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MorphOS 2.5 Released, Supports More Old Macs 177

An anonymous reader writes "The MorphOS Team has released version 2.5 of its PPC computer-only operating system. The new version extends its support of the PPC Mac range to include the eMac, which was the 2002-2006 Mac model consisting of a CRT monitor and computer in a single housing. MorphOS previously and continues to support the PPC Mac mini, as well as the Pegasos and Efika niche computers (all discontinued but available second-hand). MorphOS includes a web browser and TCP/IP stack and a few traditional baseline OS-associated apps among its features. Further software is available from a range of online repositories. MorphOS 2.5 comes on a bootable 30-minute demo live CD ISO which may also be installed. The ISO is available for free download by anyone. The 30-minute limit is removed by online purchase of registration/key file which is available for a limited period for the sum of 111 euros to celebrate the launch of this version."
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MorphOS 2.5 Released, Supports More Old Macs

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  • by assassinator42 ( 844848 ) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @05:28PM (#32471058)

    It's free and probably works with more programs.

    • by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) * on Saturday June 05, 2010 @05:32PM (#32471094) Homepage Journal

      Why not just use a Linux distribution?

      People'd use this for the same reasons they'd use BeOS and ReactOS. You're right, though -- they'd probably be able to get actual work done with a Linux distribution.

      • Except those are open source, community driven projects and this is an expensive, closed source OS.

        • by sznupi ( 719324 )

          BeOS open source?

          • I assumed he was talking about Haiku - do people really still use an OS that stopped being developed a decade ago?

            • by sznupi ( 719324 )

              So maybe also assume this news is about AROS, ehh?

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              ... do people really still use an OS that stopped being developed a decade ago?

              Yep. Even older: The last DOS (MSDOS 4.01, running on a ancient Compaq) install I had to maintain was retired last July. This in a ~ 26bil (US) Fortune 500 company. It operated a testing apparatus. Lack of slow enough hardware (not kidding) to replace that Compaq was why it was retired.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by hairyfeet ( 841228 )

                I can top that! Last I heard my old gamer rig, which I had to dig out of my shed for a customer a few years back, a whopping Pentium 100Mhz with 32Mb of RAM, two PCI and 3 ISA slots, is STILL running DOS 3 in a lumber company down the road!

                The owner of the mill left his kid in charge while he went on vacation, and wouldn't you know it that would be the time their ancient DOS 3 PC that ran the lathe that did custom columns would take a shit. The kid came into our shop practically having a heart attack, beca

            • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

              do people really still use an OS that stopped being developed a decade ago?

              Yes, Windows XP.

              • What are you talking about? It got a Service Pack two years ago, and still get patches. Not the same thing at all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by David Gerard ( 12369 )

      And supports more hardware. Ubuntu PPC on a Mac G4 works just the same, is a better CD/DVD burner than Tiger and supports hardware that Mac OS X doesn't.

      • So David, let me ask you something: If you had a 17" G4 Macbook Pro, is there any advantage to using Ubuntu PPC in place of OS X? I've got such a machine and I don't use it much any more but I'd like to get some productivity out of it. So many of the programs that I use a Mac for now require Intel (Logic Studio, Netflix via browser, Eve Online) that unfortunately this beautiful machine is just not a go-to system for me any more. Considering it cost me 4 grand, I'd like to squeeze some more life out of

        • I now have an expensive TiTanium slab that boots to a DOS prompt but NO GUI.

          I'd be plenty pissed off if I didn't have other hardware available. As it is, I'm merely peeved.

          OS X 10.5.x is the end of the line for Apple's support of the PPC anyway.(I thought development on Ubuntu PPC was stopped a few years ago.)

          If you know of somewhere I can download Linux for PPC I'd appreciate an email charles [at]

        • Dunno if it supports everything on the laptop. I know it was very nice on a G4 800Mhz. Worth a try. Setting up dual or triple boot is somewhat painful. But hey, worth a try.

