Internet access unnecessary?


#1

I’ve run almost exclusively Windows – currently XP SP3 – but I’ve been looking for something better forever. Haiku looks like it could be what I want. Particularly since there seemed to be a commitment to rendering modern websites decently.

Yesterday I downloaded a recent version and after no more than the usual amount of trouble I got it going.

But … no Internet access? I found a comment to the effect that it Haiku doesn’t need access out of the box’ but what about those of us for whom computing is mostly 'net access?

That would be me: Maybe three hours daily on various web pages and another hour of email. A system that cannot access the 'net is almost useless to me: Even a Win 98 system that I run for some old games has wi-fi and an old Firefox to facilitate service.

It doesn’t seem that 'net access is that far away: Haiku knows about my wi-fi card but the directions for finding the support for that and getting it installed seem to require two more pieces of software and doing some other unfamiliar things. I’m a little vague because this was yesterday but I looked at the description and guessed a couple-three days work – mostly wasted in blundering around – and I don’t have that time now.

I’m sure the support exists, why can’t I simply download and install it?

I understand that developers aren’t much interested in using the 'net on a development machine but is the target audience just developers? Or is there hope of reaching a bigger group? Certainly the world NEEDS an alternative to the Big Two. And Haiku looks slick, it’s blinding fast, and there’s already a ton of function.

I wish it had come out of the box with Internet access. Or – second to that – “For net access you will need to link to … and download … Then issue the command …” Or something like that.

Thanks! This is a fine site, BTW.


#2

Hello and welcome to Haiku! :smiley:

But, first, I think your worldview needs to expand beyond two players. Even back in the Jobs/Gates rivalry days, there was Be (Haiku’s ancestor), Sun, SGI, and others. Today, there’s corporate backed ‘Linux’ (people forget the Gnu sadly) and it is also an industry leader. And because of its size and licensing, there’s a lot more than two (Apple and Microsoft) or even three out there. For instance, Gnu/Linux powers Chrome OS, Android, Fire OS, and even the kernel image in the Roku player and car kiosks; it’s used by Amazon, Google, IBM, HP, Red Hat, and even on certain machines in NASA. In some stores (at least in the US), you can actually buy a notebook or nettop with ‘Linux’ on it in the form of Chrome (OS) and install a *buntu distro on it for a better (but cramped) Linux experience for a cheap price point. And there’s also Gnu/Linux distributions such as Arch, Devuan, Debian, Slackware, Trisquel, Void, etc. and all the Ubuntu’s (including Mint) in their own category as well.

And beyond Gnu/Linux in the free world of systems, there’s the family of BSDs and Illumos/OpenIndiana (free variant of Solaris). And right beside it Haiku, ReactOS, Minix, and Redox (small but growing fast) are all there as well as the many small or hobby ones that trail behind, like Viopsys. So there’s actually several operating systems to explore.

But, imho, outside of Gnu/Linux for its sheer size & compatibility, or the Mac for its superior legacy — Haiku is the best OS out there, and I’m glad you found it. Everything from the indexed FS, package system, and internals to the simplicity of the UI akin to Mac OS 9 is really elegant to say the least. It’s true that a majority of Haiku’s user base are of the developer and power user sort, and I humbly admit to that, but anyone is welcome to join in using Haiku and be a part of it.

So now that the OS discussion is over with, the first thing you’ll need, as with any modern OS out there, is an Internet connection. Make sure you are running a Nightly release; Alpha 4 has gotten really old by now. If your WiFi card is seen by Haiku, that’s a good sign. If it can’t connect or is not detected, hopefully your wired connection does work. What you’ll need to do from XP is create a network bridge and share the connection over the spare Ethernet port to Haiku and run install-wifi-firmwares.sh or use the offline method, and restart. In the Depot, Web+ is available (should be installed by default), and there’s QupZilla, Otter, and more. Be aware rendering isn’t the greatest yet so you’ll need patience.

Last, if you have XP, you really need to erase it. That’s a very old, and vulnerable system. Much as I love to recommend Haiku to everyone new, and would love to recommend it to you to have fun with, if it’s Windows XP compatibility you need, and if you have the drivers to your computer, why not try a nightly copy of ReactOS (a free Win 2k/XP clone) and see how it runs?

Best of luck and I hope this helps! Please feel free to ask any questions about Haiku and we’ll try to answer them. :slight_smile:


#3

ReactOS is very cool, but it can’t by any means replace Windows XP at this point in time. It also aims to clone Windows XP/2003 so it isn’t particularly secure at all.

If you just need a web browser and you can’t use Haiku, I’d recommend one of the popular Linux distros. I’m not a Linux fan, but for just browsing the web it’s good enough and it will install on almost any PC.


