Haiku as a divergent Linux distro... Thoughts

So, I’ve been thinking about just what it would take to make a Linux-based Haiku. I think it’s downright staggering, to put it like that.

  1. It would need to reimplement all of the kits, in the style of, say, winelib.
  2. It would probably be a Wayland desktop environment, for simplicity’s sake. Making the actual app_server run on Linux looks like too much work, by far.
  3. It would need to have a production-ready OpenBeFS driver on Linux, on account of the fact that queries and attributes aren’t supported by the current filesystems (Correct me if I’m wrong, people!)

Those could all be achieved… On the other hand, is it really worth it just to have access to AMD and Nvidia drivers?

Also, you’d essentially be trading in the uniqueness of Haiku for a position as the strange, divergent Linux distro that does things which fundamentally make it incompatible with the Linux mainstream. Let me just say: Divergent Linux distros, unless they are funded by billionaires (cough Ubuntu cough) Tend to die off.

If it’s a simple matter of hosting everything that is Haiku on top of the Linux kernel like AROS-hosted, well… That involves too many tradeoffs to make it worthwhile.

I’d say Haiku ought to stay unique, although the potential for a fairly close companion distro that uses Linux should not be disregarded. It’s simply something for someone else to handle, possibly through doing 1) and then gravitating towards the other points. I wonder how 1) Would even arise, though. Several projects have tried in the past, and they have failed.

Forgive my ignorance, but what would be the point of a Haiku/Linux dostro? What would be the added value?

Thanks, Nicolas

Poem OS Couplet is already trying to achieve this; it is currently at alpha 1. However, rather than reimplementing kits, a frontend to qemu is being built instead to handle classic applications and Wayland support isn’t planned on it just yet. And BeFS support will be built in. That said, if we share the same dream or vision, there’s nothing that says you can’t go for a Gnu/Linux distribution yourself and make it insanely great.

It would not be Haiku, it would be another BeOS-inspired OS. And you would have problems with achieving binary compatibility with BeOS and Haiku (source/API compatibility is possible).

Such projects already existed, have a look at BlueEyedOS and Cosmoe. The first one is completely independant from Haiku, the second tries to reuse Haiku sources but make things run over a BeOS kernel. Unfortunately, both projects are currently dead, and looking for maintainers. They also predate Wayland by a quite long time. Cosmoe can run under X11 or use the unaccelerated Linux framebuffer.

http://www.blueeyedos.com/ https://github.com/ithamar/cosmoe

A linux project to make a linux looks like a BeOS system is allready at work: http://www.zevenos.com

If you want feel in Linux like in BeOS, install Linux on ssd and use wasp icons (based on McClintoc icons for BeOS, I think) and theme gothione for gtk or qtcurve or oxygen for kde, these themes reminds me some good days spend with BeOS r5 and dano.

I think now is most important for Haiku is full support of BeOS 5 apps and API, full support for POSIX standarts, much more stability and agility, and… better gui themes,… and Tracker needs some tuning…

Well it could be an interesting approach similar to Syllable (www.syllable.org) one: a server-oriented (Linux-based, of course) distro with Haiku look&feel.

It could be a chance for ZevenOS: http://www.zevenos.com/

AP, could you please provide urls or links to Poem OS Couplet or the people whose brainchild it is? I looked around but could not find it, but that just may be my poor google-fu.

(I hope that whoever is involved has a chance to learn from the prior attempts, such as the Blue Eyed OS, Cosmoe, and ZevenOS, and of course, those who have been toiling in the Haiku garden.)

Thanks for any info.


@forart - If you look at Syllable’s forum you can see that all the activity is still concentrated on the original Desktop, and not the Linux server. I think it’s a good example of how in general, such things are received. Most people were interested in Syllable for Syllable, and not a Syllable/Linux fascade. The last server forum post there was a long time ago. While the Desktop version does better, it too looks pretty lonely …

Thanks @bbjimmy for your reply above!! A link is worth 1000 words! :slight_smile: (I appreciate all the words here also, though, of course!)

A little update on the poem project:

If you go to the link that @bbjimmy so thoughtfully provided there’s a blog. There have been some tantalizing entries made over the past few weeks, but today, if i read it correctly, it first lays out some broad outlines.

(And anybody please correct me if i’ve read it wrong, or read the wrong thing between the lines.)

It looks like there will be 3 sorts of apps that run on it, and can presumably be developed on it.

One will be of the old x windows sort. A second one will be some new sort that are written somewhat like web apps, with firefox providing some kind of back end. So the second sort sound interesting, but we’ll have to see what the details are.

The third sort, as i understand it, will be the sorts of apps that run/ran on Haiku/Be, and they will be run by some emulator (perhaps a version of qemu/kvm).

The third is the sort that i’m most interested in programming. First, because the API is well defined (objects for application, for windows, etc), and also, presumably has great stability because it is defined in these Be books. So it would help code once written to stay written.

(The gnu/linux base and availibility of the first sort of application would allow your hardware to continue to do certain chores that you need done and for which there are no replacements yet.)

Hopefully, the third sort would have access to the disk and network. Even better if the different sorts of apps could interact, but i don’t know what barriers might exist.

I certainly don’t know if my take is right, and afaict, there are no forums for poem. So would appreciate any corrections, and a pointer to a forum if one exists.

Please note that I have quit Poem, as I wasn’t really seeing the point of what I was doing with it. I’d encourage everyone to use Haiku instead, and want to thank everyone who expressed interest in my project. But I personally believe that it was time to let it go, and hope everyone understands.