    • by flnca ( 1022891 ) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @05:44PM (#32471152) Journal
      Well, MorphOS is one of the few Amiga-compatible OSes that remain that can run natively ... MorphOS has some interesting concepts by itself ... it does have some applications. I used it on Efika for a while ... the only thing about MorphOS I came to dislike was the lack of virtual memory and the fact that it was closed-source. But certainly, you're right ... Linux and even the BSDs are so good nowadays that there's barely a reason to use MorphOS (let alone AmigaOS 4) except for people who want (or need) to run an Amiga-like OS natively. The speed is certainly impressive. You'd get a lot of bang for the buck if everything related to it wasn't so expensive (the hardware, the OS, some of the software). There was an Intel-based clone of AmigaOS once but Amiga Inc. forced it off the market. Another aspect speaking for it is the simplicity of writing device drivers. So it can have some applications in the embedded area where time-to-market and speed are more important than price.
      • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @06:00PM (#32471248)
        The thing is, why would you really need to run Amiga OS? Other than admiring the simplicity and the architecture and all that fun stuff, theres no real reason to run Amiga OS for day-to-day work that can't be done with a decent Linux distro.
        • Other than admiring the simplicity and the architecture and all that fun stuff, theres no real reason to run Linux for day-to-day work that can't be done with Windows.


          I am a Linux user btw, I just think this is a silly line of thought.

          • As a Linux and Windows user and former Amigan I think the idea of keeping the Amiga alive is stupid. It would have been a cool PDA OS because of the short boot time and low requirements, but the time for that was back when PDAs had less computing power than the space shuttle. I wouldn't mind seeing the concepts reused, though. Amiga was full of good ones, not least that it had a genuinely working microkernel architecture, which was a big part of its hardware autoconfiguration scheme.

            • Likewise. I loved my Amigas, but I started accepting they were dead around 98 and we got a Windows box :/ I would have moved onto a PPC setup if I could afford it, but I was only 15. Now I can afford it, but I just don't really see the point in paying over the odds for it when Ubuntu on a cheap netbook can handle most of my requirements.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by sznupi ( 719324 )

          Hell, why one would bother with Linux distro for day-to-day work if it can be done with Windows that came preinstalled on a laptop...

          • by Smeagel ( 682550 )
            Security, stability, plethora of truly free applications...tons of reasons that make your day-to-day tasks much faster. Hell half the reason I dislike windows so much these days is the UI, I just work faster on my fully-customized linux machine.

            Even if you say these reason are all arguable, which they are, at least there are solid arguable reasons. I've seen no such arguments for MorphOS.
            • by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @07:28PM (#32471784) Homepage

              Security (c'mon...what malicious thing would run on MorpOS?), snappiness, plethora of Amiga and Amiga-style apps you love (and which work for you)...tons of reasons that make your day-to-day tasks much faster.

              Even if you say these reason are all arguable, which they are, at least there are solid arguable reasons.

            • Personally I think Linux distributions are clumsy and still not user friendly. I can easily get by with using a given Linux distro (or BSD) for a desktop, but I'd hate the extra hassle that it entails.

              Linux has reached the point where it's really easy to install, and often it's a smoother process to set up a Ubuntu install than a Windows install on the same hardware (supposing you don't have hardware out of the ordinary or want to use media center functionality, play back media in non-open formats etc), bu

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        Cost has been the undoing of AmigaOS for many years...
        When i first got an Amiga, it was because the machine was relatively cheap while still being pretty capable. It was capable of gaming with the simplicity of a console, while also having an OS allowing serious and/or educational work to be done... You could buy one for your kids and they would enjoy playing games on it, but could also hook up a printer and do their school work.

        However, once i started trying to get the amiga online that all fell apart... E

        • It was laughable back then and it's laughable now. I still check Aminet now and then, and there are still crazy people that release everything for the Amiga as shareware. It's insane when you compare with all the 100% free applications that people spend hours and hours on for linux.

