Apple announced the move to Apple Silicon: no more Haiku on Mac?

That’s good to know that it won’t be like the 4th generation consoles, which all ran IBM POWER but still required a large porting effort (at least that was the word on the street circa 2008).

Apple has been planning to use ARM everywhere since the Newton PDA, and they finally have enough “smarts” from the iphone to use in their hardware.

I think haiku on ARM could eventually be the Haiku REFERENCE implementation, IF there are more general-purpose ARM systems out there available beyond the Raspberry Pi/prototyping crowd. When I was working in google’s datacenter I saw some servers (I saw like a dozen of them, not 100s of thousands like x64) running ARM and ARM64 cpus in their server repair/search tool (I also saw some weird ones called Warp and a few others that I can’t recall). M$FT is also building their own ARM chips for servers. Haiku is the perfect fit for multiple, high-powered CPUs using low power. We can achieve the dream of the BeOS and the AT&T Hobbit CPU (lots of lower-cost devices everywhere running Haiku, and when you need games switch to your bloated Wintel).

ARM chips are not really manufactured by ARM afaik (I skimmed through the 1996 book on ARM System Architecture) and are merely licensed to other manufacturers, but over time they have been able to get more similarity in the disparate implementations, imho.

In conclusion, there needs to be a Haiku killer app down the road. (Perhaps embedded in cameras, computer vision, AI, drones, cell phones, software defined radios, etc…). The worlds fastest supercomputer runs ARM too!

Are you sure? They once owned a chunk of the ARM IP and sold it. Even Intel sold off their ARM business. I guess, with Intel IA32, PowerPC, MIPS and the Toshiba RISC processors, the future was not as clear as it is now?

I think Apple were very happy with PowerPC and it was only the lack of anything usable for mobile circa the G4/G5 era that pushed them to Intel. Ironically, the same reason Be Inc abandoned PowerPC. No one was willing to give them decent hardware to run the OS on, so they needed to adapt.

ARM, back at the time of the Newton, was a bit player. It was massively underpowered also. The original ARM processors were used to power a bunch of 32bit computers we used to have in schools here in the UK, but they were basically around the same speed and capability of an Amiga 500, or maybe 1200. They were not powerhouses. I think Acorn (the manufacturer) did have better chips later on, but that design was not the basis of what most licensees used, because most opted for the low power designs. I had an Acorn A7000 at one point (I believe it had an ARM7500) and I think even that was clocked less that 100MHz. The RISCOS made the system seem usable, but it was basically all magic, and a lot of the earlier models had the OS in ROM, so it was faster because of the lack of overhead.

It was only with the rise of the smart phone that the ARM processor became mainstream in the way it is now. It was demand for a yearly improvement that drove all the chip manufacturers to iterate on the ARM designs they had.

ARM designs the basic chips and defines the instruction set and basic capabilities. But licensees are able to change the default design and innovate. That is why Apple’s M1 chips are optimised for running X86_64 instructions in emulation. Apple’s Silicon was designed to optimise that, where as say, Samsung’s or NVidia’s designs are not. Apple invested a lot of money in to making their Silicon the way it is, they even bought PA Semi, a chip designer, to aid on this.

Most of those use cases use MCU’s not processors (bar SDR - in my experience, that would be better suited to using an FPGA, because then you have real control). So Haiku is absolute overkill. A lot of those use cases probably either run on bare metal or use the reference platform provided by the chip manufacturer. The point of the MCU is power consumption and hardware connectivity, not the UI window dressing. Bear in mind, you can make an entire GUI on a LED display with full graphics using an Arduino and some basic components - I don’t believe Haiku running the function of a camera is really going to happen. Maybe if this was some kind of hobby project? In the real world, we write these type of things using C and we save every ounce of processor power, because the chip running the code is probably barely capable of performing the tasks needed if we overload it.


…seems that these kind of topics must be classified as “Offtopic”…

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I really want to run Haiku but I’m not sorry and I’m not buying a second box for it. If I can’t run it on my Mac then … well there are a lot of things in life that I would like but have to live without. I hope Haiku on Mac won’t be one of those. I just don’t have any reasonable space for a second computer anymore. I’ve got other hobbies (over a dozen different types of musical instructions for one which all take up room even when they are hanging up on my walls) which take up space and time.

Here’s the thing. Apple is actually the BEST Arm platform for Haiku for just the reason that you said. There are all those different versions out there and Apple has one standard for their Apple silicon so you know that if you can get Haiku to run on one you should be able to run it on any of them.


Because for people like me, Intel is dead. The company might just as well have folded and ceased to exist. Eventually old Macs will stop working. Meanwhile Haiku will only have gotten better. And Apples’ M series chips they have now and what is coming later is FAR superior to what Intel has.

So running Haiku on Mac isn’t for you. But it IS something that is IMPORTANT to me! I don’t have to fit into the box of what you like anymore than you have to fit into the box of what I like. It’s great that we all want different things. But just because you don’t want it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen.

NOTHING is unreasonable. Haiku isn’t a “replacement” OS for me. I love cars. I love my Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 4.7 liter V8. I also love my Prius. I also love my Tesla Model Y. Are any of them a “replacement” for any of the others?

NO! We use our Jeep when we are doing serious four wheeling or when we go to the ocean and we don’t want all that salt air up in my Tesla.

My wife LOVES our Jeep and sometimes likes to drive that but mostly likes our Prius.

I don’t drive a lot because I’m stuck working from home (which is significantly better than working --at-- work). When I do drive I prefer driving my Tesla most of the time but not all the time.

Think of Haiku and OS/2 and Mac OS and (I could name 50 that I’ve tried in one way or another in the last 20 years).

I do not live in one room of my house. My living room does not replace my kitchen which doesn’t replace my bedroom which doesn’t replace … take your pick.

Running OSs is NOT about “I’m only going to run one OS” because I DO NOT WANT TO run just one OS. I might use Haiku only 30% of the time because 70% of the time when I’m using a computer I’m working and right now I can’t do what I NEED to do using Haiku for work.

Just understand that EVERYONE is DIFFERENT. No two people are exactly alike. How I like to do things is VERY different than you. And I’m not ever going to say you have to do things my way. Viva la difference


Hear Hear. “Horses for courses”. Also, 10 years passes rather quickly, and in 10 years time the M1 will no longer be new, and “old” Intel Macs will be ancient. Nothing is forever, and everything that is to remain viable needs to keep moving. PS - I daily drive my Haiku box for most internet comms, writing, and day-to-day activity, but also use my Mac for media production, my Linux laptop for recreational tinkering, my Windows PC for gaming and other “Windows Facing” stuff, my iPad for digital art, social media and recreational browsing, and even my iPhone once or twice a week. A binary world would be boring, and painfully not fit for purpose.


Haiku can be ported to M1, but there are no specs for it and we don’t know how apple will change the arch in the future.

That beeing said Asahi linux looks to be very promising, and they deliberately dual license their contributions under the gpl2 and a permissive (I think MIT) license, so we can use their work.


From following Marcan, it seems the hardware is fairly stable, and that changes were made to make it easier for booting different operating systems. So it might be easier as time goes on, versus getting ARM to work on a wide variety of devices.

What’s frustrating is I could really already do my actual job in haiku, but because of my organisations insistence on using tools such as MS teams for comms I am unlikely to ever be able to move over entirely (perhaps if haiku can host VMs or run things like teams in wine or a browser some day, I guess it could be possible).