Saturday, June 3, 2017

Networking with Icaros hosted on OpenSUSE Linux

by on Saturday, June 03, 2017
Icaros Desktop should be usable in hosted mode under any Linux distribution, however startup and configuration scripts were written with Debian-based distros in mind (in practice: Icaros should work at its best with Ubuntu, Mint and derivatives). Unfortunately, we simply haven't the power, the time and the resources to support other Linux 'implementations', but luckily we have a very smart community of proactive users helping us even without asking them! So, if you have issues configuring the network on your hosted installation of Icaros Desktop running on OpenSUSE, please read and follow these instructions from AROS-EXEC's user Superchicken:

"After 2 months of tinkering, I finally figured out how to make networking work in Linux Hosted Icaros on OpenSuse Linux.

Symptom:
After installing, Icaros can ping the host controller, but cannot access or ping the outside network and no internet access.

Problem:
The problem is that SuSEfirewall2 is not configured properly and blocks IPs that are not configured. Turning the firewall off WILL NOT work as the virtual networking adapter won't work when the firewall is off in OpenSuse.

Solution:
You need to edit the SuSEfirewall2 config file at /etc/sysconfig/SuSEfirewall2 and find the line with "FW_FORWARD_MASQ" and change it to reflect what adapter is forwarded to what IP. Ex:

FW_FORWARD_MASQ="10.0.0.198,192.168.166.1,tcp,80"

The first IP will be your host adapter IP address (use your host's IP here). The second IP being the Icaros GATEWAY IP, not the adapter IP inside Icaros. Then tcp and port 80.

After saving the file, you need to restart the firewall using
"sudo systemctl restart SuSEfirewall2". After that you will be able to access the internet with Icaros. Since the adapter is not started at boot, you will need to restart the firewall after the adapter is started. To do that, I just edited the "tap_on" script to include "sudo systemctl restart SuSEfirewall2" AFTER the adapter is brought up.
After this, you are ready to surf the internet in Icaros hosted by OpenSuse."

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Icaros Desktop 2.2 has been released

by on Thursday, June 01, 2017
The brand new main release of Icaros Desktop is now available for download, and it brings many little and bigger enhancements over the last Xmas Preview, like a complete new look, which involves both Magellan toolbars and decoration theme, and a completely new feature called HostBridge, which allows people running Icaros Desktop in a hosted environment to launch host applications along with (or instead of) AROS ones. This applies, obviously, only on Windows and Linux hosted Icaros (please read this page to understand the difference), not on native installations - being them on real hardware or virtual machines. In a nutshell, if you're running Icaros Desktop hosted on Windows or Linux, you can now start your common programs (like MS Office, Photoshop, GIMP, Inkscape and others) from AROS as well, and even use them to open your AROS documents. That's not, obviously, the only news here. As we said, we've completely overhauled Magellan's lister toolbar, adding some labeling and making - we hope - everything more intuitive to use. We have also changed placement to some tools, so maybe you'll have to change your habits a little bit, but we're really sure in the end you'll find the new GUI much better than it was before. For this release, we've opted for a new, white/grey/cyan flat theme, which almost reprises the original Workbench 2.X color scheme and mixes it with the one from AROS nightly builds (which we used for Xmas Preview 6 months ago), but uses colors in a different and more modern way. We sincerely hope you'll like it.

ZunePaint is getting better and better...

Slarti and other applications running on Icaros 2.2
NEW FROM ICAROS DESKTOP 2.1.3

