Basic Questions From Newbie

To begin with, I’m not really a tech person, but I have been making minor repairs to my own computers for about ten or twenty years.

For the past few years I’ve been using Kubuntu as my OS, I’m relatively happy with it, but it seems like every other day I have to download large system updates which are a pain due to the slow bandwidth where I’m living. So, I dececided to take the tentative steps of looking to see if there is anything better.

Well, I downloaded Haiku, and was able to install it in virtual machine, but I don’t recall seeing an option to set up multiple user accounts during the set up process. So, my first question is, Does Haiku support multiple user login accounts, so that everyone will have their folder under home?

Also, does Haiku need to have a separate swap partition like Linux does?

Additionally, does Haiku use the ext-4 file partition type? If not, is their a utility I can use within Windows PE on a usb thumb drive, which will allow me to access files on my Haiku partition, just in case things get really screwy?

Also, is Haiku a good OS if I plan on paying bills on line, and maybe do some online banking?

Thanks for any info.

Welcome to the forum!

Haiku currently does not support multi user in graphic interface, there is only one home folder.

You do not need to allocate a swap partition, it’s managed within the Haiku partition.

Personally I do not use ext-4, but if I recall right, the support is not perfect. There is decent NTFS and FAT32 support, but make sure to keep multiple backups.

Browser and online security situation is a bit tricky, I wouldn’t use it for online banking or any other sensitive operation just yet.

Hope this helps!

Haiku uses BeFS by default, which Linux can open but not write to. I remember seeing a FUSE driver that can write to BeFS, but it seems to be unmaintained.

I’d say the best choice for an exchange partition file system is still fat32.
NTFS is so incredibly slow under Haiku that it’s pretty much unusable for anything but tiny files. Not sure about the details with ext4, but Haiku only uses a sorta ext2 subset or something… So, use ext2 instead of ext4, but as you’ll have problems with a stock Windows to access it, fat32 is your best bet AFAIK.

Also, welcome Dr Silberman.

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I use ext2 and it runs good too

Thanks for the great information, everyone. Just one or two quick questions, if no one minds.

Is it possible to at least set up a login password in Haiku, so that way, not just anyone can walk up to my computer and use when I’m not around? I know that can establish a password in my bios, but I’d like to have a password when Haiku starts to load instead of using the bios password option.

Also, I have nieces, nephews, and grand kids who occasionally come over and use my computer to access You Tube and Facebook. I don’t mind, because they don’t have their own machines. But I’d really like to keep all of their user files separate from mine. It sounds like there is really no way to do that under Haiku, is that correct? (I don’t mind them using my computer, I just don’t want them using it when I’m not here.)

Additionally, can Facebook and You Tube work properly within Haiku?

One last thing, the other day I logged into my gmail account using Haiku, and after that gmail sent me one of the generic messages about logging in from an unrecognized device. Except in this case, it said that I had logged in using the Mac OS. very strange.

At the moment, Haiku does not expose multi-user in the interface and runs as if it is a single-user system. In all honesty based on your requirements, Linux would still be more suitable to meet your needs. This might be changed in the future IIRC, but it prolly could be a long time before it happens (if at all).

As for YT and FB, there are ways to make them work in Haiku. Facebook mostly works in WebPositive and Otter Browser, although yuo may have to resort to using the mobile website. YouTube meanwhile does not work in Web+, but does in Otter Browser; there are also various programs available in HaikuDepot for watching and downloading YouTube videos as well outside of web browsers.

To make you feel better, this is just Google looking at the browser user agent and thinking it looks like Mac OS because Haiku’s browser (WebPositive) uses the same WebKit browser engine at Safari, the default Mac OS web browser. It does not use the exact same user agent but probably close enough to fool Google, and Haiku is way too tiny at the moment for Google to correctly determine it as the OS.

With that said, I have to agree with some of the others in this thread that for now Haiku may not be a good choice for you. There is no default graphical login or multiple users for now (the reasons are kind of long but it basically boils down to us focusing on replicating BeOS for our first release, which did not have login or multiple users.)

In addition we know WebPositive has quite a few issues with many websites and there has been a lot of work on it over the years, but a modern web browser is about as complicated as an operating system and the Haiku project has had plenty to do to make the OS itself. Work will continue on our version of WebKit and the browser itself, but it may be years before it is good enough to handle most of the web, as much as it pains me to say it. It would probably be a frustrating experience for your grandchildren and other relatives, especially YouTube :frowning:

Now for the good parts: updates should be much less frequent and smaller than any Linux, and much better than updates on macOS and Windows. Haiku should run pretty fast on even older computers. But there is still a lot to work on, we are still in Beta and it may be tougher for an average user to use at the moment.


Well thanks for the input everyone. I guess that for the time being I will just stick with Kubuntu, or maybe even consider a different version of Linux. Thanks

If you liked your Haiku experience during these few days and somehow want to renew it from time to time, you can lock your screen using a screensaver pasword.

Good day,

Actually, in Windows you can have Read/Write access to ext4 filesystems. It needs some work though, as you need to install WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) and then add a Linux distro. Theoretically, you can gain Read/Write access to ext4 filesystems within Windows Explorer.

In fact, I have it set like that in the Windows external HD, though I can’t certify it just yet. It looks like in my case it won’t work as I have a partition, not a full disk., though there is some info regarding this on the internet (check the previous link and some search will throw other results too). Just be aware that you will need WSL2, not the original WSL.


This is probably slightly off topic, but I just wanted to add it anyway, in order to better explain one of my above questions.

So, right now, I’m using Kubuntu as my daily operating system, and I no longer have Microsoft Windows installed, but I do have two NTFS partitions left over from when I used to have Windows 8 installed (I use the NTFS partitions to store older documents which I’ve moved out of my Documents folder within Kubuntu. Mostly spreadsheets and that sort of stuff.)

Also, every once in a while I boot Windows PE from a USB thumb disk to do maintenance on my old NTFS partitions.

A while back I did something stupid, and due to my stupid mistake Kubuntu wouldn’t boot anymore. So, in that case I was able to use Windows PE to boot my system, download a utility called DiskInternals and then changed its install path so that it would run from one of the NTFS partitions, and not from the USB.

Then I was able to access my ext4 partition, and to copy some documents out of there and into a folder on one of my NTFS partitions.

So, I guess I was wondering if there is a utility which I could run from within Windows PE that would allow me to access the BeFS, in case I needed to copy files prior to restoring from a backup. - Sorry for being so long winded, and I realize that this is starting to stray away a little bit.

If you only need to copy from BFS partition then most linux distros have befs module compiled and you should be able to acess your file even from a linux live CD.
On Windows, it’s a bit more complicated. There are some tools but they are quite slow and I’m not sure that they will work with PE. Anyway, if you search the forum with BFS and Windows keywords, you will find several threads about the subject and you may find something that work for you.

Thanks for the info, that’s the info I was looking for.