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Tutorial: Installation guide for AmigaOS 4.1 under QEMU 8
QEMU is an open-source computer emulator and virtualiser. This means you can functionally simulate computers or provide virtual systems that replicate the functionality of a real system. QEMU is able to emulate a complete computer in software without the need to support hardware virtualisation. So it is also possible to emulate Amiga operating systems like AROS, AmigaOS or MorphOS on QEMU. This is provided by the developer Zoltan Balaton who shares many information and tips on his webeite. In the middle of 2021, had a closer look at the installation of MorphOS under QEMU 6.

Recently the first release candidate of QEMU 8 was published. What has changed importantly from the Amiga point of view?
  • via-ac97: Basic implementation of audio playback via VIA southbridge chip (for the first time it is possible to use the sound support of the via-ac97 directly under the Pegasos-2 emulation)
  • sm501: Implemented more 2D raster operations (added simple implementation for two raster operations used by AmigaOS 4.1 to fix graphics problems in some programs like IBrowse).
  • Fix PCI interrupt routing: Fix PCI interrupts within the Pegasos 2 emulation under Linux, MorphOS and AmigaOS. This now makes it possible for the first time to activate and use network support via the RTL8139 driver under AmigaOS 4.1
Our reader Rene Engel, in collaboration with Zoltan Balaton, has produced an installation guide for AmigaOS 4.1 under QEMU 8, which he has kindly made available for publication and which will be refined and adapted over time:

1. Preparations

1.1 What is required? The CD must be available as ISO file, which can easily be done under Windows, for example, with the free tool ImgBurn.
AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition Update 2 and AmigaOS 4.1 Update 3 are also required, which can be downloaded free of charge from the Hyperion Entertainment website after registering and entering the CD key supplied. Since owners of the AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition do not have access to the AmigaOS 4.1 Update 3 anymore, you would have to find another way to get the required files. Alternatively, you could also buy the AmigaOS 4.1 Sam460 version: this also contains the files.
  • QEMU 8: currently no finished builds are available there (you have to compile them yourself).
Under macOS, the package manager Homebrew and Xcode should be installed beforehand, as described in this article. You can then install QEMU via the terminal as follows:

brew install Qemu

Until finished builds for macOS with Apple chips are available, it is necessary to compile the source code yourself. With the release of the final version of QEMU 8, Homebrew will also have adapted its packages to the new version 8.0. Currently, all versions up to and including Qemu 7.2 can be downloaded and installed there.
  • Flash Update für Pegasos 2
Download the file "up050404" either from the bplan homepage (only working under macOS with "Save as...") or via Wayback Machine. The file "extract_rom_from_updater" (direct download) is available on the Qmiga project page and is needed to extract a Pegasos2.rom from it. There is also a description of how to use the "updater".
  • an unarchiving tool that can unpack LHA-packed files, such as 7-zip. There are similar tools for Linux and macOS that can do this.
  • the freeware tool UltraISO (Windows), a tool that can open and edit ISO files. There are also similar tools for Linux and macOS that can do this.
1.2. Creating a QEMU hard disk image

Via Console/Shell/Terminal under Windows/Linux/Mac:

Qemu-img create –f raw hd.img 2G

2G here stands for 2 gigabyte hard disk size and can be individually adjusted depending on how large the virtual hard disk is to become. For the beginning, I recommend not going higher than 2GB. Important: to create the hd.img, you must be in the QEMU directory.

1.3 Adaptation of the installation medium

Before we can boot with the Pegasos 2 emulation under QEMU, the installation medium must be adapted. First you should unpack the archives "AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition Update 2" and "AmigaOS 4.1 Update 3" and search in the unpacked folder for the file "PCIGraphics.card" in the folder Content/Kickstart or for the file "siliconmotion502.chip" in the folder Files_Sam460ex/Kickstart.

Now copy the files "siliconmotion502.chip" and "PCIGraphics.card" to your AmigaOS 4.1 FE Pegasos2InstallCD.ISO with the help of UltraIso into the directory /System/Kickstart. Then you only have to open the file "Kicklayout" in the Kickstart and /System/Kickstart folders with a text editor and add the following line without "":
  • for the Kicklayout in Kickstart directory: "MODULE System/Kickstart/siliconmotion502.chip"
  • for thw Kicklayout in System/Kickstart directory: "MODULE Kickstart/siliconmotion502.chip"
Save the changes under UltraIso. The bootloader should not be affected by the changes and the Pegasos2InstallCD.ISO should still be bootable.

2. Booting QEMU

This is a pure basic command line to be able to boot from the Pegasos2InstallCD.ISO under QEMU. The paths to pegasos2.rom, hd.img and also to Pegasos2InstallCD.iso must be adjusted accordingly. Make sure you are in the QEMU directory and type in the following command line:

qemu-system-ppc -L pc-bios -M pegasos2 /
-bios /pfad/zum/pegasos2.rom / -vga none / -device sm501 /
-drive if=none,id=cd,file=/pfad/zum/Pegasos2InstallCD-53.54.iso,format=raw /
-device ide-cd,drive=cd,bus=ide.1 /
-drive if=none,id=hd,file=/pfad/zu/eure/hd.img,format=raw /
-device ide-hd,drive=hd,bus=ide.0 /
-device rtl8139,netdev=net0 /
-netdev user,id=net0 /
-rtc base=localtime / -serial stdio

Under MacOs, the line -display cocoa or -display sdl must also be entered, otherwise no window will open. If everything has worked, QEMU welcomes you with the Pegasos2 SmartFirmware.

Now simply enter the following command:

boot cd amigaboot.of

The SmartFirmware should now boot AmigaOS 4.1. The installation of AmigaOS 4.1 will then proceed as usual: partition the hard disk, install the boot loader, etc.

Important: AmigaOS 4.1 FE can currently only be installed and booted on FFS-formatted virtual hard disks. Partitions with the file system SFS will not be registered under AmigaOS 4.1 for Pegasos 2 (the problem is already being investigated). An illustrated pdf instruction can be found on the pages of Amedia Computer France.

After the installation on your virtual hard disk and after ejecting the installation CD (ISO), the command

boot hd:0 amigaboot.of

under the SmartFirmware to boot from your virtual hard disk:

For some reason, which is not yet known, the first boot process after installation starts in Pal-LowRes mode and there is incorrect screen display. However, the problem can be easily solved by simply calling System/Prefs/Screenmode and selecting a 16-bit screen there.

3. Conclusion

I am unbelievably positively surprised at how fast the whole thing runs and also 2D accelerated. I didn't know anything like that from other emulators before. Not everything runs perfectly yet, but at least the everyday things can already be used under AmigaOS 4.1. On 16 bit, the screen resolution is limited to 1440x900 and there is no 3D acceleration. In this YouTube video I show the general usability of the Workbench under the Pegasos 2 emulation: playing mp3 files, multitasking, loading times and displaying folders with many files, etc.

The biggest thanks go to BALATON Zoltan who programmed the whole thing for us and in his spare time. Without him it would never have been possible! I hope you have fun testing! If you get stuck at any point, please write a comment and ask your questions.

This was tested extensively under macOS 13.2.1 with Apple M1 Max. However, it should be just as possible under Linux and Windows, albeit in a slightly modified form. (dr)

[News message: 26. Mar. 2023, 09:46] [Comments: 0]
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