Workbench (AmigaOS)

The Workbench is the graphical user interface ( desktop ) of the Amiga operating systems.

Desktop and operating system

The operating system of the Amiga ( Amiga ) was the first Amiga ( Amiga 1000) delivered in several parts on diskettes. The first required for booting diskette called Kickstart and contained the operating system kernel, the DOS and some system libraries that already included the necessary graphic shares. The second disk was called Workbench, after booting with this disk, the system was available.

The entire operating system of the Amiga thus fit initially on two disks, the kickstart disk ( were described on the 256 KB ) and the Workbench disks with 880 KB capacity.

Later Amiga models ( published since the 1987 Amiga 500 and Amiga 2000 ) had the contents of Kickstart in ROM, it only had the Workbench disks are loaded. In the parlance of Amiga users, the separation has held ( the ROM Kickstart, everything else, from a disk Uploaded, Workbench ), although it is the content not quite accurate, as the allocation of system components between ROM and hard disk for later versions the operating system has changed considerably.


AmigaOS - and thus also the Workbench - provides a graphical interface in color, with multitasking and relatively short reaction times, eg on user input. The portion of the AmigaOS for the realization of the graphical interface is called intuition, so that is almost as first application of the user's desktop called Workbench implemented. In intuition elements such as icons ( Germanized at Amiga " pictogram" ), Windows (windows ), etc. provided. The workbench serves as with other operating systems, the graphical version of a command line, so the file management and program calls, and more generally to window management. But the whole system is so flexible that applications can make use of the basic features such as windows and other graphical elements without loading the workbench.

The input fields, buttons and click boxes in intuition windows are the Amiga Gadgets ( Germanized " symbols " ) called.

The lack of partitioning of the processes under AmigaOS with each other ( "Memory Protection" ) allows a fast inter-process communication by delivery of pointers without copying data, but this did bring the entire system to crash with an error each program. The speed of the OS has even increased over the years by a number of improvements - in contrast to the competition.

AmigaOS, the operating system of the Amiga is a modular design beyond, and has several similarities to concepts, as they are known from UNIX ago. The Amiga has dynamically loadable device drivers ( suffix: . Device) as well as shared libraries ( suffix: . Library) and supports many concepts of modern operating systems (streams, pipelining, signal, message queues, etc.). Also known for a Unix and Linux command line interpreter (shell / CLI ) is no stranger to the Amiga.

The AmigaOS since 1986 already offered a permanent and dynamic RAM disk. Later, it was even possible to integrate a reset fixed RAM disk, which was bootable and stood after a restart on with all invitees data. Due to the RAM disk applications could be accelerated enormously since accounted for here the slow accesses to floppy disks or hard disks.


Kickstart and Workbench do not necessarily carry the same version number. Are you on the command line with the command " version ", then the system is, for example,

Kickstart 40.63, Workbench 40.42 back. This means that on the machine runs OS 3.1. You might as well Workbench 3.1, however, also be operated with Kickstart 3.0. In most cases, mixing of the versions of system components, however, leads to undesired side effects.