Home Page of TeraDesk 4
Computers: VAX & Alpha / VMS
Computers: Atari / TOS
TeraDesk (Tera Desktop) is an open-souce alternative desktop
for the 16-bit and 32-bit lines of Atari computers. Its development was
started in 1991 by Wout Klaren; development was paused in 1994 at version
In the autumn of 2002 TeraDesk was made Open-Source under GPL as version 1.42,
and Henk Robbers took over the task
of maintenance which soon resulted in the publishing of TeraDesk 2.0 and
In December 2002, after an exchange of ideas about possible upgrades of
TeraDesk, Henk kindly invited me to participate in its further development.
The first result of that cooperation was TeraDesk V2.3 in March 2003. After
that, we worked together on TeraDesk V3. Many improvements, optimizations
and other changes were made.
When Henk decided to move on to other matters, he asked me to finish what was
required to publish TeraDesk V3.0 and possibly continue its development; I
have tried to do that to the best of my abilities, but Henk's assistance was
sorely missed... Since the release of TeraDesk V3.0 in December 2003, the
development has been continued mostly by me. However, Henk has lately
made a valuable contribution by adding to the source code the capability to
compile a Coldfire- specific version.
Developers' goal is to maintain TeraDesk as a small, simple, fast and
reliable desktop, which is to be functional in the modern multitasking
environments and all flavours of TOS-compatible operating systems, and yet
to keep, as much as reasonable, familiarity with the original TOS desktop,
and be undemanding enough to be run on any 16-bit or 32-bit Atari computer,
clone or emulator, even the machines with the small amount of RAM and old
versions of TOS. In all aspects, it should be better than the original TOS
desktops. It is not intended to be a direct replacement for the excellent
but resources-demanding desktops like Thing or Jinnee, but instead is
designed to be used where disk space or system memory and speed limitations
(or price) make the use of those other desktops impractical (e.g. TeraDesk's
size and memory usage is currently only about 1/3 to 1/2 of Jinnee's in a
Tera Desktop can be used on any Atari ST series computer and their offspring
like TT, Falcon, Hades, Milan or emulators, with at least 512 KB RAM. It also
runs nicely on Aranym, and a Coldfire-specific version exists as well.
It uses about 200 to 300 KB of memory (depending on the complexity of the
configuration- the more icons and filetypes defined, the more memory is
needed). Minimum screen resolution is 320x200 pixels, but use of
higher resolutions (at least 640x400 pixels) is recommended.
TT-RAM or Alt-RAM, if installed, is recognised and used by TeraDesk.
Although TeraDesk can be run without the aid of a hard disk, the use of
one is strongly recommended.
TeraDesk works with all existing versions of TOS, but it is very much more
useful with versions 1.04 (also known as 1.4) and above. It works with EmuTOS.
Since Version 2 TeraDesk works well in modern multi-tasking environments, such as
MiNT with XaAES, MyAES, Atari AES 4.1, N.AES, and also with MagiC,
TOS with Geneva, etc. It can be run with memory protection.
Current version of TeraDesk is 4.05.
This release adds to TeraDesk an improved capability to arrange
icons on the desktop and in windows. Also, some
minor bugs have been resolved.
TeraDesk 4.05 binary :
All files needed to run Tera Desktop V4.05; Three executables are
included: one is good for all single- and multitasking environments,
The other (smaller, with reduced AV-protocol support, limited to FAT filesystem
and with some other noncritical but size-saving limitations) is suitable for
single-TOS only and is recommended for machines with small amounts of RAM.
The third one is for Coldfire systems. Hypertext documentation, basic sets of
monochrome and colour icons, and a sample configuration file are included.
Users are encouraged to create their own, more extensive, icon sets and
TeraDesk 4.05 source files :
Complete source tree of Tera Desktop V4.05; to be compiled and linked with
Pure-C 1.1 (except that the Coldfire-specific version -must- be compiled
and linked with AHCC). Source text of the hypertext documentation is included.
Source of the AHCM memory allocation system developed by Henk Robbers is
included by permission of the author (a newer version can be downloaded from
it may be noted that it will produce a somewhat larger program size).
This TeraDesk source archive also includes a text with comments intended
to help people translating TeraDesk to other languages.
History of changes in TeraDesk 3.* and TeraDesk 4.* :
A listing of changes made throughout the development of TeraDesk 3.* and
TeraDesk 4.*; PLEASE READ THIS (at least the section refering to the newest
release) before upgrading from a previous release of TeraDesk.
New after this release :
A list of new features, improvements, bug fixes, etc. which were made after
the current release and will be available in the next version of TeraDesk.
Nationalized versions of TeraDesk
Some people have kindly undertaken to translate TeraDesk resource files,
hypertext help/manual and other related documents to other languages.
The results of their work are located at ftp://kurobox.serveftp.net on port 3021:
German translation by Lars Schmidbauer
Italian Translation by Lodovico Zanier
French translation by
Jean-Christophe Beumier, Robert Siani and Lodovico Zanier
Russian translation and
hypertext manual by Dima Sobolev
Updated on December 7th 2013;