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Creating Bootable Amiga RP9s



Q: Is it possible to create an RP9 package that results in a bootable Amiga configuration without embedding boot code in the RP9 itself?



A: Yes. An RP9 package may mount a volume with games or other applications, and a configuration reference (in the XML manifest) specifying that the system should boot from a well-known system image. This results in an RP9 file that does not contain Amiga operating system files, and which therefore is both more compact and unencumbered from third-party content.

The simplest form of a bootable RP9 is one that contains no disk images at all, and which simply references a built-in boot system. In order to add content to the RP9, it is however usually desirable to add one or more disk images.

The Amiga system configurations in Amiga Forever (1.x, 2.x and 3.x hard disk images, and 3.X shared directory) are set up to execute an "S:AFShared-Startup" script, so that:

  • If the title has one or more Automation actions set (i.e. the RP9 manifest contains a <startup> element), then those are executed.
  • Otherwise, if a volume named "AF-Application" is detected, the "S/user-startup" file on that volume is executed during the Startup-Sequence of the initial system. This hands over control of the Amiga environment to the content of the RP9 (e.g. to start a game).

The two actions are mutually exclusive, so that one does not interfere with the other in an unintended way. In order to execute both, the title should explicitly run "C:Execute AF-Application:S/user-startup" via the Automation feature.

By default, the session is shut down after the execution of "S/user-startup" has completed. This is to ensure that once the application has terminated the session is not left in a state which is unrelated to the application and which could be confusing to the user. To avoid the shutdown, run LoadWB (if desired) and include a final EndCLI > NIL: at the end of the custom "S/user-startup" file.

To configure a bootable RP9 within Amiga Forever, the easiest way is to right-click a title in the Systems tab, select Create Copy, and then Edit the copy. The Media tab of the editor makes it possible to set a built-in boot system (which is a standard part of Amiga Forever, and is not in the RP9) and to add disk images. The volume name of the disk images can be set by selecting an image and then Edit.

Alternatively, it is possible to set the Built-In Boot option to None, and to add one or more floppy or hard disk images where the first image is bootable.

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Article Information
Article ID: 15-126
Platform: All
Products: Amiga Forever
Additional Keywords: None
Last Update: 2021-04-02
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