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.

Warpstock 2019, November 8-10, Orlando, Florida

Join Us at Warpstock 2019 in Orlando

Warpstock 2019 will be held November 8-10 at the Country Inn & Suites, Orlando Airport. Arca Noae staff and developers will be there with the latest ArcaOS news and how-to sessions, as well as a host of other OS/2 experts ready and willing to share their knowledge and expertise.

Register in the next 24 hours (before June 1) and receive a $30 Early Bird discount on a full conference registration or $20 on a daily conference registration! Spouses/family members/guests/office mates attending sessions also receive great discounts, and non-attending guests are FREE. Students with valid student ID are welcome to attend sessions at no charge, with full benefits! (This is a great opportunity for Computer Science majors and aspiring young developers and engineers to gain some exposure to a platform which is still in use in the manufacturing, finance, and insurance sectors around the globe today.)

Arca Noae Package Manager version 1.0.4 has been released

Arca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of an updated Arca Noae Package Manager for ArcaOS, OS/2, and eComStation. (1.0.4)

While this is technically a minor update, it includes an array of substantial enhancements:

  • Implemented editing of secure repositories.
  • Implemented passing of long (>900 char) parameter lists by pipe instead of going through CMD (for package export).
  • Install from file now goes through yum engine, thereby enabling dependencies and update/downgrade/reinstall.
  • Ensured that special characters in encrypt/decrypt commands are not intercepted by CMD.
  • Make sure reinstall, update, and downgrade also enable DLL conflict checking.
  • Even more improved message formatting.
  • Expanded help guide.
  • Updated included libraries.
  • Various bug fixes and other minor improvements.

Arca Noae Package Manager is available in English with Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, and Swedish language packs.

This open source utility is available to everyone, free of charge, regardless whether you have an Arca Noae software subscription or an ArcaOS license.

Please review the wiki for important first-time installation and upgrade notes and other tips.

Warpstock Europe 2019 is this weekend!

This weekend, May 18-19, Stichting VOICE International (the Dutch OS/2 VOICE foundation) will present Warpstock Europe 2019 at the Ibis Hotel in Utrecht, Netherlands. For program and travel details, visit http://www.warpstock.eu.

Ticket sales will close Wednesday afternoon, Dutch local time, so visit http://www.warpstock.eu now to purchase your ticket for this exciting event.

Unable to attend? Live audio and video streams will be made available. To ask questions remotely during the conference, use IRC. For details concerning both streams and IRC participation, see http://www.warpstock.eu/2019/58-videostream2019.

Members of the Arca Noae team will be presenting on the latest application, device driver, and ArcsOS development. Alex Taylor, Arca Noae’s Chief UI Architect, will be there live to present and to answer your questions. In addition, the developers at bww bitwiseworks will be on hand to discuss their latest projects for the OS/2 platform, including Qt5 progress.

Remember that the audio and video streams will be in real time, so be sure to account for any local time difference from Central European Summer Time (CEST), which is GMT +0200.

Videos will be available from the Warpstock Europe YouTube channel after the conference. See http://www.warpstock.eu/2019/58-videostream2019 for the link.

If you want to support the activities of VOICE, please consider making a donation:

http://www.os2voice.org/membership.html

DFSee 16

DFSee MAJOR version 16.0 released

In case anyone missed this in the news outlets, here is an abbreviated version of the official DFSee 16.0 release announcement:

DFSee version 16.0 has been released, with significant new functionality and fixes.

It is a MAJOR release, introducing TWO new filesystems with full support including file browsing and recovery, bringing the total number of supported filesystems to around 10!

The new filesystems are:

ISO – The ISO9660 filesystem as used on CDROM’s and DVD media, and perhaps more importantly in .ISO imagefiles representing them.

You can now use DFSee to copy files from a CD/DVD or ISO image.

The Rock-Ridge (Unix/Linux) and Jolliet (Windows long names) extensions are supported as well, selectable where needed.

APFS – The new Apple filesystem, used in iOS and newer macOS versions (High Sierra, Mojave) that moves up a lot of the filesystem limits from the older HFS+ and is optimized for SSD storage.

