Tag Archives: USB

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.

USB driver package version 12.03 released

USBArca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of release 12.03 of our USB stack.

This release has some minor but important fixes that primarily affect Isochronous devices and hubs. This update is recommended for everyone. As usual, this release is update only. It will only update an existing installation. It will not install USB support and will not install new drivers. More information about the USB drivers can be found in the wiki.

If you have problems with any of the drivers in this release, please read the Troubleshooting Guide in the wiki first. If your problem cannot be resolved with the Troubleshooting Guide, then the problem should be reported in the ticketing system.

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.

USB driver package version 12.01 released

USBArca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of release 12.01 of our USB stack.

This is the first official release of the 32 bit USB stack. This is a major update with significant changes. Note that this update changes the order of the USB base drivers in your CONFIG.SYS. This update will bring the USB stack in your system up-to-date with the recently released version of ArcaOS. If you have ArcaOS version 5.0.4 then you already have this update.

More information about the USB drivers can be found in the wiki.

If you have problems with any of the drivers in this release, please read the Troubleshooting Guide in the wiki first. If your problem cannot be resolved with the Troubleshooting Guide, then the problem should be reported in the ticketing system.

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.

Critical fix available for ArcaOS 5.0.3 installations from DVD requiring USB keyboard and/or mouse

We have identified and corrected an issue in our production build system affecting the ArcaOS 5.0.3 ISO resulting in missing USB driver files normally loaded when booting from DVD.

If you normally install from USB flash drive or directly from the ISO you do not require this fix to install.

If, however, you normally install from DVD or from the ISO into a virtual machine which requires USB keyboard and/or mouse emulation, this fix is required in order to load the USB stack for the installation process.

The ending installation is exactly the same, with or without this fix, as no changes to anything installed to the local drive(s) have been made. This is only for the purpose of booting from the installation DVD and navigating through the installer.

Unfortunately, this fix requires a full download of a fresh ISO, as there is no practical way of inserting this small fix in an existing ISO or DVD. As a result, all currently cached ISOs here have been expired. At your convenience, please log into your customer portal, access your ArcaOS order from the Orders & Subscriptions page, and request a fresh ISO.

We apologize for any inconvenience this issue has caused, and thank you very much for your patience. Thanks also to those who reported the issue to us.

ArcaOS 5.0.2 Bootable USB Stick Image 2018-02-12 Package Released

AOSBoot USB stickArca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of our new ArcaOS Bootable USB Stick Image 2018-02-12 Package.

This package follows onto the included USB stick creation utility shipped with ArcaOS 5.0.2, allowing you to create a bootable USB ArcaOS 5.0.2 installation stick without a running OS/2 system. The package includes native binaries to restore the stick image from Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well as OS/2. Once the image is restored, eject, re-insert, and simply copy your personalized ISO (separately downloaded) to the stick per the included directions, which are also detailed in the ArcaOS support wiki. The stick may then be inserted into any USB 2.0-controlled port in the target system, which is then booted into the ArcaOS installer.

If you are still running OS/2 and/or eComStation systems and haven’t yet moved up to ArcaOS, this is a great time to do so. It’s never been easier to install any OS/2-based operating system.

USB driver package version 11.17 released

USBArca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of release 11.17 of our USB stack.

This is a maintenance release and includes minor fixes and enhancements. Specifically, this version fixes keyboard auto-repeat so that it works for all USB keyboards. This version also fixes the ability to use certain unusual types of USB 1.x devices when plugged into a USB 2.0 hub.

More information about the USB drivers can be found in the wiki.

If you have problems with any of the drivers in this release, please read the Troubleshooting Guide in the wiki first. If your problem cannot be resolved with the Troubleshooting Guide, then the problem should be reported in the ticketing system.

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.

USB driver package version 11.16 released

USBArca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of release 11.16 of our USB stack.

This is a maintenance release and includes minor fixes for stability and reliability.

If you have ArcaOS 5.0.1, then you already have this version and you do not need to download this update. If you have ArcaOS 5.0 installed, or are not using ArcaOS yet, then this version will bring you up-to-date.

More information about the USB drivers can be found in the wiki.

If you have problems with any of the drivers in this release, please read the Troubleshooting Guide in the wiki first. If your problem cannot be resolved with the Troubleshooting Guide, then the problem should be reported in the ticketing system.

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.