AmiKit 12 released!
AmiKit 12 gives you a fully functional legally distributed Amiga system out of the box with all the bells and whistles that would take you many years to customise the standard Workbench 3.1/3.2 installation to achieve by yourself. All you need to supply is the copyrighted AmigaOS files from a legal source like Amiga Forever or Hyperion's AmigaOS 3.2.
Let's take a closer look!
As mentioned in another blog entry this month, I have been away overseas through January and most of February, so I have had no time to do anything with my favourite machines at home until this month.
To be clear, please note that I receive no money or compensation for testing or reviewing this product. I just got early access to the pre-release versions of AmiKit 12 for beta testing prior to release.
To save some time, I can report that AmiKit 12 works very well across all platforms I tested!
It has been a busy time testing and refining, but it has been a fun and interesting experience! I wanted to share my experiences across all the platforms, so you can see what to expect on each platform.
You can see my earlier reviews of older versions of AmiKit XE 11.6 on MacOS and Windows here.
Since that 11.6 review almost 12 months ago, AmiKit has released several updates for subscribers, and the current version at the time of the release of the latest Version 12.0 was 11.9. This is a very actively updated product!
So what is new with AmiKit 12?
- WHDLoad and most of other pre-installed games now run in full-window mode for better gaming experience. This makes a huge difference!
- CopyMem operations are 5 times faster now thanks to using the native WinUAE code. This also means in much smoother solid window moving and resizing. I have testes this, and noted the improvements when using multiple multitasking applications under Workbench.
- AmiKit now supports 8K resolution, along with 6K, 4K and the previous resolutions supported. (As an aside, with a real Amiga, even with the newest zz9000 RTG Zorro card or Vampire 2/Pistorm installed, 1080p Workbench output is the maximum possible!)
- Enhanced WinUAE/Amiberry emulation engine including optimized configuration for better stability, performance and gaming experience.
- Support for the latest AmigaOS 3.2 Update 2 from Hyperion, alongside the existing supported AmigaOS versions and Amiga Forever. I installed Update 2 from Morpheuz - I did this in Windows 11 AmiKit 12 testing.
- AmiKit has a new white & dark look. I like it a lot!
- There are 3 new theme presets - check them out with Morpheuz (as below). Besides the default Panther one, there is a green kitty one, as well as blue one showing High Tatras mountains in Slovakia.
- AmiKit has 2 exciting new old games included: An unofficial AGA remake of Turrican II - The Final Fight!, and a Colonization-style strategy game Settle The World.
- MousoMeter, a very interesting tool measuring the distance you make with your mouse is running in background now. How many kilometers can you make? Press Ctrl+Alt+m to find out. And then RightAmiga+a (while the MouseMeter window is active) for some really funny statistics. Just don't forget to calibrate your mouse first!
- Overall system responsiveness is improved especially if using CPU intensive tasks. Just enable "Executive" in new Morpheuz > System Settings > Startup Manager. IMPORTANT: Be advised that not all programs might run as expected with Executive enabled.
- New Morpheuz 12, the tool allowing you to fine-tune system and visual settings to your preference.
- Many DOpus FileTypes have been enhanced, including the Essentials menu.
- Included special version of AmiKick (Windows only) can now recognize almost all AmigaOS Kickstart ROMs including 3.2.2. Just double-click some to display details or even extract ROM modules from it!
- For increased security, AmiKit doesn't reveal that it runs under emulation anymore.
- New software has been added such as RNOTunes (using dark theme):
- Another new software called Image2PDF has been added, allowing you to convert images to PDF in Amkit 12 with a right-click on an image as shown below.
- Being able to view PDF files using RNOPDF in AmiKit 12 is also great!
- There are new demos added (even including Terminal, an AGA demo I helped create way back in 1998 and gave permission to be included)
- Also, many existing software version updates too. eg. Hippoplayer latest 2023 version with MP3 support, latest Hollywood Player 10 and many more.
You can purchase the latest AmiKit 12 software from AmiKit's website, with a number of subscription options as below.
You can even buy a synthetic leather USB stick with your AmiKit 12 installers on it, ready to install! If you already have an active subscription, you can download this latest version 12 at no extra charge from the Live Update in AmiKit.
I have covered builds of AmiKit for Windows, MacOS and Raspberry Pi many times on this blog, so for something different let's look at installing AmiKit XE v12 on Linux instead!
I decided to install AmiKit XE 12 on my Linux Mint 20.3 Cinnamon build PC, a Dell Optiplex 7810 Tower PC I bought second hand in 2021.
The specs of the machine are below and I covered the original linux build of this machine in more detail in a blog post here.
As AmiKit was not installed on it yet, I downloaded the AmiKit XE v11.5 linux install files as the base version onto my rather cool limited edition Crystal USB stick I bought in an earlier AmiKit version.
As AmiKit 11.5 is a subscription product, there have been many updates to the base version as mentioned, with the most recent version being v11.9. Now we have 12.0!
I already have the required Amiga Forever DVD iso image, which I have covered how to create in previous blog posts (if you bought the download-only version of Amiga Forever as a Windows MSI file )
There is also a process to get the iso file for Amiga Forever in Linux, which is covered in the installation guide PDF included with the Linux installation files for AmiKit.
For the installation under Linux, we need to have the free software PlayOnLinux installed on our Linux 64bit system, which I already have in place as I used the commercial product called CrossOver to install Windows applications and games under Linux.
In reality the MacOS and Linux versions of AmiKit are really the Windows version, setup to work under PlayOnLinux under MacOS and Linux.
With PlayOnLinux launched, I can get started with the installation as per the instructions in the PDF included with the package.
First up we go to Tools > Run a local script
This then launches the wizard in PlayonLinux to run a script file:
Next up we need to select the script file supplied with AmiKit Linux version:
The file is called POL_install_AmiKitXE:
I follow the instructions and Click Next through the warning messages from PlayonLinux about the script.
I then get the initial setup window for the AmiKit XE 11.5 installation:
I then select the correct setup file as per the instructions:
The installer needs Microsoft fonts and a specific version of Wine (6.10) for running Windows programs under Linux, and it immediately sets about downloading what it needs:
Job done, shortcut now placed on the desktop to run AmiKit.
PlayOnLinux install is now completed.
After running AmiKit XE I get the launcher, which looks the same as the Windows and MacOS versions.
The AmiKit 12 integration of the host os using RabbitHole to launch applications from the host OS is great. If you auto-hide the Linux Mate taskbar (I didn't sorry!), it will look seamless.