How to make a distribution of haiku?

IMHO, creating distributions for a operating system leads to the desaster linux is currently in. Many flavors of the same dish cooked by many different and talented people. Imagine the shear amount of traction linux could have if they were all to combine forces instead of everyone doing their own thing.

Who really needs dozens of distributions featuring GNOME, KDE or whatever, each of which has it’s own kind of configuration system, is incompatible to each other and can’t do anything the others can’t do? Additionally, this makes the life of developers a nightmare. There’s a good reason most commercial software is only available for the few big players like RHEL oder Ubuntu.

Personally, i prefer a solid “official” distribution with sane defaults, which can be customized later on with user preferences to the way one likes it.


I think this is potentially a good idea, because it will lead people back to haiku if they create a neat demo of haiku. OTOH if you are doing heavy development, Haiku is the place for it.

There are some discontinued distro’s of haiku here (article written by @apgreimann) :slight_smile:

But they do ship the Liberation Fonts, which are metrically compatible, and often have default aliases in place for them. I opened a ticket about this years ago, in fact.

If people really want a “distribution” of Haiku that just includes different default settings, more installed packages, etc. then they can … create a package, or just some scripts and not even a full package, which pulls in all that other software people want installed by default, and changes whatever settings people think is appropriate. There’s no need to create a separate “distribution” for that!


maybe just a post installation script ???

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But those seem to be still distinct enough to not cause legal problems with MS, as mentioned in the later part of my statement that was cut out:

At most, they either have an optional step to install them or lookalikes that are distinct enough replacements to not be legally problematic.

I think, if I understood it correctly, this post was not about making a distribution now, but about the basic career for the blog article.

I don’t think the idea of ​​having your own haiku distribution is wrong in principle, but I see it more when it comes to specializations. If, for example, a company jumps on Haiku and needs the system for specific work and this is not free and is not used elsewhere, but needs fixed hardware and the related security, I can well imagine that.

I could have imagined, for example, that Tunetracker Systems would go this route because they only need fixed components for their radio station, but they probably also want to be large, i.e. hardware independent, which is certainly better for the future.

I don’t really understand where this discussion is going.

If you want to do your Haiku ditribution, that’s fine, no problem with it, it’s opensource software. Someone already linked the rules related to the Haiku trademark, when you make a distribution (or anything else, really), you have to follow these rules. The simplest way to fllow them is to not use the “Haiku” name. We have already made some of the work to make it possible to build a “de-branded” version of Haiku, but some extra effort will be needed to remove then name “Haiku” in a few places.

Besides that, there are no constraints. Here are some examples of distributions we had in the past:

  • TiltOS was a version of Haiku with an X11 servern a cutom package manager, and bundling many GTK apps (long before we got a GTK port or even a package manager)
  • Senryu was a distribution adding a lot of preinstalled native software
  • Discover Haku was similar, with the goal of promoting Haiku and also the work of TuneTracker Systems on radio station management. It included a demo version of their software as well as several other preinstalled apps, and was mainly used to demonstrate their radio broadcast system.

There were a few mores, sometimes changing just the icon theme and a few other settings.

If you want your distribution to still include the name “Haiku”, like “Discover Haiku” did, you have to follow stricter rules about what you can change. I think including some extra software and changing some settings is probably OK. You will have to check with Haiku, inc, the entity legally responsible for the trademark, and follow their rules and decisions.


maybe i should use the word “pre-distribution”.
5% of people are programmer.
they have the fun from code.
95% of people are layman.
they have the fun from “pre-distribution”.
if one person do so deep “pre-distribution”, it will be one real distribution which is having itself’s name.
(i don’t think anyone dare to use “haiku” as the name public.)

i am glade to see the power of “installer”.
i can use it installing haiku to disk , then to usb, and then to another computer. all setting and application keep the same way with before.
because of be file system(i guess), i can not take them as a iso or raw file with the command of dd.
once i figure these “pre-distribution” things out, i will share these layman’s experience to internet.

your programmer people will just need to do your loving thing —— code. because there are enough “pre-distribution”—guy to explain most of things for real that case, you just need to watch the line.
( is any programmer like to talk so much words for real layman’s simple question again and again? )

so, things about “pre-distribution” is very important to build a strong base in these 95% layman for haiku.
i want to see more and more layman’s experience article and “pre-distribution”—guy on Internet.

by the way, maybe you hear about Norton Ghost.
it support a final way to deal with real layman’s problem, just “ghost it back”.
and it give the opportunity for deepin, Tomato Garden, ymlf and so on.

if haiku’s installer do it better, lots of “pre-distribution”—guy will appear。and lots of real layman will have confidence to use haiku with the final solution “just installer it back”.

you may say “such low ” , “ what a joke”.
but i will say “smart marketing strategy”。

Everyone has their own ideas and perspectives, that’s normal and also important, because without different opinions there can be no comparison and no changes.

