Decent Miniature PC?


#1

I have a Raspberry Pi 3B+ which I think is really neat, being small but able to run some flavors of Linux. I would love to run Haiku on it, but it doesn’t seem like ARM support is far enough along for that (although I haven’t tried any of the Pi 2 images).

I also can’t run Haiku on any of my computers because it won’t boot (I’m guessing it’s a EUFI thing).

So, I thought, what would be a low cost ($99 to around $200US) mini PC with an x86 processor that could run Haiku? I’ve looked at… a lot of them, but always get hung up because there’s quite a lot of choice (2GB,4GB,8GB of RAM, Atom, Celeron, Pentium processors, etc.). I’m not quite sure what a minimum for Haiku would be, but I’m thinking around 4GB of RAM and a quad core processor.

And then I have to wonder which ones have BIOS and which have EUFI. Or if it would still boot even with EUFI. And so on.

Anyway, I thought I would ask and see if anyone is using any of these mini PCs from Zotac, Gigabyte, Asus, UP Board, or the like. If you are, and you like it, I’d be happy to take recommendations.

Thanks!


#2

I have a ZOTAC ZBOX-IQ01 16GB Intel HD Graphics 4600.
Unfortunately I do not know which settings should be changed in the BIOS how to boot Haiku.
Can it be that keyboard and mouse must be connected Wired?


#3

I shouldn’t think so. All my computers either have wired keyboard/mice (except for the Mac Mini) or it’s built in (MacBook Pro). Most of the time the boot fails with the KDL message of no boot device found.

I don’t know for sure, but if your Zotac has EUFI there might be a setting to support legacy mode. That’s the kind of thing I would look for.


#4

I had a quick look at the user manual available on-line. It is however very slim in terms of information.

It is presumed that you are trying to boot from a USB Flash Drive?

You likely will have to access the BIOS Setup Utility (Pressing after turning on).

The manual shows that there is a “Boot” menu in the BIOS Setup Utility although there is no information as to the settings which can be modified under this menu. In theory there should be a “Boot Devices” and a “Boot Order” items which may have to be edited to allow booting from USB.

If the system gets to the device on which Haiku resides, then entering “Safe Mode” in the boot loader by pressing space bar as soon as it is launched could help you go further. Read up about the Haiku boot loader ( https://www.haiku-os.org/docs/userguide/en/bootloader.html ) for the available options.


#5

Get something like this:

  • ASRock H110M-ITX Mini ITX Intel Motherboard - $60-$70 USD
  1. Handles up to 32GB RAM

Pick whatever you want from there,… :thinking:


#6

It’s not a bad idea, but one. I was hoping to avoid. For one, I’d like to be sure Haiku will boot all the way. For another, I don’t want to build a system; I just want to hook it up and go. The Pi and UP boards are okay because it’s just a matter of slapping the boards in a plastic case and snapping it shut.

Start me on this path, and a mini-ITX board and cheap processor will turn into a full-sized monster Threadripper system. Because of ‘feature creep’.


#7

Does it matter how old a PC? The Dell Optiplex 780 USFF (Ultra Small Form Factor) works fine with Haiku, and is less than 10" square (23.9cm). These can be had at electronics recyclers cheap. https://www.amazon.ca/Dell-OptiPlex-780-Desktop-64-Bit/dp/B00OI78CWO


#8

Ok. Look at Intel NUC, Gigabyte Brix, ECS Liva Q, Shuttle Nano, Asus VivoMini, Zotax P1335 …

Check these out:

  1. https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313.TR2.TRC0.A0.H0.Xshuttle+nano.TRS0&_nkw=shuttle+nano&_sacat=0

  2. https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1312.R1.TR0.TRC0.A0.H0.TRS1&_nkw=gigabyte+briq&_sacat=0

  3. https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-Compaq-8100-Elite-SFF-Intel-Core-i5-650-Processor-3-20GHz-4GB-RAM-250GB-HDD/263533907688?_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D52885%26meid%3Dbaf6c5542234400bb903c804ca44c058%26pid%3D100623%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D6%26mehot%3Dlo%26sd%3D253385796071%26itm%3D263533907688&_trksid=p2047675.c100623.m-1

I used the HP Slimline in the past so those are pretty good for low-cost finds. If you want something more Haiku-compliant, you’ll want something with Radeon/Intel graphics.


#9

Cool beans. I’ll check 'em out.

Thanks!


#10

ZOTAC?:
Yes, there is a “Boot menu”, but on the whole it’s a bit chaotic (and nowhere documented). The ZOTAC support was trying (years ago, when another thing was up), but the poor man (lone gunner!) Did not even know what my Z-BOX looks like - despite my most accurate possible description.
Anyway, I had to trigger a BIOS reset (mechanical short circuit), because the BOX did not want anything anymore.


#11

Has anyone tried running Haiku on a Dell Optiplex with a 3rd or 4th gen CPU?

These aren’t really a minature PC, but the Small Form Factor (SFF) is reasonably compact. They are super cheap since they are corporate PCs past their warranty range, easily in the sub-$200 range.


#12

They are similar to the HP Slimline series. You can get the Dell Optiplex 790 (I’ve used that one and the older 6xx models). Again, you’ll want something with Radeon/Nvidia SFF graphics. Careful on using USB mouse/keyboards on some of them…


#13

In case anyone is interested, I’ve got a slight update.

For various reasons, I decided on Kodlix N42-D. On the Haiku side, there’s some good news and bad news.

The good news is that I was able to boot from the experimental EUFI image. It was available from the F7 boot menu and went all the way to the desktop. The bad news is that no network devices were visible. The good news, is that it has an Intel 3165 (I think that’s the number) which should be supported with the new Wi-Fi drivers from BSD.

The bad news is that I couldn’t get an image with those drivers to be visible to boot from. Not even when I changed to Legacy mode.

For the time being I’ll stay limited to Windows and Linux (assuming; I haven’t tried that yet) and hope that EUFI booting gets supported at some point. Or, maybe, I’ll play with ReFind at some point and get that figured out.


#14

Welp, I’m fairly pleased to report that the Kodlix N42-D did finally boot. I had to set the boot mode to Legacy and then enable CSM and change everything there to Legacy.

Unfortunately, there’s still no network (neither Ethernet nor Wi-Fi). That’s kind of a bummer, but not totally unexpected.

This is running on the Apollo Lake chipset, if anyone is interested. I also don’t know if sound works.

The only other unusual thing I’ve noticed is that when I ran the Haiku3D demo, the mouse stopped working.