View Full Version : Running Linux on your Amiga

6th March 2009, 15:42
I've been doing some research this week to see what versions of Linux were released for the Amiga, and to see if the Distros could still be obtained.

The good news is that most of them can be easily downloaded.

The bad news is that the minimum system requirements for any of them as at least a 68020 CPU, with an FPU and MMU. So this really applies to A1200 uses with a 68030 accelerator or better, and big box Amiga owners with at least an 030 system.

Also worth noting is that it won't run on an A4000 EC30 because it is missing an MMU.

Now to the Amiga Linux Distros. This is what I've found so far.

Amiga Linux Distros:

For 68k Amigas
NetBSD 4.0.1
Debian GNU/Linux m68k 3.1r8

For PPC Amigas
Debian GNU/Linux PPC 3.1r8
Debian GNU/Linux PPC 4.0r7 "etch"
Debian GNU/Linux PPC 5 "lenny"
Linux/APUS Kernal

So there are a few good Linux Distros available for the Amiga for both m68k and PPC systems. I will explore each in more detail below.

6th March 2009, 15:46
This is quite an old Linux Distro for the Amiga, but it is very small.


http://www.minix3.org/previous-versions/gzipped/Amiga.tar.gz 2.8MB (7 Floppy Disks)

Last release Info
The last version, MINIX 3 seems to have dropped m68k support.

As you can see this is very small, distributed in a 2.8MB download containing a 7 floppy disk install set. It is commandline only but that is OK for general Linux use.

6th March 2009, 15:47


Last release Info
The last version of NetBSD for 68k Amiga seems to be the latest one version 4.0.1 and is available to download from their FTP as an ISO, and also torrent and shareaza.

6th March 2009, 15:56


Full CD set (13 CDs)

http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-cd/debian-31r8-m68k-businesscard.iso 37M
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-cd/debian-31r8-m68k-netinst.iso 98M

http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-cd/debian-31r8-m68k-binary-1.iso 648M
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-cd/debian-31r8-m68k-binary-2.iso 630M
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-cd/debian-31r8-m68k-binary-3.iso 638M
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-cd/debian-31r8-m68k-binary-4.iso 619M
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-cd/debian-31r8-m68k-binary-5.iso 638M
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-cd/debian-31r8-m68k-binary-6.iso 642M
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-cd/debian-31r8-m68k-binary-7.iso 639M
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-cd/debian-31r8-m68k-binary-8.iso 633M
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-cd/debian-31r8-m68k-binary-9.iso 644M
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-cd/debian-31r8-m68k-binary-10.iso 645M
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-cd/debian-31r8-m68k-binary-11.iso 647M
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-cd/debian-31r8-m68k-binary-12.iso 637M
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-cd/debian-31r8-m68k-binary-13.iso 313M

Full DVD set (2 DVDs)

http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-dvd/debian-31r8-m68k-binary-1.iso 4.6G
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/m68k/iso-dvd/debian-31r8-m68k-binary-2.iso 3.6G

Last release info
Version 3.1r8 is the final version of Debian that supports 68k Amigas

6th March 2009, 15:56


Debian GNU/Linux PPC 3.1r8

Full DVD set (3 DVDs + Update DVD)
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/powerpc/iso-dvd/debian-31r8-powerpc-binary-1.iso 4.3G
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/powerpc/iso-dvd/debian-31r8-powerpc-binary-2.iso 4.4G
http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/powerpc/iso-dvd/debian-31r8-powerpc-binary-3.iso 1.1M

http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/archive/3.1_r8/powerpc/iso-dvd/debian-update-3.1r8-powerpc-DVD-1.iso 1.6G

Full CD set (14 CDs)

Debian GNU/Linux 4.0r7 "etch"

Available as BT or ISO download.

Full DVD set (4 DVDs)

Full CD set (22 CDs!!!!!)

Debian GNU/Linux 5.0.0 "lenny"

Last release info
The last supporting version is the latest version 5.0.0 "lenny" release.

