Category Archives: Subscriptions

ArcaOS 5.0.5 updates for 2020-06-26

Dynamic IconsOne package included in ArcaOS 5.0.5 has been updated or refreshed today, 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. Specifically, this is:

  • Network Adapters and Protocol Services (NAPS) 1.1.7 (refreshed)

The NAPS package shipped with ArcaOS 5.0.5 did not update the installed version properly. Fresh 5.0.5 installations did receive the correct binary, however. Minor updates to the online help have also been added in this packaging refresh. We recommend downloading and installing this package on all ArcaOS systems (new installs, updated systems, and those not-yet-updated) to set the package version correctly in the WarpIN database.

NAPS is a replacement for IBM’s MPTS utility to add, remove, and configure LAN adapters and networking protocols. NAPS is open source, licensed under GPLv3, with full source code available (see the NAPS wiki for more information).

Packages listed on the order details page as UPDATED are new or refreshed since the latest ArcaOS ISO release.

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 your support subscription, this is also a good time. Not sure what’s coming next? Have a look at our product roadmap pages.

About requests for support

Whenever you encounter a problem with Arca Noae software which you cannot resolve on your own, you should consider opening a trouble ticket. If you have a current ArcaOS Support & Maintenance subscription or a current OS/2 & eCS Drivers & Software subscription, we’re here to help in any way we can. You paid for professional support with your software license and/or subscription, and you are entitled to it. To provide that level of service, however, we need a little help from you.

Before opening your ticket, please consider whether the issue is really in Arca Noae software or perhaps in a third-party component bundled with ArcaOS. Third-party software is not produced or directly supported by Arca Noae. Look at the program’s documentation. Where does it say support requests should be directed? If it is third-party software, you should probably start there. On the other hand, if it is a third-party component but your problem seems to have stemmed from the manner in which it was installed during an ArcaOS installation or update, that would be a problem for us to at least review first, because it may involve our installation software (which is our component).

Please don’t take offense if we refer you to the program’s developer or distributor for support. Those entities are probably closer to the source code than we are, and thus in a better position to assist you with your problem. We’re not passing the buck, just trying to direct you to the best place for the help you need.

If your issue is with an Arca Noae component, please review that component’s wiki pages for information on supported configurations as well as debugging instructions. The more you do ahead of time, the more you will know and the more information you will have available when we request it in your ticket. Be sure you’re using the right driver for your hardware. Be sure your system is in a supported configuration.

As a general rule when opening tickets, you should familiarize yourself with our Reporting Problems – Best Practices and Ticket Guidelines wiki pages. While these pages don’t change often, they document the framework within which we process tickets, give you an overview of what to expect from us, and likewise, what we expect from you (see mention above of “a little help from you”).

When a technician or engineer has been assigned to your ticket, consider that person your concierge to a solution for the duration of your problem. He or she is there to help. If that technician or engineer requests logging information, that’s not a suggestion. He or she requests that information in order to resolve the problem.

Always bear in mind that not all problems are reproducible by the technician or engineer, or your problem could be a configuration or usage issue. Often the only objective information the technician or engineer has to work with is contained in the log file(s) requested. If the log file(s) contain what you consider to be sensitive information (usernames, IP addresses, etc.), simply ask the ticket assignee to set your ticket to private status. When private, only you, Arca Noae staff, and developers have access to the information. You also have the option of sanitizing your log info to your satisfaction, as long as such anonymizing does not obscure the underlying data (your ticket assignee can provide more guidance, here; just ask).

If you fail to provide requested information or log files, your ticket assignee may very well resolve the ticket as “reporter unresponsive.” You may reopen the ticket within 30 days of resolution if you provide the requested information.

When you attach files to a ticket, please also post a comment. File attachments do not trigger email notifications, and do not change ticket status from Feedback, so without a comment added, the technician or engineer will have no idea that you have provided the requested information, and this may delay the ticket resolution process.

Please do not provide extra, not-requested attachments, such as configuration files and screenshots. If your ticket assignee has need of this information, he or she will ask for it.

Our goal is to resolve your issue as quickly as possible. Some issues may require more time than others. Some issues require group input, and thus, there may be some delays in responding to your ticket. Please be patient.

Above all, our goal is to provide quality software and attentive, professional support. All we ask in return is that you follow the procedures we have put in place so that we may work as efficiently as possible, and you may get back to the business of enjoying your Arca Noae products.

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.

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.

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.