      • by larpon ( 974081 ) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @06:11PM (#32471322)
        you could consider AROS [] to be intel-based although it runs on other architectures :)
        • by flnca ( 1022891 )
          That's right, I forgot about that one! :)
        • by sznupi ( 719324 )

          Amithlon was perhaps even more interesting in its time - a fully transparent layer (build around a stripped down Linux or something) providing the ability to run AmigaOS 3.9, through JIT 68k emulation, on quite typical x86 machine. Also with binary compatibility and being the fastest Amiga back then, by a huuuge margin.

          But killed quickly, supposedly due to some IP troubles; though I suspect the idea of not milking Amiga faithful was simply too hard to swallow.

      • Now, I'm not trying to troll here and I genuinely loved the Amiga, back in the day, but why on earth would anyone want to run an Amiga-compatible OS these days?

        Can the modern Amiga OS run old Amiga software? Could I really fire up my old copy of Alien Breed, Titus the Fox or some of the old mega demos?

        What can you do on an Amiga compatible OS that can't be done more easily and cheaply with, say, Linux or even OS X? I'm asking this because I'm genuinely interested...

        • by sznupi ( 719324 )

          Can the modern Amiga OS run old Amiga software?
          Yes, that's the point of MorphOS... (though if it doesn't run on a machine with custom Amiga chips (zombie "1200" with PPC accelerator for example), then the software depending on that chips won't run)

          What can you do on an Amiga compatible OS that can't be done more easily and cheaply with, say, Linux or even OS X? I'm asking this because I'm genuinely interested...
          Having Amiga-like experience. Is that so hard to guess?...

          • What can you do on an Amiga compatible OS that can't be done more easily and cheaply with, say, Linux or even OS X? I'm asking this because I'm genuinely interested...
            Having Amiga-like experience. Is that so hard to guess?...

            Yes, and what can you do with an Amiga-like experience (come on, the GUI, while it was innovative for it's time has nothing on Windows 7 or OS X) that can't be done more easily with a modern OS. If you're the kind of person that knows Workbench back-to-front and inside-out, and haven't learnt anything else in the intervening 15-odd years, then I'm sorry, but it's time to move on ^_^

            Is there any Amiga-only software that is worth running today that doesn't depend on the custom hardware in the Amiga, is there

            • by sznupi ( 719324 )

              Apparently some people still like it... (while certainly having lots of experience in other OSes, you can't really avoid it nowadays) ...who are you to judge they must be wrong?

          • Having Amiga-like experience. Is that so hard to guess?...

            Wouldn't it be simpler and cheaper to just install an app that pops up a GURU Meditation error randomly and then fools you into thinking you can recover from it before forcing you to reboot the system?

            • by sznupi ( 719324 )

              Well, bluescreens or kernel panics & X crashes might shatter the illusion...

              • Ah... so the 111 Euro is all for the sake of the illusion.

                • by sznupi ( 719324 )

                  Well, no, it's when you get the Real Thing(tm); that's the point.

                  • It comes with a real Copper and a real Blitter to code to? Awesome. That's a pretty good deal then. They're pretty much the only thing I really miss about my Amiga. Where do they plug in?

                    • by sznupi ( 719324 )

                      It is what it says it is.

                    • So no. Not the Real Experience (TM). And still 111 Euro. That's a bummer.

                    • by sznupi ( 719324 )

                      Of course yes. Those who get it think so, apparently OS & OS-level apps is the part they care about here (though MorphOS can be run on, say, zombie A1200 with PPC accelerator), and why would you say they're wrong or why would you even care?

                    • Well, this started out as what I thought would be obvious humor (GURU Meditation errors) in response to having the "real" Amiga experience. I honestly assumed I was going to get either a "funny" mod, or else someone would have told me to install GOMF (currently definition 2) [] to counteract the facetious app.

                      It would seem that you thought I was attacking you. Honestly, I was just being what I thought was funny. I probably shouldn't have carried it so far, but when it comes down to it, €111 is a ridiculou

                    • by sznupi ( 719324 )

                      IC, so you came to conlusion that I have no sense of humor in failing to notice your effort at it, while at the same time you missed inherently non-serious tone in the direct response; one about bsods, kernel panics and X crashes.

