Author Archives: Lewis Rosenthal

ArcaOS 5.0.4 updates for 2020-02-26

Dynamic IconsSeveral packages included in ArcaOS 5.0.4 have been updated or refreshed today, and are now available as part of the Support & Maintenance subscription for your ArcaOS product. Please log into your account and see your ArcaOS order details page to access your software. Specifically, these are:

  • Dynamic Icons 2.5.2.1 (refreshed)
  • Archive Tool 1.03.03 (updated from 1.0.0)
  • ArcaOS Desktop 1.0.13.1 (updated from 1.0.12+)

In addition, it is now easier to identify which packages have been updated since the last ArcaOS ISO release.

More updates are on the way to the Support & Maintenance subscription channel as we continue our work on the next release of ArcaOS. Watch for more announcements right here.

If you are still running OS/2 and/or eComStation systems and haven’t yet moved up to ArcaOS, this is a great reason to do so now. If you’ve already made the switch, but haven’t renewed renewed your support subscription, this is also a good time. Not sure what’s coming next? Have a look at our product roadmap pages.

Dynamic Icons version 2.5.2 for ArcaOS released

Dynamic IconsDynamic Icons, the new spin on Sunny Icons from eCo Software, specifically enhanced and built for ArcaOS, has been updated to version 2.5.2, and is now available as part of the Support & Maintenance subscription for your ArcaOS product. Please log into your account and see your ArcaOS order details page to access your software.

Version 2.5.2 includes a new unified Icon page in the WPS Properties notebook with the ability to easily switch between and browse for either a traditional icon file or a PNG image. In addition, it is now possible to add one-line comments to the “bigicons.txt” icon list file (see the online help from any Icon page for more details).

If you are still running OS/2 and/or eComStation systems and haven’t yet moved up to ArcaOS, this is a great reason to do so now. If you’ve already made the switch, but haven’t renewed renewed your support subscription, this is also a good time. Not sure what’s coming next? Have a look at our product roadmap pages.

What Arca Noae’s upcoming UEFI support means for ArcaOS

The UEFI ForumAs we previously mentioned here, Arca Noae has been working to develop a solution to install and boot ArcaOS on UEFI-based systems. Many of these laptops, desktops, and servers lack a traditional BIOS, rendering them – until very recently – unsuitable for OS/2 (and thus, ArcaOS). Likewise, tablet devices and Chromebooks have been almost beyond our grasp, with very few exceptions.

If you have attended any OS/2-focused events in the past year, you may have witnessed demonstrations of UEFI-based installations of ArcaOS. We are extremely pleased to announce that this functionality is in our betas for ArcaOS 5.1, and should provide a very smooth and similar installation experience to our current system install (DVD, USB, or hard disk partition).

The work is not yet finished, and much remains to be completed, particularly in the area of DOS video support. Our objective, of course, is to have a fully functioning ArcaOS environment on this type of hardware, complete with full screen and windowed DOS and Win-OS/2 sessions. We are very close to accomplishing these goals.

ArcaOS 5.1 will be an upgrade from ArcaOS 5.0. For a more complete list of planned enhancements for 5.1, as well as what’s in beta now for 5.0.5, please visit our ArcaOS Roadmap page.

Don’t have ArcaOS yet? Now is a great time to pick up a license or two and replace that aging Warp 4 or eComStation installation and get to know what’s new and improved. ArcaOS runs the vast majority of existing OS/2 Warp 4 software, because it really is OS/2 – just better. ArcaOS supports more modern hardware than any other OS/2 distribution available today, making hardware upgrades much easier than ever before. An ArcaOS 5.0 license now means steep discounts on future upgrades, including 5.1.

Arca Noae progress report: ArcaOS in your language

Translation work continues for ArcaOS. General availability of German and Spanish editions of ArcaOS are anticipated for the 5.0.5 release, with more languages slated to follow. We are making tremendous strides toward achieving the goal of a non-English reader to be able to install and run ArcaOS with minimal effort.

Translators are invited to join a core team working on the project. If you have the linguistic skills, enjoy a challenge, and would like to participate in a truly fun and rewarding endeavor, please let us know. Translators automatically become members of the test team, with early access to development releases (among other benefits).

Potential localized versions of ArcaOS include:

  • German
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Italian
  • Dutch
  • Portuguese
  • Japanese
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditioinal)
  • Korean
  • Russian

(This is by no means a promise to deliver any of the above. Partial work has at least been done on most of the above translations, however.)

Need a language not listed above? Need one of the above languages completed sooner? Talk to us about specific localization needs for your enterprise.

Don’t have ArcaOS yet? Now is a great time to pick up a license or two and replace that aging Warp 4 or eComStation installation and get to know what’s new and improved. ArcaOS runs the vast majority of existing OS/2 Warp 4 software, because it really is OS/2 – just better. ArcaOS supports more modern hardware than any other OS/2 distribution available today, making hardware upgrades much easier than ever before.

Public services back online

Our Mantis bugtracker is back online, email announcements are running, and we are able to build new ArcaOS images for immediate delivery.

There is still work to be done, but for customers and subscribers, things should be back to normal.

Thanks to everyone for being patient and supportive through this trying time.

We are currently experiencing server issues

Our sincere apologies to anyone attempting to access our bug tracker or waiting for email from the store. We suffered a server hardware failure overnight and are working diligently to restore services.

No email is flowing, so no new order notifications are being sent, however, it is still possible to place orders and to download some content. Renewing subscriptions is still possible, though as with all other orders, email delivery of receipts will be delayed.

