The fourth beta version of the BeOS Haiku rebuild is now available (2023)

Haiku is an open source operating system with a few differences.

The important thing is that while it has some Unix-like underpinnings, it is not an orthodox Unix experience.

The next thing is that it is very close to being a realistic and viable alternative operating system for normal daily use.

Project Haiku has released a new beta version of its unique desktop operating system. After the project was founded in 2001, it took 17 years to get there.Beta1in September 2018. Writing a completely new operating system is a big project. Since then, however, progress seems to have accelerated andbeta 4, a few weeks ago, very good. The new version supports HiDPI displays, image thumbnails in the file manager, and has significantly improved Wi-Fi support, including through some Wi-Fi USB adapters and support for 802.11n and 802.11ac standards, which it even plans to do FreeBSD provide .

The new version also has improved support subsystems and libraries, allowing non-native applications to be ported from Linux, FreeBSD and OpenBSD. Has translation layers for X11 and Wayland, plus Gtk appsThe WINE support you received around this time last year. That means a host of new applications, including the GNOME Epiphany browser, a fully graphical version of Emacs, an updated POSIX layer, WINE, and more.

The fourth beta version of the BeOS Haiku rebuild is now available (1)

Haiku Beta 4 is running smoothly with good Wi-Fi support and more apps than ever

(Video) Haiku OS Beta 4 Review : Big step forward for Haiku

This version was created with GCC, but the GCC version depends on which edition of Haiku you choose. There are 32-bit and 64-bit versions. The x86-32 edition is still built with an older version of GCC as it is still backward compatible with x86-32 versions of BeOS. If the Haiku developers move to a newer GCC, backwards compatibility will be discontinued. Eventually though, the x86-32 version will likely disappear. The 64-bit version was built with GCC 11 and worked fine on an older BIOS-based ThinkPad and VirtualBox.

It's still a beta version, so don't expect perfect stability. The test didn't cause a single crash, and we installed quite a few apps from HaikuDepot, which is Haiku's equivalent of the "Software Store" on many Linux distributions. However, some apps just wouldn't start and complained about missing APIs. Just for reference, this article was written in Haiku itself, on the bare metal of an old ThinkPad W500, using a markdown editor calledghost writer.

Even on this old Core 2 Duo laptop with 8GB RAM and spinning hard drive, Haiku installed easily and ran smoothly and quickly. It took a few tries to connect to Wi-Fi, but once it did, it was quick and easy to update. Scrolling in the WebPositive browser flickers a lot, but it works, even with complex web apps like Gmail.

As a disclaimer, we should probably say that this Vulture was in the 1990s.reveredBeOS (other absolute favorites were Acorn's RISC OS and Psion's EPOC and EPOC32). BeOS was clean, elegant, and surprisingly fast. However, it had some problems: it was an alternative operating system from a small company and therefore had little third-party support. As much as I loved it, I didn't use it much because there weren't many apps and the ones that did were commercial and cost money.

Well the haiku isNotBeOS. BeOS was proprietary code bought by a Japanese company and disappeared (but before Be went bankrupt, the company released the BeOS desktop "Tracker" as FOSS). Haiku is the open source reimplementation of BeOS. The Haiku team has rebuilt it from scratch, but from the original documentation and using at least the original desktop. And because it's FOSS, it has a good selection of FOSS apps these days, making it more useful than BeOS even in its heyday.

(Video) Haiku R1/beta 4 (Jan 1, 2023)

Unfortunately, BeOS was pretty obscure, and so was Haiku. However, it's a safe bet that, asReg.-NrReaders, you have at least some familiarity with Unix and Linux. So I hope it's helpful to describe this relatively little-known operating system in terms of much better-known ones.

