting to sell the software, maybe you should be considering having the availablitly of PPC hardware to allow people to upgrade to in order to run it with. This seems a natural way forward to me, otherwise you may only achieve limited sales if the hardware availability is not there. Acube have done development, and also repairs on existing Amiga PPC hardware, so presumably they have the knowledge to build/manufacture such a PPC board for the Classic hardware.

    I think you are saying that all the slots will be usable, but I don’t consider putting 5 GFX cards in 5 slots, and a 8029AS NIC PCI card in the remaining PCI slot, in my Mediator TX, which I presume will be supported under OS4.1 Classic, as it was in OS4.0 Classic. Using all 6 slots this way would not be utilising the Mediator to its full potential. So I am asking for a complete list of which PCI type of cards you intend to support in the Mediator cards under OS4.1 Classic?

    How can other PCI cards be made to work with all versions of the Mediator under OS4.0/OS4.1, with the same functionality as they have under OS3.9?

    Finally, with regard to DMA support, I felt sure that I saw on ACube’s compatability pages that lack of DMA was the reason OS4.0 did not allow PCI soundcards, and PCI USB Spider cards to work, or many other PCI cards, apart from the GFX cards supported, and the PCI 8029AS NIC card, or is there some other reason they do not work with OS4.0, and OS4.1 Classic, and is there a way to fix this in the Mediators?

    Many thanks for your reply so far.

  27. Hi Thomas,

    I’m still waiting for a response to the questions I asked on 28-12-2010, and it’s now 8-1-2011. I thought I’d have had some answers to my questions by now. I am beginning to think that I have asked you too many awkward questions with even more awkward answers, which you’d really rather not admit, as there are no other PCI cards than GRAPHIC, NIC – specifically RTL8029AS, and possibly SATA cards planned to support OS4.1 Classic in the Mediator boards?

    It’s all very well previously stating that all the Mediator slots are supported by OS4.1 Classic, but which PCI card types are supported. I have 6 slots in my A1200 240Mhz PPC Mediator TX, so how many DIFFERENT PCI cards will be supported under OS4.1 Classic?

    Personally, I’d like to be wrong on this one, but your slow response to my queries does not signal there is going to be a positive reply for me. My concerns are understandable, considering the poor support Hyperion has given with OS4.0 for the Mediator boards. I am frankly not that optimistic you will be supporting the Mediator as well as you could/should with OS4.1 for the Classic Amiga, but I’d relish you proving me wrong.

  28. Darren Eveland

    Hi Neil, we are actually still working out the details on what cards will be supported. Thomas, myself, and everyone else on the team are very busy on finishing things up at the moment.

    When things firm up and the ISO is gone “Gold” I am sure I will have more time to answer your questions about the supported PCI cards and anything else.

    For now please have patience with us as we get the product ready to ship.


  29. Hi Darren, and thanks for the update, but …

    We seem to be getting into the same position as the 4.0 Classic release, little information, and who’s to know if we’ll end up like last time with OS4.0 – dumped, soon after we part with our cash.

    I, for one, and I am sorry to have to say this, will not be making the same mistake again :-(( unless I see some honest, upfront detailed information on the subject.

    Why isn’t there more up-to-date hardware & software information on any of the OS4.x supporting websites? You must know what is going to be supported by now, and what isn’t, or you wouldn’t be about to commit to a ‘GOLD’ ISO.

    Has no-one got a free pair of hands that works for Hyperion, to do some typing on the website about release information?

  30. Darren Eveland

    Hi Neil, Hyperion is allowing me and the other testers to give out more information prior to a release than ever before and I’ve done my best to make the two videos, post very much in the forums about it, reply personally to people, and write some blog entries, with more blog entries to come.

    So I don’t think it’s fair to say we have not given up-front detailed information out. Yes, we have not disclosed everything, because we are not finished yet, and something that is not working fully yet may not make the final cut, or be only available in a later update. So I’m not going to talk about the things that “may” work. I’m only going to tell you about what I know for sure will work. And that is what I have done.

    Everything else is speculation at this point on my part and not fair for me to tell anyone about it to give false hopes or wrong impressions.

  31. Hans-Jörg Frieden

    Neil, with all due respect, you are not the only person with questions. There has been a holiday season in between, and with that, with work, and with the number of email queries we get, there is a certain limit to the amount of time we can invest in a single questioner. It isn’t like we haven’t tried to answer your questions, but surely, you will agree there are other people that ask questions as well.

    Other than that, as Darren already pointed out, we’re trying to nail things and finalize the release. It’s difficult sometimes to make a firm statement on supported cards; for example, the Radeon support was in question because it worked on most system but failed on others, and only recently Thomas found the reason for this and was able to fix it.

    I am getting the distinct impression, though, that it doesn’t matter what replies you get.

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