- Updated AROS system files to feb 20th nightly build, plus some further updates here and there
 + introduced more than 16 Months of changes from AROS developers
- Added Windows hosted environment option
 + installation script for Windows 2000/XP/7/8.x/10
 + Documents directory automatically mounted on AROS
HostBridge on Linux
- Added HostBridge for Icaros in hosted mode
 + users can access Windows and Linux programs
 + use Windows or Linux apps to open AROS files from GUI and AROS shell
 + transparent path conversion from AROS to native format
 + use Windows or Linux apps as default tools
 + add whatever Linux or Windows application you like
 + you may use Icaros Desktop as GUI to drive your host OS
- Updated Windows hosted installation script
 + easy access to Windows volumes and Linux filesystem
 + added warning about current status of Windows port
- New desktop theme with modern "flat-white" decoration
- Updated user interface using Magellan
 + no more confusing toolbar on the top right corner
 + new lister toolbar with labels for common file operations
- Added MuiMapparium and updated Mapparium
- Added ZunePaint, a handy brilliant AROS image editor
- Added minipicolisp to development languages
All files were open by AROS
- Updated ZuneView to latest version
- Updated ZuneFig to latest version
- Updated (again) user manual to reflect latest changes
- Added icoutils, wput, gsar and other utilities in C
- Updated MUIRoyale to version 1.6
- Updated Zune MCC classes to latest release
- Updated HFinder to latest release
- Updated SnapIT to latest release
- Added ogg encoder-decoder to utilities
 + integrated HFinder in Magellan to search for files
- Fixed: Zune prefs now shows class icons on the left
- Fixed: OWB now displays images correctly
- Fixed: AROS 68K in coherency mode now works again
- Added Linux hosted environment option
When OWB is not enough...
 + ubuntu/mint-based distros compatible installation script
 + network and audio setup automatically performed on the AROS side
 + user Home directory automatically mounted on AROS
 + implementing Icaros-daemon for Linux (still work in progress)
- Updated SFSundelete to a newer version
- Updated SYSmon to a newer version
- Updated ZuneView to latest release
- Updated dgen and MAME to latest releases
- Added protracker to multimedia tools
- Added complete AISS package to distribution
 + Installation performed only under user request, within Icaros installation
- Changed directory structure in Extras
- Moved FryingPan and Cinnamon Writer back to Extras
 + this makes them available on Icaros Live! edition only
- Moved Protrekkr and LunaPaint to Utilities
 + this makes them available on Icaros Light edition too!
- Cleaned some parts of S:icaros-sequence startup script
- Updated user manual to version 2.2
- Fixed some little bugs in Icaros installation procedure

ZuneView allows applying filters to images, while vieweing them.

MuiMapparium is a new Zune-compatible version of Mapparium
AVAILABILITY

Icaros Desktop 2.2 is now available for download in three flavors:
  • The complete Live! edition
  • The smaller Light "system core" edition
  • The update pack for users of Icaros 2.2 Xmas Preview
Please notice the update pack won't work on Icaros Desktop 2.1.x installations. Users of Icaros 2.1 should backup their files and perform a new installation. Updating Icaros 2.1.x to 2.2 is not supported and manually updating might bring to unpredictable results. 
All packages are now available from our Download page in the more traditional .zip format. Although 7zip produced smaller packages, too much people complained they had issues handling its archive format. Zip should be easy for everyone.

IMPORTANT NOTES

  1. Icaros Desktop Live! does not include QEMU-based virtual machine anymore. You can download it separately from our Download page (see other resources section)
  2. Please donate! This project lives thanks to your help, being it some bucks or, why not, collaboration on writing software for AROS! 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

First version of HostBridge is done

by on Wednesday, May 31, 2017
I'd like to tell you a story. There are no enchanted woods or castles, nor knights and dragons, but a very simple and clear request from many people on AROS-EXEC: "would you make a hosted version of Icaros Destkop?".

A hosted Icaros. Why not? After all, drivers development for native AROS is quite slow and many developers would find a hosted Icaros environment extremely comfortable to test their applications, so I started adding Linux, and also Windows hosted options to the distribution. But, you know, having Icaros running all alone in a window didn't satisfy me. I made Icaros to show that AROS is usable every day, but Windows users have Photoshop and millions of other image editors: why should they use LunaPaint or ZunePaint? Linux users have Inkscape and LibreOffice, why should they use ZuneFig, Cinnamon Writer or Ignition? Both have Firefox and Chrome... why should they browse the web with OWB? Let's get real: being AROS or Amiga fanatics wouldn't just be enough to use our programs instead of the "competitors" when the others are easier to use, do more or just work better in many cases.

"Never give up, Paolo!"

I thought a lot about that, and I understood that the question was wrong. What Icaros Desktop can do inside of Linux or Windows does not matter; on the contrary, what Linux and Windows may do outside of Icaros Desktop does! If I found a way to use host applications along with native ones - I thought - people would have been able to speed up their work and get the best of both worlds. The answer to this question is now part of Icaros Desktop 2.2 and it's called HostBridge! (Yes, in the end I chose that name, even if I didn't initially like it).

HostBridge allows to "integrate" host applications into Icaros Desktop, allowing people to invoke them straight from the AROS shell, from Wanderer, Magellan, AmiStart or any other AROS file manager or launcher dock. In the top left corner of this post I'm showing a couple of notes I wrote on paper before actually starting to code. There were many compelling missions that HostBridge had to achieve, but the result is really encouraging (keep in mind this is just the first release).

