Just curious how does Haiku benefit compared to Linux and additional questions?

Hi I have some questions regarding this project.

  1. I am hearing about this software for the first time and I was curious to know what are the differences between Haiku and Linux and what are the upsides and downsides of Haiku over Linux?

  2. Am I able to run tiling window managers that are configured for the wayland display (such as wlroots in Haiku? If so would it require some sort of emulation or something?

  3. I have a home partition, am I able to mount the same home partition for Haiku? And additionally, does the Haiku bootloader (for UEFI) support dual booting? Can I additionally use something like rEFInd on Haiku?

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Hey there! Welcome to Haiku!

First of all, as I am an end-user I’m unfortunately not able to answer some of your questions. Hopefully, a Haiku developer will help you out soon.

Haiku is based on BeOS, a defunct OS from the 90s. It’s not a Linux distribution and uses a different kernel built by the Haiku team. Haiku is much lighter than your average OS, with very low hardware requirements. Apps also don’t take up much space nor system resources. For example, @Zenja recently released Medo, a fully-featured 4K UHD video editor with multilingual support. On other platforms, the size of Medo would easily be over 100MB, but on Haiku Medo is a slim 1.44MB! Additionally, we have a porting team that has ported many popular open-source apps, such as LibreOffice, many KDE apps and much more. The downsides of Haiku, I would say, is that it is still in beta. This means there will still be bugs and rough edges. We encourage you to file any bugs you find at the Bug Tracker at dev.haiku-os.org

Additionally, our web browser, Web Positive, is fully functional but still has some issues rendering content. For most static webpages it will work fine, but if a website has interactive content (i.e. YouTube) there may be some issues with playing that content.

Finally, our developer team is a small, closely-knit team. Although development happens every day (you can find evidence of this on the “Source Activity” tracker on our homepage), major releases are not released as quickly as some of us would have hoped, due to our small developer team, who have to dedicate their efforts to multiple parts of the system. Nonetheless, our developers, many of whom have been with us for years now, are some of the most hardworking, friendly and polite people you will ever meet. They frequently hang out here on the forums, and you’ll see the “Developer” tag next to their usernames.

I would also like to mention that there are plenty of volunteer opportunities at Haiku. If you are interested, you can have a look at the following page:

On behalf of everyone here, I hope you enjoy Haiku! Please take the time to explore the OS and if you have any questions or problems, please don’t hesitate to ask here!

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Thank you mate :slight_smile:

No worries mate

Just curious is BeOS proprietary?

May I know the minimal requirements?

Wow that is very interesting, is this program compressed or something?

I see and noted

I wish I can get involed, only problem is I am not a system’s software engineer and I would have no idea how to work on this stuff :frowning:

Thank you very much mate, I hope to install this soon and use it as a daily driver :slight_smile:

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Yes, BeOS was proprietary, and it was developed by a company called Be Inc. More info here:

Requirements are here:

As far as I know, not at all! But @Zenja might be able to give you more info on that.

I should have written this beforehand, but you don’t need to be a software engineer/programmer to help Haiku. There are tons of other opportunities to help, just scroll down the page here (Getting Involved | Haiku Project) and you can view some of the non-programming related tasks. To quote that page:

Your skills, your interests, and the amount of time you wish to contribute all play a part in determining how you can best help the Haiku project. Below are examples of many of the project’s needs and how an individual person (with or without C++ experience) can help.

All the non-programming opportunities are under the two tables, and make sure to read the section “Other Ways to Help” as well!

I should mention that it’s probably a good idea to do dual-boot with another OS just so you can switch back if you want to. To answer your question on rEFInd, it should work with Haiku, since there is an icon for Haiku included with the software already. I’m not too sure how it can be installed on Haiku, though.

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I see, but then if Haiku is built on top of BeOS, wouldn’t Haiku be partially propriatery operating system (other than the drivers)?

I see thanks mate.

OH I see, I will have a look at it mate.

I could install it through Linux instead and just ensure it points to Haiku

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When I mean based, I mean that the developers designed the OS to function like BeOS, but from scratch.

Yeah, not too sure though. I run Haiku on Windows through Virtualbox, so I can’t provide any help here unfortunately.

