I would like to know which original Operating Systems that run on retrocomputers are still being actively maintained and updated. This only applies to retrocomputer OS's that may still be used on original hardware.

  • Assuming the OS vendor has long-since dropped support, the updates would have to come from some community project which continues to develop the OS by adding modular enhancements, or by reverse-engineering the OS and releasing an enhanced version.
  • Modern replacements for the original OS that are in no way compatible should not be included.
  • Updates should be able to run on the original retrocomputer hardware without need for modern hardware or emulators.
  • Updated ROMs are Ok, since this may be the pathway to update the OS.
  • 1
    This probably shouldn't have hardware tags... but I'm not certain what it should have instead. I'll remove them whilst replacements are being found.
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 17:10
  • I thought list-based questions were a no-no. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a good question.
    – cbmeeks
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 20:46
  • 7
    This is a list question, which sounds like it would be a good candidate for being community wiki. There would be one answer which anyone could edit to add additional information.
    – JAL
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 0:39
  • VMS is still developed. Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 16:05
  • @MartinSchröder Cool. Can you link to a recent release that runs on retro/old DEC branded hardware? Like a MicroVAX Model I/II?
    – Brian H
    Commented Mar 2, 2017 at 18:20

1 Answer 1


My previous research into retrocomputer OS updates has led me to the following list. For each retrocomputer OS, the date and version of the latest update released at time of posting is included. The link for farther information about the update is also included.

ProDOS 8 for Apple II, originally released Jan 1983

GS/OS for AppleIIGS, originally released Sep 1988

OS-9 for Tandy CoCo, originally released 1979

AmigaOS for Amiga, originally released Jul 1985

TOS for Atari ST, originally released Jun 1985

Atari DOS for Atari 8-bit, originally released Sep 1979

RISC OS for RiscPC, originally released Jun 1987

OZ for Cambridge Computers Z88, originally released 1987

MSX-DOS 2 for MSX, originally released 1988

OS/2 for IBM PC, originally released Apr 1987

MINIX for IBM PC, originally released 1987

  • MINIX 3 is still currently maintained as of 2019. It requires an i586 CPU, which is closer to original than modern hardware is.

Linux for IBM PC, originally released Aug 1991

BeOS for IBM PC, originally released Oct 1995

Sinclair QL (and compatibles) SMSQ/E, originally released as Qdos 1984.

GEOS for C64/C128 and Apple II, originally released Jun 1986

PC/GEOS for PC clones, originally released in 1990

Digital Alpha machines

They don't have any paying customers with pre-Alpha machines.

MenuetOS, originally released May 2000

Oric-1 / Oric Atmos

Sedoric has been maintained and improved :

Multics, first deployed in 1969

Multics 12.7 is now (2021-02) getting ready for release, a follow-on to Multics 12.6 which was released in 2017. It would surely run on the original hardware if you have a 6180 in your garage. Lacking that, it does run on an emulator ...

  • 3
    I believe RISC OS is relatively alive. riscosopen.org/content
    – Muzer
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 17:06
  • 1
    Definitely a possibility to include. I don't know much about the Archimedes and haven't seen definitive evidence that the latest RISC OS can still be run on them. Are they mostly focused on RPi?
    – Brian H
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 17:15
  • 2
    Current releases of RISC OS are still available for RiscPCs, without needing any expansion (it's available on ROM chips which replace the original chips, or as a softload variant which can be loaded from disk). I listed the very first release of RISC OS, for older systems than RiscPCs. Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 19:57
  • 2
    Standard, full-fat Linux will still run on an i486DX, which was available at the time of Linux' original release. Apparently only very minor patches (to GCC) are needed to get a modern distro like Gentoo to run. So I've added Linux to the list. I also added MINIX, since the i586 CPUs needed to run the latest version were available before Win95, which is also in the list.
    – Chromatix
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 21:38
  • 2
    FreeDOS is a clone, not the original. Commented Aug 31, 2020 at 13:38

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