Focus and Marketing

One thing that is missing in Haiku is focus (IHO). How do you advertise Haiku as a product?

Let’s try:

  • General purpose OS ? - yes, but not quite with missing 100% functional HTML5 web-browser at least and outdated UI
  • OS that is targeting old computers - could be
  • E-reader OS - could be
  • Embedded OS for Raspberry PI similar to Raspbian - if ported it should be a success (also for OrangePi)
  • Server OS - could be but there is no firewall for example, but has the advantage that UI does not matter
  • Chromebook OS
  • University OS - learning programming in c/c++, fortan, python - replacement of Linux
  • Educational OS - for running software for children
  • Media OS - an OS that is cable of just running one application - for example KODI on a small computer - many people just need that in the living room
  • Retro gaming OS

Choose 3, make them work and use them to advertise Haiku: “Haiku is ideal for …”. “Download this Haiku/Kodi usb image …”


Personal OS — operating system convenient for the user, which never stands in your way.


OK. No Windows 10 ads in your login screen, no auto-updates when you really need your OS, no 100 automatic scheduled tasks, no malware and viruses. Could be made into a slogan.

A 32 bit OS for people who can’t buy latest pcs and for government departments in developing countries who are looking for windows xp alternative


Haikuports maintains several HTML5 web browsers:

  • Dooble
  • Otter Browser
  • QupZilla (aka Falkon)
  • WebPositive

They are the definition of partial. They work, but you probably have to use several to have a full experience on the web. (at least for now)

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Except the Haiku QupZilla is at version 1.8.9 whereas Falkon is at 3.0.1 so it’s not really an aka Falkon.

Someone should get in touch with Opera and remind them of the good old days.


In my personal crusade to push the lights on in a modern digital marketing strategy, I would say that this is to me a very serious topic that should be discussed more. So…let’s go

It’s definitively not farsighted to put the focus on what a product is not instead on what a product actually is. 18 years old project just to not having automatic updates and big squares in start menu? Nah, thumb down to me.

Yes, ReactOS did it in their IndieGoGo campaign, but…ReactOS is a NT reincarnation…

And btw we’re not targeting Windows users at all. Haiku is not perceived an alternative to Windows, atm.

As others said, Haiku is not ready for a general audience due to the difficult installation procedure, the lack of a modern browser and unfinished localization, among others. I generally agree.

So, my opinion is that we should pursue a two-step strategy. The first targetting Linux and former macintosh developers and power users. The latter, targeting general audience, non-regular Linux users and Windows + Android users (just rolling some ideas and random).

As I said in another thread, we should start thinking about the value proposition of Haiku (for the first aforementioned target IMHO): is it fast? is it fun? is it elegant? is it ethical? is it efficient? is it clean? is it a pleasure to use? to dev? to test? to experiment with? is it nostalgic? is it (un)finished? is it worth spending some time with?

Then, focusing on how to “sell” the product…my 5 pences:

  • General purpose OS - +1 here, but it’s too early, now.
  • OS for old computers + OS targeting underdeveloped countries - +1 here, expecially for the etchical standpoint (which I endorse totally) but if we want to go there, then we should fullfill some gaps. For example, complete the localizations and improve Wi-fi and integration with smartphones.
  • E-reader OS - very geeky. As a nerd, I would endorse this. But how many users are going to jailbreak their kindles to install the ARM port (which doesn’t work atm) of Haiku?
  • Embedded OS/Media OS - definitively yes if you’ve a working Raspberry PI port and/or hardware acceleration. Raspberry is gaining a general audience, but many are discouraged for having to use Raspbian. An user-friendly, fast, easy to install, feature-complete, media OS alternative to Raspbian would be very nice, i think.
  • Server OS - thumb down to me. Lack of security features and performances of essential python packages, node.js and lack of Mono makes Haiku really not competitive on this field IMHO.
  • University + Educational OS - we have a winner here IMHO. Haiku is easy to learn, easy to teach, very elegant in design, with a coherent license and a centralized design, fully c++, perfect for educational and edutainment tasks. Some gaps to fullfill here for this perspective would be for example in automation (installation, crontab…), the localization, general user experience (even minor tasks for example default wallpaper) and security (user/password login) among others. The unique drawback I see is that not many universities teach c++; mostly prefer Java nowdays
  • Retrogaming OS - no way here without hardware acceleration and a working MAME port and limited support for gaming keywords and devices. We barely have PSX emulation at 80-90% speed. We’re not going far with this unfortunately.

The misconceptions deal with user knowledge of what exists and does not exist in the categories mentioned.

  1. General purpose OS: - The web browsers I mentioned can do almost everything I need for web browsing. Room for improvements, but Haiku has most desktop app functionality I’d expect for basic users. As we migrate further to QtWebEngine, it’ll improve here.

  2. OS that is targeting old computers - I’d put this in the legacy x86/x86-64 computers with 256MB or greater category.

  3. E-reader OS - Haiku has apps like CoolReader, GhostView, BePDF, etc. The apps cover most files read by Amazon Kindle Fire.

  4. Server OS - Haiku has some server apps like Apache, but I’d say this is not its true focus. Saying that it is is misleading as it is not equipped for a server role in small business.

