Can a distro of Haiku be made in the future?

Hello, all. Earlier, I had posted on allowing WPA WiFi to work on an AOA150, and found that Ethernet is much more stable–the netbook now has Haiku running on it happily and with Internet.

I absolutely like the Haiku OS, and the clean, simple UI it presents. The developers did a fantastic job, and a lot of meticulous work was clearly put into it. It reminds me of the Mac. However, could I be brave enough to put forth a simple question? Could Haiku ever be “re-spinned” or forked into a distro by anyone, like how Linux flavors are? (I know Haiku is MIT, and Gnu/Linux is mostly GPL’d. But I am worried over the Guidelines.) I think if re-spinning was allowed, it’d increase Haiku’s usage share, as it’d allow more users to get acquainted with it quickly.

Personally, I have been considering doing a respin like people do with Gnu/Linux, (but it’d be cool if anyone could do it as well). Is this something that can be done in a Linux-like fashion? If Haiku does or doesn’t, can you please post back?

(And, one more thing, though this should most likely be in another thread: Does anyone know what causes the PC to not turn off after shutting down? Again, I’m on an Acer AOA150 netbook. Maybe others are having this issue, too, which is why I mention it here.)

Thanks for reading!

It is certainly possible to make a distro, as there are no restrictions about it in the license. But I fail to see any point in this. Most Linux distros aren’t that unique, they’re all pretty much different combinations of the same components and packages. What is the difference between Ubuntu and Fedora? Different bugs, different default apps, different themes and different package managers, mainly.

How would creating distros increase Haiku’s usage? I don’t think it helped Linux. Everything about Linux is scattered, there are no standards, they don’t even have a unified sound API that works Ok and is used by most applications. Every year is apparently “The Year Of The Linux Desktop” but yet Linux isn’t really getting anywhere. The amount of users are still very few.

Oh and, I will look forward to the day when the Linux desktop has 32bpp support. :stuck_out_tongue:

I hear ya, sparklewind. :slight_smile: That’s so true. However, as much I do not like Linux, Ubuntu has allowed more non-programmers to use it and has stepped up Linux’s market share by a few points. It’d be really cool to see Haiku race right past Linux.

I might add a comment. Why can’t the Linux community figure out that people might just want it to be one OS in looks and performance? You do have a very good second point. :slight_smile: A Fluxbox WM on one, a KDE-based desktop on another, and no true GUI intregration. However, Haiku’s got a good UI, a good base, and is truly an OS that presents a spun-together front to it–it stands a much better chance than Linux does, in my opinion. :wink: That’s why I think building deriatives of Haiku would be a cool idea, and I think it’s cool to hear it’s totally legal, too. :slight_smile:

Let’s use something that ain’t GPLed and show the world we can! (Yeah, I know, Haiku’s got a little in it anyway.) :smiley:

Thanks for replying!

(P.S. There have been posts and tickets on PCs not turning off–I’m not the only guy that has a shutdown problem on his PC. How can I determine ACPI/APM status or toggle it on/off in Haiku?)

Well, I just don’t see what any distro would be for. Could you elaborate a bit on this? Just like with Windows, we might one day see people bundling Haiku with a bunch of applications in one ISO and putting out a torrent somewhere. Then there’s TiltOS, which seems to be a project to make Haiku more Linux-ish in several ways. The former seems too insignificant to make much mention of, the latter is a bit too much. So I am not really sure what kind of distros should be encouraged. I would like to hear more from you about this.

I agree that Ubuntu has helped Linux to some extent, and it’s really popular among Linux users. When I use Linux, I stick to Ubuntu too. But is this because of the distro idea? They could’ve improved Linux directly, if Linux were a complete OS. :slight_smile:

I have no idea about your problems with shutting down your PC, sorry.

Yes, distros are allowed. Nothing to stop them from coming around.

I don’t mind a couple of distros but hope Haiku does not become flavor of the week with lots & lots of distros.

