The only very known difference is that Kickstart 1.3 fixes the silly bug that prevented Kickstart 1.2 to boot from a hard disk (a routine in the boot code uses A6 loaded with an incorrect library base, thus ending up being a NOOP and skipping AutoConfig'ed DOSNode's). However, are there other changes?

(This question is only about Kickstart, not about differences on Workbench disks, which were bigger)


2 Answers 2


Kickstart 1.3 changed the file system to avoid extra disk space waste "due to the fact it could store only 488 bytes in any block of 512 bytes keeping 24 bytes for checksums."1

1.3 also added a new archive flag to the protect command, a PASSKEY parameter to the LOCK DRIVE command, and the Hidden (H), Script (S), Pure (P) parameters to the PROTECT FILE command.2

Those are the only main differences I can find between Kickstart 1.2 and 1.3. There might be a few more but I doubt there was anything more substantial than the hard disk boot bugfix.

  • 1
    I would not refer to the 488/512 bytes per block issue as a bug. AFAIK it was just that the OFS was designed with way too much consideration for data integrity than what was needed at that point in history (i.e. floppies and hard disk were already reliable enough not to require data checksumming), not to say that checksum calculation lowered throughput. So Commodore designed an improved filesystem that got rid of that. Are the additional flags supported by Kick 1.2 already, just there was no way to set/reset them?
    – user180940
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 16:04
  • Indeed, the second link in JAL's answer points to the fact that:
    – user180940
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 16:08
  • @user180940 Thanks, I've attempted to refactor my answer. I'm no expert on this, just trying to provide some resource for you.
    – JAL
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 16:10
  • 2
    It was Workbench 1.3 that came with FastFileSystem, which could be soft-loaded, typically onto hard disks; the ROM filesystem could still only read OFS-formatted disks. The ROM filesystem gained FFS support in Kickstart 2.0.
    – pndc
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 19:29
  • 3
    No Kickstart ever implemented hiding files and according to other sources, the H bit wasn’t even meant to mean “hidden”, but “hold”, with an entirely different purpose. Anyway, the only perceivable effect was printing “H” in file information when the bit has been set.
    – Holger
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 12:18

The autobooting feature that Kickstart 1.3 added allowed e.g. booting from the RAM drive RAD: after a reset (Wikipedia link).

One could e.g. boot Workbench 1.3 on a Kickstart 1.2 Amiga and create RAD:, but it wouldn't boot from it after a reset (own experiment many years ago).

  • 1
    Autobooting in general. 1.2 won't autoboot hard drives either, 1.3 will.
    – mnem
    Commented Dec 22, 2018 at 9:27

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