Have a better default Desktop Environment

To be honest the default Desktop Environemtn for Haiku OS looks old (and like Windows 98) Can we have desktop environments that look like these images.


All types of launchers and replicants Haiku has, and more.
"Old” and “New” difference is mainly difference in GUI controls styles and desktop walpapers. Desktop enviroment it is around for more than 30 years.
Yes, Haiku need some better theming.

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Do you know any good Desktop Environments that looks similar to this for Haiku?

You think about Haiku like about Linux. It is different story. Linux it is just kernel, on top of witch you can put some user interface apps and get Ubuntu or Android. Haiku is complete Operating System with integrated desktop environment. You can not achieve this level of integration on Linux. And this is Desktop Environment, not just some fancy looking launchers (if yuo want them, you can make some for Haiku).


I am referring to GNU/Linux, GNU/Linux is a complete Operating System, and you can install a Desktop Environment to it. Whatever Haiku uses that is equivalent to Desktop Environments, I wish there would be better themes as shown in the images. I wish I could make some but I am not a developer :frowning: I wish I was though

Linux is actually only the kernel. What you are referring to is what’s called a Linux distribution. The kernel and all the packages around it to make a complete system. Haiku is not Linux and does not work like this at all. See it more like Mac OS X or such. The desktop environment is integrated into the operating system, not an application running on top of a window server, like KDE, Gnome, Cinnamon etc.

So what you are requesting can’t be done without writing some kind of theme function into the Haiku Tracker.

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No, Linux is just the kernel, and GNU have nothing to do with that.


Now you’re just being picky. You know exactly what I mean with my post.

If you want Haiku look on other DE, then just search for BeOS theme for those. There is a lot in Google. “Good” is very personal feeling, so just search theme for your favourite one.

But I guess you know exactly what he mean with his post (he even corrected, that he mean GNU/Linux, not just Linux) :smiley:

Indeed I do. GNU/Linux as in a Linux distribution based on the GNU ideology. I made an error and corrected it in my post above. I was referring to the Linux kernel in that one. Linux distribution is just a bit wider of a name than GNU/Linux, since the later specifically means a “free” Linux distribution.

Still, my point was that Haiku does not use the same fundaments to render the desktop and it’s windows as your common Linux distribution does, hence the problem of getting new “windows managers” running on it.

Haiku’s “window manager” is deeply integrated in the app_server. Changes in look and feel can be achieved with so-called “Decorators”. There’s a a classic BeOS decorator in the image, there were a MacOS, Amiga, and Win95 (I think) decorators in the past.

So, can be done (probably some things will need some additional fixing/features in Haiku’s code), but the number of people that want to spend their time on this is probably near zero.


The main goal for the R1 release of Haiku is to deliver a BeOS 5 compatible operating system and not put a lot of focus on the UI until development begins for R2. There have been UI/UX discussion groups like the glass elevator project for the sole purpose of rethinking the UI/UX for Haiku. I can imagine that those involved in the glass elevator project in the past will come out of the woods to dust off the ideas conjured up many years ago once talk of beginning development of R2 begins.

IMHO, Haiku looks classy/sexy now :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::kissing_heart::sunglasses::smirk:


How is the architecture on the tdecorators? I think if haiku have 2 themes ind there why there are not any docimentation to make some new decorators? Maybe i can do or anyone but i really dont understand how it work.

Not very wise decision, I would say. GUI is the face of the system, one of the most important things in the OS. GUI look it is one of a things that captured so many people in BeOS, I think, it was for me at least. And as we seen with package managment BeOS R5 example not neccessary is the limitation for implementing things.
Actually lack of GUI styling and theming was most noticible BeOS drawback in it’s time.

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You mean that Haiku could look like Windows 95? Do you have any screenshots in action? Would love to see it!

The code for the Decorators is at https://git.haiku-os.org/haiku/tree/src/add-ons/decorators . As for why there’s no documentation, it’s the usual answer: too few devs with too much to do that’s more pressing/interesting than writing docs.

I don’t know how far the Win95 decorator is working at this time. I don’t remember if it ever did run or I tried it for giggles, but it’ll look like BeOS did back then with that decorator…

Yes, it did work at some point, back in 2010 or so. But I’m not sure it was updated to support the stack and tile API yet.

I disagree with you because Haiku is inspired by BeOS and BeOS was old like other OS of the time. Also, the old desktop environment is more appealing to the eyes than these useless modern desktop environment due to simplicity and how clean is the desktop environment.