I believe that when Haiku does proper package management the need for distros will decrease.

The only reasons for a distro are: a) programs installed b) package management c) artwork differences d) compiler optimizations (ie: use O2, remove debug, etc.)

I would hope that any code fixes or optimizations were put back into Haiku.

Shutdown issue like this one I’m guessing (ACPI related):

Look through here for others:

“If Linux were a complete OS. :)” :smiley:

There’s a really good point, and one I agree with. Gnu/Linux is really just thrown together parts, borrowed from every software that’s called “free”. And if fanboys keep insulting Windows users just as using a grossly overpaid buggy S/W, and not respecting them as human beings, then they’re not going to be very successful.

After seeing this, I began to look into Haiku. I’d already begun using it, and really like it. It’s as simple as you’d find on a Palm or a Mac. I thought, combined with it’s liquid performance and stability, it would be possible to use it as a base in the future, per-say. Of course, I understand anyone else could as well. I didn’t just post this for myself, but hopefully for others to get the concept. Open source is about helping others with what you know, and with what others know.

(As for the PC, I’ll try to find out why it just blanks the screen at shutdown. It’s a bug somewhere–but it’s the only major bug I’ve found in Haiku so far. :slight_smile: And I know the real release will have it fixed. :D)

Thanks for replying, sparklewind. That’s my thoughts.

(Note: Made edits to original post later to fix mistakes.)

[quote=sparklewind]It is certainly possible to make a distro, as there are no restrictions about it in the license. But I fail to see any point in this. Most Linux distros aren’t that unique, they’re all pretty much different combinations of the same components and packages. What is the difference between Ubuntu and Fedora? Different bugs, different default apps, different themes and different package managers, mainly.

In most cases Linux distributions have a clear focus which makes one distro more suitable for a particular purpose or user than another. Fedora has a short life cycle and concentrates on “leading the consensus”, showcasing new Free Software that often goes on to be universal. It acts to some extent as a preview of what’s coming for RHEL, which is important for the large number of people who administrate or develop for Red Hat’s enterprise products. Ubuntu has a mix of long-lived and short-lived releases, and concentrates on the desktop experience almost to the exclusion of other features.

How would creating distros increase Haiku’s usage? I don’t think it helped Linux. Everything about Linux is scattered, there are no standards, they don’t even have a unified sound API that works Ok and is used by most applications. Every year is apparently “The Year Of The Linux Desktop” but yet Linux isn’t really getting anywhere. The amount of users are still very few.[/quote]

Realistically distros would indeed fragment Haiku. But with Linux such a big success across so many fields obviously there is room for more than one distribution. The people doing hearing aid research had a custom Studio64 variant made for them, such software won’t even run on a 32-bit CPU, while something like Puppy Linux runs nicely on a Pentium II.

I think “third place” (Linux distros are used far more “on the desktop” than anything except Windows and OS X) in a globally competitive market is rather good. Millions of users, “on the desktop”, and great success above and beyond that, in everything from smart phones to supercomputers.

Oh and, I will look forward to the day when the Linux desktop has 32bpp support. :P[/quote]

I’m not really sure what this means. Maybe you’re confused by the 24bpp consolidation? This seems very long ago now, but perhaps it’s fresh in your mind. got rid of the 24/32 distinction which had caused confusion to users. All 8-bit per channel video modes were treated identically, and pixmaps with either 3 or 4 byte pixel strides were automatically handled for either kind of mode. Where enough VRAM was available for a 4 byte pixel, it was generally used because it was faster.

Thank you, tonestone57! I had located this ticket earlier. I always run a search engine before asking questions, as I think it’s more polite, and saves time on the forum. :slight_smile: This certainly helps :), however, I’d like to find the terminal command to toggle acpi support on or off, and see if that works.

I also agree here too, tonestone57–Haiku cannot become 400+ distros like Linux is–that’s just ridiculous. :slight_smile: We need more like, 2-10, or somewhere around that value. That way Haiku remains the flagship OS that’d start it off.

Thanks, all, for your replies. It’s appreciated.

No please no DISTRO!
This is, indeed, the cause why Linux is not “ready for the Desktop”… if all the resource was used to create ONLY one OS what they could have in all this years years?

Now we’ve a no complete OS, 10 ways to have a GUI (and is a software a-la windows 98), when you have to do some configuration we have to use the shell (yes sometimes there are GUI applets, but simple not works), Kernel incompatibility, binary incompatibility!

They use the name “distro”, but they are, in reality totally different OS…

Ubuntu has tried to go the Desktop way, but sometimes the GUI apps not work and you should use the terminal… and the very Linux haker hate it! If you want do a more professional work they force you to use CentOS (and break it! Forcing installing library as it is 10 year old… to do more modern things! At the end the same thing Ununtu guys already done… well but CentOS is more professional (?))

No Haiku should be ONE no forks: they are lost resources!

Can be acceptable to have different version for specify usage (that you could compile yourself):

  1. Embedded edition (<64 MB usable on set-top-box or smartphones!)
  2. Kiosk/Mediacenter (Only an application in foreground, no tracker or desktop... can not killed in any way! It's a kiosk)
  3. Desktop (The classic OS release, tracker, web+, future office, Mediaplayer etc...)
  4. Developer edition (What all is needed to create application or compile Haiku itself)

Obviusly all this “distro” (if you want call in this way are in reality “edition”!) are binary compatible, and certain ways upgradable (if you have the desktop and to upgrade to developer you can download the “developer Bundle”, double click on it you are set!).

you can use safe-mode options to test with (it allows turning off ACPI) - while booting hold down SHIFT key or keep pressing SPACEBAR key. ACPI is on by default.

You can also edit kernel config file found under:
Use text editor (StyledEdit)

Thanks, tonestone57. This is what I was looking for. I’ll give it a shot. :slight_smile:

@ fano: Thanks for your input. I honestly do appreciate your post, and I like looking at several different points of view on computing and operating systems. :slight_smile: However, may I reply to a few comments?

Firstly, Linux couldn’t have done this (that is, build a strong, full OS)–it needed a kernel and GUI shell, and more. Linux started as Minix as a command-line environment, and for the most part, still is :), underneath all the eye candy. Taking into consideration how Linux is built would better help you understand why. The core of Linux rests on top of the kernel, and from there, a command-line or the “shell” awaits it’s user. To fix this, the X window system is thrown on top, along with a login manager, along with a GUI shell, and along with applications all requiring hundreds of dependencies. Your average Ubuntu installation with KDE or Gnome requires at minimum, 800 packages installed–most dependencies. This is due to applications being written in at least 5 different languages, and once that’s done, on top of that, they are compiled as Gtk+, QT, or another application type. This is what makes Linux so unstable, and therefore, this both answers your question on why applets don’t work, for instance, and destroys the previous argument that hackers prefer the GUI over the CLI. The CLI is how the base of Linux can be accessed. Furthermore, the programmer does use and enjoy the CLI in any OS, including Windows®, as it gives them full power over their system in situations where the GUI was not designed to. Personally, I think an OS is only half an OS without a text interaction of some kind. :slight_smile: I strongly disagree that the programmer prefers all GUI–but I really think the GUI is the future. Users will not use a CLI. They want a simple, point-and-click interface that they can understand without hassle. Programmers should work to make the shell integrate for the user.

Secondly, Linux is and isn’t professional. Linux runs on the world’s most powerful supercomputers, and on most of the smartphones today, thereby making it professional in that field. On i386 or powerpc, however, as mentioned, Linux is not professional by any means–I do not consider Ubuntu or CentOS to be professional. Linux users need to be honest, and realize this is the case.

