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MorphOS logo
Company / developer The MorphOS Development Team
OS family AmigaOS
Working state Current
Source model Closed source with open source Ambient user interface
Initial release ?
Latest stable release 2.4 / 2009-10-12; 2 months ago
Available language(s) 14
Supported platforms Pegasos, some models of Amiga, EFIKA, Mac Mini G4
Kernel type Micro/pico[1]
Default user interface Ambient
License Proprietary with GNU GPL Ambient user interface

MorphOS is a computer operating system (OS). It is a mixed proprietary and open source OS produced for the Pegasos PowerPC (PPC)-processor-based computer, most models of PPC-accelerator-equipped Amiga computers, and a series of Freescale development boards that use the Genesi Firmware, including the EFIKA and mobileGT. Since MorphOS 2.4 Apple, Inc. Mac Mini G4 is supported as well. The core, based on the Quark microkernel, is proprietary, although several libraries and other parts are open source, such as Ambient (the desktop interface).


Characteristics and versions

Developed for PowerPC processors by Freescale and IBM while supporting the original AmigaOS MC680x0 applications via proprietary task-based emulation, and most AmigaOS/PPC applications via API wrappers. It is API-compatible with AmigaOS 3.1 and has a GUI based on MUI.

Besides the Pegasos version of MorphOS, there is a "PowerUP" version for Amiga computers equipped with PPC accelerator cards produced by Phase5. This version is free, although it does slow down after each two hour session if it has not been registered. Registration is free. PowerUP MorphOS was most recently updated on 23 February 2006, however it does not exceed the feature set or advancement of the Pegasos release.[2][3]

A version of MorphOS for the EFIKA, a very small mainboard based on the ultra-low wattage MPC5200B PPC processor from Freescale, has been shown at exhibitions and user-gatherings in Germany.[4] Current (since 2.0) release of MorphOS supports the EFIKA.



Evolution of AmigaOS 3.x.

The project started in 1999, based on the Quark microkernel. The earliest versions of MorphOS ran only via PPC accelerator cards on the classic 68K Amiga computers, and required portions of AmigaOS to fully function. A collaborative effort between the companies bPlan (of which the lead MorphOS developer is a partner) and Thendic-France in 2002 resulted in the first regular, non-prototype production of bPlan-engineered Pegasos computers capable of running MorphOS or Linux. A busy promotional year followed in 2003, with appearances at conventions and exhibitions in several places around the world, including CES in Las Vegas. Thendic-France had financial problems and folded, however the collaboration continued under the new banner of "Genesi".

After some bitter disagreements within the MorphOS development team in 2003 and 2004 culminating with accusations by a MorphOS developer that he and others had not been paid, the Ambient desktop interface was released under GPL and is now actively developed by the Ambient development team. Subject to GPL rules, Ambient continues to be included in the commercial MorphOS product. An alternative MorphOS desktop system is Scalos.[5]

On April 1, 2008 the MorphOS team announced that MorphOS 2.0 would be released within Q2/2008. This promise was only kept by a few seconds, with the release of MorphOS 2.0 occurring on June 30, 2008 23:59 CET. The new version includes (along other improvements) the previously-missing native TCP/IP stack, an updated Sputnik release, AltiVec support, 3D layers for the graphical user interface, new USB components (including USB 2.0 support), new screenblankers, and Reggae, a new, modular, streaming multimedia framework. MorphOS 2.0 also includes support for the EFIKA, Pegasos I and Pegasos II machines. MorphOS 2.0 is commercially available at a price of 150 EUR per machine (111,11 EUR as a special promotion within the first two weeks of its release). A fully-functional demo of MorphOS is available, but without a keyfile, its speed is decreased significantly after 30 minutes of use.

On September 5, 2008 MorphOS 2.1 was released, fixing numerous bugs and adding support for the EFIKA's audio. On December 20, 2008 MorphOS 2.2 was released, fixing numerous bugs, adding a TrueCrypt-compatible disk encryption suite and several small items. On August 6, 2009 MorphOS 2.3 was released, fixing numerous bugs, adding Origyn Web Browser as the default browser, read only HFS+ filesystem support and several small items. On October 12, 2009 MorphOS 2.4 was released, adding support for Mac Mini G4 platform, as well as fixing various bugs and adding new features.

MorphOS includes a native TCP/IP stack ("Netstack") and two web-browsers ("Sputnik" and "OWB"). Sputnik has some modern capabilities, such as support for Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS), but lacks others, such as Flash video. Sputnik was begun under a user community bounty system [6] that also resulted in MOSNet, a free, separate TCP/IP stack. Sputnik is a port of the KHTML rendering engine, which WebKit is also based on. The first Sputnik version was released on November 11, 2006, and the most recent updated release included with MorphOS 2.0. Sputnik is free. Since MorphOS 2.3, the Origyn Web Browser is included as well.

See also


  1. ^ "Basic Kernel Information". MorphOS Home Page. Retrieved 2007-03-21.  
  2. ^ Piru (February 23, 2006). "Announcements : Updated MorphOS for PowerUP Users". Retrieved 2007-03-21.  
  3. ^ Thom Holwerda (August 24, 2005). "MorphOS 1.4.5 Released for Classic Amiga". OSNews. Retrieved 2007-03-21.  
  4. ^ Thom Holwerda (October 17, 2006). "MorphOS 1.5 Running on EFIKA to Be Shown". OSNews. Retrieved 2007-03-21.  
  5. ^ Chris Haynes (March 21, 2007). "Scalos - The Amiga Desktop Replacement". Retrieved 2007-03-21.  
  6. ^ "Morph Bounties". MorphZone. Retrieved 2007-03-12.  

External links



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