Categories
Amiga

PiMIGA: Amiga on the Pi

The Commodore Amiga was an amazing 16 bit computer of the 80’s and 90’s and is still used today by people who love the system.

WinUAE is the best Amiga emulator for modern systems and it has been ported to many operating systems. FS-UAE is a great port I use on Mac and Amiberry or Amibian use the uae4arm port that runs on Raspberry Pi boards.

To load games and apps on the Amiga you used 3.5 inch discs but if you had a hard disk back then the Amiga supported it. I never did so I put up with the relatively slow loading of the discs.

As I have been spoiled by much faster loading of modern systems, loading games from discs in an emulator soon became a bore. Many games used to (slowly) load an intro with thumping music and an animation, but after hitting fire on my joystick I’d be prompted to “Enter disc 2” for yet more loading.

Enter WHDLoad, a system that patched games so they could be loaded from a hard disk image. It sounds great in theory but over the years I could never get it working the way I wanted. I just wanted to see a nice Workbench desktop UI with an disk image of games to play around in.

I’m not the only one apparently. Through this video on alternative operating systems for the Raspberry PI I found out about PiMIGA. It’s a 32GB disk image you burn to SD card for RPI 3 and 4 and when booted up presents a rather nice Workbench desktop with lots of games and apps. BTW, the password is ViWsC7oU3.

It’s based on Amiberry, and uses WHDLoad of course and everything is set up for you!

I haven’t tested it yet myself. My RPI3 is busy running Plex, Backuppc and Pihole but I want to get an RPI4 to give it a go!

Here’s a word of warning however. The video above shows a virus checker running and it finds a couple of viruses that are removed (in Amiga apps) so I would isolate the Raspberry PI device from the rest of your network if you can. Use the guest network of your router perhaps or just leave the device offline.

An alternative to PiMIGA is AmiKit which appears to do something similar but runs on Windows, Linux and Mac (and RPI4 with some fiddling around) and even lets you launch Windows, Linux or Mac apps from within Workbench. It looks rather nice!