WHDLoad Support in FS-UAE Launcher

FS-UAE Launcher has special support for running individually zipped (or compressed with LHA) WHDLoad Games. It will even store save-games in the state directory.

Alternative Ways to use WHDLoad

This page contains details about how the WHDLoad feature is manually enabled, there are two other ways to use WHDLoad games in FS-UAE:

  • Use the online game database (recommended), this will give you automatic support for running WHDLoad games, no configuration needed.
  • Create an Amiga Workbench environment on an emulated hard drive and install the WHDLoad package and games manually.

Enabling the WHDLoad Feature

This feature is enabled by:

  • Inserting a zip/lha file containing a WHDLoad game as the primary hard drive.
  • Write the name of the slave in the WHDLoad Arguments text box, optionally along with slave options.
  • Just write the full name of the slave only, do not include the directory name.

You should currently not use save states when you use this feature. The temporary creation of hard drives will confuse the save state system

Example WHDLoad Arguments:


The following automatically happens when WHDLoad arguments is specified and you start the game:

  • The contents of the zip/lha file is unpacked to a temporary folder, which is what is really used as the primary hard drive in FS-UAE.
  • WHDLoad is downloaded (if not already downloaded) and merged into the temporary drive.
  • Kickstart images are copied into the temporary drive -needed for several WHDLoad slaves.
  • If any modified files (from an earlier launch) are found in the state dir, these are copied/merged into the temporary drive.
  • The slave is located and a startup-sequence file is created to boot the WHDLoad game.
  • The contents of the temporary drive is analyzed and checksummed, so any modified files can be saved to the state dir when FS-UAE is done running.

Here is a more advanced example of WHDLoad Arguments, showing how to specify slave options:


Details Regarding the Temporary Drive

You don’t need to read the following information unless you are interested in the exact details on how the WHDLoad support is implemented.

First of all, the zip/lha file containing the game is unpack to the temporary drive, and then a routine is performed to transform this into a bootable system. At the time of writing, the following files are downloaded and copied into the drive:


The following kickstart files are copied from your kickstart directory if they are available (matched by checksum, not names):


The following file is populated with some default values:


The registration key (if found) is copied to:


SetPatch from Workbench 3.0 is copied, provided that a Workbench 3.0 disk is indexed by the file database function:


Finally, the startup sequence is written to:


The startup sequence consists of starting WHDLoad with the slave, followed by running uae-configuration SPC_QUIT 1 to quit the emulation when the slave is done running.

Registered WHDLoad

If Documents/FS-UAE/WHDLoad.key is found, it will be copied toΒ DH0:S/WHDLoad.key when preparing the temporary hard drive. This only applies to people having purchased WHDLoad before the full version became free, and who wants to use the registered version.

158 thoughts on “WHDLoad Support in FS-UAE Launcher

  1. Hi,

    Now that Whload 18.2 is free, how can I use the free version in Windows with FS-UAE Launcher?

  2. Hi Frod !!!

    Can i load a WHD Games by command line ???

    Tnx For your attenction and tnx for your great work ! πŸ˜€

    • Yes, there is some basic support for that. You can start fs-uae-launcher with the path to a WHDLoad zipped game file, or with the UUID of an online database game variant.

      • Hi Frod and thanks for you answer !!

        I try to create a shortcut with command line , but i fail . . .

        Can you write an example of a simple command line with args to load a WHD Game ??? I want to use that with Maximus arcade frontend for my cabinet !

        Thank you So much !!!

        • Are you using FS-UAE Launcher.exe (from the portable Windows version) by any chance? If so, this isn’t the “real” executable, and you need to use Windows\fs-uae\fs-uae-launcher.exe instead.

          If not, please post what shortcut options you have used.

          • ok , i use a portable version of FsUae, and i tried as you have suggested , to use the exe in windows\fs-uae\ folder . . .

            S:\Emulation\fs-uae-suite_2.6.0beta2+portable_windows\Windows\fs-uae\fs-uae-launcher.exe S:\Emulation\Roms\AMIGA WHD games zipped\AgonyDemo_v1.1.zip

            When i click on the shortcut it simply open the launcher window . . . Where is my error ??

          • No way . . . With the quotes the result is the same . .. It open the launcher windows . . .

      • Ok Frod . .. IT WORKS !!!!

        i have used the fs-uae-launcher.exe with not the zipped whd game , but with the configuration created for the launcher to play whd version of agony !!!

        so this is the only way to play WHD games by shortcuts ?

        Anyway, thank you so much for your support !!!

        • No, there are other ways, for example:
          – You can also create self-contained Amiga harddrive (zipped directory hard drive with Workbench, WHDLoad and the game installed). In this case, you can also run it without FS-UAE Launcher.
          – You can give fs-uae-launcher.exe the UUID of a game database WHDLoad variant, for example c7a3263c-b075-5951-807f-4133db25f62e for Lotus 2 WHDLoad. This only works if you have the online database set up, and have the game files scanned of course.
          – Or you can give fs-uae-launcher.exe the path to a zipped WHDLoad game to try to configure WHDLoad automatically, as I mentioned in the the first reply.