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No, there is no alternative window manager for Haiku.

There is no wayland for Haiku, so no.

You can run your favorite linux distro in qemu under Haiku, albeit it will be slow.

  • There is no fstab in Haiku.
  • Home on different partition is unsupported currently.
  • AFAIK home must be on BFS formatted partition.
  • even if it would be possible the gains from sharing the home partition between Haiku and other OS would be seriously limited, as Haiku stores the program configurations in a non-unix-like folder-structure.

Yes, pick a different efi file for the motherboard bootmenu.


What display server does it use?

I see, thanks

Is it going to be supported in the near future? Is there an issue created by any chance?

I see mate, just curious what was the reason behind not support a unix-like file structure if I may know, is there a technical reason behind the decision?

Thanks mate

On Haiku just like on BeOS a program called app-server manages that.

If somebody implements it, sure.

Check at dev.haiku-os.org

To make things different and/or simpler, or to research other ways doing things.

Haiku is not unix.

Just wanted to mention that we have a Frequently Asked Questions page and it seems you are in the process of asking all of them :slight_smile:

Maybe reading the page will give you a good idea about what the prject is and what it’s trying to do.


I see thanks.

Oh lol, will check them out, thanks mate :slight_smile:

Hey mate, I wanted to ask you some further questions based on the FAQ

Instead, Haiku has a single focus on personal computing and is driven by a unified vision for the whole OS. That, we believe, enables Haiku to provide a leaner, cleaner and more efficient system capable of providing a better user experience that is simple and uniform throughout.

Would I still be able to replace the DE and have a taskbar and a window manager without modifying the Haiku code? So I install it like a regular application?

The taskbar provided by Deskbar. The filemanger is Tracker. You probably want to replace one or both with your own.
I think window management is provided by app_server, you can replace it too, but it is not just a window manager,but an integral part of the system which provides vital support for the programs, you will have to reimplement that or extract those features from the app_server source code. To know more about app_server and what all it does read the BeBook.
You can tell to launch_daemon to start your progams instead the vanilla ones.

Maybe it would be also possible to implement the window management features as an addon or script the gui to behave as you wish.


I am sorry if I am asking a lot of questions but just wanting to know is it less customisable compared to Linux?

Sorry but that’s incorrect. Haiku started out as an open source reimplementation of BeOS with the goal to be binary compatible. It uses some BeOS code that was open-sourced by Be Inc. before it’s demise. (afaik Tracker and Deskbar)


Yeah, I should have provided more clarification on that. I meant that Haiku’s functionality is based on BeOS, but most of the OS itself is built from scratch (apart from the parts you mentioned).


Technically probably not much, it is completely open source so you can do whatever you want with it. (within what is allowed by the license) . But is is not designed to be customisable like Linux. The philosophy is quite the opposite, creating a unified desktop experience by only having one desktop environment, one window manager etc.
I’m sure it is better explained somewhere in the user guide here at Haiku User Guide - Contents . It is quite detailed and well written and definitely worth looking at. You can also find your question about the tiling abilities of Haiku’s desktop answered there (chapter “Stack and Tile”)
That said, the appearance of the Haiku Desktop can be changed quite a bit by adjusting colours, fonts, and using different window decorators. It comes up here in the forums regularly.

Edit: the differences from Linux are explained in the FAQs :

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  1. Linux is just a kernel - not an entire desktop-oriented (or server-oriented) operating system.
  2. Linux-based desktop-oriented distros use X11 (i.e. X Window System) and a variation of window managers. Haiku uses App Server.
  3. Haiku uses Tracker for GUI-based file management. Linux-based distros vary.

Linux-based desktop-oriented distros may change during their release cycles to different desktop environments, shells, file managers, file systems, or window managers - or provide them as optional distro release variants. Haiku benefits from its consistency of a common core model of graphic user interface, file system, window manager, file manager, etc.

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Good day,

This is something I would give a +1. Besides stack&tile, being able to tell a window to get 1/2 or 1/4th the screen would be nice. Add that to the actual stack&tile and I think it would be a nice improvement to Haiku’s window management (best window management ever? :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes:)


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