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What is RISC OS 6?
  RISC OS 6 is the latest, most up to date, version of RISCOS to be released by RISCOS Ltd. It is based on a completely 26 bit / 32 bit neutral source. From that source can be built either a 26 bit version suitable for machines such as the Risc PC, A7000, A7000+, R7500, Omega, A6 & Mico, or a 32 bit version suitable for computers such as the A9 Home and Iyonix.
N.B complete support for some of these computers may require additional software development which has not yet been undertaken.


What computers is RISC OS 6 going to be available for?
RISC OS 6 has been released initially as a softload for existing and previous Select subscribers.  The release is a softload suitable for Risc PC, A7000 and Virtual Acorn products. The softload versions of RISC OS 6 will only load on top of RISC OS 4.00 and above. It will not officially be available as a softload for Omega, Mico or R7500 computers as we either do not have access to hardware to test those versions, or they require the inclusion of software components to which we do not have rights. Some of the components of RISC OS Six have been reported to work on the above machines, but we cannot offer any support for them.


Why is it called RISC OS 6?
RISC OS 4 has always been linked with 26 bit computers and so it was logical that with the move to a new source base, that supported both 26 and 32 bit computers, that it would be accompanied by a new version, or name, for the new release.  Earlier version numbers of RISC OS were linked to the kernel number. However in RISC OS 4 the kernel version numbers have increased far faster than general updates to the whole Operating System. The current kernel has gone over the 10.00 mark, (up from 6.80 in RISC OS 4.39) and so it was decided that the next release would have to be something other than RISC OS 4. Since RISC OS 5 had already been used, it was logical that RISC OS 6 be the name for the next version of RISC OS developed by RISCOS Ltd.    


Is RISC OS 6 the same as Select 4?
No. RISC OS 6 is the base from which all future versions of RISC OS, to be released by RISCOS Ltd, will be developed. RISC OS 6 Preview contained a number of features over and above those that are necessary solely to accommodate the 32 bit conversion of RISC OS 4.39 (Select3i4).


Who will get RISC OS 6?
The RISC OS 6 Preview was available for FREE DOWNLOAD for anyone who renewed their RISC OS Select subscription after May 31st 2004 even if that subscription had since lapsed.

Full releases of RISC 6 (such as 4i2 or 4i4) are only available to registered subscribers to the RISC OS Select scheme. A years subscription costs from �99 and offers one years worth of updates plus a licence to install RISC OS 6 on up to 10 compatible machines.


Does RISC OS 6 have a HAL like RISC OS 5?
RISC OS 6 has a hardware abstracted kernel, which allows for support of hardware components which are fundamentally different to the original Acorn hardware designed around the VIDC, IOMD and MEMC chips. This abstraction allowed Advantage 6, for example, to write the necessary code to allow RISC OS to run on the A9 Home hardware without any alterations to the main RISC OS components. In effect it is a Hardware Abstraction Layer, but it is all contained within the RISC OS 6 kernel.


So is RISC OS 6 just another name for Select 4?
No. RISC OS 6 is the 32 bit neutral version of RISC OS developed by RISCOS Ltd. It is being made available via two channels. Adjust 32 is the name for the 32 bit version of RISC OS 6 which is available on the A9Home. RISC OS 6 will also be available via the Select 4 scheme.


What connection does RISC OS 6 have with Advantage 6?
Lets just say that it is not a co-incidence, indeed we hope that everyone will soon see the advantages of RISC OS 6.


Is there going to be a RISC OS 6 version for the Iyonix?
We have always been committed to providing RISC OS 4 (and now RISC OS 6) on all desktop RISC OS capable machines. This has been evidenced by our co-operation with all the manufacturers who have wanted to use RISC OS on their products. The most notable examples of this are the work we have done with Advantage 6 to bring the A9Home to market, and with 3QD on the VirtualAcorn product range, which now includes StrongARM processor emulation and which will shortly be expanded to provide support for RISC OS 6.  We are awaiting further news from RISC OS Open Ltd and Castle Technology Ltd as to their further plans for the development of RISC OS 5. Some people have assumed that because we have not made any definite announcements with respect to Select 4 on the Iyonix, that we are not interested in doing the work. The facts are however that our resources are limited, and priority has been given to working with partners who actively want RISC OS Select features on their products.  


Will the RISC OS 6 source be available?
There are no plans to make RISC OS 6 source available for public access. However RISCOS Ltd has always been willing to work with developers who require access to source code in order to develop specific products, and that policy will continue. Several projects are currently underway that are based on co-operation with other developers.


Is RISC OS 6 going to utilise any features available from the Open Sourcing of RISC OS 5?
We await the full details of the licensing terms and conditions that will be applicable to RISC OS 5 source code. When these are known we shall be able to review the situation. However the current expectation is that there are very few features that are present in RISC OS 5 that are missing in RISC OS 6, that have a very high priority for inclusion in future releases of RISC OS 6.
Physical ROM versions
 RISC OS 4.02 Risc PC 26 bit
 RISC OS 4.03 Omega, Mico, RiscStation R7500 26 bit
 RISC OS 4.04 Kinetic Risc PC 26 bit
 RISC OS 4.39 Risc PC, A7000, Omega 26 bit
 RISC OS 4.42 A9Home 32 bit
Softload versions
 RISC OS 4.39 Risc PC, A7000, Omega, Mico, R7500, Virtual Acorn 26 bit
 RISC OS 6.06 Risc PC, A7000, Virtual Acorn 26 bit
 RISC OS 6.10 Risc PC, A7000, Virtual Acorn 26 bit
 RISC OS 6.14 Risc PC, A7000, Virtual Acorn 26 bit
 RISC OS 6.20 Risc PC, A7000, Virtual Acorn 26 bit

 RISC OS 6 � copyright RISCOS Ltd 2006 - 2008

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Page updated 25/04/08