#4

for web use Android or I-Pad…


#5

You misread that, I’m sure.
Haiku doesn’t need network access to run. An internet connection is necessary, however, if you want to build Haiku from source code.

Haiku does support many LAN and wifi hardware, but not everything. Without much more detail on your hardware and what exactly you did trying to get it to run, there’s no sense in beginning to guess the cause.


#6

Hello. About wired connection, Haiku usually works without aditional configuration.

About wifi connection, maybe you will need to install aditional firmware, by running an script. Here do you have some details about that:
https://www.haiku-os.org/guides/daily-tasks/wireless/


#7

THANKS for all the replies!

To clarify my use: Most time is spent using the web so ability to usably render all websites AND a path to continue doing so in the future is the goal. I do a few other things – mostly involving obsolete software – for which XP (or equivalent) will be satisfactory indefinitely.

Right now XP does it all – yes, I know it’s not secure. I handle that in several ways that are satisfactory for my use.

I face the fact, though, that Firefox has abandoned XP. That means I too will have to give up XP for browsing since only Firefox ESR supports it even now and no one seems to be planning to carry on.

Microsoft is going off into the cloud are they not? Even if I loved MS I won’t do that.

I thought perhaps Haiku might work for browsing; the easiest way to find out would be to run it but that looked complicated. However the suggestion of using the Internet on another machine via Ethernet should help. First of all that would let me see the H. browser in action.

ReactOS is interesting but I’d have to understand the point: The XP we already have works well despite its many flaws from an architectural, security, and coding point of view. There’s only an advantage to ROS if there’s a plan for it to someday be more than XP. For example if it were (someday) to support current Firefox then it would offer me an ideal path. Present software would be okay, the browser would keep up with the steadily improving technology for presenting advertising on my screen (that I won’t see …)

Very small projects aren’t helpful to me because they’re too unlikely to become what I need. ‘Retrozilla’ (for example) was to be a modern browser for Win '98. As of last night they’re still recommending FF 3.6 if you use '98. That’s what I have on my '98 system but it doesn’t render even close to everything.

Commercial products that are offered free (Chrome …) mean I’m the product. I don’t use Google either …

Several times I’ve decided to try Unix-based systems. There is a current Firefox for some of them and given the popularity that’ll likely continue. The first negative is compatibility – those systems are miles away from Windows, so anytime I have to do anything for the XP system that involves a download (etc.) there’s stuff to learn and do. Learning’s not a main purpose of my computer use – it’s mostly a newspaper, communications method, and toolbox.

The second negative is that in a couple of efforts it’s been clear that many of the people using/developing those systems don’t want to bother with inferiors.

All of the hobby development systems – that would include Haiku – share the problem of direction setting: Lacking an external goal they frequently stall out or take the scenic route. I think it’s a fair criticism of Haiku that 17 years on and with a whole pile of function it doesn’t have built-in web access by the method most used today.

I expect I’ll wind up with Linux and use it only for browsing. But I don’t have to make that decision until I start not seeing web sites with FF ESR and until then I’ll keep hoping for something else to come along.

I will work on getting Haiku talking to the web and also look at ReactOS.

Again, thanks!


#8

You may be interested in New Moon, a Pale Moon fork for Windows XP:
https://msfn.org/board/topic/177125-my-build-of-new-moon-temp-name-aka-pale-moon-for-xp/


#9

So I think you’re missing a small something here: on most systems haiku does support wifi out of the box - in my experience. So for most (or at least many) users your above statement is false. The reason some cards dont work is that not all wifi card manufacturers release documentation on how their wifi cards work, they just supply a windows driver. So making a compatible driver for an open source OS is not straightforward, they must be written from scratch often by reverse engineering. They also often need firmware code that needs to be copied on to the card by the OS after the machine boots, but that code is not allowed to be distributed by anyone except the manufacturer and their partners. That means that some cards are supported in haiku, but you need to download the firmware after installation because the manufacturer doesn’t allow it be distributed with haiku itself. So the “install-wifi-firmwares.sh” script bundled with haiku downloads those firmwares for you after installation.

That said, when/if you do get networking working in haiku, try more than just the built in browser, as it only has a single developer and often has issues with various websites (actually the functionality/supported sites changes all the time since the browser does see active development and websites themselves change). But there are a few other browsers you can use.

Have fun!

BTW I’m amazed you’re still using 98. I have a machine for retro gaming with 98 on it, and I’ve had to reinstall it about 5 times because it seems to always end up breaking itself. I’ve sort of given up on it for the time being, I’m wondering if I’d be better off with linux running wine.