APFS supports multiple independent volumes in one partition, all sharing the same pool of storage blocks (container), and it is organized using B-trees for almost everything, making access to information really fast.

The APFS support has all the familiar DFSee analysis functions and also supports browsing and file-recovery for normal files. (XATTR and Resource-fork support will be coming soon).

There have also been some improvements in the menu-system like attached submenus to select a partition for PTEdit or LVM, to select an APFS volume from a container or to select between Standard, Jolliet or El-Torito areas within an ISO.

Of course, as usual, there are also many smaller improvements and bug fixes.

This being a major release, it will require an upgrade if you currently have a registration for an older version, so visit the DFSee product page in the ArcaOS store to purchase an upgrade at a great price.

Note: Keys sold on or after January 1, 2019 are valid for version 16.x, with no additional upgrade required.

For key installation instructions, please visit this page.

AHCI Driver Package version 2.06 released

Arca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of our AHCI Disk Driver Package version 2.06 for ArcaOS, OS/2, and eComStation.

This release adds a feature to ignore disks that ArcaOS, OS/2, and eCS cannot use, such as GPT, LUKS, etc. This feature is a safeguard that prevents accidental damage to these types of disks. This release contains only a feature enhancement, and therefore is not a critical update. More information about the AHCI Disk Driver Package may be found in the AHCI wiki.

If you have ArcaOS, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website 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.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

If you are still running OS/2 and/or eComStation systems and haven’t yet purchased a software subscription, this is a great reason to do so now. It may also be a good time to consider moving up to ArcaOS.

ACPI Driver Package version 3.23.11 released

An ACPI packageArca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of our ACPI Driver Package for ArcaOS, OS/2, and eComStation version 3.23.11.

The following is a brief summary of the changes in this release. Please see the ACPI Driver ReadMe for details about this update.

  • Minor changes to PCI setup to accommodate some unusual BIOS settings.
  • Enhanced Daemon Power Manager to properly calculate CPU load.
  • Updates to the ACPICA module from Intel.

This is a maintenance update that should be installed by everyone.

If you have ArcaOS, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website 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.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

If you are still running OS/2 and/or eComStation systems and haven’t yet purchased a software subscription, this is a great reason to do so now. It may also be a good time to consider moving up to ArcaOS.

Arca Noae progress report: ArcaOS on UEFI-only hardware

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is gradually replacing the traditional system BIOS. The vast majority of PCs on the market are now based on UEFI technology, and a number of these include what is called a Compatibility Support Module (CSM). This CSM “layer” replaces the traditional BIOS and provides backward-compatibility support for booting operating systems such as DOS, OS/2, and, of course, ArcaOS. (This is typically listed as “Compatibility”, or “Legacy” boot in the system setup menu of UEFI-based PCs.)

PC manufacturers and Intel specifically have stated publicly that they intend to phase out inclusion of a CSM layer in the next few years (in the case of Intel, beginning in 2020), leaving UEFI as the only boot option, eliminating the “Compatibility” selection. To prepare for this, Arca Noae has been exploring ways to boot ArcaOS on systems lacking a manufacturer-supplied CSM. We are pleased to announce that over the last several months our development team has made significant progress in achieving that goal.

In the lab, we are now able to boot ArcaOS all the way to a desktop on a system configured to boot in UEFI mode. All necessary drivers load, with all CPU cores running, and ArcaOS properly switches to graphics mode. The importance of this accomplishment cannot be overstated. To our knowledge, this is the first time ArcaOS has ever booted without the presence of an active CSM.

Having said that, this project is still in its research stage and not yet ready for release to our beta testers. Native UEFI support requires changes to the low level disk and video subsystems, and this work is ongoing.

We remain cautiously optimistic that we will complete our Proof of Concept successfully and will have a UEFI solution for a future ArcaOS version.

Oh, and Arca Noae has been an Adopting member of the UEFI Forum since 2015.

