BeOS on modern-ish hardware

Well I would’ve hoped to have my masterpiece finished to share with you all, so that will be excited. Since the hardware will probably stay the same, I will share my experience for those who are interested in having something old enough for BeOS, yet new enough to have a modern experience with Haiku.

Abit IP35 Pro
Core 2 Quad Q6700
2GB Memory
Radeon x700/X300 (info below)
Promise Ultra TX2 IDE card.
Soundblaster 16 soundcard.
This CF-IDE adapter.
1 SATA & 1 IDE CD drive.
1TB SATA ssd and 64GB CF card.

I think plenty of P35 and P965 chipsets will work, even though manufacturers may implements MPS differently and that will require some research. I even think P43 chipsets work but I’ve not tested them.

The storage controller though is likely not to work. The promise card has a driver here that works just fine. I think ther eis also an ide replacement driver that may work too.

In my case, I just couldn’t get the CD drive to boot the BeOS CD. I think that may have been the drives fault, but I just don’t know. I used my BeOS laptop drive to install from.

GPU issues:

  • Terminal kept saying “BShell: can’t open pty”. I eventually found out that the x700 video card was at fault. I had no issues with the x300 card, or the Nvidia Geforce 710 I tested. I think now it is a memory issue, where if the GPU driver is installed, it counts the VRAM, but I don’t know.
  • Some modern-ish cards work, lots of older radeons are supported with the Radeon driver. The Geforce 710 with fail-safe is really slow. (Laggy window movement and slow teapots). Will test more cards as I come across them.
  • BeOS can see 1GB of memory without problems (ram-limiting boot loader). Still, I can’t install 4GB because for some reason BeOS won’t boot.

I got a lot of helpful information from this guide and from fellow Haiku/BeOS communuity members.


When I finish my BeOS/Haiku hybrid machine, I will give more information on the software side of things, for now, all the hardware is set up, unless I decide to add ethernet to the BeOS side of things.

Looking forward to some pictures / screenshots.

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  • BeOS Pro 5.0.3
    Certain home-oriented/SOHO-oriented OSes, like Windows Me and Mac OS 9.2.2, at that time had a limit of <=1.5GB addressable memory. Also, 4GB RAM was unrealistically unaffordable on home desktop computers until after Y2000. Windows NT 4.0 high-end workstations with 4GB RAM were not common to most home desktop users and even most enthusiasts. Some Oses won’t boot on the higher RAM specs due to limits in memory management or soft settings in the kernel (i.e. by grand design of the developers).

I may end up doing a screen capture for the sake of the bigger part of what I was working on, but we will see.

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Yes. I used the ram-limiting boot loader to drop it to 1GB. I might try the 768MB one to see if it works then.

beOS , it only run 32bit , if i do not mistake.
32bit is not so modern now.

directly Haiku is better.

I was referring to the hardware being modern. It’s good bridge hardware, that I can use modern Haiku and BeOS on at the same time.

directly Haiku is better.

It’s depends on your definition of “better”. :wink:

And 32-bit or not doesn’t matter for modern-ness, since I’m using 32 bit Haiku right now anyway.

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You might have better luck with some things using one of the “modded” versions of BeOS, either ones that incorporated Haiku components replacing certain system ones, or just with some binary patches to work around some of the problems.

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I haven’t tried any of those directly on hardware. I tried a couple in a virtual machine, but one was really hideous, and another is hideous and all French. R5.03 has been rock-solid on my Thinkpad and with limited issues on the desktop. I’ll probably experiment more with those, but have been focused on the other issues I’m working on.

At the time, my most favorite BeOS machine was a dual PIII 800mhz on a Tyan Tiger 100 S1832DL. It was stupid fast and extremely stable. Way ahead of the curve at that point in time. My current machine (not counting various resuscitated mongrel rescue pc’s and laptops) is a i5-10600K on an Asus Z490E with 16GB. It’s fast and all but I still think I had more fun on the Be machine.


I think a lot of us are dreaming to have a Supermicro or a Tyan motherboard once. It’s not that other MB are bad, it’s just another level of quality.

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  • ATI Radeon X700 PRO and ATI Radeon X800 PRO

Memory allocation system requirements for 128MB VRAM. BeOS 5.0.3 should boot to desktop if allocated 512MB RAM vs. 768MB->1GB RAM w/ graphics cards using 128MB VRAM.