Workbench 2.0, version 36.1, 36.68 (Kickstart version 36.141)

Release date: ~May 1990

Shipped with: Early Amiga 3000s only.

Media: Kickstart / SuperKickstart disk, new software

Major enhancements:

  • First use of the all-new 3D look throughout with the blue (highlights/selection), gray (fill/backgrounds), and black-and-white (3D) color scheme. However, menus and screen title bars were now rendered in black due to color constraints in Release 2 (from page 74 of the Amiga User Interface Style Guide). The color constraints were removed in Workbench 3.0:

  • Added: "Zoom" window gadget.
  • Added: Bootmenu (allowed selection of boot device, and disabling/enabling of devices and the Startup-sequence).
  • Added: Integrated ARexx, the scripting language.
  • Added: New screen modes, up to 1280x512 in PAL (SuperHires mode). Ability to create screens larger than the physical resolution.
  • Added: Preference editors.
  • Added: Show files without icons.
  • Added: Standard file and font requesters.
  • Added: Standard GUI gadgets via GadTools in Kickstart ROM.
  • Improved/changed: Menu system/organization.
  • Improved: FastFileSystem (FFS).
  • Improved: Icons and mouse pointer.
  • Improved: Memory management, the FastMemFirst and MergeMem tools were no longer needed.
  • Improved: Preferences individualized.

Known bugs and limitations in Workbench 2.0 Beta 5 (May 7, 1990).

Example diskette(s):


Dual Kickstart
Boot Screen
for Workbench
2.x and 1.3
Dual Kickstart
Boot Screen
for Workbench
2.x and 1.3
Note indented
menu titles and
menu item
separator bar
Note all
menu items
Hidden messages: See Workbench 2.04
Media information:
Descriptions and Part Numbers
Three (OFS) DS/DD diskettes
A3000 Install Disk
PN: 335603-02
PN: 335603-03

Version 2.0
PN: 317235-01
Version 2.0
PN: 317954-01
A3000 Kickstart
PN: 367245-02 (V2.0?)
Amiga Workbench
Version 2.0
PN: 317954-03
A3000 Workbench V2.0
PN: 317954-02
International A3000
Extras Version 2.0
PN: 317235-02
International A3000
  1. Andy Finkel notes that v1.4 was switched to v2.0 "when the Workbench graphics changed from the 1.3 look and feel to the 2.0 semi-3D look. Henri Rubin thought the new look was strong enough that we should go to 2.0. Besides, Apple was incrementing their major release numbers at the drop of a hat, so (numberwise) we were falling behind."
  2. Workbench 2.0 version 36.1, 36.68 was the first official release of the redesigned Workbench (up to this point, a number of beta releases had already been out).
  3. Used in early Amiga 3000s as a "SuperKickstart" (software-based ROM image file). As a side note, the 3000UX actually shipped with both 1.3 and 2.04 SuperKickstart disks and operating systems.
  4. Richard Lane notes that there was a Prefs editor called "WBConfig" (see main screen shot above) which was also called "Workbench Preferences" (image to right) supplied with early beta versions of Workbench 2.0 for the A3000. This tool was split into the "ClickToFront" commodity, and "Workbench window as backdrop" was moved to the "Workbench" menu.
  5. Peter Cherna (former AmigaOS team member) explains the background and changes of Workbench Beta 1.4 through Workbench Beta 2.04.
  6. Chris Young contributed some early-stage development snapshots of Commodities Exchange (initially called "AppExchange"):

    Note that it is in 1.3 GUI style (although font-sensitive). The commodities list has to be manually refreshed when the commodities list updates. He adds: "I also discovered an early version of amigaguide.library, which included a preferences program called "PathEditor" (for editing AmigaGuide/Path env-var). Very early versions of AmigaGuide appear to have been called "HyperText", along with "hyper.library"."

  7. Early Amiga 3000s (with 2.00) had no CompuGraphic Intellifont outline fonts; this was added from 2.04 on.
  8. Amigaos Retro Gaming YouTuber notes in his Amiga 3000 Assembly Part 3 video that for SuperKickstart to work, the partition device name must be set as "WB_2.x" or it will result in an error on startup.
  9. Workbench 2.0 required a hardware-based v1.4 ROM chip to get the Amiga 3000 booting before 2.0 could be soft-kicked. Rodney Hester notes that the Amiga 3000 ROM Tower version was actually 1.4 beta 3.
  10. Holger Kruse posted on comp.sys.amiga.misc on September 11, 1999: "Commodore never bumped version numbers between beta versions and release versions. 2.0 and 3.0 were both official release versions, not beta versions. However, they were not available for all Amigas (2.0 only for Amiga 3000, 3.0 only for Amiga 1200/Amiga 4000), because the functionality was considered incomplete or transient. Even 2.0 was arguably not a beta version, because at the time Commodore had a policy of distributing beta versions, and even gamma versions, only to registered developers. However, Amiga 3000 owners were made aware of the transient and incomplete nature of 2.0, and advised to use 1.3 for "production work". :-)"