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Setting up FS-UAE for Amiga emulation in 2020 on Linux

May 13, 2020

Bamboo is a huge fan of Amiga computers and so am I. Here’s how to set up FS-UAE on Linux to do emulation of one of his first computers, an Amiga 500 with a 1 meg Fast RAM expansion card. On that emulated machine, I want to do two of the things I used to do on the Amiga all the time: draw and write code. Games emulation is easy compared to getting apps working well.

  • Buy one of the Amiga Forever packs that includes both ROMs and Workbench/Kickstart disks. Since you’re using Linux for this, you don’t need the Windows installers. Wink.

  • Get your favorite BitTorrent client (that you only ever use for legal purposes) and download a TOSEC Commodore Amiga archive off of

  • If you’re using an Ubuntu distro like me (I use Kubuntu), use the PPA for FS-UAE to get the most recent versions of FS-UAE and the launcher installed.

  • Use FS-UAE Launcher to create at least a 40MB hard disk image, ‘cause that’s what I had and I really did think 40MB would be enough for anybody. Until I discovered MP3 files.

    FS-UAE HDF creator
    Making a Freakin Huge SCSI Hard Drive in FS-UAE

  • I’m going to install Workbench 2.1 to the hard drive by mounting four of the installer discs into the virtual Amiga, and putting the fifth into the Swap List.

    • Once you’ve installed Workbench to the hard drive, putting games and other floppies into the Media Swap List is the way to go. Most games and such could boot themselves from floppy, so if you wanted hard drive and Workbench access, you had to insert the floppies after boot. If you wanted to skip the hard drive altogether, mount the floppy.

    • ALSO put the install floppies into the Swap List, in case you have to remove one, then put it back in. A floppy that was mouted at the start isn’t automatically added to the Swap List if you remove it.

      Workbench install media in FS-UAE

  • After you boot, you’ll have to format the hard drive.

    FS-UAE Workbench 2.1 Floppies

  • Left-click the hard-drive, then right-click-and-hold and go to Icons > Format Disk…

    Format DH0 Freakin’ Huge SCSI Drive

  • Since this is a hard drive, it’ll confirm, like, three times, that this is what you want to do. Take the default settings, give the drive a clever name, and format.

    OK to format REALLY OK to format Formatting DH0

  • Once you’re done, you’ll have your Freakin Huge SCSI Drive. Dig around in the Workbench installer floppy and run the English installer. I did an Expert install in the English language.

    Freakin Huge SCSI Drive formatted Workbench 2.1 expert install

  • This thing produces log files? And has a dry run mode?

    Log files

  • Let’s do this. Enjoy those floppy drive sounds coming from FS-UAE, and then imagine that there are actually motors making those.

    Install to Freakin Huge SCSI Drive Remove WB 1.3 Files Printers Languages Euro36 The Monitor

  • At one point in the timeline of this universe, this question would have made a lot of sense and caused someone to Abort Install, despite the install basically being over at this point.

    A2090 Message

  • After a lot of floppy disk grinding and swapping, we’re done!

    Workbench 2.1 Install Complete

  • We’ll eject the floppies in FS-UAE and reboot.

    Hard Drive Boot

  • Now to look at that log file. In more.

    Workbench 2.1 installation log

And there we go! I now have a hard disk image set up to run on an emulated Amiga 500! Be sure to subscribe to my Instagram to find out when I’m actually going to be taking it for a spin.