Is it prudent to depend on freebsd for device drivers?

I have raised a ticket for RTL8192EE not recognized on Haiku. No development from 4 months… Haiku also looking expectantly at freebsd for drivers…I am still waiting for my device to be recognized by HaikuOS

Patches welcome.

1 Like

We can write our own drivers if we want to and if we had the time. Currently no one has the time, either to write drivers, or even to port them. The problem is not on FreeBSD side.

If the user base has to increase, hardware support needs to be wider…users generally will not go in search of hardware specific to an OS…they expect it to be supported…

“they” need to use Windows or Mac OS :wink: Seriously, with the joy of using alternative operating systems comes the pain that some things don´t work out of the box or not at all. (not that everything works on Windows or Mac OS :slight_smile: )
And in Haiku´s case I find it pretty impressing what is supported, given the limited number of developers and their time limits.

FYI, i use only Linux, Slackware 14.2 on desktop, Voidlinux on laptop…All hardware recognized out of the box…

Agreed about limitations about developers time…etc… But…why freebsd as base for device drivers?? they are ages behind…world is moving very fast…

The point is that using FreeBSD drivers does not limit Haiku, quite the opposite, it makes more drivers available that otherwise would not exist.

Haiku does not depend on these drivers in a sense that a FreeBSD Driver must exist before Haiku can get it. As PulkoMandy pointed out it is of course completely possible to write drivers directly for Haiku. But using existing code from FreeBSD allows to get more drivers quickly with already proven code. That’s what open source is great for. Why reinvent the wheel when you can just use the existing one?


cocobean, ticket raised 5 months back…you can check in my other posts where I have inserted a link to the ticket…no development as of today

Opening the ticket was a first good step. With that the devs are aware that Haiku needs something to fulfill your needs.

But it seems no one has the time to write drivers or port them, be that from FreeBSD or any other system. Stating that for wider adoption Haiku needs better hardware support, that FreeBSD drivers take long to appear or that other systems do have a driver for your device does not help to resolve that issue. So, do you have the specs, the knowledge and the time to write that driver? Please do so, it will improve your experience and that of many others that have the same device. Lacking that, do you know someone that can? Please kindly ask them to do so, it would be of service to you and many others that have the same device. Lacking that… I don’t know, place a bounty to see if someone appears to do the work?

Good day,

I presume it would be quite hard though, but could be possible to get the amdgpu driver from FreeBSD ported and working on Haiku?


Everything is possible. The question is more of what’s more reasonable. Some things may take years or dozens of years to get done and there may be an easier or more durable solution.

In the case of graphics driver: the drivers in the various BSD versions are all ports of the Linux ones. So, using the FreeBSD version would add lag: we would need to wait for FreeBSD people to port a new version from Linux, and then we would need to port their work again to Haiku. Is it worth it? It depends. If the work FreeBSD does makes things a lot easier for us, maybe it is. If most of the work we have to do ends up being removing FreeBSD things to add Haiku things instead, it’s just wating time.

Not having looked into it in much more details, I can’t say for sure. Someone has to try and see what happens.

In the past we have also discussed another approach: we have some contacts with FreeBSD people and we could work together on a common interface for drivers. Then we could more efficiently work together and coordinate changes. The RTEMS project is also interested in this, at least for network cards, they already use a similar approach to ours with reusing FreeBSD drivers.

1 Like

If this is going to be pursued even further, perhaps it may be a good idea to get in touch with the NetBSD and DragonFly BSD folks. Maybe OpenIndiana too?

I know it can be frustrated. If you eager to get that card to work I would go and boot FreeBSD and open ticket with FreeBSD.

Good day,

@ModeenF, thanks for the tip. It seems to work on FreeBSD already, at least it seems to be supported. The FreeBSD docs say that amdgpu driver works with “modern” GPU’s. Nonetheless, I haven’t tried it myself, so can’t properly ensure that.

@PulkoMandy, I just add that post because I’ve recently start to read things about FreeBSD and got the impression that Haiku and FreeBSD have some sort of similar way to do some things, and that could speed up the availability? of drivers, particularly the Ports in FreeBSD and HaikuPorts on Haiku, though not sure if I’m right on this one. Also because the LAN driver (Realtek) I use on Haiku seems to have been ported/borrowed? from FreeBSD, IIRC.

The ‘working together and coordinate’ approach seems quite good, so hope in the near future we can see some agreements that could speed up some development.


That was to san2ban :wink: but you are welcome :slight_smile:

Yes, we do this for Network drivers. We have some similar ways indeed, but not so much that you can just copy any driver and get it running. For network drivers in particular, we have a compatibility layer that makes it possible to use the FreeBSD ones. It converts between the Haiku and FreeBSD ways of doing things. It could be extended for other drivers, but so far, no one did. I expect that graphics driver will be more complicated (they are larger, they use more parts of the OS, so they will need a larger compatibility layer).

We could do the same with Linux, but there are problems with sourcecode license, with code cleanliness/readability (not as much a focus in Linux than it is in Haiku), and with the fact that Linux does not have a stable ABI for drivers, and will regularly change things about how they interface with the OS, so we’d need to constantly adjust our compatibility layer to match. FreeBSD moves at a slower pace so it’s easier to follow them.

From the pattern of discussions, I understand that nobody emphatizes with me…OK…fine
I am frustrated because

  1. On one HDD, I installed HAIKU. 2nd HDD has linux
  2. On HAIKU, I could not connect to internet via mobile USB tethering
  3. On the forums here, they told me USB wi-fi still does not work on HAIKU
  4. So, I bought a PCIe card, realtek, paying around 15 dollars…for we Indians, this is not a small amount…
  5. Later, I am told this particular PCIe card is not yet supported on HAIKU
  6. With passage of 6 months, there still is no indication of any progress on the ticket that I have opened
  7. If the stand taken by developers, project lead etc is to say that there is no time for all this, then, people like me are left with no option but to loose interest in this OS
  8. Any way, I always wanted to try out Adelie Linux…I will install it on this HDD where I have installed HAIKU…
    I thought that a new sun was rising on the horizon, appears that it has already set for me…

A dejected enthusiasist

With all due respect, it would have been better to check which cards were compatible with Haiku before buying one.

That’s what happens when there’s a limited number of developers. Maybe it would be different if more people jumped in to help. As it, they do what they can when they can. There’s no malice in it.

Knock yourself out. I can’t say I ever noticed a different in Linux distributions, but if that’s your thing…

Because you want it to. You can always check back later. Or not.

I am surprised to see so many people on their toes eagerly waiting to pontificate…well
I will leave it at this
But, out of curiosity, often, I will be checking upon the ticket that I raised

Thanks to all who respnded