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. Is there any way to turn off the PrintScreen screenshot functionality? I number of games have PrintScreen as the exit key for WHDLoad and instead of being able to exit I have to instead shut down the emulator session since it grabs a screen shot (which I don’t need).

    • Hi, the PrintScr key that WHDLoad refers to is actually the ‘*’ on the numeric pad. You can see this if you look of pictures of the Amiga keyboard. So, you actually need to press your numpad * key, and not the print screen button πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Frode,

    I have a bunch of WHDLoad .lha files that are not in the game database, which work ok with the P-UAE emulator in RetroArch. When I try to select any of these as the first hard drive in FS-UAE 2.9.12dev on Mac OS, they all appear greyed out in the Finder dialog. I have checked the obvious things – all the files are owned by the same user that is running FS-UAE and have permissions 644 (I tried altering to 755 with no effect). I also tried extracting one of the lha archives using the “lha” program and repacking it as a zip, which also appears greyed out in Finder.

    What did I miss?


    • Not sure what’s going on there.. no files are excluded by the Launcher… When testing, I can choose any file type (also non-hard-drive files) in the file selector. Can you choose other files? What about the floppy selector, do you have the same problem there?

      • Yes it allows me to select other files (.hdf and so on).

        I can also choose any file on the floppy drive tab (including the .lha files, though of course choosing those just results in the awaiting bootable media screen).

  3. Hi Frodo,

    quick question – when I add CUSTOM1=1 to one of preloaded configs (from DB), how to save it so I don’t have to add it all the time?


  4. Hello.

    Is it possible to use the online database settings without having the uuid? I use a frontend and load the WHDLoad files via the command line, but each time they load with a default set of options. I’d like to use the settings that I have downloaded and are available via the launcher gui.

    If that’s not possible, could you please add it as a feature request?

    Many thanks for all your hard work on such a fantastic emulator.

    • Yes, I can understand the curiosity. It’s actually because of Amiga Forever. Their 3.1 disk contains a modified SetPatch, so it does not match the SetPatch found in disks indexed by the TOSEC project, or images of original WB disks. I want to always load a specific SetPatch version so that:
      * The experience is the same for all users, and reproducible, and
      * For net play support, it is vital that all players have the exact same version.

      So the answer is really “because Cloanto hasn’t messed with the SetPatch version in their 3.0 disk”.

      • > “Their 3.1 disk contains a modified SetPatch, so it does not match
        > the SetPatch found in disks indexed by the TOSEC project, or
        > images of original WB disks.”

        Sorry but my authority is Commodore, not TOSEC. I verified (Amiga Forever 7, picking 3.1 in the Media tab) that their SetPatch is an exact 40.16, but imploded to 9272 bytes (in the floppy version) from the original 13484 (as included in the HD version). Even Commodore was using Imploder to make some files fit those packed floppy disks, so what exactly is your problem with that?

        • The problem is that if the files don’t match exactly (as stored on disk), there will be problems with net play (out of sync issues). For other purposes, it does not really matter.

  5. Hi there, thank you for this most amazing software!
    I’ve been searching the forums, but I seem to be unable to figure this one out.
    My problem is, I am trying to save state while playing these games but the save state / load state menu is greyed out.
    I have updated advanced settings in FS-UAE launcher with:
    relative_temp_feature = 1
    save_states = 1

    I have installed the WHDLoad games using the online games database method with FS-AUE launcher and they all play perfectly.
    I’m running FS-UAE 2.8.1u3 on Windows 10.
    When I run a WHDLoad game from FS-UAE launcher, a Save States folder is created in Documents/FS-UAE. When I quit the game, either by using the WHDLoad quit key in the game, or from the FS-UAE menu, this folder disappears.

    Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

  6. I just wanted to let you know that WHDLoad 18.2 no longer needs registration and free to use fully.

  7. Hi,

    Thanks for a great emulation system. I’m a bit confused about how to provide the .RTB/rom files mentioned above. I am having some trouble with ‘DOS-Error #205 (object not found)’ errors when launching some stuff, demos mostly. From what I’ve read (http://wiki.abime.net/games/whdload/advanced) RTB and rom files need to be provided, which I thought fs-uae launcher was doing automatically? Should I put these somewhere for it to find? Any ideas?

    • It sounds like you have assembled your own hard drive and installed WHDLoad on it – which is fine. But in this case FS-UAE does not know what’s actually running on the Amiga and cannot help you. So, you need to provide the .rtb/.rom files according the WHDLoad documentation. The page you found (http://wiki.abime.net/games/whdload/advanced) seems to document this.

      When using the game database with FS-UAE Launcher and the “automatic” WHDLoad game feature, yes, then FS-UAE Launcher sets up the hard drive automatically, including populating it with the .rtb and .rom files. But when you create your own hard drives, FS-UAE Launcher will not (and should not) make any modifications to it.

      • Thank you for the help. I apologize for not providing enough detail. I’m using FS-UAE’s Launcher and built-in WHDLoad system, not my own hard drive/hd image. Here are two examples: http://www.whdload.de/demos/Scoopex_2Unlimited.html, http://www.whdload.de/demos/Anarchy_3DDemo.html. Mounting the .lha for either one, with a “standard” A1200 config, stops with the error #205 I mentioned. Adjusting memory or other settings doesn’t seem to make a difference.

        It’s no big deal, I’m just curious as to why they won’t work. I don’t want to take more of your time, If you think the forum’s a better place to ask I’ll go there. Thanks again.

        • Hi, you cannot use those .lha files directly. Those are the *installers* for the WHDLoad slaves :-/ FS-UAE Launcher needs an archived version of the finished install.

      • I got a WHDLoad game i am trying to play, Eye Of the Beholder AGA, but where do i put the rtb and kickstart files ? Unable to see where they are going, copied them into the archived folder under Devs/Kickstarts/ but no luck .. Thx πŸ™‚

        • Hi, if you are using the online game database, the WHDLoad support files will be automatically downloaded. Kickstarts will be automatically copied if you have the correct ones in FS-UAE’s main kickstarts directory.

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