                      Sure, Amiga wasn't perfect (MorphOS is quite a bit more stable though, supposedly); still was probably the best thing for a long time, at least when looking at machines of reasonable cost. And the faults didn't seem to stop it from being used for reasonably serious stuff - kickstar

                    • Actually, I had no opinion one way or another about your particular sense of humor. Until this last post. Really. Lighten up Frances.

                    • by sznupi ( 719324 )

                      Hey, if the last one was what it takes, instead of just the one about bsods/kernel panics/X crashes that happen so often as to destroy the illusion of guru meditations... ;p

        • by flnca ( 1022891 )
          Yup, both MorphOS and AmigaOS 4 (and perhaps AROS) have 68k emulation layers to run legacy AmigaOS 1.x-3.x software. :) But for some old software, you can fire up an Amiga emulator like UAE as well ... it's only when you want to run the software more or less natively that you need one of those OSes. Speed-wise, these OSes still outperform other OSes running on the same hardware ... but if it's really worth the investment, that's a good question. The user interface is still more or less the same, promisin
        • by flnca ( 1022891 )
          I just read that you'll still need UAE on those OSes if you want to run applications that were accessing the old Amiga hardware directly (like most games or demos). So, perhaps the best solution for you would be to run UAE or WinUAE. There's a nice (commercial) software package called AmigaForever from Cloanto that runs on Windows. But if you have the ROM images and OS disks, you can use the free versions of UAE on Linux or WinUAE as well.
      • You'd get a lot of bang for the buck if everything related to it wasn't so expensive

        Best thought ever.

      • Amiga Inc. did not force Amithlon off the market.

        What happened was that the distributor (Haage & Partner) supplied Kickstart ROM and related software for the developers Bernd Meyer and Harald Frank. It turned out that Haage & Partner were not licensed to distribute said software, so Bernd Meyer terminated his relationship with the company over breach of contract.

        After this, Haage & Partner kept selling Amithlon for a considerable amount of time and lawsuits were filed against Bernd Meyer. Initia

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by chaoskitty ( 11449 )

      Why not just use Windows?

      The reasons some people might give for using GNU/Linux (Linux is just a kernel, after all) are probably similar to the reason that people might give for using MorphOS. Some people like the development environment (especially people who learned on AmigaOS), some people probably enjoy the efficiency of this OS on PowerPC hardware, and some people like to be different and not run the same software as everyone else.

      There are no GUIs for GNU/Linux which are as efficient or as intuitive a

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        Unlike MorphOS, Linux:

        Costs nothing
        Runs on a much wider array of hardware
        Is open source
        Has a much wider array of useful applications - enough to be usable on a day to day basis

        And i imagine that despite the efficiency of morphos, a 2ghz g4 (does it even support the g5?) will not outperform a modern quad core system...

        • by sznupi ( 719324 )

          There's always AROS if you really want all that (and it and MorphOS have enough apps "to be usable on a day to day basis")

          But since MorphOS, among few other things, is doing relatively (very relatively, yeah...) fine even with AROS around, perhaps its community doesn't care about those factors all that much (plus... [])

          As for the speed, and most notably the percieved speed...I wouldn't be so certain. Grab AROS, it's reasonably comparable for our needs (more rough though); there are even some VMs of recent buil

          • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

            Aros didn't seem all that quick (tried it on a dell latitude c610, (1.2ghz cpu and 512mb ram - it wouldnt boot on my regular desktop)... Also when trying to rebuild the OS out of curiosity when it first became self hosting, it got slower and slower until it basically froze.

            • by sznupi ( 719324 )

              I wouldn't be surprised if that was some unintended effect of trying to run it natively...

        • How about in terms of power efficiency?
  • Is this an ad? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chelmet ( 1273754 ) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @05:31PM (#32471082)

    This is quite clearly a sales pitch - am I the only reader left thinking, 'well so what'?

    Its all well and good keeping old computers running (providing the OS is secure enough), but I for one feel that this is neither news for nerds, nor stuff that matters.

