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March 19, 2024

AROS: AROS Research Operating System

March 19, 2024
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AROS, short for AROS Research Operating System, is an open-source operating system that aims to provide a modern and efficient computing environment. Developed by a community of dedicated volunteers, AROS is designed to be compatible with AmigaOS, a popular operating system from the 1980s and 1990s. AROS offers a unique blend of nostalgia for Amiga enthusiasts while incorporating modern features and advancements.


AROS is a project that emerged in the late 1990s with the goal of creating a free and open-source operating system that can run on a wide range of hardware architectures. It is built from scratch, based on original Amiga research and a clean-room design philosophy. AROS takes advantage of today’s powerful hardware and software technologies while staying true to the spirit and compatibility of AmigaOS.


  1. Compatibility: AROS is known for its excellent compatibility with AmigaOS, allowing existing Amiga software and applications to run seamlessly on AROS. This compatibility makes it easy for Amiga users and enthusiasts to transition to AROS without sacrificing access to their favorite software.
  2. Portability: AROS has been designed to be highly portable, being capable of running on various hardware architectures, such as x86-based PCs, PowerPC systems, and even ARM devices. This portability ensures that AROS can be used on a wide range of hardware platforms, broadening its potential user base.
  3. Stability: Due to its clean-room design philosophy, AROS has a reputation for stability and reliability. The development community puts a strong emphasis on testing and quality control to ensure that each release of AROS is stable and free from major issues.
  4. Modernization: While AROS maintains compatibility with AmigaOS, it also incorporates modern features and technologies to provide a contemporary computing experience. This includes support for modern hardware, enhanced security features, improved graphics capabilities, and support for modern networking protocols.


AROS has a wide range of applications and can be used by different user groups for various purposes. Some of the common applications of AROS include:

  1. Retro Computing: AROS appeals to retro computing enthusiasts who want to experience the nostalgia of AmigaOS while benefiting from modern enhancements. AROS allows users to enjoy classic Amiga applications and games on modern hardware.
  2. Software Development: AROS provides a lightweight and reliable development environment for software engineers. It offers a range of development tools and libraries, making it an ideal choice for developing software and applications for Amiga-like systems.
  3. Embedded Systems: AROS’s portability and small footprint make it suitable for embedded systems. It can be used as an operating system for embedded devices such as home automation systems, digital signage, and industrial control systems.
  4. Education and Research: AROS serves as an excellent platform for teaching and research in operating systems and computer science. Its open-source nature allows students and researchers to explore and experiment with the inner workings of an operating system.


In summary, AROS Research Operating System offers a unique combination of compatibility with AmigaOS, modern features, portability, stability, and a robust development community. It serves as an attractive choice for retro computing enthusiasts, software developers, embedded systems designers, and academic researchers. As an open-source project, AROS continues to evolve and improve, making it an exciting venture to follow for both Amiga enthusiasts and the broader computer science community.

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