Installation guide

6th March 2009, 16:06


For the Amiga One, based on the Debian kernel 2.6.18. Latest release was 19/10/2008.

6th March 2009, 16:11
Further Reading

These is a great Linux PPC site to read a lot more at http://www.us.debian.org/ports/powerpc/

29th March 2009, 07:31
Never got round to installing Linux on my A1200 but will soon try it on a Sam.
I only know one person who uses Linux so it looks like I'm going to be pretty much on my own with this.
Will need to ensure I'm up to maximum mental capacity when I try this as the installation looks a bit wierd at first glance.

30th March 2009, 12:20
Have you installed any Distro of Linux before on any system? If not then I would recommend playing around with it on a PC first to get a feel for how it all works, and to get to grips with a Linux shell and the commands it uses. That way you will be able to enjoy trying it on an Amiga much more.

31st March 2009, 12:45
I when to see the Debian GNU/Linux m68k Distro

it needs a 68030 card, that's ok, i have a blizzard 030, but they say it needs 64mb ram, to have a desktop enviroment, otherwise with no desktop enviroment it only needs 32mb ram.
i only have 32mb... but linux with command line only is a bit difficult for me:(
i wonder if i could run it with only 32mb....
i have a spare disk with 1.2 GB... may be i try it

7th April 2009, 09:01
I tried to install debian in a winuae HDF. i tried over WB3.1 but he says that i dont have enough memory (?). i did it with 8/16/32/64/128 i think i try all combinations of memory, but allways the same result. I download a debian iso, one og the smallest version. I burn it to cd with no problems, i am sure it's the right version (amiga 68k). :blink:

did you try it Harrison?

7th April 2009, 09:58
Sadly you can't run any version of Amiga Linux OS via WinUAE. This is because they all need an MMU to be present as part of the CPU, and WinUAE doesn't currently emulate the MMU (as we mentioned before).

The developer of WinUAE has said he has no really interest in spending time developing MMU emulation within WinUAE because it was hardly ever used by any Amiga software. Personally I would love to see it added because otherwise we are not getting 100% accurately emulated Amigas when using WinUAE. I know not much software did use it (I can only think of about 4 programs), but it was still a part of the Amiga hardware. Plus with its inclusion we could then run Linux.

It would however run perfectly well on your real A1200 with 030 CPU.

7th April 2009, 12:28
humm, ok, i will try on real A1200. But i don't have FPU on my blizzard... i someone said linux need FPU... i will try anyway...

but how show i install? Can i copy all files to HD and run from there? should i install on top of WB3.1? I didn't saw any boot floppy to support install ...

7th April 2009, 14:56
Most Linux distros come in a CD ISO image, so you will need a CD drive in your Amiga to install Linux.

Stephen Coates
7th April 2009, 15:24
We had the same problems with macintosh emulators and their lack of an MMU. Quite a lot of people have wanted to run Apple's A/UX which requires an MMU, and unfortunately, none of the macintosh emulators emulate one (including the ones that use the UAE 68k code). Most (all?) developers of the emulators have expressed hardly any interest in adding one.

10th August 2009, 13:58
Harrison did you install any of those Linux listed above? Anyone?

10th August 2009, 16:11
No. I've not had time to try any of them on either my A4000 or A1200. The main problem is that I would need to use the HDD, and I have them setup just how I like at the moment. Which was why I really wanted to try them via emulation. Maybe one day.

11th August 2009, 14:34
I have for the installation:

- blizzard 1230 mkiv with 32mb ram .... (needs 64mb?)
- cd-rom
- spare HD to test it

Since cd-rom it's not bootable in my miggy, it needs wb3.1 or os3.9 to boot (2 different hds) how do we install linux?

i have a 3rd clean Hd to install it, must i need to put wb first and then Linux? Or can i boot only for wb and then run linux? Does it made a multiboot or he install linux on top of wb?

11th August 2009, 15:05
You could setup a Workbench floppy with the CD drivers needed to access the drive.