  5. Chromebook OS - Compare with in apps available between the two OSes.

  6. University OS - This is a wide target. Narrow the focus.

  7. Educational OS - Haiku can do well here for organizations and schools supporting K-12 education.

  8. Media OS - A main focus area. Haiku now supports recording/playback of many common media formats.

  9. Retro gaming OS - A good focus here. Haiku runs nearly all of the older common retro game console games with existing ROMs. There are many legacy 2D/3D games running satisfactorily today on Haiku.
    Best to identify the existing open source games that don’t run satisfactory on Haiku.


Ofc, but I think we’re not going very far trying to compete this unfair match.

The real point here is to not find something that Haiku can do as well as the other big guys out there (Linux, actually).

The point is to find an area where Haiku can do better.


This is probably the most viable real-world usecase for Haiku. While the system design of the OS also makes it a potentially good option for computer courses, the usage would restrict it to mainly academia (see Minix for an example). As for smartphone integration, there may be two ways to go about this:

  • Port KDE Connect to Haiku
  • Make a native Haiku application that implements the KDE Connect protocol

The first option may be faster considering that many of the necessary Qt and KF5 components are already on Haiku. Meanwhile, the second option is doable but would take more time. However, going with that route could allow for deeper integration with the system. It is possible since the protocol itself isn’t explicitly tied to Plasma; one such example is the GNOME 3 extension GSConnect, which doesn’t use the KDE Connect program at all and actually insists against installing it on the same system:

It does not rely on the KDE Connect desktop application and will not work with it installed.

One point i love haiku for, i does not like Systems who Updates automatically. Because most times the updates startet then i does not need it.

Haiku is open source, why selling it?

Haiku is not designed to be a server. Yes you can add multiuser and you can run server Apps and who knows anyone this will included, but today haiku is as Single user system

But haiku is exotic and who will teach it then the Students does not can use it in education and work?

It’s not selling as in asking for money every year in exchange for the license to use it. It’s selling in the sense of making Haiku known for a wider audience that could potentially benefit from it, including those people that could also contribute and help improving the project.

Having a good marketing or communication strategy may be the difference between having no funding or volunteers or having more people contributing and enough funding to keep the developers on track to a future Haiku R2, and to make it take less that 20 years :wink:


All here only askings for porting qt Apps, kde Apps, programs written for other OSes. To get the real Power of haiku, we need native apps at all.


Native apps help to set Haiku apart from other operating systems, especially if they are well done. But better having ported software than not having software at all, or only having BeOS software that was written 20 years ago. Both are important.

For instance, I have been following Haiku since the first days, but just now I start to see it as a potentially useful system for my personal use. I am using a old computer that benefits from Haiku’s smaller requirements and feels snappier when things are functioning properly. And it’s starting to have the essentials: an up-to-date web browser, a complete and stable office suite, an image editor. If we took out the software porting we would be left with much less usable software, and Haiku would only appeal to nostalgic retro computing fans. Personally I prefer to think about it as a full featured OS that will be able to be an alternative to more heavy or bloated ones.


[quote=“victordomingos, post:18, topic:7730”] if we took out the software porting we would be left with much less usable software

I does not say that the ported apps are evil. I say that we does not can use the full power of haiku only porting stuff, because they are designed for Linux or Windows in the most times.

And it makes no fun ready every day that all is missing around. Haiku is in development and needs developers for many things. The core Team are working on the system himself and have much to do, they does not have the time for Apps around.

And second point, we do this discussion again and again, because people does not search for a current discussion and starting a new one :wink:

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  • General purpose OS ? - When common browsers came or current ones get even better, filling the needs. For most of the tasks (browsing, some writing and watching videos work ok).
  • OS that is targeting old computers - If you have RAM to spare… cannot say anything against this
  • E-reader OS - If you have apps for it, any OS fits here
  • Embedded OS No ARM full port, no fun. Pi is very tied to Python development, inner things, GPIO & hardware access. Not many boards would be able to handle Haiku and not many SBC are know outside the PI. Nope.
  • Server OS - Nope. Focusing all on the GUI is good for the desktop, running a server os with GUI is like running Windows Server to server one site. You could do it but… why?
  • Chromebook OS - If you are coming from a browser based OS you should have a browser like that to compete. A replacement for Cbook hardware… yes, like any other laptop, if work.
  • University OS - Not gonna happen for mainstream classes at universities.
  • Educational OS - If you are having a lot of applications for kids, that’s good. Lets try with having Scratch, lego/robotic basic support, and something more for children games/programs.
  • Media OS - It’s great for playing media, should have a way to turn into media center mode.
  • Retro gaming OS - I’ll tell you this if i can get my new MRA Arcade Stick plugged, detected by joystick code and works in emulator(s) like MAME.


No more gnome code please, no more… After doing GTK3, I’m sure about it probably requiring gobject-marsmission or gobject-coffeshopbetterthanstarbucks that will try to look for a deprecated library since 2011 with some “YEAHUSEDEPRECATED” flags.

Choosing the lesser devil, ported apps fill the gap that’s not filled yet. You can always do a native version later, or if needed too. But this goes to the multiplatform discussion again, so I’ll stop here :stuck_out_tongue: