tape Install

Installing AMIX from tape Image

For this to work, you either need to posess an original Amiga UNIX install tape (unlikely), or you need to create one yourself using the guide located here. Even if you have an original tape, it may not have been stored correctly or may have otherwise gone bad...so you may be better off creating a new tape anyway. From now on, I'll asume that you have some kind of Amiga UNIX install tape and an A3070 tape drive. The installation process is identical when run in WinUAE.

Step 1: Create the boot floppies

You need to download the correct boot floppies for the version of AMIX you are loading onto your machine. You may find the ones you need in this file gallery. Uncompress them and write them to disk. You must use an Amiga (or a Catweasel/other tool) to write these disks. They can be treated just like ADFs, so you can use your favorite ADF tool to write them. Or just use dd if you have an AMIX or Linux box. My favorite (after dd of course) is tsgui in AmigaOS, in case you have no idea what I am talking about.

Step 2: Boot the installation system

First, insert the boot floppy into the floppy drive. Power the system on, and the floppy will begin to boot. There will be nothing on the screen yet, but hold on. Once the drive light goes out it may take a few seconds for the next prompt to appear. Note that if you have an Amiga that requires a superkick floppy you do not need to load kickstart before loading AMIX. In fact it just takes up RAM, so don't load it unless you want to run AmigaOS.

After boot has completed, you will be prompted to insert the root floppy. Remove the boot floppy, insert the root floppy and press return. This disk contains the root filesystem used for AMIX installation. You may be familiar with this concept from Linux or some other UNIX. If not, don't worry about it. More time will pass, and you will see some copyright lines and enter the main installation script.

Step 3: Navigating the installation script

First prompt is for language. Select wisely (the default is what most people will want). Then it's going to ask you... do you want to install or repair?

In all options, the selection shown in square brackets is the default option, pressing return will select that. To select other option, type it and press return.

The next prompt will be to insert the UNIX install tape. Insert your tape into the the tape drive (which MUST be at SCSI ID 4). Wait for the tape drive's activity light to go out and the motor to stop running, and press return. If the installer doesn't complain about the tape, congratulate yourself, you have (at least a working beginning of) an installation tape and it's working correctly.

The script will check for a suitable UNIX partition table on the attached drives. If it finds one that's suitable — great! If not, you will need to create one. Be sure to read the notes located in this document regarding large drives and partition sizes (it's on page 3). Most importantly, keep your partitions in the neighborhood of 1GB, max. And make swap. Lots of swap, up to 256 MB if you're trying to compile anything.

Once that's all set up, you'll be prompted to choose the filesystem type. Default is the s5 filesystem. You don't want it. Choose the ufs filesystem. Trust me.

After the filesystem type has been selected, you are prompted for the type of installation. Unless you are short on drive space, it's highly recommended you choose the option to install everything on the tape. It takes longer, but it's much faster than digging up what you want off the tape later on. That being said, knock yourself out if you'd like to try manually adding packages later on.


Filesystems are created. This will, like the script says, take some time. Next the script helpfully retensions the tape, which takes even more time. Then it reads the tape and installs the packages, which takes freaking forever so go do something else for a while (manual: ''The standard installation takes about an hour; installing all the packages takes longer").


After the package installation is complete, the kernel will be patched and you will be prompted to reboot the system. Remove floppy disks and use CTRL-Amiga-Amiga to reboot into your new system and begin the post-installation phase.

Step 4: Post-installation

Immediately upon reboot you will be given a series of prompts to finish configuring your system. If your machine has a working clock and a set time, you'll probably see an error about the date conversion due to the Amix's Y2K problems. We'll get back to that later.


First prompt is for nodename of the machine. This is the same as the hostname, for example "amixbox". It doesn't really matter what you call it as long as it is unique on your network (if you have no network, it doesn't matter at all). The next prompt is for domain name, you can take the default or put in bogus.com or whatever you like.

Next it will ask if you want to create a hosts file. You may only get this prompt if you have a network card. If you do have a network card, say yes to this prompt and assign the values requested.

Timezone is next. The default is Eastern time. Pick your time zone. You will be asked to set the date. At this point you can't set it beyond 1999, so don't try. Just enter like 123199 for the date for now. You can fix it later. You'll be asked for the time, go ahead and set that to the correct time.

Password assignment is next. You should set a password to all the accounts prompted for, otherwise they will be blank! You can create a user account here, this is recommended as well.

Finally, you will be asked if you are using a high resolution monitor. If you are not using an A2410 board, always answer NO to this and to the following "X windows for a color graphics card" question. If you're running 2.1 you will be prompted about Netnews ...answer appropriately (probably no). At this point configuration of the system is completed and it will finish booting to a login prompt.

Congratulations, you have now finished the installation!

Before you start using the system, you might want to install the patch disk. This will update the installation to the latest version and fix some bugs.
Contributors to this page: MindWalker and failure .
Page last modified on Monday 14 of March, 2016 17:11:45 EDT by MindWalker. (Version 14)