Introduction to Amiga Kickstart ROM
Amiga Kickstart ROMs are required in order to boot any Amiga computer. In addition to essential boot functions, Amiga Kickstart contains large parts of the Amiga Operating system (AmigaOS). All Amiga computers (except A1000) are shipped with a built-in ROM chip.
Since Amiga ROM-files are copyrighted, one is not allowed to use any version of the Amiga Kickstart ROM unless one;
- Owns an Amiga computer equipted with the corresponding ROM version.
- Purchases the ROM, either as hardware chip or as a software file.
Getting ROMs for Amiga emulation
A common reason for obtaining the Amiga ROMs is emulation. The most popular Amiga emulator is WinUAE, which due to copyright reasons doesn't include (but requires) the Amiga Kickstart ROM files.
- A fast and easy way to get Amiga ROMs is buying the Amiga Forever emulation and support package. It contains all Amiga Kickstart ROMs from version 1.x to 3.x, including CDTV and CD32 extended ROMs. Amiga Forever makes emulation extremely easy by providing a one-click gaming interface, ready-to-run Amiga hard disks and more than 100 pre-installed Amiga games. Upon purchase Amiga Forever and the ROM-files becomes immediately available for download.
- A more difficult way to transfer the Kickstart ROM from Amiga to PC is using software such as Amiga Explorer. For this you will need a null-modem serial cable, or make the transfer over TCP/IP. This method is only recommended for experienced Amiga users.
Models and Kickstart versions
The table below illustrates the Amiga computer models and the corresponding Kickstart ROM versions.
¹ Kickstart 1.1 was not stored in ROM, but loaded from floppy disk.
² Enhanced Kickstart with CD Boot, a CD player and card slot for saving game data.
³ Enhanced Kickstart with CD-filesystem, NV-RAM and the AKIKO chip.
Below are screenshots from the most common Kickstart versions. Click the thumbnails for full size images.