First of all, it must run on any Linux distribution and Windows. I initially asked Pascal Papara if he would let me use AEROS' lx command, but he sincerely answered to me that lx requires so many changes to the host system, that I would have ended up into making a complete Linux distro, exactly like he did. That's not the goal I had in mind: hosted Icaros must try to adapt to users' operating systems, not force users to change their habits. Moreover, lx couldn't run with hosted Windows, so I needed a completely different approach. I ended up making a very simple "icaros daemon" which runs on the host system, looking for a command to execute, and run it when AROS passes it. Plain, easy and, best of all, good for any host system.

Then, it must feel natural to use from the AROS side: when you tell a Linux or Windows program to open a file, it expects that your file is stored in a reachable folder of your host system. If you simply tell Photoshop to open an image stored in SYS:Temp/MyDiary, Windows would have to complain that the image path, that's so easy to understand for AROS, is completely meaningless to him. So paths must be converted, but user should not be bugged about this. Having the AROS user entering a command like "hbridge Photoshop.exe C:\IcarosDesktop\Temp\MyDiary\myphoto.png" was not an option to me. HostBridge converts 'alien' paths for you.

"hbscript home:make-live.sh"
Moreover, it must be cosy. The "command program" approach didn't satisfy me: it's good to run a program alone or a script just once. Why not simply entering the program name to make things easier? "Photoshop myphoto.png" should be enough if you are already in the same directory of your image. So yes, HostBridge remembers the names of your applications and uses them like shell commands, allowing you to enter also a file name to open. This happens because HostBridge, for every integrated application, creates a script for you which accepts parameters, and calls it with the same name of your Windows or Linux executable (without that ugly .exe extension!). You can obviously modify the name of this script as you like, once it has been created.

"Photoshop Pictures:deadddreamer_giftgas.jpg"
 There is an obvious limitation, though: if your file is stored on the RAM drive, or in a Janus-UAE hard drive, your host system has no way to reach it. But this unfortunate condition is handled as well, so HostBridge will warn you when it's not applicable. It also recognizes Internet paths starting with http: and ftp: once you have integrated Firefox, when you'll cast a command like firefox http://www.youtube.com it won't look for www.something files into the fictional volume 'http:'. But it will open that site with Firefox as expected.

"Firefox http://www.icarosdesktop.org"

HostBridge also allows to add an icon to your integrated apps. This is mandatory to let you run them from Wanderer, Magellan etc. But there is also a way to set a host application as default tool for a single file or for a whole kind of files. This can be done with Migario's wbXcli command and it will be well explained in Icaros Manual.

Monday, April 24, 2017

It's working!!!

by on Monday, April 24, 2017
Today a new piece of Icaros 2.2 has started shaping up. HostBridge (temporary name, I don't really like how it sounds) will allow running host applications from hosted Icaros and, best of all, it will allow handling of files. Just look at the following screenshot. I opened the AROS shell and entered this command:

gedit sys:S/Icaros-sequence

and, immediately after that, Linux program gedit popped up on the screen opening the requested file.


As like as AmiBridge does with 68K programs, this new set of scripts and programs will "incorporate" host apps to let the user run them from a shell, from AmiStart, from Magellan and Wanderer, even passing parameters and a file name to open it. Best of all, HostBridge will understand AROS paths and will convert them in either Linux or Windows paths:




I am quite optimist. Even though I never expected this to be ready for Icaros 2.2, I'm now quite confident that at least a really basic implementation of this technology might be included in the incoming release of Icaros Desktop. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 27, 2017

New pages added to the site

by on Monday, March 27, 2017
This is just a little service information. We've added to the site two missing pages: a more explaining page about Icaros Desktop itself (what is, how can run, what you should expect) which replaces the old "versions comparison" page, and a screenshots page. We sincerely hope you will appreciate these little additions to Icaros' home on the Internet.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

New ZunePaint in action

by on Thursday, March 23, 2017
ZunePaint is a fresh new image editing and 2D painting application from Yannick Erb. Due to its flexibility and size, we've decided to place it into both Icaros Desktop Live! and Light editions. Release after release, Yannick added many functions to his program, from gradient filling to text tool. The most recent one is the chance to copy a piece of an image, resize it on the fly with the mouse wheel or with a slider, and paste it wherever you like. I've made a little video starting Icaros Desktop hosted on a Linux virtual machine, showing some example operations on ZunePaint. Speed is considerable, but please remember it was running on a hosted environment, which was again running into a virtual machine (a para-emulated computer). Running it natively on real hardware would make it even faster. The video also shows MPlayer in action, still running on the same hosted+virtual environment, for reference. Not too bad, isn't it?


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