Thirdly, you had mentioned editions, which would partition the OS. Two computing history examples serve to prove this, respectively. Apple® made the Centris™, Quadra™, Performa™, Power Macintosh™, and other desktop computer products. Until Apple® brought the computer lines into four main product lines, and three classes of computer (notebooks, desktops, mobile) users were confused and sales were down until the introduction of the iMac™. Recently, Windows® has made the same mistake, splitting itself into Starter (that is, the netbook edition), Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, x64, Embedded, Server (which I agree with–that port makes sense), and of course on the side, Phone. Vista™ did poorly because of this, and Apple® gained a huge market share in 2008 and into 2009.

Fourthly, why not make a distro? OpenSolaris™ has about 8-10 distributions, and all it’s users recognize the fact that it is the same OS with different aspects to it. This would help the OS by opening new ways of thinking how to build it and fix bugs. That way, everyone’d benefit.

In conclusion, I think a distro would be a great idea, but that’s just my opinion. I appreciate the post and I honestly do like hearing different points of view–I just wanted to clear up a few points here. I apologize if I was rude.

Thanks. :slight_smile:

Yes I know the Linux history… as you have described for obtain a complete OS you have to mix all the pieces: a Kernel (you hav 1000s to choose you can personalize itself, too!), a shell (there are 1000 of these, too bash, tcsh, ksh…), X (there was at least 2 version… nowadays only one is largely used), a Desktop Enviroment (1000’s of this too… KDE, Gnome, FCE…) and in the and a package system (rpm, deb…), it’s pretty obvious in this way the different factor is huge: Fedora and Ubuntu has so little in common that can be considered 2 totally different OSses!!!
Neither binary compatibily is garantueed…

One can think well this a freedom it’s beautiful… I can create my own OS! Yes but in this case a think as this freedom is bad: it is for this Linux is “not ready for the Desktop” first what Linux? There is no “Linux”! There is Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS…

Why have 2,4 o 1000 Haiku distros can be good for us?
If the difference are so little: a simple name change and some package installed instead of another can be OK, but well why I should use ArcaneOS instead of the original Haiku?
Why not add that functionality at the real Haiku codebase instead of do a fork?

But if the distro take the Linux way? They modify HUGE the kernel, leading to binary incompatibly, use a different system to install packages (I don’t know Haiku use “bundle”, ArcaneOS uses RPM!), they choose to substitute Traker with KDE (I know, I know… they should be masochistic)…

In this way we should be in the same situation of Linux: Haiku is 1000 different OS, UserBase and worst coders are fractionated no chance to substitute (seriously) Windows… will be a “toy OS” as Linux, Aros, React OS etc…

No I boldly hope there is never an Haiku distribution… “edition” can have sense , indeed (endorsed by the real Haiku Inc… if in the future I want to install Haiku in a smartphone or in set-top-box instead of Linux I should have something different from the “Desktop Edition” for start little size ideally 64 o 128 MB to put it in a flash drive, a minimal tracker, only a small number of application, busybox…)

Linux is prely a kernel. Which means everything else required for linux to function must be built on top of it, and because there’s so many alternative packages, distros were born to create a complete OS.

Haiku IS a complete OS. There’s no reason to add packages on top of it, as the default system is feature-complete. There’s no reason to have many distro’s, as Haiku works out of the box. Because distro’s arn’t required, there will be very few, if any, big Haiku distributions outside Haiku Inc’s official one.

One reason to have distros for Haiku is fat versus thin. Many folks want only the basic applications, nothing more. Truly, there are heated discussions on the developer mailing list about whether or not to include vim, which isn’t that big. Other folks want apps and libs, the more the better. This article describes some very nice apps that would go into the ‘fat’ distro:

And there are more libraries here:

There are more apps coming each week, and this will accelerate as be bring in more new Haiku developers.

What’s really different about fat and thin Haiku distro idea is that each has the same kernel, same window system, same demos, etc. It’s really not a ‘split’ or schism like most traditional Linux distros.

Hell, we have so many games now we could have a Haiku Gaming distro.

