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April 22, 2010 / P. Filippaios

Haiku’ing on Arch

The Haiku logo

Haiku, for those that don’t know, is an effort to revive the old BeOS (Be Operating system), a somewhat advanced, for its age, preemptive operating system, in the early nineties, when Linux was still in its infancy, Xfree86 was emerging in the systems, WindowsNT was starting to bloom, and MacOS (not OSX) was declining.

BeOS is an operating system for personal computers which began development by Be Inc. in 1991. It was first written to run on BeBox hardware. BeOS was optimized for digital media work and was written to take advantage of modern hardware facilities such as symmetric multiprocessing by utilizing modular I/O bandwidth, pervasive multithreading, preemptive multitasking and a custom 64-bit journaling file system known as BFS. The BeOS GUI was developed on the principles of clarity and a clean, uncluttered design. The API was written in C++ for ease of programming. It has POSIX compatibility and access to a command-line interface through Bash, although internally it is not a Unix-derived operating system.BeOS was positioned as a multimedia platform which could be used by a substantial population of desktop users and a competitor to Mac OS and Microsoft Windows. However, it was ultimately unable to achieve a significant market share and proved commercially unviable for Be Inc. The company was acquired by Palm Inc. and today BeOS is mainly used and developed by a small population of enthusiasts. The open-source OS Haiku is designed to start up where BeOS left off. Alpha 1 of Haiku was released in September 2009

As you can see, Haiku is to continue the work done on BeOS, which is discontinued.

The hard fact is that Haiku seems to be reviving in the very late 00’s, and now in 10’s, which means almost a decade-and-a-half of rewriting an OS from scratch, while Linux had (in the early 00’s) started getting its revenge (in fact from 2004, when Ubuntu made Linux popular, that’s the truth), Mac OSX had used FBSD, so it had an already trustworthy base, and Windows had conquered the world.

Haiku seems to be a work in progress – a very active progress, just check out on the subversion and bugtracker. The first official Alpha was released on September 2009, introducing a minimalist system, while using some techonologies known to Linux – like bash, or Mesa.

I recently tried and succesfully created an Haiku ISO from svn.

Many thanks to this Archwiki article – http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Haiku – I could create a working LiveCD (with installer)

which I even installed in Virtualbox

[right click a choose “View Image” to see the images in original size]

Clean

Dirty

Try it out, it’s really nice to see the new OS growing stronger.

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