Just start and write your reports in a blog or article. The approach is definitely interesting.

I don’t think that you need a distribution for haiku (except maybe for the reason mentioned above). Haiku is just not linux where every second cooks his own porridge.

i guess :

distribution is the suitable concept for linux world.
but not suitable for haiku or windows or such having whole system thing.

if cracking the whole one, it bring more unstable.

pre-distribution, it is suitable for haiku.

and i have sharing some layman’s article in my blog.
now, if someone search the key word “haiku 安装” with Baidu engine, they will see my article.
i am glade to see more than 100 people finding haiku’s layman’s experience article.

i will try more with my layman’s way and share more.

Think you actually mean meta-distribution, as in a base to build distributions from. Regardless as what others said, most of what you want doesn’t really necessitate making a distribution (yes it is a distribution despite insistence otherwise).

pre-distribution or meta-distribution
it is the way to bring Mass base for haiku in layman group.
Microsoft have done these thing before and get so many layman users.
layman users are the most people of the world.

linux is a kernel.
it is not very suitable for haiku to use linux’s marketing way.

The term of distribution isn’t just specific to Linux, but a general term. There are distributions of BSD, Solaris, and even Windows.

linux is a kernel, it need and have to get so much distribution. more than 200 alive and 600 death.
but, BSD, Solaris
you should count the number.
windows, yes,deepin, Tomato Garden, ymlf
are they distribution?
or reactos?

it is not so necessary to build so much distribution for a whole system.
but necessary to tell layman how to make their pre-distribution or meta-distribution.


ReactOS is an open-source Windows-compatible OS that, very importantly, does not use any Windows code. It is not a Windows distribution, since that would imply it having code from Windows (which is legally problematic).

Numbers don’t really matter when it comes to talking about the very definition and merit of distributions, but fine. DistroWatch lists 16 active BSD distributions and 5 active Solaris distributions. It is possible to create custom Windows images, which could be considered as Windows distributions by some; there are also unofficial ways of creating Windows distributions such as what Windows AME does.

But just to be clear, the number of distros is irrelevant to the worth or definition of the term distribution itself.

This is kind of possible already by customising an existing Haiku install, then installing it to a drive (e.g. external drive, flash drive, SD card, etc.).

  1. Use an existing Linux distribution for your baseline work model example.
  2. Now, using the existing Haiku distribution
    • Set locale for specific country/language/style/input device(s)/etc.
    • Add/Delete/Modify included software per government regulations.
    • Check software for locale support issues - create bug reports.
  3. Enjoy your new shiny distro…

Simplify the overall goal to suit your final purpose - and to get developer help doing it.

why need to get developer help doing it?
i saw so many people just adding or setting their Windows ,then ghost it into a ghost file. and ghost it to other computer. finally, Windows take all computer up.
there was no Windows’s developer to help them.
(Microsoft just against these thing by law after taking all market up.)

i just need to figure the way out with haiku.
share these experience.
and wish to repeat the history.

in my eyes, developer have their duty “develop haiku with their haiku style”. layman have ourself duty “try marketing haiku.”

ok, what is the number of linux?
and does any these “16 active BSD distributions and 5 active Solaris distributions” beyond freebsd?

As mentioned before:

What is with this fixation on number of distros? Windows doesn’t have as many distributions counted, yet does it mean it is less successful than Linux on the desktop?

Yes, especially the Solaris distributions, Those aren’t even based on a BSD at all !

Maybe I should get out of this topic, as it is becoming unproductive.

because Windows is a whole system.
it has no necessary to build any distribution.
but, need a easy way for marketing itself.

if i figure these thing out with haiku, i will share.
if not, i just keep silence and wait for R1 stable.

i am a layman. so, i have no other choice.