Seems like they want to pre-include Debian Linux, would be a good opportunity to offer Haiku on special hardware. especially considering it being PPC, and I’m assuming video acceleration wouldn’t be hard considering the fact it uses a ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 for it’s GPU. I know some people in the community knew about this, but I thought I’d make a forum post to ignite actual discussion for it.
Since it is a quad-core with 2 threads per core, MorphOS wouldn’t make sense on it. Single-threaded multitaskers in this day and age… Sheesh!
I think it would be awesome, and there’s already a 32-bit PPC BE port that kind of exists. If someone could get some hardware, then give porting a go. It’s 32-bit BE since that’s what the PPC Macs used, which could be a decent stand-in for the PPC Laptop I think (assuming 32-bit PPC to PPC64 isn’t too difficult). The plus side is that GCC already knows about these platforms.
What I’ve learned from lurking around here is that porting to new architectures is very difficult and requires deep knowledge of how the hardware works, how the executable formats work, how the bootloader gets information from the bios/efi and passes it to the OS, etc. It really is next-level geekery. And there aren’t that many with such skill. So, can you do it? If not, it probably won’t happen. There’s also the old comment of “if you care about it, then do it yourself”, or “no one cares because if someone did, it would have done already”. Not possible for most people. I suppose the take-away from that is there is a lot of work to be done for Haiku, that porting some other niche architectures isn’t a priority (where’s the webcam support?, etc).
I sometimes think I’d like to get a POWER9 system from Raptor Computing and bring up Haiku on it, but I know it would take me eons to figure it out (learn how the Raptor firmware works, figure out how to make the Haiku-managed version of GCC and lib BFD make PPC64, PPC64LE ELF and PE32 files; how to get the kernel-specific code into place here).
Speaking of Raptor Computing, getting one of their systems would be a good way to get that hardware for testing and development. If working, it wouldn’t take much to then get it to work on the PPC notebook project’s hardware. Don’t get me wrong (I feel like this is going to read negatively), I’d love to help on such a project, and would cheer on anyone who’d be willing to take on the work, but there’s a lot of it.
I believe some of the leaders in that project stated the best way to prepare for development on it is to own either a PowerMac G5 with a Radeon video card or a AmigaOne X5000, there were attempts to emulate it’s hardware on QEMU but I am not aware that actually made it anywhere, but a standard PPC64 system should be fine with the proper configuration.
I would word that a bit more positively
There are several people in Haiku who are knowledgeable about these things. We can do our best to help anyone who is willing to try doing a new port. Personally I am already sitting on a pile of hardware I’d like to run Haiku on, and I don’t plan to spend any money on even more hardware (it gets outdated and deprecated before I get a chance to do anything, so that would be a waste of money and everyone would be waiting on me instead of trying to do it themselves).
I do my best to document things as I make progress on the sparc port, since finding hardware specific information indeed isn’t always easy. I hope this can help.
If the question is about setting up a more formal partnership to have this machine possibly ship with Haiku preinstalled, I woudl say they are taking enough risks with going with an unusual CPU, it makes sense that they stick with a mature OS that already supports said CPU, at least initially.
Has the question of any PC coming pre-installed with Haiku been asked yet?
Yeah, I think that’s been asked before.
I investigated the possibility of having Haiku pre-installed on hardware. As we aren’t a company or anything, and we don’t have the resources to develop/design/manufacture our own hardware we will have to partner with a hardware manufacturer/brand to do this. Furthermore, there will need to be development work carried out on our end to ensure the hardware is compatible with Haiku, such as improving or writing drivers.
And that is just the easy part. We will also probably need to provide some level of technical support. I am not sure we are in a position to do that at the moment. So the people selling these machines woul have to include a warning about the OS being in beta phase, unfinished and largely unsupported. And really understand this themselves and don’t blame us for it.
As a result, it seems a bit difficult to have the initiative coming from Haiku side. We can’t really approach a manufacturer/reseller and tell them “hey, do you want to use our unfinished OS without any support?”.
Now, if a manufacturer decides that is what they want to do, they have to understand the risks, and probably put the money into it in one way or another (probably hire a developer for some time who can work on writing and testing drivers for their hardware, at the very least).
That being said, you can still try to get a computer with Haiku preinstalled. For example it seems that https://www.thinkpenguin.com has a freeform text input for the OS you want on your machine and so you can try to ask whatever you want. But there is a note next to it asking to contact support first if you want a non-Linux thing (FreeBSD, OpenBSD, or “other popular operating systems”. So, try it and see what they think about it? I think there are other manufacturers or resellers that will accept to test Haiku on a specific machine before they sell it to you, but the testing will probably be nothing more than “it boots on first try without any specific setup to do”.