Roadmap: General

This is a general roadmap for Arca Noae, covering various areas of focus. Consider this an overview of what we’re doing and what we’re planning. Please refer to specific roadmaps for greater detail.

Short Term Projects (active development)

ArcaOS 5.0 (Blue Lion)

The first release of ArcaOS, codenamed Blue Lion, launched in May, 2017. The 4th maintenance release of 5.0 is in beta testing as of January, 2019, and scheduled for release in the near future.

USB 3 host controller support

xHCI support (USB 3) is nearing the testing phase as of January, 2019. This will allow ArcaOS to install and run on an even wider range of modern systems.

New RPM packages for the OS/2 & eCS Drivers & Software Subscription

We are adding more ported and packaged software to our subscription RPM repository, thereby adding value to these services. Subscribers will be able to add the Subscription repo to Arca Noae Package Manager to be able to download and install these updates on demand.

New RPM packages for the Arca Noae Stable Repository

We are adding new packages to the free stable repository. Software here may be created by any third party, and packaged for inclusion in our free repository, available to all OS/2 users, whether subscribers or not. These packages may then be downloaded and installed via Arca Noae Package Manager.

Enhanced printer support for OS/2 (with and without CUPS)

New printer driver packages are in testing to support a wider range of modern printers, both with and without CUPS. These drivers augment the already rich support for venerable models as provided by OS/2 itself.

Support for modern Wi-Fi adapters

MultiMac will be expanded to include support for a limited set of wireless network adapters, commonly found in hardware which is otherwise suitable for ArcaOS. Eventually, these drivers may completely replace available GenMac drivers for chipsets which remain in use.

Medium Term Projects (close to development; planning)

New audio driver to replace Uniaud

Uniaud is considered to be in maintenance mode, with no planned support for adding new drivers or resyncing with more current ALSA. Instead, a new audio driver, based on that used in FreeBSD is being considered. This should make adding support for new audio devices much easier in the future.

Better support for OS/2 in virtualized environments

Work continues to improve networking performance for ArcaOS under hypervisors such as VirtualBox and VMWare. For the latter, USB 3 support is key, as is a new audio driver. In addition, networking under VirtualBox may be greatly enhanced by a MultiMac virtio driver, which is under consideration.

SNAP Graphics for OS/2

We plan to offer an updated SNAP accelerated graphics driver this as a standalone product, suitable for installation on Warp 4 or eCS systems. This updated version should provide better SMP stability and support for more modern chipsets.

Native audio for WinOS/2 (and later, DOS) sessions

Through the Data Transfer Agent (DTA), it is possible to direct audio from WinOS/2 sessions to Uniaud (or another MMOS2-managed audio driver). This will make it possible for classic 16-bit Windows 3.1 games to come alive. DTA is already working for WinOS/2, and will be included with the next ArcaOS release (5.1). DOS support is planned, to provide SoundBlaster emulation for classic DOS games.

UEFI boot support

Support for booting ArcaOS on UEFI-based systems, without the need of a vendor-supplied Compatibility Support Module (CSM) is in the research stage as of fourth quarter, 2018.

Long Term Projects (speculative; open-ended; not yet planned)

Support for more network adapters

MultiMac continues to expand, and we see no reason to stop. As new network adapters come to market, MultiMac will be enhanced to support them where such support makes sense.

NVMe support

The erstwhile successor to AHCI, NVMe is becoming more and more common in modern portable systems. Arca Noae is actively seeking developers for this driver, which may be based on the existing AHCI driver or perhaps be something entirely new.

Support for SATA RAID and SAS controllers

We are investigating the development of drivers to support a limited set of SATA RAID and SAS controllers under OS/2.

Support hard disks larger than 2 terabytes

Currently OS/2 supports hard disks up to 2 Terabytes. Several possible solutions for larger disks are being investigated.

Support for booting OS/2 from hard disks with a GPT partition layout

The MBR support in the BIOS has been replaced by the GPT disk layout which is part of the UEFI standard. Current research seems to indicate that we can provide GPT support via something called a hybrid MBR.

Support for NIC teaming

While not currently planned, there have been some broad discussions at Arca Noae concerning the ability to bind network adapters together to form virtual teams for load balancing and failover.


Arca Noae is open to considering the porting of an existing Bluetooth stack to the platform, or the development of a new one from scratch, should demand arise and the work be funded.

ArcaOS 5.1

We anticipate an 18-24-month release cycle for ArcaOS. While the feature set for ArcaOS 5.1 remains unset, there are a number of enhancements we intend to include which just could not make it into ArcaOS 5.0. See the ArcaOS roadmap for more details.