The relationship between Haiku and BeOS is quite similar to that between Linux and the original AT&T Unix. Many features apply to both pairs. If you called Linux "NewOS" and the original, proprietary and defunct AT&T Unix "OldOS", then you could say:

NewOS is not based on the original OldOS codebase, but was deliberately designed and built to be very similar. NewOS is written in the same programming language as OldOS. Despite being a completely independent project, NewOS was designed to closely follow the design of OldOS and function in the same way. So, while a small number of OldOS programs run directly on top of NewOS, you can simply take an OldOS application's source code and recompile it for NewOS. Most of the time, it will just work. In fact, some standard NewOS components are the same OldOS programs updated to run on NewOS. Therefore, if you are used to working with OldOS, then you can use NewOS and get familiar with it right away.

OldOS was widely used in academic and research circles, but when it was current it was not common and common PC users found it a bit strange and intimidating. Today, however, NewOS has been modernized. It's much larger than OldOS and therefore a little slower, but in part because it's FOSS, it has a lot more drivers and apps than OldOS. That said, while OldOS mostly ran on exotic and expensive hardware, NewOS runs very well on common generic modern computers.

Everything related to "OldOS" applies equally to AT&T Unix and BeOS, and everything related to NewOS applies to both Linux and Haiku. In fact, the name "NewOS" itself was the original name of Haiku's core.

history class

However, the differences are equally important and some Haiku quirks make more sense when you understand the historical context they come from. Be Inc was founded in 1991 by Jean-Louis Gassee, former head of Apple's Macintosh project. Originally the operating system for the company's computer, the BeBox, a 1995 dual PowerPC machine, BeOS was intended to be a clean, legacy operating system for the 1990s, embracing new technologies such as symmetric multiprocessing, multimedia, and still relatively new C programming. ++ Language.

(Video) Haiku Is Such A Unique Operating System

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BeOS was neither Unix nor particularly Unix-like, at least for users. Many of its influences reflect its founder's involvement with the Mac at Apple, but significantly, this is the classic Mac era and the influences are from that era.ClassicMacOS, not 21st century, Unix-based Mac OS X. Thus, whereas Unix was (and for the most part still is) a text-mode operating system for a multiuser minicomputer, written in C and invoked through a text terminal, BeOS is a graphical operating system for a workstation. work of a single user.

This means that Haiku has a different feel than Classic macOS. Drive icons are on the desktop and you can browse hard drives using various folder windows. You don't have two pane Windows 95 style explorer windows with the folder tree in the left pane and the currently selected contents in the right pane. While most Linux desktops have it now, it's a Windowsism that wasn't invented until BeOS came out. The default modifier key is Alt: Alt+C to copy, Alt+V to paste, etc. This is weird by PC standards, but on PC keyboards Alt is where Cmd is on Mac keyboards,Positionthat Mac users would expect. Fortunately, you can easily change it.

Be's checkered history meant that he first made his own computers, then ported his operating system to run on PowerMacs and then, because Apple was actively trying to prevent this, on generic PC hardware, which meant that BeOS borrowed some functions from PRAÇA. Tracker's desktop has a vertical "deskbar" in the upper-right corner, but if you move it to the bottom of the screen it's much more obvious that it was inspired by the Windows 95 taskbar, complete with a Start menu. , buttons for apps, and a taskbar with a clock. It's a slightly odd mix of classic macOS and classic Windows from the late '90s, but it works just fine, if you're familiar with these now-classic operating systems.

A non-Unix FOSS operating system

Today, people who use and work with FOSS operating systems tend to expect them to be Unix-like simply because most of them are (well, except FreeDOS). This is because mainly FOSS mirrors of Unix have been successful: Linux, BSDs and even more niche projects like Minix 3 or GNU HURD are deep forms of Unix. Most projects to emulate anything else, for example attempts to clone VMS from DEC, or OS/2 from IBM, or even clone ReactOS from Windows, didn't get very far. Unix, on the other hand, is very modular, and Linux in particular relies heavily on the existing GNU project, which provided most of the text mode bits along with the kernel.

