One week with Haiku


I’m not. I’m surprised by the high RAM usage, especially when there is a lot available. I have 16 GB of RAM and Haiku right after boot consumes 1 GB! My guess is it’s disk cache? Anyway, Linux + KDE can do fine with 600 MB. There definitely is a problem.


Interesting. I have a VM with 64-bit Haiku running just the ActivityMonitor and it says used memory is at 436.1 MiB with cached memory at 619.7 MiB.


Yeah I mean, obviously some things are cached to improve performance. If memory resources become tight the caches can go. So you can’t really consider it “used” or unavailable memory, as the cached space is still available for other applications if required. Or, to put it another way, haiku running with a footprint of 400MB used and 600MB cached will still run on a machine with only 512MB of RAM without swapping.


On my machine (8GB RAM), IIRC it uses around 400MB right after boot. I wonder how much of that is the KDEBUG_… information relating to page tables (if it doubles with available RAM, that would make sense) and indeed, disk cache. But seeing as the system boots just fine with only 256MB available and is moderately usable in that state, it definitely doesn’t “need” that much so to speak.


If I read it correctly, the main complaint in that report is about the web browser, which indeed tends to often get past its allocated 2GB of RAM and crash (on 32bit systems, I don’t know how high it can get on 64bit?). We have more work to do there to make it more efficient.


Good day @brunobastardi,
Well, I only use Haiku 64bits and it has flaws, plenty, but that was not the idea of that reply :wink:

We could talk about the flaws and it will take time, lots of time. Some flaws I presume the developers would agree with, some others, they won’t. A thing I presume we all would agree on is that there is much room for improvement in many areas, and I am quite sure that those improvements will arrive sooner or later.

I noticed that the RAM issue @Akuji pointed out is an strange thing. On the laptop, with 3GB RAM (dual core), Haiku takes less memory than on the desktop with 16 GB (quad core dual thread), so I presume Haiku adapts itself to the system and also manages the swap file accordingly.

Regarding stability, I find the OS quite stable, even the nightly 64bits. Is the other software what does not work properly or does not work at all. I started to file tickets but it also involves some time. OS specific issues I don’t have much to complain about, but then again, I understand what I am using. I can tolerate certain level of issues when using Haiku that I would not when using Fedora (backed by RedHat), Ubuntu (backed by Canonical), Windows (backed by Microsoft), and by no means would tolerate any issue using MacOS (backed by Apple in Software and Hardware). Besides, I have 100% AMD hardware, so it is riskier and prone to bugs, even in the Linux world. What can I say, I live on the edge. :laughing:

Actually, I found that people with less knowledge of computers are more willing to change the OS than those who have been using computers for a long time. I have two friends who are still using Macs, and would not dare to try Haiku :ghost:

Then again, I presume that people in this forum are not “regular” users, so most likely, we all understand what we do and what to expect, therefore as far as I am concerned, I am not disappointed.

Let’s help improve Haiku.


And you do it in english too!


6624 total, 1 MiB inaccessible
1258 Mib used (19%)
(i have 8 gig in this dual socket amd system)

Thats pretty normal if you ask me, i think it uses around 20 % of your ram, regardless of how much ram you have.


The amount shown as used is just a number from Haiku’s internals, there is no independent way to measure this, so it can just be wrong.

There used to be an obvious Haiku bug where subtracted file cache size from the other usages. So you’d have a system using 500MB of RAM, 100MB of that being file caches, and it’d say only 300MB is used. And then you’d load some big files, now it’s really 600MB of RAM used, 200MB is file caches, but Haiku says only 200MB if used, eventually IIRC you could get it to show zero RAM used…

The only way to tell how much RAM is actually needed is to remove RAM, or when it’s not real hardware, tell the virtual machine to provide less RAM. On a more mature system you can maybe trust their numbers, but Haiku is far from that degree of maturity.


