Observations and Sugestion - Haiku USB Flash Drive


As part of my investigations with HRev51877 for data recovery and transfer, I followed the first method described in ( https://www.haiku-os.org/guides/installing/making_haiku_usb_stick/ ), that of using Etcher.

Etcher is a nice and easy-to-use tool - especially for one who uses Windows most of the time.

I elected to use the portable version which is a ~50 MiB download. While the portable version does not temper with the Registry, it first create a temporary expanded version of it-self weighting at close to 260 MiB; something which takes a few minutes to complete. Then one can flash the anyboot.iso image to a USB Flash Drive.

The process is very similar to that for creating a Recovery image in the ChromeOS world. However, the Recovery app is a tiny download, around 1.5 MB, expends to 6.2 MB on installation, and offers the possibility to “erase” the SD card or USB Drive so that it can be re-used for other purposes.

As the image is only 600 MiB, this leaves the rest of the flash drive un-allocated; the same as if “dd” had been used. Using DriveSetup, the un-allocated space can be defined as a BFS, FAT32 (<32Gib) or NTFS (>32Gib), or any one of a number of Linux flavored volume. I used a boringly descriptive name “BFS_Transit” as the intended use was for data recovery and transfer. Another time, I’ll pick FAT32 (or NTFS) and assess if Windows can “see” this volume on inserting the drive into a port.

One little issue is that the name of the bootable partition is simply “Haiku”. It does not appear to be possible to rename it with DriveSetup. Mounting the volume in Haiku causes an USB-Drive Icon with the name Haiku to overly the Haiku boot volume one. While both volumes are distinct within Haiku, this behavior brings confusion to an user.

Suggestion: Could the nightly images be created with a distinctive name such as Haiku_HRevnnnnn with nnnnn being the HRev number?


You can just rename the icon on the desktop. no need for drivesetup :slight_smile:
I don’t think including the hrev in the volume name is a good idea, especially because you can so easily update the system now.


I guess I have been in the Windows world for way too long…a world in which accomplishing anything out of the narrowly predefined user path tends to be complicated.

Move the cursor on the icon, right click, and select the “Edit Name” command…So simple!

And, on a mostly related topic, has anyone set-up a “dual-boot” Haiku USB Flash Drive? Meaning one in which both 32-bit and 64-bit releases are present as separate volumes?


You just install them to two partitions, then install BootManager on the drive (I think it is available from Installer menu)


So easy to perform!

I first, downloaded the 32-bit and 64-bit Anyboot variants of HRev51911, unpacked the ISOs and burned them. I then tested them for being bootable with a Thinkpad T60 (T7200 CPU - X64 capable CPU) as it was the only system with an internal optical drive I had access to. This T60 also does not have a hard drive - so no fear about messing up the internal hard drive!

I decided to recycle the USB Flash Drive on which I had previously installed HRev51877 using Etcher.

To minimize risks, I clean-formatted the USB Flash Drive using the HP USB USB Format utility for Windows (.HPUSBFW.exe - Version This put back the flash drive in the same state and took a bit more than one hour for the 16 GB drive.

Booted the T60 with a SystemRescueCD and the USB Flash Drive inserted into a port. Using GParted, the space on the flash drive was divided into three - 1/4 for Haiku-32bit, 1/4 for Haiku-64bit, and 1/2 as a BFS share volume.

Booted the 32-bit disc. Using DriveSetup, the first partition was formatted to BFS and named. Then the Installer was run.

Booted the 64-bit disc. Using its DriveSetup, the second partition was formatted to BFS and named. Then the installer was run.

The third partition was then formatted to BFS and named.

Finally, BoorMan (in ~/config/settings/bootman/) was run and a copy of the MBR saved to the BFS shared partition. Also, a default time-out for booting into the 32-bit variant was set.

I tested both variants on the Thinkpad T60. I re-tested on the Aspire One 721 (AMD Ahtlon II Neo K125 CPU). No major issues in all cases and no need to boot via Safe Mode.

With the installation order I followed, the name of the 32-bit variant is blue and the of the 64-bit variant is red. The colors really looked like the old blue and red of the BeOS logo - nice memory!


There are a few caveats about using such dual booting Haiku stick.

The stick may not be recognized for Legacy boot in a UEFI based system.

This happened with the HP ProBook 450 G3 which has a highly customized hybrid UEFI/Legacy BIOS. The presence of non-zero bytes in the sector following the MBR (i.e. overflow from BootMan) is interpreted by the BIOS as the indicator of a GPT partitioned USB Flash Drive and bootable only in UEFI mode. So far, there has been no issues with any system with a Legacy (pre-UEFI) BIOS.

Be careful when entering safe mode from 32 bit and selecting the 64 volume, or vice versa, to continue booting. Although it “works”, the devices are not properly set-up for the hand-over from the boot loader to the kernel. I did so by accident and something ended vibrating in my system - not sure if it was the CPU fan or the hard drive.