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AuthorTopic: Amiga 500 Internet  (Read 6275 times)

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Offline 3583Bytes

Amiga 500 Internet
« on: April 16, 2014, 08:03:15 PM »
I wanted to share a quick tutorial on how to get a classic 1.3 Amiga  (500, 1000, 2000) “surfing” the Internet in a limited fashion without the need for a TCP stack on the Amiga.


This tutorial will explain how to connect your Amiga to any Linux machine or Raspberry Pi and use its shell to surf the web, check email or read RSS feeds etc.


I assume that you know how to transfer files between your PC and the Amiga via a null modem cable & Amiga Explorer (or other method).  If you do not stop here and read this article:


Hardware Setup

  • Null Serial Cable with a DB9 and DB25 endings
  • Serial to USB Cable (if computer does not have a serial port)
  • PC/Laptop/Raspberry Pi

Connect your Amiga via the Null Serial Cable to the PC (or Raspberry Pi), find out which COM port it is connected to.  Control Panel -> Device Manager is your friend.


On the Amiga Side you will need a terminal program.  I found the best one for my needs is NComm 3.06

NComm 3.06
Free Licence Key

This software will allow you to dial out to a modem and try to make a connection.  Since in 2013 dialing out to a modem is not reasonable we will use a modem emulator.  There are 2 available for Windows:

BoycoT Internet Modem

The Windows Version of TCPSER is the one without a version number, you will also need the Cygwin dll.

This tutorial is going to focus on tcpser since it is less buggy.

The Setup

The above mentioned 2 pieces of software will allow you to connect the Amiga to a telnet BBS. Some of BBSs even have Lynx installed which allows you to surf the internet  If this is all your want, a good video describing how to connect your Amiga to a telnet BBS is:


FYI The above video is the inspiration for all of this madness and my complete loss of productivity for a week.

I however wanted to take it further and be able to log into my own linux shell.  For this I elected to purchase a Raspberry Pi, however you can create your own Linux virtual machine in Virtual Box to achieve the same for free.  Ubuntu or even Lubuntu works well for this.

Enabling Telnet

Both Raspberry Pi and Lubuntu don’t have Telnet enabled by default.

To enable telnet execute:  

$ sudo apt-get install telnetd
$ sudo /etc/init.d/openbsd-inetd restart

Next you will need to find out the IP address of your linux machine, you can do that easily by typing in ifconfig

Telnet into your linux box from the PC to ensure it works.  (Use Putty)

Modem Emulator

Once you connect your Amiga serial cable to your Windows PC you will also need to find out which COM port it is connected to.  I find you can usually find this information in Device Manager.  Or you can just guess in the next step

Next you will need to run tcpser on your Windows PC.  TCPSER will emulate a Hayes modem responding back to your Amiga with regular modem responses but forwarding your connection to telnet.

tcpser.exe -d /dev/ttyS2 -s 19200 -l5

Now ttyS2 means COM3.  If that does not work try  /dev/ttyS0 or 1 or 3 and so on until you get a positive message.  Also -l5 is logging level 5 but for some reason any other -l value does not work, there must be a bug in the software.

Now that you have tcpser running start NCOMM in your Amiga and dial out to the IP Address of your Linux VM or Raspberry Pi.  What I mean here is instead of a phone number, type in your IP address (of the computer running tcpser), example etc.

If everything went well you should see your Linux login prompt.

If it did not work feel free to Post questions below.

Linux Software

If you got as far as seeing your login prompt on your Amiga then you will probably need some software to run.  Here is the software I use in my setup:

-Alpine – Console Mail Client
-Elinks – Console Web Browser (Alternative Lynx and Links)
-Newsbeuter – RSS Reader

Install the software by typing in

sudo apt-get install alpine
sudo apt-get install elinks
sudo apt-get install newsbeuter

[Even More]

The above method connects an Amiga to a PC to Linux.  That is not exactly a clean setup.  However it is the easiest.  I wanted more so I decided that the Raspberry Pi is sufficient to host everything.  However I found that the Linux version of TCPSER has some kind of a bug that the Windows version does not.  The Linux version allows you to connect to a telnet BBS but not telnet directly to another or same machine.  To solve this I installed my own Telnet BBS and setup the above applications (Alpine, Elinks, Newsbeuter) as Doors in the BBS.  I found Synchronet is the easiest to setup as it already has a precompiled binary for the Raspberry Pi.  

Raspberry Pi Synchronet Binary:


(Under Third Party Builds)

Create a script that runs Synchronet another for TCPSER and execute the scripts in /etc/rc.local on the Raspberry Pi with & at the end of each (background process)

Viola both will run when the Raspberry Pi starts and you have an Internet device for your Amiga.

I will monitor this post in the future and update it with any questions I receive (if any)

Good luck.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 10:38:50 PM by 3583Bytes »
A1000, A500, A2000

Offline vince_6

Re: Amiga 500 Internet
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2014, 08:21:21 PM »
Amazing job!
My BBS : flashbackbbs.sytes.net:6502
http://partsfromthepast.blogspot.gr/ A1200 Black Project

Offline Lurch

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Re: Amiga 500 Internet
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2014, 10:24:47 PM »
Now that's awesome :-) Loving it, thanks for posting this.
A500 Plus Black 030@40MHz 128MB | A1200T 060@80MHz 320MB | Pegasos II G4@1GHz 1GB  | Amiga Future Sub

Offline 3583Bytes

Re: Amiga 500 Internet
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2014, 04:58:03 PM »
I also managed to get this working quite well on my Macintosh SE and Classic.  I updated the tutorial for the Mac at:

A1000, A500, A2000

Offline orange

Re: Amiga 500 Internet
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2014, 10:54:26 AM »
I think you should be able to connect to Linux directly with slirp.

I had used something like this in past, no need for extra software on windows:
Better sorry than worry.

Offline 3583Bytes

Re: Amiga 500 Internet
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014, 06:43:12 PM »
Quote from: orange;768798
I think you should be able to connect to Linux directly with slirp.

I had used something like this in past, no need for extra software on windows:

Thanks I will have a look.
A1000, A500, A2000