For what it is worth: I am trying out Haiku OS because I want something different. I do not want an OS that simply looks and acts like other OSes I have used (IBM mainframe OSes, Unixes, Apple Mac OSes, Windows (and DOS), various Linux distributions). I like the idea of the architecture and UX intentions that have been stated for Haiku:

  • That it is fully integrated
  • That it is easy to do things

While I have issues that are highly unlikely to be resolved in R1 or possibly even R2, I want to keep following Haiku’s development and may look to see if there is some way I can contribute.

[Aside] As I have been working my way through the “Haiku User Guide” trying things out, I stumbled on the problem of which key was “OPT”, etc. I tried various keys and combinations then resorted to more reading, finding the app that shows which key is being pressed on the keyboard. That only partially solved the problem… The real problem was that I used an external Apple keyboard, not a “PC” keyboard! (I like a compact keyboard without a numeric keypad extension to the right). I could get everything (so far) to work using the laptop’s native keyboard.[/Aside]


Have a look at the Keymap prefs’ “Layout” menu. There are several keyboards to choose from, maybe you’re lucky.


Go on HaikuDepot and download QuickTour. It’s a great intro guide. Don’t expect it in the default install until the next release. It was made after the Beta freeze. Here’s a numbered address to your above concerns.

1 & 2. Check out Keymap in Preferences. You can drag and drop keys to swap their function.

  1. Play around with Deskbar under Preferences.

  2. Tracker is an application that always runs. It will always show up in Deskbar while it is running. Which is always, unless it has crashed. This is how BeOS was.

  3. Yeah, there might be room for some improvements there.

  4. I regularly run Haiku on bare metal and VirtualBox on Linux or Windows on the hardware. I have yet to experience this. Perhaps expand upon your hardware capabilities, and your machine settings in VB.

  5. You can Right-Click on window tabs and borders to send them to the back of the pile. You can drill down quickly to the one you want. There’s no need to close windows. This will become second nature with some practice.

  6. You can Ctrl-Alt-Right-Click on any window border or corner to resize the window.

  7. It’s been a put icons back in order function since BeOS. Other OS do other things. Haiku does Haiku things. I’ve used BeOS/Haiku so long that I often wonder the same thing about how other OS do things. I think they should explain themselves better.

  8. Items under the Mount menu mount and unmount items. I’m not sure what else you’d want it to do. If you feel a lack of instant gratification, watch on the Desktop or in Disks (depends on your Tracker preferences) or in Drive Setup. You’ll see disks appear and disappear as you mount and unmount them. Of course you’ll need more than just your boot disk hooked up to experience this pleasure.

Add-Ons… These should all do something. I don’t know what to tell you.


your explorations as a new user is very welcomed here… as it shows where to improve help for a new Haiku user…
Tell the dev’s where you run into problems and/or frustration…

BeOs/Haiku was/is designed to get the easiest way for the user to use the OS…


Wow! So much to unpack here for a Haiku newbie.

I wasn’t aware of the “Windows/Linux” alt and ctrl mapping mode; I will try that immediately. Good call to make that available for us multi-OS guys, that have muscle memory around the (ctrl)A, (ctrl)C, etc.

One thing I found helpful about the YouTube videos is that in order to make them, VMs were widely used, which meant you could get a glimpse of their setups, and in some cases a VM setup walkthrough was provided. I tried to stick to videos in the past few months, in order to stay current re: beta, but one that went back a year was also helpful.

Moving the deskbar: another life saver for the ole codger! Having seen this in a video, tried it, failed, then persisted until it worked for me. I’ve been able to use since my first X days, only UIs that allowed moving the task bar to the bottom of the screen.

As for the Tracker, I get that the multiple file panels, neatly listed in Tracker, and only surfable by clicking, not directly typing an address, is part of a Haiku-unique and cool feature. I look forward to using the system long enough to “catch” what makes it attractive to the Haiku community.


There is also a cool feature in Haiku that lets you turn this on. Check out the Tracker preferences and turn on navigator mode and single window mode. Cheers, and welcome!