Arca Noae progress report

Work continues at a furious pace behind the scenes at Arca Noae! Sometimes, a lot of work is needed before any highly visible releases are done, so we thought it might be a good idea to provide periodic progress reports so everyone can see just how much work is being done. Here’s the first in the series.

Device drivers

Work is continuing on Panorama. There have been improvements in monitor detection. Our developers and dedicated beta testers discovered some issues on some systems with different EDID types. Other changes to the Panorama PMI have improved compatibility with more systems. Watch for a new release in the near future, and of course, in the upcoming ArcaOS 5.0.4.

The ACPI project continues to get improvements. In addition to the regular updates for ACPICA, there has been work needed to fix some minor issues, increasing compatibility over a wider range of systems.

The AHCI driver received some improvements to help protect non-MBR disks from accidental damage.

A lot of progress has been made on USB3. We now have a driver that mostly works but still needs further refining before it is ready for alpha testing.

Kernel and boot environment

Work has recently begun to investigate booting of ArcaOS on UEFI-based systems without a vendor-supplied Compatibility Support Module (CSM). Watch for further updates on this project. Early indications are very positive for this critical component, necessary to support the latest generation of hardware.

ArcaOS 5.0.4

A lot of work has gone into getting the next release of ArcaOS ready. Our next progress update will focus on this, but the biggest news to share is that thanks to our new Update Facility, bringing any version of ArcaOS 5.0 up to date will be a snap: no more reformatting and reinstalling! Instead, just boot from the installation disc, ISO, or USB flash drive, select the ArcaOS installation to be updated, and allow the process to complete.

A lot of work has gone into Installer fixes and improvements, too. For new installations, the process has never been easier or more trouble-free.

Outside development

Most of our developers also do their own things, away from ArcaOS. Most of these projects find their way into ArcaOS or into the Arca Noae software repositories in some form or fashion. Here are a couple of notable things seeing active development.

Several years ago, Alex Taylor, our Chief UI Architect, began work on a replacement utility for the graphical LVM (Logical Volume Manager) Java applet. Alex has recently returned to that work, and the latest beta is looking promising for inclusion in ArcaOS 5.1.

Alex has also spent some time working on not only the ConfigApps utility which associates various internet applications with the Workplace Shell, and has contributed some new work for NewView, the help and INF viewer. Source code for both of these may be viewed and checked out of the Netlabs NewView project repository.

Consulting and development for commercial clients

We have spent a lot of time in recent months working on some custom projects for commercial clients. Not only does this work help fund ongoing development for many of the projects mentioned above, but many new things come out of this work to benefit all users of the platform.

Ongoing subscription service and support

We work tirelessly to provide professional, courteous, and knowledgeable technical support for the software we produce and distribute. Sometimes, this support uncovers bugs which we work quickly to address, other times, we find that documentation could be improved, and in some cases, we discover hardware which may require some software modification to support (or which we may determine to be unsuitable for ArcaOS). We offer two levels of support: personal and commercial, where commercial subscribers receive priority attention. Still, we do our best to see that everyone’s needs are addressed.

As a reminder, when considering opening a new trouble ticket, it’s a good idea to re-read our ticket guidelines and Best Practices page, and be sure to search for similar issues in our bug tracker. If a ticket is indeed necessary, we generally will require a TestLog log file, so be sure to follow the directions here to get the latest TestLog build, first. You may attach a log file at the time of opening the ticket, saving time in the process.

eCo Software Runtime packages updated

Arca Noae is pleased to announce the availability of updated eCo Software Runtime packages, downloadable from our downloadables page.

The eCo Software Runtime packages provide support libraries for several components of ArcaOS and eCS, as well as eCo Software applications. The Base, Net, and Win packages have been updated as of 2019-02-14. The Win update resolves several minor issues in the File Open Container (FOC) used by default in ArcaOS, and introduces an Advanced Presentation Manager Programming library, providing several new functions for PM programmers to use in their own applications.

These packages are provided by Arca Noae as a convenience to our customers, clients, and the community at large. Arca Noae does not produce these packages, and the software is provided “as is” without any warranty of any kind. Support for the eCo Software Runtime is provided by eCo Software, in their support forum.