Icaros Desktop 2.0 is here. Hell yeah!

Wow! A brand new release of Icaros Desktop is available for download. And I am downloading it just now…

I am truly amazed by dedication and craftsmanship of all the hackers involved in that project, including AROS team of course. This is not another GNU/Linux distro and they cannot rely on the shoulders of giants so much.

Sure, it is not an OS for everyone. It can not compete with leaders of the desktop world. Most likely it won’t be your desktop of choice either. But if you want to try something else, have a breath of fresh air, go for it.

Once I have it installed (running as a VM for now) I’ll share some impressions on how it feels and tastes.


Two letters long, but a full blown Operating System.

I’ve been using GNU/Linux as my primary OS of choice for 12 years now. In the beginning it was Slackware, then Debian for a short period of time. Next came its mutation – Ubuntu, that lasted for few years. After the infamous Gnome revolution, like “hordes” of other Ubuntu users, I’ve migrated to Linux Mint.

After a year in relative calm and peaceful life, my old IBM ThinkPad T60 said “it’s enough”. Well, actually it was me who said that. Maybe I am an old fashioned, middle age freak, but I don’t feel good if a 3GB RAM system is swapping when barely running a browser and few small apps in the background.

I know, web browser is a beast nowadays, Linux kernel likes to cache as much as it can, and there could be gazillions of other reasons why my system leverages the benefits of the swap space. But… I simply don’t like it. It was a time to find an alternative.

There are several options of Linux distros that are shipped in somewhat less demanding packaging. No Gnome, no MATE, no Cinnamon, no KDE. And no XFCE, cause it never did look&feel right to me. After several clicks here and there, I found a candidate – CrunchBang.

That nice looking, minimalistic, but perfectly polished, Debian based distro did simply appeal to me. Before I ran a full backup of my /home, and got rid of entire /, I’ve tried it live booting my system with an USB stick. Three sessions and the decision was taken – a green light to install the system on the disk.

Maybe this is silly, but after few days with #!, I feel like using Linux again. It is simple, compact and… acts like an Operating System. Not like a gigantic application that eats all my sparse resources.

An alternative OS for masses?

Eat triviality

I cannot say I follow all the things that have been happening in the Amiga and post-Amiga world in the last years. Time is the most limited resource we have, indeed. Thanks to the Old School Game Blog however, I learn about Icaros, an amazing AROS distribution.

Some time ago I installed Icaros v1.4.5 on top of the KVM emulation stack and was simply amazed. What the both AROS and Icaros guys did is a pure, wonderful hack in an old meaning of this word. Since I don’t have a spare machine (and neither money after my wife got her iPad this Christmass ;), I could not install it on a bare hardware. Whereas Icaros was barely usable on my Thinkpad T60 (single core :), T410 is enough to try stuff.

Today (after midnight actually) I found out that Icaros 1.5 has been released. List of enhancements is impressive. I decided to give it a try. On T60 first. This post is a proof that it works reasonable well! I write these words using OWB, on Icaros 1.5, hosted on VirtualBox this time (it looks like a better choice), launched on Linux Mint. An interesting stack for a single core, 3 GB RAM pretty rusty machine, isn’t it?

From time to time, things get frozen but I am not shocked with that. System looks great, Janus works out of the box (I tried only two sample games shipped with Icaros), the overall look&feel is better that in 1.4.5 I would say. The hours the dev team spent on the new release were a good investment. Great stuff. Bravo!

An alternative OS for masses? Maybe not now yet, but the direction is a right one. Time to get involved?

By the way, Happy New Year to all of you!

I don’t know if this is a bug in OWB or something wrong in the middle, but I cannot copy&paste the URL. It simply does not get copied to the buffer. Ah, also the OWB spell checking does not work for me.

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