If you have placed an order for a new ArcaOS license or have requested a fresh download, those ISO builds will be delayed until services are available.

Arca Noae progress report: USB, ArcaOS updater, multimedia

Here are some of the recent happenings around the Arca Noae labs and design studios:

We’ve recently made significant progress toward localizing various parts, particularly for German and Spanish, and will soon have a new test build of the CWMM classes in Spanish (a completely new translation for this component).


We continue to improve the update process for the next ArcaOS release, as we find edge cases where the current updater doesn’t quite finish due to unexpected conditions in the target system. (As a reminder, please check the ArcaOS Updating wiki page before beginning an update to the latest release. There you’ll find hints and tips to help avoid – or resolve – some known problems.)


When IBM left off USB driver development, OS/2 had a working, 16-bit USB 1.x and 2.0 driver stack. Fast forward to 2019, and this is no longer adequate for the needs of today’s hardware.

The Arca Noae USB stack is now fully 32-bit, and USB 3 support development continues to make good progress. Implementing USB 3 support has been tedious because the OS/2 USB architecture didn’t accommodate the peculiarities of USB 3 well.

Adding USB 3 support was not as simple as just writing a new xHCI driver. Significant changes were required throughout the entire USB stack, including changes to USBD and the OHCI, UHCI, and EHCI drivers. The xHCI driver as it exists today in beta testing works quite well. There are just a couple of things that still need to be done before we will be able to release it for general availability. One thing is to implement support for Isochronous transfers (audio and video devices). The second thing is to improve the error recovery speed. Error recovery speed was not an issue with USB 2 because USB 2 devices rarely, if ever, had errors. Super Speed (USB 3) devices operating at the new USB 3 speeds have higher error rates so the error recovery speed is important. We are actively working to resolve these last two issues.

Once the xHCI (USB 3) driver is released, the Arca Noae USB stack will make it possible to install and run ArcaOS on systems which lack USB 2.0 (EHCI) controllers. (Even though many modern systems advertise the availability of USB 2.0 ports, these ports are indeed wired to xHCI controllers. Without an xHCI driver, this will result in loss of keyboard and mouse control shortly after boot and the inability to mount the installation ISO from USB-attached media.)


Don’t have ArcaOS yet? Now is a great time to pick up a license or two and replace that aging Warp 4 or eComStation installation and get to know what’s new and improved. ArcaOS supports more modern hardware than any other OS/2 distribution available today, making hardware upgrades much easier than ever before.

Arca Noae progress report: Bits and Pieces

We continue to explore new ways to make the ArcaOS desktop experience more user-friendly and useful. To that end, we’d like to share some upcoming enhancements which should be available in the near future.

An update to the Arca Noae Removable Media Monitor widget for the XCenter is currently in testing which handles JFS, HPFS, and FAT32 media changes better, avoiding a trap which could otherwise occur when removing one device and inserting another without a proper eject operation.

We also have a component in testing now which transparently switches audio output from the built-in audio device to a USB audio device and back again when the USB device is attached or removed.

If you have a Brother laser printer, and have not been able to print to it, even via CUPS, we have some possibly good news for you: The brlaser CUPS driver package (RPM) has recently been updated to version 6.0.0, and our port should be moving from our experimental repository to the subscription repository very soon.

Don’t have ArcaOS yet? Now is a great time to pick up a license or two and replace that aging Warp 4 or eComStation installation. Better yet, why not upgrade to newer hardware entirely, and install ArcaOS fresh? ArcaOS supports more modern hardware than any other OS/2 distribution available today.

ArcaOS

ArcaOS 5.0.4 now available

After nearly a year of development and testing, Arca Noae is proud to announce the general availability of ArcaOS 5.0.4, the fourth maintenance release of ArcaOS 5.0 (Blue Lion).

ArcaOS 5.0.4 introduces a new Updater feature, allowing all previous ArcaOS installations to be brought up to the current codebase by simply booting from the installation medium, selecting the new Update option on the Installation Type page, and finally the target system volume to be updated. The resulting system is essentially what a fresh install would be, without losing settings, other installed programs, application data, and having to reconfigure the environment from scratch.

ArcaOS 5.0.4 includes well over 100 updates and fixes since 5.0.3. The USB stick image package has also been updated to incorporate the latest changes in ArcaOS 5.0.4 and is now personalized, delivered in the same archive as the ISO itself, and may be created using any major operating system at hand (Windows, Linux, MacOS, and of course, OS/2, eComStation, and ArcaOS). Once the image is restored, eject, re-insert, and simply copy your ISO to the stick per the included directions (also detailed in the ArcaOS support wiki). The stick may then be inserted into any USB 2.0-controlled port in the target system, and used to boot into the ArcaOS installer/updater.

Systems originally installed from DVD may be updated using the AltBoot (USB stick) method, and systems originally installed from USB stick may be updated from DVD; the choice is yours.

If you have experienced difficulty installing previous releases of ArcaOS on your hardware, the fixes and updates included in 5.0.4 may address your issue(s). ArcaOS 5.0.4 includes a major update to the installation boot component, making it easier than ever to boot and install on systems with non-standard memory configurations.

For a complete list of updates in this release, see the ArcaOS wiki. Be sure to review the README.TXT, as well, as this contains critical information to ensure that you get up and running fast, and includes tips for getting things adjusted right away.

To download your fresh ISO, simply visit your customer portal page, select the Orders & Subscriptions link on the navigation panel to the left, then click on the order for your ArcaOS license. Once there, click the download link to request a fresh ISO, and wait for your notification email.