Haiku has some Unix-y features. It has kernel and user modes split with threads and processes andGabriel()and familiar file management. It supports POSIX down to the kernel level, plus its own additional system calls. You can create more than one user and login as them via SSH.

However, you cannot launch Haiku in text mode. It is not a server operating system and is not intended to be.

While it supports multiple users, it doesn't require a multiuser operating system: it boots directly to the desktop, no login screen or anything, as root or administrator user. Just like a smartphone, it's your computer, so it trusts you to know what you're doing and you won't break it.

(Video) Haiku Beta 4 Testing on the Dell 4600

Butesa modern FOSS operating system, and as a memory-protected multitasking operating system, it is so Unix-like that it has been easy to port many modern FOSS Unix applications to it. For example, Ghostwriter started out as a KDE application, but in Haiku it looks like any other haiku application.

On the rightThe FOSS Desk has installed and tested Haiku for many years, but Beta 4 looks closer than ever. Performance is good, including Wi-Fi connection. With such a long gap, it's hard to say, but at the turn of the century, BeOS felt like a revelation, giving a gigahertz-class PC a sense of performance like no other x86 operating system. Haiku doesn't feelquiteas fast as that, but still significantly more responsive than any Linux distro we've seen. Apps open very quickly and just accessing complex websites revealed that we were using a 2008 laptop.

What can you do with it?

People who are comfortable with mainstream operating systems often ask what the point is of running experimental niche operating systems. "You mayagainwith him?" is a common question. Well, if you, say,test 9front, the answer should be: not much. For example, you cannot browse the Internet. haiku can. You can choose from several reasonably modern WebKit-based browsers, read and respond to your emails, use various chat services, watch movies, listen to music, and choose from thousands of apps.not in the warehouse. This isn't some weird academic tool for programmers, it's a general purpose desktop operating system.

If you have a specific proprietary application in mind, forget it: you probably won't be able to get it (although you can install the Windows version on WINE). Not very useful for dedicated players. It is not a plug-in replacement for Windows (or macOS) on an enterprise workstation. But it's already more useful than BeOS, and you can tell it's almost ready to be released.

When the project reaches 1.0 it is likely to receive a lot more attention, and this will likely lead to a lot of disappointed people and unfair criticism. Haiku, like BeOS before it, is not what we would normally cite as an example of a traditional Unix environment.

If you like active Unix and what you want to do already works fine on Unix -someUnix, and that includes macOS as well as Linux and FreeBSD, so you probably won't find much appeal here.

butas a desktop operating systemHaiku is smaller, cleaner and faster than Linux, not to mention Windows. It's much, much easier to get up and running than any BSD, it's more versatile and modern than AROS, and unlike MorphOS, it runs on cheap generic hardware. Too bad there isn't a native version for the Raspberry Pi 4; it would fit right there.

(Video) You need to try this. | Haiku OS History, Install and exploration

Compared to the faster Pi operating system, RISC OS, Haiku is much more modern and conventional: it has a much more conventional user interface and good support for multiple processors and wireless networks, something that RISC OS still lacks.

Beta 4 is indeed on the way and we can't wait to test the final version. We hope this is the start of something as big as they deserve. ®

Editor's Note:We opened a can full of worms with this argument about whether it's not Unix. At least some haiku developers say it's a Unix because it supports all the good stuff that comes with Unix: processes, forking, POSIX and its file management, etc. If you think you're a Unix, good for you, you're entitled to that. eyesight. While the OS has this Unix-level functionality, we think the user experience calls us an old-fashioned, single-user personal desktop OS. And this is not a criticism.


1. Using Haiku OS as a Daily Driver?! (Modern BeOS)
(Dan Wood)
2. Haiku Beta 3 - Overview
(Techview Podcast)
3. Haiku Alternative Operating System
4. Haiku Beta 4 Testing HP Compaq D330
(Malada Media Labs)
5. Haiku OS - What Is It?
6. Can you use Haiku as a daily driver?


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