The questions was really about if distros are allowed. Yes they are. Anyone can make a distro if they want to but must follow the guidelines and avoid using Haiku trademarks. MIT-BSD license allow it.

Some may like distros and others will not! That is life.

Personally, I can see a few distros being a good thing but too many a bad thing. No way to stop them from coming about.

As a end user I would prefer “as would most” to have the option of what to install. I don’t want to have to track all over the internet to find it and the dependnacys. Make the disk fat and allow the user to select software groups or applications to install.

Just a user chiming in.

I have read the posts so far carefully here, because I certainly think it is wise to. :slight_smile: I think listening allows learning.

@fano: I’m well aware of the Linux history, but like I have mentioned earlier, it’s audience will never really be the end user, unless it is on a cell phone or generic device because Linux is not a complete OS. I’ve said before, and I can state again that Haiku is a complete operating system, which comprises it’s pieces similar in fashion to the MacOS™. Linux started as a kernel cloned from Minix, and it really, in 18 years or so, hasn’t gotten much further in terms of use, other than a bunch of eye candy in Gnome and KDE. True, there are very different ports of it, but underneath, Linux is just Linux. And again, I believe that editions would cause the end user to get confused as in what to choose. 2 or 3 might be fine–like if Windows® were just Corporate, Home User, and Mobile, it’d be easy to figure it out. However, NT did start with two editions, “Workstation” and “Server”, and the home user had 98. This fanned out to the editions that they have today. Simply put, I think we can learn from this.

@thatguy: That’d be a great idea to implement in the software. Making things plug-and-playable would make the experience as simple as installing add-ons in a browser. :slight_smile:

As for the whole distro idea, I can see points where it could be great, and also where it could not be so great. It sounds like there’s different opinions on it. :slight_smile:

And, once again, as I’ve repeated before, I think that a distro could have some use. However, this is only if it’d help out the Haiku in expanding. Bringing great concepts to life, along with God on their side, is what’s made inventors like Edison innovative.

I believe that the term distro only really fits that well when talking about Linux. I just can’t imagine a distro in that kind of sense for Haiku. However, it might be fitting to talk about editions and forks.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with editions. The difference between third-party editions of Windows and distributions of Linux, is that Windows is still the same system in just about every way, they just add their favourite applications, wallpapers and settings to the ISO and sometimes there’s a new installer. There’s often not even any official website, you just see a new torrent once in a while on The Pirate Bay. Provided that you don’t violate the terms of any license or law (Obviously the case with Windows, but not necessarily with Haiku), I think this is completely fine. This wouldn’t get much attention, but it would still be out there for those who seek it out and are interested.

Then there are forks. Syllable was forked from AtheOS, Haiku’s kernel from the NewOS kernel if I remember correctly. Basically you take source code with potential and make it into a new OS. This is also fine, and they have no real affiliation with the OSes and kernels they were originally forked from now. In the same way, one could, say, take Haiku and Étoilé and make a new Mac OS X-like system. You’d have a new OS.

No matter if you make an edition or a fork, the point is that Haiku is Haiku, and not Haiku Hotsprings Distribution, Haiku Cat Distribution, Haiku Coffee Distribution, and so on. I hope I was clear and my point got through and made sense. :wink:

sparklewind, once again, I agree with you on this. :slight_smile:

I was using the term ‘distro’ so that any Linux programmers or users could catch my meaning. But, yes, I was referring more to a ‘fork’ of Haiku.

However… I still think chopping any software up into editions may not be the smartest idea, unless Haiku in the future just stuck with Desktop, Server, Mobile, to keep things simple–if nothing else, for users. Or, 32 and 64 bit? The names here, for instance, would be self-explanatory. And, I know OS X has Server and the retail version–two editions, and I agree with the idea there–much simpler/better than the half a dozen Windows® editions. :slight_smile: But, isn’t Haiku already at where it’s powerpc, i386, mips, and arm? Maybe I’m wrong on this.

I don’t know… what do you think?