          Enjoy πŸ™‚

  3. If I purchase a WHDLoad key, will this become redundant if/when you make use of a more recent trial version?

    • Newer FS-UAE versions will use newer versions of WHDLoad. But a purchased WHDLoad key will work with newer WHDLoad versions as well. I am not affiliated with WHDload, so I cannot personally guarantee it. But I have never heard that WHDLoad keys have become obsolete. I have also a WHDLoad key, which have worked for years with all WHDLoad versions.

      Does this answer your question?

      • Excellent to hear this. So all I do is register, and drop the .key file in the root of the portable ver of the FS-UAE folder?
        (I tried it with a known broken pirated key – it was already documented as such and said it should cause the WHDLoad to break if it was in the correct location, which it did).
        The reason was just to test I knew where to put a legitimate version before I commit to purchase.

        Thanks for a speedy reply.
        Kind regards,

        • Yes, all you have to do is “drop the .key file in the root of the portable ver of the FS-UAE folder”!

  4. Hi Frod,

    I’ve signed into the launcher with my OAGD account and have synced the games database. However, there are lots of games missing from the list. For example, there is no reference to Sensible Soccer at all.

    Where is OAGD getting its information from and have I done something wrong in the config? Do I have to ‘point’ FS-UAE to my games folder where my WHDLoad games are?

    thank you very much for a FANTASTIC piece of software with FS-UAE

    • Hi, please see http://oagd.net/faq (the first entry) for at least a partial answer your questions. But yes, you have to let FS-UAE Launcher scan your game collection in order for the games to appear (use the scan files and configurations function.

  5. Hi,

    I got my WHDLoad key yesterday. πŸ™‚ I am also building a “Rom” browser on an intel nuc that can launch multiple emulators with custom config for each game directly from kodi.
    For this reason I would really appreciate that feature too. Preferably avoiding the GUI and being able to directly launch any .fs-uae config with WHDLoad support or without directly from the command line.

    Thanks a lot for all the great work !


    • If you have a working .fs-uae config which works fine in FS-UAE Launcher, and can launch it through fs-uae-launcher with the latest development versions. Just run the .fs-uae through fs-uae-launcher instead of fs-uae.
      – You can also start fs-uae-launcher with an UUID to an online database game.

      Another requested feature is to be able to start fs-uae-launcher with the path to a zipped WHDLoad game, without preconfiguration. This is registered here https://github.com/FrodeSolheim/fs-uae-launcher/issues/22 (you can subscribe to the issue if you are interested).

  6. Hi, Using WHDLoad is working ok except for a few demos and games where the Amiga gives an error about specific kickstart files not present in Devs/kickstart

    When installing WHDLoad it does not create that folder, what do you do, I have the rom files just not sure what to call them and why should it be needed? surely the point of WHDLoad is to emulate stuff so it works on OS2/3 if ya see what I’m saying.

    Any help appreciated πŸ™‚

    • Hi, are you installing WHDLoad manually? It sounds like it from the way you ask. This particular page is about the automatic WHDLoad usage in FS-UAE Launcher. I will help you anyway, but I just need to know if you are using WHDLoad “manually” or “automatically” before I can give a good answer πŸ™‚

  7. I have the same problm concerning saving games with WHDload. Apparently they save, and i can load them afterward from within the game, but after i quit, the saves vanish.

    But yet there’s are save state folders of those games inside the My Documents/FS-UAE.

    I had this problem with Loom and Legend

    • For many WHDLoad games, you have to quit the WHDLoad slave using the WHDLoad slave quit key (often F10 or *) in order for WHDLoad to save the games to disk! I’m guessing that this is the problem.

      (Perhaps FS-UAE will be more clever in the future, and know which quit key is correct for each slave, and then “magically” quitting the WHDLoad slave before ending the emulation).

      • Thanks!

        If i forget to quit WHDload, and close the emulator instead, is there any chance of losing my saves?

        • Yes, there’s a good chance for that, since many WHDLoad slaves only actually save data when the slave quits, if I recall correctly.

  8. I would like to have WHDLoad automagically start to load the proper *.Slave file and run the game, but I can’t seem to do it. Here’s what I’m currently trying.

    I have this set:

    hard_drive_0 = ~/.fs-uae/hdd/WHDLoad

    And then I use Midnight Commander to launch with these command lines:

    # Commodore Amiga A1200
    Open=fs-uae –floppy_drive_0=%f

    Edit=fs-uae –hard_drive_1=%f

    # Commodore Amiga CD32
    Open=fs-uae –amiga-model=CD32 –cdrom-drive-0=%f

    Basically, when I press F4, it launches FS-UAE, sets DH0 with WHDLoad, and DH1 with the game. How do I get WHDLoad or FS-UAE to autostart the game at DH1? Does it make any sense to do it this way?

    I’m getting tired of using “cracked” ADF floppies with annoying boot screens.

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