    And I'm not even clicking the link to vindicate the posting, click-through-wise.

  • slashvertisement (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @05:33PM (#32471100) Homepage
    This "story" is an ad, with promotional language in the slashdot summary like "available for a limited period." The OS isn't open source. Looks like someone knows how to game the firehose.
    • To be fair, open source is by no means a requirement for something to be story-worthy. It seems that most of the computer stories these days are about Apple products, which are rarely open source.

      Also, the Linux/BSD release "stories" are usually far more enthusiastic (or advertising) than this, even if the company that releases it aims to make a profit. I say this as a Linux fanboy, by the way...

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert&slashdot,firenzee,com> on Saturday June 05, 2010 @06:14PM (#32471340) Homepage

        Apple products are more open source than morphos, and they don't intentionally cripple themselves after 30 minutes (i think even microsoft is more generous than that with suspected pirate copies)...

        • by sznupi ( 719324 )

          Apple products are more open source than morphos


          And FFS, it's not "crippling suspected pirate copies", it's a trial; quite adequate (you can restart, you know...) to determine if you want to get the thing.

          • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

            Having to restart every 30 minutes is far from adequate and gives you no ability to test the long term stability...

            MS gives you 180 days on their trial versions - a lot more useful than 30 minutes!

            I remember the trial TCP stacks on amigaos - had the same issue, disconnected you after 30 minutes... On a slow dialup, 30 minutes wasn't enough to download anything (like another tcp stack without such limitations).

            Incidentally, for those of us with old amigas, its no longer possible to register any of this softw

            • by sznupi ( 719324 )

              180 days is far from adequate and gives you no ability to test the long term accumulation of crud in the OS...

            • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

              On a slow dialup, 30 minutes wasn't enough to download anything (like another tcp stack without such limitations.

              Probably that was deliberate...

    • by MrHanky ( 141717 )

      This is Does something ever get posted here that isn't an ad?

  • Seems like a bit much for a very limited operating system that only works on PPC architecture. Can anyone explain why this would be attractive at that price?
    • by sznupi ( 719324 )

      That's quite a bargain considering prices of many things with which amigans kept their nostalgia alive over the last decade+

  • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Saturday June 05, 2010 @05:54PM (#32471202)
    For $150-ish dollars the same price as the OS, you could easily buy a cheap, second-hand x86 computer and do more. Or heck, why not just get PPC versions of Linux?

    Unless MorphOS has some killer feature like the ability to emulate Windows perfectly, or something that Linux doesn't have, I'm not seeing the point in wasting hundreds of dollars on software that nothing really runs on.
    • by sznupi ( 719324 )

      It has killer feature of emulating the Amiga experience (there's your something that Linux have...), that's enough for its intended audience.

  • Then again, it's closed source, pricey and runs Amiga apps.
    Any suggestions for Linux on G3?
    • Those all run great. I still run an fairly old version of Ubuntu on my B&W G3 tower. I have OSX 10.3 on it too and it runs okay, but Linux runs circles around the thing. Gentoo is a better choice for PPC these days because the stuff is not as well supported as the standard ubuntu stuff, back when I install the PPC version it was one of the main supported architecture for ubuntu. There is even Fedora Core for PPC, it's a little tricky to install but once it is on there it runs like a cha

      • Thanks a lot for the info.
        This is for the wife's iBook G3, but a quick google around found only marginal success with Ubuntu.
        Maybe Gentoo then ...

        Gee, all these nice replies but no mods - weird ... thanks guys!
  • I have an old 15" PowerBook G4 with 512 MB of RAM, dial-up, WEP wireless, etc.

    What runs well on it since its Mac OS X 10.2.8 and softwares are outdated these days.

    • by flnca ( 1022891 )
      Check and see if MorphOS supports the hardware (it would run very fast on that) ... if it doesn't, try Linux (like Ubuntu [] or Debian []) with XFCE or LXDE desktop. :)
  • Seriously, why would anyone pay to use this limited garbage when they can install a full-featured Linux distribution for free?

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker