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"Amiga OS 3.2"

Posted: 24 June, 2021

The King is dead!

Raise a glass to OS 3.1.4. I only installed the ROMS back in December, and here we are, time to whip them out and upgrade to OS 3.2.

And not a minute too soon. Yesterday the machine kept booting into the Red Screen of Death, just as I was prepping it for the upgrade...

Installing OS 3.2

The documentation states that it's preferable to install the new ROMs before beginning the installation of Workbench, but that didn't work for me. The 1200 wouldn't boot from HD, and very weirdly, when booting from ADF none of the HDs were visible in HDToolBox.

After a bit of faff, and many resets to get the old 3.1.4 ROMs to actually boot, I was able to get back to my old Workbench and begin the install.

Unfortunately my CDRom seems to have died (maybe? Did it ever work in 3.1.4? I have no idea..) which meant that I couldn't try any of the fancy new installation methods. I was sorta looking forward to that, but, I'd already copied the ADFs to USB so I installed from the Gotek, which worked perfectly.

First Impressions

3.2 feels like a finished product. With both of my 3.1.4 installs I needed to do a bit of tinkering to get setup correctly; Glow Icons were missing in places, the new backgrounds didn't get installed, some default settings needed a tweak and perf wasn't as impressive as I hoped. All quickly sorted, but none of these issues appeared with 3.2.

The quality of life improvements are impressive. ADF mounting is one of those things that, once you use it, you can't imagine having lived without. Much like resizing windows from any corner and dragging them off-screen! WBPattern has much improved layout and dither options, and using PNGs as desktop backgrounds feels much much quicker, which I guess is due to the new datatypes.

But my most used feature, by far, is Auto Arrange Icons, which does exactly what it says on the tin, as well as resizing and centering the containing window. A massive time saver, especially if you've just copied over a couple of gigs of WHDLoad demos... Ahem.

There're a couple of other killer features: "Failsafe Boot" mode, and Trace Startup Sequence.

Failsafe Boot is essentially Safe Mode, for Workbench. It quickly boots you up to a basic WB with enough mounted for you to run commands and make changes. It is lovely.

Trace Startup Sequence boots as normal, but pops up a cli that lists each command in the startup-sequence, in turn, asking you if you want to execute it or not. My A1200 has taken a long time to get into workbench so I used this to step-through each line and see where the stall was occuring. The culprit was DefIcons, in the user-startup, so I booted into failsafe mode, ran the new Text Editor and deleted the offending line and... Bingo!

This all feels positively...modern! :D


As ever, politics in the Amiga scene is a complete shit-show, which I try not to think about. But, I love how cosy it feels to use Workbench these days, and I have the utmost respect for the devs that spend their time working on it. It's crazy -- even more so with all the shit that flies around -- but in a very, very good way.

If you've not upgraded an Amiga in a while then now is the time to do it. This is the best, fastest Workbench for none RTG Amigas that I've ever used.

Long live the King!